Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma ½ or any of the characters. This is simply a what-if situation. What if this had happened? Also, I would like to apologize to those that are waiting on me to work on "Evil Kasumi Returns" or "Ranma and the Outers" and "Primal Ranma." Although I've had many ideas for them lately. I'm just taking a slight break from them to work on some other ideas that won't get outta my head until I write them down.
Ranma had not been his usual self, not for some time. At least that is how it appeared to Nabiki. Since the return from China, and the failed wedding, he seemed listless and at times on the verge of lifelessness. However, he had an outward appearance of being the same as he still taunted Akane, and Akane still hit him with her mallet. But not only that but he remained the same to Shampoo, Ukyo and Kodachi. And as far as Nabiki could tell, each of this fiancées did not notice the listless look in Ranma's eyes.
Yes, it was his eyes that told the story to her. Nabiki had made a living off reading people from their eyes alone. Based off eye movements she knew when to press for more, or when to back off. She knew by the glaze in someone's eyes when she had struck a nerve on whom they liked, or from their hardness if they hated someone.
However, looking at him she could tell that there was no longer any life left. He just seemed to exist. She contemplated many times about taking pictures of him in both forms and selling the pictures as normal. But that just seemed wrong; almost like kicking a wounded animal when it was down.
For several days, she watched him, and tried to find a way to profit off him by either his actions or his moods. But she couldn't think of a way to profit off this, not without some severe consequences. And so, tonight, like many other nights she went to sleep and wondered what to do.
Tap tap tap
A sound awoke her from her slumber.
Tap tap tap
Looking towards her window, she could see the outline of someone standing there. Getting up she moved towards it with a touch of worry. However, when she pulled back her curtains and saw Ranma, she relaxed.
"Nabiki, can I come in?"
"What do you want?" she asked tiredly but she did notice that his eyes seemed to hold a little more life than usual.
"I need your help."
"Oh really?" She asked with a smirk and opened the window.
"Thanks," he said as he stepped into the room.
"So what do you want?"
"I… I need your help."
"You already said that."
Speaking softly he told her, "I know… and I've been thinking. I want you to kill me."
THAT got Nabiki's attention. "WHAT! Are you out of your mind?"
"Shhhh!" He hissed. "Don't wake everyone up."
"And why shouldn't I?" she asked.
"Look, I need to get away from here…"
"Then go, take a training trip or something," she told him starting to get irritated.
"Won't work. If I leave then pops and Mr. Tendo will come after me, and they'll drag Akane with them, and then all the others will follow them."
"Then just sneak away."
He shook his head. "No good they'll still find me. If I just runaway, they'll find a way to track me down."
"So you want me to kill you?"
"Its either that or I commit seppuku."
Her eyes opened wide. "You wouldn't!"
"It's not like I have any choice anymore."
"Yes you do, marry a girl, just pick one and settle down."
She snorted and crossed her arms. "Oh and why not?"
"If I married anyone, Akane, Ukyo or any number of other girls pops sold me to, then Shampoo will just try to kill them."
"Shampoo? No. I can't do that." Her raised eyebrow at that caused him to sigh. "I may not be much, but I do have my honor. If I married anyone, then I'd dishonor the others an whoever I married." Nabiki blinked, she didn't think that he actually thought that far ahead.
"Because of pops, the only 'honorable' solution is seppuku. Do I pick Akane, and dishonor Ukyo after pops stole her dowry? Or do I choose Ukyo and dishonor Akane because of giri? If I choose either of those, then Shampoo will try to kill her and take me back to China."
"You surprise me Saotome."
"Uh… thanks…" He shrugged and kept talking. "Anyway, if I go back to China with Shampoo then I dishonor all promises that pops made."
"That doesn't sound bad."
"I know… pops jumps on me about my honor, but the fat panda, has none himself." He let out a dejected sigh. "The best option is to choose Shampoo… at least that way Akane and Ukyo can still live. But Ukyo has to either kill me, or become a Saotome."
Nabiki sighed, "Your father has certainly made things difficult."
"That's where you come in."
"I need to die, and you're the best at doing it."
"Um, no, sorry Saotome, but I'm not going to kill you."
"No… I mean help me die."
A thought struck Nabiki. "You mean faking your death?"
"Yea, I know you know the right people, you can get it done. If I'm gone, then Akane can be happy, and Ukyo can continue with her life, and Shampoo can go back to her village as well."
"I don't know; it's a lot to think about, and to pull off."
"I know… that's why…"
"Why what?" she asked but she was starting to think that she did not want to hear this answer.
"I have decided that if I can't get away and let everyone live in peace… then I'll do it."
"Do what?" Nabiki asked but really did not want to know.
"I'll fulfill mom's pledge."
Nabiki drew in a breath as he said it. She knew him well enough to know he doesn't joke about this, nor does he change his mind when he sets his mind to it. "You're serious?"
He nodded and pulled out a tanto. "I have the blade ready, and I'm ready to end this."
Nabiki's eyes opened as wide as they could as she looked at the blade in his hand. "You wouldn't?"
"It's the only way. I wish I could force pops to follow me, but I know the fat ass would find some way to skirt out from it."
"But… but what about…" she wanted to ask him about what them, her family. What would they do with him gone? But she then felt a severe pang of regret as she realized that she was being very selfish and not taking into account his feelings.
"I wish there was something more I could do. But this is it. If I'm gone then maybe pops will move back in with mom, and then you won't have to worry about his fat ass around here." Nabiki was bout to say something but he stopped her. "Just think about it, no crazy challenges, no fights, everything will be back to the way it was before pops an I showed up."
A part of Nabiki wanted to say that she preferred the way things are now, at least there seemed to be life left in the house. Thinking hard of a way to convince him to stay, to change his mind she asked, "How can you survive on your own? What are you going to do about money, food, clothes?"
"That's where you come in."
"If you can help me die, then I know you can help me get started on a new life. I have to get as far from here as I can."
"I think you've got more faith in my contacts than I do."
"Nabiki, I have to get out of here. I'm slowly dying and if I can't get out in a week, then my only choice is this!" So saying pulled the tonto from its sheath and held it against his stomach. "I want to be free, to get away from here…"
"What… what about your honor? You'd be running away from everything."
"My honor ain't worth the dishonor I'd be puttin' on them. If I can get outta this without messing up anyone else's honor, I would. But the only way to do that is for me to die."
"But…" she tried to say but he kept going.
"I know… but that can't be helped. It's either go… or stay and everyone stays miserable."
"I... I don't know Ranma… I'll have to think about it."
"Ok… but don't take too long. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take."