Author's Note: I own none of these characters, and I'm sure if the talented Rumiko Takahashi saw what I was doing to her beautiful story, she'd do nothing short of hire multiple ninjas to destroy me using such cruel weapons as attack llamas, broccoli, and possibly a tantellagra (aka: very large, wet noodle).
So, everyone, here it is! My first oober long fan fiction!
applause Yay! Hurrah! Woot! /applause
Oddly enough, this fan fiction is AU (Alternate Universe), contains some ships that may or may not be considered slash (read and you'll understand), and answers the horribly cliché fan fiction question of, "What if Ranma was really a girl?" But it's better than it sounds, I swear! ;)
Anyway, a quick synopsis: After Soun Tendo's last hope, a young boy named Ranma Saotome who is supposed to unite his martial arts school with that of his old friend Genma Saotome, turns out to be…well, not exactly the man he was expecting, Soun makes a deal with a devil in a moment of desperation that changes the life of Ranma and everyone she ever meets…or is that everyone he ever meets? But when the chaos surrounding Ranma ultimately puts him in mortal danger, Soun's blunder is revealed, and everyone must now cope with the new Ranma Saotome. But how can Ranma go on living when his entire world has just fallen apart?
So. Read. Review. This Fic will be long, and I intend to update about once a week. I already have a good deal written, so I won't do that terrible torturous thing that some Fan Fictionists do where they end a chapter with, "And then death took him…" and don't update for a year and a half and come back saying, "Hi there everyone:P Sorry, I've been really busy and all, but here's the next chapter! XOXO!" No, if you get addicted to this madness, you will get your weekly fix. I promise. :)
After posting several chapters, I realized that posting them in parts with about 1500 words each was, well, completely retarded! . So, I am reposting this all (shame I'm gonna lose my comments though…) in larger chapters. This way, things will happen faster and it won't look like I am taking forever and a day to get to the point! ;)Worlds Fall Apart
There are some things in this world that you have just come to know, come to accept as reality. Certain aspects of yourself, of your life, which never seem likely to change. For Ranma, one of those things was chaos. He had come to accept long ago that chaos followed him wherever he went. He had squared with this. Gotten used to it. Heck, he even sort of liked it on occasion. Kept things interesting. And so, whatever strange new thing came along that he couldn't possibly be prepared for, he was prepared for it, in a way.
Except this. This hit him like a ton of bricks. This changed everything. This wasn't your ordinary, run of the mill chaos. This was nothing short of the end of the world. And he wasn't overreacting either. The world, as Ranma knew it, had just fallen apart.
But perhaps I am beginning too far ahead. This story does not begin here. It begins several months earlier when another person's world falls apart before them.
That person is Soun Tendo. Soun Tendo was a very accepting man. He had accepted the fact that he had three daughters and no sons. They were wonderful, beautiful daughters, and he loved them very much. Boys were too hard to keep track of anyway. He had accepted the fact that his wife died. He didn't like it, and it killed him every day, but he had accepted it. He had accepted the fact that his martial arts training business wasn't going as well as it once was. Life moves on, he knew, and martial arts would become the latest fad again soon enough. He had managed to accept all these things and remain a relatively happy man.
And at the moment, he was blissfully happy. Ranma was finally coming. Ranma would be there, at the Tendo dojo. Tendo looked down once more, tears of joy in his eyes, at the postcard he had received from his old friend, Genma Saotome. It had only a picture of a panda and a few short sentences written on it:
The time has come for our schools to unite. Ranma and I will be arriving soon. Please prepare for us.
Your Old Friend
Oh, he would prepare. He would roll out a velvet welcome mat, have Kasumi bake a feast, and perhaps hire a marching band. This was what he had always been waiting for. And aside from finally meeting Ranma, his future son in law, the hope of his martial arts school, the thing he held most dear, erm, after his lovely daughters of course, he was looking forward to meeting his friend Genma Saotome again. They had been the closest of friends, practically brothers, but had been separated for many years now.
Tendo chuckled as his thoughts ran over their old antics. From childhood pranks to the harsh lessons of the master which almost surely got them beaten by angry maidens. Tendo loved his daughters dearly, but they were hardly a suitable equivalent for male company. He wanted someone to play Shogi with, to practice martial arts with, and did I mention how starved he was for a good Shogi match?
He thought once more of the day they made their promise. Saotome had just gotten married and they would be moving out of the area soon. The two old pals went out once more for a few glasses of sake together, and they congratulated each other, slightly drunkenly, on jobs well done in life.
"You have two beautiful daughters!" Saotome laughed, slapping his pal on the back, "A beautiful wife, a prosperous school, and are likely to have many sons!"
"Ha ha! I certainly hope not!" Tendo chuckled resignedly. He had already begun to give up hope of having sons and was quietly trying to convince himself he didn't want sons anyway. "Sons are too much work! I'll leave the having of sons to you and Nadoka! I'm certain the two of you will be busy in no time. I expect to see many young Saotome boys in the years to come!"
"As do I!" Saotome chuckled, "But no sons for you? Who will carry on the school if you have no sons?"
"Do you remember…(hiccough)" Tendo began, then swallowed and grabbed Saotome's shoulder for support, "When we spoke of uniting the schools,"
"Why…of course!" Saotome aid, "Any fool can see that our two styles are strongest when combined!"
"Then, let us allow our children to carry on that dream! Your sons will marry my daughters, and they will build our schools into a world wide phenomenon!"
Saotome grinned widely and shook his partners unsteady hand, "Deal! When my oldest son is 16 I will look you up and we will make good on this bargain! Until then, old friend, may our lives be filled with nothing but happiness!"
"And sake!" Tendo reminded him.
"Yes!" Saotome grinned, "And sake!"
Saotome heard a loud thud, and perked up his head. A high voice was shouting in the entrance, and seemed to be protesting rather violently.
"Put me down, Old Man!" the voice called out, "What do you think you're doing! What's the big idea, huh?"
Nabiki's head shot up and she jumped to her feet. "That must be Ranma!" She exclaimed and dove for the door. The others followed, Soun at the rear, his heart pounding wildly. The sight that greeted him was nothing short of strange: A large man in a dirty panda suit and a young red head slung over his shoulder. The Tendo family stopped, and Kasumi innocently wondered, "Are these your friends father?"
The man in a panda suit lifted his head as he placed the redhead on the floor in front of Soun Tendo. Soun saw instantly that the face of the man unexplainably under a Panda suit was that of his old friend Genma Saotome. But he wasn't concerned with that right then. He was concerned with Ranma. Ranma, the young boy who had come to unite the schools, to unite the families, to make all of Tendo's dreams come true. He was finally here. He was a bit short and small, and certainly looked too young for his daughters, but that could be dealt with later. But Saotome said he'd bring him when he was 16…must just be a small boy, Tendo told himself.
"I'm Ranma Saotome," the young red head said, then casting a furtive glance at the panda suited Genma, added sheepishly, "Sorry 'bout this,"
But Tendo didn't care. The youngster could come barreling in with a whole army of men in panda suits for all he cared. Tendo, in a blissful stupor, lunged at the young boy and embraced him as he would embrace his own son. He squeezed the young boy tight, tears coming to his eyes until…were those breasts!
He stopped, and squeezed a little harder, pressing the youngsters chest against him as stealthily as possible to be sure. There was definitely some sort of protuberance on the child's chest, and Tendo prayed silently as the horrible truth began to sink in. He pulled away and looked down. They had felt like breasts. The certainly looked like breasts. He ran his hands down the youngster's sides without touching and couldn't help noticing a definite female figure. He then saw the petite-ness of the child more fully for the first time. He was speechless. There must be a mistake…he thought frantically. Then, his middle daughter Nabiki came forward and poked at the young girls chest.
"Could you please stop that," the young red head said awkwardly.
"Ranma's not a boy…he's a girl!" Nabiki exclaimed.
Soun blanched. He felt faint. He swayed. His vision began to blur, and the faces of his family were replaced by watery blobs. He felt himself sinking to the ground as his entire world fell apart. This is it…he thought miserably as he sunk to the ground, seemingly in slow motion, The last bit of my life, the last bit of goodness. My one and only hope, has finally been shattered. What did I do in my last life to deserve this! He thought miserably. Suddenly, Tendo's mind was filled with grim determination. No. He told himself firmly, No. This is the last straw. This is all I have left for me, this is it, and I am NOT going to let this slip away. I have no sons, no wife, and my school is failing! I will do anything I must to ensure that our schools are united…
Suddenly, Tendo realized he was no longer falling. He was lying still, in blackness, unable to move or see. And his martial artists senses were tingling to let him know he was not alone. A voice, smooth and sinister, yet not altogether unpleasant, spoke out from the darkness, seeming to be far away and right next to him all at once, and tinged with a slight echo. It said only one word, in the form of a question, and that word was:
"W-who are you?" Tendo asked, trying to get up and realizing he was unable to move, "Where am I? What do you want?"
"All questions in good time, man," cooed the voice, "But did I hear you say you would do anything to ensure that your schools are united?"
"Well…yes," Tendo admitted, not feeling so sure anymore. He was in a strange place, had no control over himself, and was blind to boot.
The voice chuckled lightly, and there was a sudden light. Tendo found he could move again, and wasted no time in scrambling to his feet. He stood at the ready, but found he was the only one with fighting on his mind. And it wasn't there long because his eyes instantly fell on a tall, slender woman with floor length black hair and wide, pool like eyes. Her lips were full and curled into a mischievous grin. She was rather pleasant to look upon, and despite Soun's reserve, he found himself drawn to her.
"There, there, Dear," She said, "Come, have a seat and tell me what troubles you,"
A small table appeared in the middle of the room, and the woman folded herself to the floor gracefully, fluidly. Tendo watched her for a second before he too took a seat, almost trancelike.
"I am…Tendo…Soun Tendo," Tendo breathed out.
"Yes, I know that," said the woman, "What troubles you?"
Tendo looked at her suspiciously for a second, wondering why he should trust such a mysterious women who had appeared out of nowhere, and where was he anyway? But he found his thoughts were all turning to Jelly. It didn't matter where he was or who this woman was. None of that mattered. Nothing…mattered…Soon, he found he was telling the woman everything. Everything from his childhood days to his wife dying to his lack of sons to his promise with Saotome to Ranma being his last hope, and finally ending with his last hope being shattered when he found that Ranma was a girl.
"I don't know what I have done to deserve such ill luck," Tendo bemoaned, "If only Ranma were a boy, I wouldn't mind the other things so much, but it seems now that they happened only to set me up for this final disappointment. This is the last straw, do you know?"
"Yes, if only Ranma were a boy," The strange woman whispered, her lips curling evilly, then she turned to Tendo and said sweetly, "You poor man, I think I can help you,"
"You do?" Tendo wondered dreamily.
"Yes, absolutely, I can make all your problems go away, if you will just leave it to me," she assured him.
"That would be…" Tendo began, "But why would you want to help me? I mean, you barely know me…"
"Sweet, simple Soun," the woman cooed, lightly touching Tendo's cheek, "Helping people is what I do! I heard your plea, and I have come to help you, but I'll need you to trust me. Do you trust me?"
"I trust you…" Tendo said vaguely, looking into the woman's hypnotizing eyes and coy smile.
"I need you to leave it in my hands…" she continued.
"It's…in your hands…" Tendo went on.
"I will take care of everything, sweet pea," she said, letting her fingers run down Tendo's cheek and off his face.
"You'll…take care of…everything…" Tendo whispered.
"That's right," the woman said, a slightly wicked grin lighting her features, "You have nothing to fear. You leave it all in my hands. I will make everything perfect…"
"Perfect…" Tendo mouthed, barely even a whisper now, his eyelids were drooping and he found himself barely able to concentrate on anything, not even the woman's unparalleled beauty, her sweet, honey like voice, her deep, comforting eyes…
"All you need to do," the woman said naturally, "Is sign this paper. Just a trifle, a technicality. So I can file the paperwork once I have given you your dream world. It's no trouble, is it?"
"No…trouble…" Tendo said as he lifted the pen and scrawled out his name languidly.
"Now then," the woman said crisply, so much so that Tendo was shaken out of his stupor, "You run along back to your little home and when you get there, everything will be perfect,"
"What are you going to do?" Tendo wondered curiously, slowly beginning to come back to himself.
"Don't you worry yourself with the what and how," the woman said, waving her hand airily, "Just leave it to me,"
"But…" Tendo began, but was unable to finish before the woman and the room with its single table began to fade from sight. Soon, he began to smell fresh miso soup and see bright sunlight pouring in through the open screen.
"What's he like Daddy?" Nabiki wondered.
Tendo heard himself laughing and heard himself answer his daughter. Several more moments went by until he heard the front door open and a young voice protesting out loudly.
"That must be Ranma!" Nabiki said as she leapt to her feet. Tendo followed, along with his other two daughters, and was surprised to find a large panda walking towards them with a teenager slung over his shoulder.
"Are these your friends father?" Kasumi asked curiously.
Not a man in a Panda suit…a PANDA! Soun was shouting in his head, Where is Saotome? Why is there a Panda in my hallway? A panda! What's going on? He shook his head violently.
"Oh, a panda just happened to decide to stop by?" Akane asked sarcastically.
Oh Gods. Oh Gods no. Soun thought as the horrible truth hit him. Who had that woman been? Why had he made a deal with her? He knew nothing about her at all and now it looked like she had turned his best friend into a panda. He shook his head violently again, as if he could shake away what he was seeing. The panda placed the youngster in front of them, and Soun's heart sank when he saw that the child was just as small and just as buxom as before.
"I'm Ranma Saotome," the girl said, "Sorry 'bout this,"
Soun found himself moving against his will, moving towards the child and embracing her. He felt himself pressing her closer to him just as he had before, and he cringed silently as he felt her breasts against his chest, reminded painfully of his earlier disappointment. He felt himself push back and run his hands down her side. He saw Nabiki move forward to poke the young girl. He heard her announce, "Ranma's not a boy! He's a girl!" But he wasn't paying attention to any of this. He was, instead, wracking his brain trying to find out who that strange woman was and just how much damage he had done by making a deal with her, by falling into her trap. He knew he had heard of her before…KALLA! Oh Gods, it was Kalla! The chaos Demon who lulls her victims into false trust before convincing them to sign over their lives so she can make as much of a mess as possible! Soun felt himself sinking to the ground as the full impact of what he had just done began to hit him, and for the first time since he had woken up in the past, he felt like he was reacting directly to his own thought and not being moved along mechanically by magical forces. He had stupidly, selfishly only been thinking of himself, been wallowing in self-pity, and so he fell right into her trap! There was no telling what she could have done to his life! To his family! She had clearly turned his best friend into a Panda, and Soun seriously doubted it ended there. He sunk lower and hit he ground, hearing his daughters sweet voices call out to him as he faded from consciousness. Oh Gods…what have I done…
Soun blinked and saw many familiar faces. His daughters were at his bedside. The young girl and the panda were there too. Keep cool, he told himself, Just play it cool until you know the full extent of what Kalla has done. No need to panic everyone quite yet, right? No.
"I can't believe this!" Nabiki was saying, "Daddy, this is all your fault! Don't you know he difference between a girl and a boy?"
"I assumed my friend Saotome's son was a boy," Tendo said bitterly and honestly, forgetting for a moment about the mess he had gotten himself and his friends into. After all, He thought, If Saotome hadn't gotten my hopes up like that, none of this would ever have happened! Ah well, he's a panda now, that's more than enough punishment until I figure out how to change him back.
"Does this look like a boy to you, huh Daddy?" Nabiki said, once again poking the meek red heads breasts.
"Please, I wish you'd stop that," the girl mumbled awkwardly.
"You heard her, Nabiki!" Akane said, "Girl or not, she' still our guest…"
Soun sat up and blinked as the dizziness passed. Just play along until you know what you are dealing with, He assured himself once more, No need to panic…
And he didn't. Soun went through the next several hours not panicking, keeping an almost eerie calm about him, waiting for the next bomb to drop. If everything he had heard about Kalla was true, turning his best friend into a panda was NOT the end of his troubles. Besides, it didn't even solve his problem, so something else had to be coming. He waited. And then, there it was. And sadly, it was one of the most disappointing let downs Tendo had ever faced. As he sat in the parlor, sipping his tea and anxiously awaiting his fate, a man walked in to join him. A rather familiar man. A large, bald man with glasses and a blue bandana. A man named Genma Saotome who at the moment was making his heart sing for relief.
Kalla hadn't turned Saotome into a panda! Saotome was just late, and that other Ranma Saotome, the busty red head, was an imposter. Or her and the panda would disappear altogether. Then, this Saotome Genma, the human one, would come in and embrace his old friend. He would then introduce his three tall, strong, manly sons. Tendo's daughters would fall madly in love with them, and they would all marry and carry on the schools.
But this, unfortunately, was not the case. Saotome's expression was far too somber to make this a happy ending. His eyes were far too sad, his mouth was far too grim. He sat down far too heavily and sighed far too loudly. Tendo looked at him and said, forgetting that he was supposed to be playing it cool, "Something terrible has happened. Tell me what it is."
And so Saotome told him. He told him of how his son Ranma and him had traveled to China to train at Jusenkyo, only to fall in and be cursed. When splashed with cold water they take their cursed forms. Warm water returns them to normal.
"I am the panda from before," Genma finished, "And my son, Ranma, becomes that…girl,"
Genma dissolved into tears at this last part, sobbing over his fate. His old friend Soun cried with him, but his were tears of guilt. He had done this. He had done this to them, ruined their lives! This was it. This was what his stupidity, his weakness, his selfishness had caused. This can't be happening! Soun wailed silently, What have I done! I have to fix this, I have to! Then, an idea struck him, I'll to ANYTHING to fix this! ANYTHING!
"Anything?" said a horrifyingly familiar voice, no longer remotely pleasant now that he knew to whom it belonged.
"Kalla! Please! You have to fix this! Undo it! Please!" Soun begged. The light flashed on and he saw the tall, slender form of Kalla reclining in a chair with a cigarette in her hand.
"Oh, it's you," she said, seemingly un-amused, "What do you want?"
Soun noticed she wasn't acting nearly as sugary sweet as she had been before. "Please, you have to undo it! Undo what you did!"
"Haha! Foolish mortal!" She laughed, "Do you even know fully what I did? How do you even know I did anything?"
"You hadn't spoken to Saotome in years, for all you know it could have been like that BEFORE I got involved. I am basically messing with complete strangers. I COULD have changed one of your own daughters into a boy, but I decided to be nice to you. I like you."
"Well…thank you," Soun said carefully, realizing her full power and not wanting to make her angry, "Thank you for not doing that, but I have to ask you to undo whatever you did. I can live with it, honestly!"
"I'm afraid I can't do that," Kalla said offhandedly examining her fingernails.
"You have to! Please! I…"
"HAVE TO?" Kalla barked, "I don't HAVE TO do anything! I have your signature! I can do whatever I please to you and anyone involved with you! I can be as cruel or as kind as I want to, and you cant say or do a thing about it!"
"But…please!" Soun begged pathetically, "Please! Saotome is my oldest friend! I cannot bear to be responsible for…for…this!"
"Oldest friend?" Kalla, sneered, "He was planning to trick you. He was coming to your home to finagle you into giving him free room and board!"
"What?" Tenod said.
"Him and his daughter had been training in China, when they ran out of money, Saotome wrote you to say he was coming to make good on that deal about uniting your schools. He has no sons, he never did. His wife became sterile after their daughter was born. Their one and only daughter, Ranma Saotome. Genma hadn't even told his daughter where they were going until they arrived, and then only to tell her she had to face you. He hid himself in that foolish panda suit so he wouldn't have to explain that he had no sons and had gotten up your hope for nothing. He was then going to stay at your home, eating all your food and never paying a dime! And you feel SORRY for what you did to this man?"
Soun blanched. He had to admit, that did sound like his old friend Saotome. She had him there, but regardless…"Of course I do! Dishonorable or not, Saotome is still my best friend! And what about his daughter? That poor girl is innocent in all of this!"
"Yeah, well, sometimes the innocent do fall," Kalla said dismissively.
"You mean you are just going to turn her into a boy, just like that? And not even a NORMAL boy! A boy who thinks he is cursed when he is turning back into his…er…her original self? How heartless can you possibly be!"
"You'd be surprised," Kalla shrugged, "But that's not the end. I have had to alter the memories of every person the Saotome's have ever had contact with. Oh what a tangled web we weave…And you do know what happens when memories are altered, right?"
Soun glared at her, afraid to ask because with this new beastly attitude she was flaunting, he was certain it wasn't something good.
"Chaos!" Kalla practically purred, "Unbridled, unstoppable, constant chaos. Chaos will follow that boy, his father, your daughters, and you for the rest of his days. Isn't it magnificent?"
"It's despicable," Soun growled.
"To each his own," Kalla shrugged, "But you had better get used to it because there is no way to break this spell except to make another deal with me. And you saw how well your last one worked…care to make another?"
Soun sunk to the ground, shaking. There really is no way out. All I wanted was a son in law to carry on the school .Now I've gone and destroyed a poor, young, innocent girls life…
"Mopey, mopey!" Kalla said, mockingly patting Soun's head, "Here I thought you'd be happy! You have a son in law now! Cheer up!"
"I have a panda for a best friend and a gender confused hydrophobiac for a son in law and you are telling me to cheer up?" Soun said.
"Well, you might as well!" Kalla snapped. Standing up suddenly, "Because you are stuck with them for ever!"
And suddenly, Soun was back in his parlor. His eyes were moist, and he heard the stifled sobs of his best friend across the table. He wiped at his eyes and set his mouth. By the Gods, she was right. She was pure evil, but she was right. This was his fault, and if he couldn't fix it, he was atleast going to do the best he could.
"Come now, Saotome," Soun choked, "It's not all bad. Here, you and your…son…can stay here. We will unite the schools, just as we promised. Everything will be okay,"
Soun embraced his old friend and patted him on his broad back. As long as no one ever finds out about this, everything will be okay…