Disclaimer: I do not on Ranma. Enough said about that. This story is a collaboration effort between me and Drakuzz. We hope that you will enjoy this story of ours.
By David Knight and Drakuzz
Chapter One: The New Girl Who Isn't a New Fiancée
It seemed like a normal day in Nermia. The sun was up, there sounds of people waking up, getting ready to go about their business.
And at the Tendo training hall, things seemed to be just as they had always been with Ranma and Genma about to engage once again in their daily morning sparing session.
Except today would have a very distinct variation.
"Oh Saotome-san," Kasumi called out to Genma and Ranma as they were to have their morning sparing. "You have a letter addressed to you."
Genma frowned. "Can't it wait? We have some training to take care of."
"But it says it's addressed from a Saotome Seijuro," Kasumi mentioned. "Is he somehow related to you?"
Genma paled considerably, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by Kasumi and Ranma. "What's this about, old man? You got another son around or something?" Ranma asked with a miffed expression on his face.
"Be quiet, boy!" Genma snapped, though it lacked the usual anger at his son. He looked rather nervous, as when Happosai was present.
"Saotome-san, who is this Seijuro?" Kasumi asked.
Suddenly Soun poked his head out. "Seijuro? Saotome, your father has sent you a letter after all this time?"
"Don't say his name!" Genma cried in a panic, clearly as afraid from the man as he was of Happosai.
Ranma frowned slightly at that. "Your father?"
"Oh my!" Kasumi exclaimed. "I wonder if that letter means he's coming for a visit?"
"Of course it doesn't!" Genma said a little too quickly. "He just wanted me to know he's leaving for Thailand," he said and after the hurried explanation forgot all about sparring and rushed upstairs.
They all stared at the spot where Genma had ran into the house for a bit, until Kasumi said, "But he didn't even read the letter. How would he know?"
"He wouldn't," Soun said almost sagely. "Saotome is deathly afraid of his father."
"I have a grandfather?" Ranma asked, just now realizing what this was all about.
Soun nodded. "Saotome Seijuro. He is a very rich man indeed."
"But... that doesn't make sense. My old man would be all over that money," Ranma said knowing his father's greed first-hand.
"He would, if Seijuro and Genma were on speaking terms," Soun explained. "You see, your grandfather never approved of your father's choice for a wife. Seijiro never attended the wedding and Genma took up the art of Anything Goes in return."
"I have a mother?" the pigtailed martial artist asked incredulously.
"Well of course you do. Everyone does," Soun said as a mater of fact.
Ranma was shaken by this news. "... But he told me she was dead..."
Soun looked confused. "Dead? Why would he say that? I know he has..." he paused for a moment, deciding to think his words carefully, knowing he'd have to talk to his friend soon about this. "Issues with her, but I can't believe he told you she was dead."
A fierce look of determination on his face, Ranma turned towards the house. "Don't worry. I'll beat it out of him." So, his mother was alive... and Genma had purposely made him think she was dead! He was so beating the panda into the ground for this.
Kasumi put her hand on Ranma's shoulder. "Ranma... please don't ruin the house when you do that."
Ranma gave Kasumi a grin. "No worries, Kasumi."
Soun watched Ranma start for the house and looked back at his daughter, who had a rather... angry look on her face. "Kasumi?"
His daughter turned her look onto him. "Father. What are these 'issues' that Saotome-san has with his wife?"
Soun felt a stare from his daughter, one unlike anything he would have expected from her. This is not good.
Ranma blinked, not having seen Kasumi act like this before, and was about to say something when his own father came down the stairs in a hurry. The pigtailed martial artist didn't even have time to open his mouth when he found his hands full of his backpack. "We're leaving on a training trip, boy. Now!"
"No. You will not." Kasumi said, staring Genma down.
Genma paused. "Excuse me?"
"You have told your own son his mother is dead when she is, in fact, alive," Kasumi said coldly, walking toward the man with her eyes narrowed. "I demand to know why."
Genma sputtered nervously at that. "What... what are you talking about?"
"Do not act as if you don't know what I mean," Kasumi told him, glaring at him. "If you ever wish to have another meal in this house, you will tell me now."
Genma paled at the very real threat, which was even worse for the man than being threatened with bodily harm. "It's because... for him... she is dead. She's been dead since Jusenkyo." Normally he wouldn't think of telling the truth, but right now the best food he had ever tasted was on the line.
"Explain," Kasumi demanded.
Ranma crossed his arms over his chest, glaring furiously at Genma. "This better be good, old man."
Genma gulped at the combined glares and slumped. "Before I took Ranma on the training trip... Nodoka made me sign a pact..."
A young girl got off of a train at the Nerima Station. Dressed in a pair of Chinese clothes and carrying a single bag over her shoulder she started walking.
So this is Nerima. Seems simple enough I suppose. She mused. By now the priestesses knew she wasn't in her room and already let him know she was gone. He'll figure it out, and he'll not like it. Even still, he'll accept it.
She looked at her watch after a while and realized an hour had gone by since leaving the station. I've really been walking for a while now without direction, she asked herself, scratching the back of her head. Well, I did want to see the city first before getting down to business. I am going to be here for a while. Hmm, what to do now?
The district of Nerima was peaceful from what she had seen so far, with pedestrians walking down the streets going around their usual business, and appeared to be completely different from what she'd been told.
Maybe his people were misinformed, she wondered as she continued to walk.
Just as the girl was thinking about this, another person walking down the street took notice of her. He quickly started making his way towards her.
"Hmm?" the girl tilted her head. Who is this? Alerts in her brain started to go off. And why does he look as though he's lovestruck?
"My pigtailed goddess!" Kuno Tatewaki cried in glee as he lunged for her, open arms and lips leading the way, dressed in his usual hakama.
The redhead girl avoided the man by sidestepping, watching him fall to the sidewalk head-first. "'My pigtailed goddess'" she muttered. "I've never been called that before."
To her immense surprise, the boy got up as if nothing was wrong after falling flat on his face. He did manage to catch her in a rather intimate embrace this time. "Oh how the heavens cry in joy at this fated union!"
The girl became annoyed. "Get your hands off of me this instant, stranger. I am not your pigtailed goddess. I've never even met you."
The passion-dazed boy ignored her protests as he leaned down and kissed her fully on the lips, holding her tightly against his body.
"...YOU PERVERT!" the girl screamed and then acted.
Everyone turned at her scream. There they saw one redheaded girl and a boy whose head was buried into the ground.
He stole my first kiss... my first kiss! She fumed silently, clenching her fists. He's lucky I don't do worse!
Kuno twitched as he lay there, the blow he received too much even for him to remain conscious.
"Geez, don't tell me one out of ten people here are like this guy," the red head sighed. She had a rather peculiar feeling.
She was hungry.
"Great. This is what I get for not eating before I get on the train," the red head sighed once more. Picking up her bag she started walking. Wonder if there's a Chinese restaurant here. I'd even settle for ramen at this point. Suddenly she smirked. Then again, now that I am in the mood, how about I drop in on the person I came here to see in the first place... and pay him back.
"I'm going to kill you!" A female Ranma sputtered in rage as she jumped out of the pond and charged Genma. Not only did the fat ass tell her her mother was dead, but he also blamed it all on the current female martial artist. He said it was because she wasn't enough of a man they could never see Nodoka again.
Genma backpedaled frantically, not having seen Ranma this upset before and really wishing he didn't tell his son, currently daughter, about the pledge and why they couldn't go see Nodoka.
The noise had gotten the attention of the rest of the Tendo family. "What's going on now?" Akane asked.
"Ranma is about to kill his father," Kasumi said emotionlessly. "I really don't know if I should stop them."
Nabiki raised an eyebrow at that. "Is that really you speaking, Kasumi?"
"Nabiki, few things make me angry. Telling someone that your mother is dead when she is in fact alive, and having signed some very stupid pact when Ranma was only a baby happens to be two of them." Kasumi returned coolly, her eyes focused on the Saotomes.
For Soun, he wasn't sure what to make of this change with his daughter.
"Now, now, boy... Get a grip of yourself," Genma tried frantically, already his defenses broken and his flesh being pummeled.
Ranma only seemed to become angrier, though he did refrain from maiming or killing blows.
"Listen! It's the truth! Because of that pact we signed, we can't see your mother! Don't you understand..."
"... What the hell have you been up to!"
Ranma stopped in beating the hell out of Genma, after a particularly nasty kick that sent him crashing against the rocks surrounding the pond, and turned to see a rather familiar redhead standing there with an incensed look on her face. "What the...?"
Nabiki raised an eyebrow at the new arrival, surprised in despite of herself.
"What in the..." Akane gasped. Two Ranmas?
Soun and Kasumi were silent as the redhead approached Genma, and pulled him up by his gi. "Answer me, why is there a girl that looks like me and where is Ranma?"
Genma blearily opened his eyes, that last blow to the head almost made him pass out, and stared at the angry redhead. "Calm down already, boy... We don't have a choice."
"Boy! I am a girl you fool!" the redhead snapped, her anger showing. "I can't believe you actually went and found someone to impersonate me. And where's Ranma!"
Genma blinked. "... Boy... Did you hit your head again?"
At that Nabiki cracked a smile, amused by the whole thing, while Ranma simply continued to stare at the redhead.
The girl stared for a moment before pulling him right in front of her face. "I truly can't believe you are my father."
Genma seemed confused for a moment... before his eyes snapped wide open. "... No..."
"Well this is interesting," Nabiki commented with a smirk.
Ranma's eyes mimicked her father's. "Father!"
"So now you do remember," the redhead gave an evil grin, pulling out from her bag an exquisite Chinese sword. "Your dear daughter Ranko."
Genma suddenly, and with a great show of dexterity, got out of Ranko's hold and made a break for it. It would've worked, too, if he didn't find his face full of Ranma's foot.
Thankfully for the older martial artist that was enough to send him into unconsciousness.
Ranma snorted at the old man and lowered her leg. "Stupid old man."
"Yes he is." Ranko said, glaring at the other redhead. "And now who are you and why did you agree to impersonate me for my father. It's the most stupidest thing to do since grandfather would have know in an instant."
Ranma glared back, responding to hostility the only way she was taught how. "What are you getting your panties twisted for, tomboy?"
"Tomboy? I'd take that as compliment if you weren't an imposter." Ranko returned.
Kasumi however stepped in between them. "Both of you stop now. Ranma, your father is responsible for this, not whoever this girl is. You have no reason to fight."
Ranma didn't want to back down, but this was Kasumi asking her to do so. She simply nodded to the eldest Tendo daughter and turned to give Ranko a cautious look.
Ranko let the sword drop from her hands, starting at the girl that looked just like her. "... Ranma...you're... Ranma?" she muttered in disbelief.
"What's it to you?" She asked and then her eyes widened in realization. "No... Oh no! Old man!" She cried as she went for Genma's unconscious body. How could he strand her with another fiancée?
The reaction was different then expected. "My brother... what did that bastard do to you?"
"Five thousand yen," a female voice was heard to the side and upon turning Ranko could see a girl with short brown hair, a hand extended as if expecting the cash.
"And you are?" Ranko asked, while handing over the money at once. She wanted answers as fast as possible and at this moment, money really didn't matter.
Nabiki took the money and gave the smaller redhead a smirk. "Tendo Nabiki. As for your question, Genma got both himself and Ranma cursed on a training trip through China."
"Cursed!" Ranko blinked before becoming angry. "He cursed my twin brother into looking like me!"
"... TWIN!" Akane screeched. Twin Ranmas for real!
Ranma looked at Ranko in shock. "I have a sister?"
Ranko's shock was back on her face. "Y-you mean, you don't remember me?"
"Remember you? I've never met you before!" Ranma said.
Ranko stared at him...her, in disbelief. "How couldn't you? We were on that training trip together for three years until..." her eyes crossed Genma's form. "...you bastard... you made my own brother forget I even existed!"
"Three years?" Nabiki asked. "You were lucky, then."
"I'd imagine, considering I have learned just how stupid father can be from grandfather."
That woke Genma up instantly. The very thought of his daughter being raised by Seijuro... Without a word he made a break for it, jumping over the wall and roof-hopping away. Saotome Secret Technique.
"Get back here!" Ranko shouted. "I haven't even paid you back yet!" it was useless; he was gone. "Damn it! And after I got kissed by that nut bar that called me a goddess I was so looking forward to paying father back for all the hell he's caused me."
Ranma walked over to Ranko and the Tendo sisters could tell they were related at once. Aside from the fact that they looked exactly the same they even wore similar clothes, even if Ranma's were wet silk that clung to her body like a second skin. "What's your name?"
Ranma shook her head to clear it. "Even the name..." she mumbled under her breath.
"... this is too weird." Akane muttered.
"And it promises to get even better," Nabiki said with a smirk, seeing the ease with which Ranko parted from the money had her very pleased.
Ranma, meanwhile, continued to stare intently at the other redhead.
"You mean, you're stuck as..." Ranko started to say however to her shock saw Ranma changing into a boy... with Kasumi pouring hot water over Ranma's head.
"I do think that was needed," Kasumi said before walking away. This was a rather personal matter, after all.
"Thanks, Kasumi," Ranma said and turned to stare down at his now shorter sister. "I'm Saotome Ranma, sorry about this."
Ranko composed herself then. "... I don't know what to say. I finally get to see you... and I don't even know what to say."
Ranma, already recovering from the shock since his life had prepared him for pretty much anything, smirked slightly. "Hi would work."
Instead of that, she simply hugged him. "I've missed you, brother."
Ranma blinked a little nervously at the reaction, but since the hug wasn't in any way possessive he slowly placed his arms around her shoulders. "It's nice to meet you."
Kasumi felt a sense of joy at this sight. Soun wasn't sure what to think at all.Genma never mentioned having a daughter...
Akane was wondering just how much like Ranma Ranko could be, seeing as they were twins. Can't be a pervert though. She's a natural born girl.
Ranma eased out of the hug and looked down at his sister, thinking it would definitely take some getting used to. "So I have a little sister, huh?"
"Twin sister," Ranko corrected him. "Grandfather will be surprised for sure when he comes next week."
Soun's jaw dropped. "You- you mean Seijuro is coming here?"
"Grandfather sent the letter as a way of letting father know we were coming," Ranko said, and scratched the back of her head. "Of course, my coming early wasn't something grandfather expected."
"What does he want?" Ranma asked suspiciously. If he was anything like Genma…
Ranko looked at her twin seriously. "He wants to see which one of us is better suited to be his heir."
Ranma took a step back, a guarded expression on his face. "Good luck. I'm not getting involved with yet another old bat."
Ranko frowned. "Do not disrespect our grandfather. He may be traditional, but at least he didn't sell me off and forget about me!"
"I'll call him whatever I want," Ranma snapped back. "Who does he think he is, anyway? He can't press me into being his heir after not being there all these years!"
"It's not as if he didn't try to find you!" Ranko snapped. "Did you honestly think after grandfather found me, found out what father did to me, that he would allow his other grandchild to remain in his son's hands! He tried to find you damn it!"
"Maybe I was lucky he didn't," Ranma grumbled and turned away, searching for his old man. If he knew him well, and he sure did, he should be hiding somewhere and spying on them.
Ranko growled, part of her angry at her brother's disrespect for their grandfather, another part understanding and sorry for getting into a fight. And then she became curious. "What are you doing?"
"Searching for the panda," Ranma explained, forgetting Ranko had no idea about Genma's cursed form.
"Panda?" Ranko blinked. "What panda?"
"That lazy ass that calls himself our father," the pigtailed martial artist said and his eyes narrowed. "He must be hiding pretty well."
Suddenly both of them smelt something rather tasty. Both turned around and saw Kasumi leaving food that she had cooked outside of the dojo.
When Genma didn't appear even then, Ranma whistled. "He must be pretty spooked about your grandfather, kid."
"Our grandfather," Ranko clarified. She wasn't going to let her twin forget it. "And yes, grandfather said father was always scared of him. He never could beat grandfather in a fight."
That caught Ranma's attention instantly. "Really?"
Ranko nodded. "Yup. I've never seen grandfather lose to anyone. He's taught me his art ever since his people found me from where I was... left." the left was said rather hesitantly.
"Hmm... He's lucky he's never crossed with me, then," Ranma said with a confident smirk. He knew he could take on anyone, Genma was cakewalk for him now.
"Really?" Ranko asked, taking that smirk for what it was. "Care to have a preview, brother? I still need to work off my anger from that freak that called me his pigtailed goddess."
"'Pigtailed goddess'... Kuno!" Akane exclaimed catching their attention.
"So the pervert has a name?" Ranko muttered.
At the mention of pervert, Akane was right over to Ranko. "What did he do to you?"
Ranko crossed her arms over her chest. "The jerk grabbed me, hugged me and ki-kissed me." She flared with anger remembering that. "I knew the jerk wouldn't stop so I did what I needed to make him stop."
"Which was?" Kasumi asked.
"Taking his momentum and ramming him head first into the sidewalk."
Ranma thought about it for a moment and gave Ranko his most infuriating grin. "I don't fight girls."
"... what did you say?" Ranko said, almost a whisper.
Nabiki snorted from the side. "That's Ranma 'I don't fight girls' for you, Ranko. He's got this idea that women are weak and should be protected," the middle Tendo sister said, wanting to see the reaction of what appeared to be yet another martial artist.
"Grandfather was right. Father really is a moron." Ranko muttered staring at her brother. "I cannot believe you bought that crap from our father. I am SO glad grandfather undid all of the Anything Goes that father taught me."
Ranma shrugged. "What did you learn, anyway?"
"Throw a punch at me and find out." Ranko dared.
Ranma raised to the bait with his best weapon. His smirk. "I don't hit girls."
Ranko smirked back. "Who ever said anything about 'hitting'. All I said was throw a punch at me. I never said you had to connect."
"So you can use my momentum against me?" Ranma asked, remembering her comment about Kuno, "I think not." He already had suspicions about what she used. Maybe Aikido or something similar.
"Well, at least you aren't as dumb as father," Ranko returned. She was really glad she had come down early. She doubted her grandfather would approve of her brother as he was, not even able to have a fight with his own sister. And that would I mean I wouldn't... She pushed that thought out of her mind, as what was in front of her was important. After a few more seconds, she made her decision. "Normally, I like my opponents to start the fight... but you have forced my hand, brother!"
"Bring it on, tomboy," Ranma mocked and placed his hands behind his back, seemingly leaving himself open for attack.
He is mocking me. She thought but kept her anger down. She was going to break this crap he had been fed for ten years before her grandfather came. She swore it. Without a cry she charged him, attacking with speed and grace.
Ranma raise an eyebrow as he stepped away from a rather well executed double punch and started to move through her attacks in a rather familiar way to the Tendos. He always did that to asses his opponents and get them off-balance. That and...
"That was almost decent... For a girl, that is..." Mouthing them off to get them angry. One of the prime tenets of the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts. One in which Ranma surpassed even his father.
"Lame insult!" Ranko returned with a smile, trying again with a kick but failing. Being on the offensive definitely put her at a disadvantage, but she wasn't giving up. "I hope you have more than just stupid insults. I've heard them enough all my life from guys who thought I was just a cute available girl."
Akane shook her head, feeling a sense of vertigo watching them. "Does anyone else think this is just really weird? I mean Ranma fighting... Ranma..."
"Ranma fighting Ranko," Kasumi corrected.
"Weird? What would give you that idea?" Nabiki asked as she stared at the fight and smirked at yet another chance to tease her little sister. "She actually fits right in. A Saotome, beautiful, already met Kuno-chan and a better martial artist than you, sis. Next thing we'll know she's a better cook, too."
Akane hrmphed and turned away. She's not a better martial artist. She's not even able to hit Ranma just like everyone else. Maybe later I'll get to fight her. She wouldn't turn me down since I am a girl too.
"You really are chauvinist aren't you bro?" Ranko said, still unable to even touch Ranma once.
Ranma smirked as he continued to dance around Ranko's attacks as if she was trying to hit smoke. "What's the matter, sis? Too many sundaes weighing you down on your hips?"
Ranko returned the smirk. "So now it's sis? At least were getting somewhere. By the way, I didn't hear that insult before. Cute, but pointless."
"Well you are pretty well put together," Ranma said with a shrug and smirked. "Almost as well as me."
"You still aren't taking me seriously," Ranko returned, her next punch even closer but still missing.
"Of course not. You're a girl," Ranma said as if it explained everything.
It still infuriated her to no end that she couldn't get him to take her seriously, but even so, she was realizing that she might not be able to win fighting him on the offensive. He's as fast as I am. Naturally. Let's see just if you can even use your Chi to improve yourself brother.
She went to try for another punch however instead to Ranma's surprise jumped up and over. Before he reacted, she managed to touch his back with her hand before he ended up getting away. Missed the shot to throw him.
Ranma blinked as he turned to regard the redhead. "I let you do that," was his instant excuse.
"Yeah right," Ranko smirked. "You aren't as untouchable as you think bro." Saying that she went after him again, and Ranma could tell her attacks were getting a lot closer.
Ranma frowned slightly, knowing she was starting to actually channel her chi. That was something Akane had never learned to do, and probably never would if she didn't learn to control her emotions, and he decided to have a workout. He redoubled his efforts to dodge, even assuming actual fighting stances, without channeling his own inner energies.
Ranko fought back her surprise. I'm not using a lot of chi to improve myself, and yet he's still dodging without using any! Her eyes narrowed. What did he learn? What made him this way? She knew their father was a reason, but there had to be others.
In truth Ranma was moving slower than Ranko herself was, but his skill in fighting and experience were giving him an edge over the redhead. While she had a solid and very powerful style, he could already tell that because of their fight, she was limited to it. Him, on the other hand, had fought nearly every martial art imaginable and adapted to it. Taichi was not unknown to him, and he was using his knowledge of the style to dodge it effectively, always keeping on the move and being careful to keep himself perfectly balanced.
The frustration was getting to her but she also knew her style was in part the reason. Taichi was not an offensive art. I can't even get a grip on him for a throw and if he doesn't attack I can't even redirect... and I am not using that technique. I won't until he takes me seriously.
"What's the matter?" Ranma asked as he noticed her frown. "You're not getting tired on me, are you?" He was sure it only a matter of time before she gave him the perfect opening.
"What, me, don't be absurd!" Ranko snapped, going again after him, though she was starting to feel it. She was not one that could stay on the offensive for too long and she had no idea how long they had been doing this so far.
Ranma took precisely that moment to make his move. The Tendos were treated to a sight they'd never seen before, for Ranma had been fighting his sister for quite a while and now he was using a technique he considered too serious for a sparring match. Granted, he didn't hurt his sister, but he still used it. Perhaps it was an unconscious show of respect?
"KATCHU TENSHIN AMAGURIKEN!" Ranma called out as he delivered hundreds of punches in less than a second. All Ranko could feel was the incredible amounts of chi burned for the attack and the wind caused by them as they missed her face by inches. Had they all been aimed at her face, and due to the surprise and suddenness of the move, she would've been beaten into a bloody pulp.
Ranko stared in shock, not believing what she just saw. "W-what ... what in the world was that?" She stared at her brother in disbelief. "How could your fists move that fast?"
Ranma smirked confidently, feeling very good with himself at having surprised his sister. "Because I'm the best there is."
Ranko just stood there, looking at him before getting into a relaxed stance. There wasn't a point to fighting her brother as he was now. If he didn't take her seriously, there wasn't a way she could win.
Ranma leaned down and whispered in the redhead's ear. "That was actually fun, little sis. Let's do it again sometime." With that he straightened and turned to give the Tendo girls a happy grin. Maybe having a sister wouldn't be so hard to get used to.
To Be Continued...