Disclaimer: I guess this is where I'm supposed to say that I don't own any of the series that I may borrow characters from such as Ranma ½. All characters are property of their respective owners and I make no monetary gain from writing this story so please don't sue me.
Ranma Timeline: This story takes place a short while after Herb's appearance. There will be several large changes in the story though such as Nodoka never showing up yet and different points in time and reasons for Cologne teaching Ranma Amazon techniques. Some characters may be a little OOC but it is because of their altered past or a few tweaks here and there. If you don't like that then learn to deal because this is an AU fic and I don't want any flames. To everyone else, I truly hope you enjoy this story and if you do please leave a review with any comments, questions or suggestions..
Warnings: This story will contain some mature subject matter such as abuse and dark thoughts.
Starting Over Book 1: The Truth Behind the Lie
Chapter 1 (Version 1.1 Thursday 8/17/2006)
Sayuri sighed as Yuka and Akane both ignored her as they started bashing the red haired girl sitting across the campus watching them as they talked after finishing their lunch. They said that the boy turned girl was being a pervert again leering at them and normally Sayuri would have gone along with it easily but today Sayuri looked closer at the redhead. The look on the other girl's face looked more like loneliness instead of lustfulness which when she thought about it made sense. Did Ranma really have any friends other than Hiroshi and Daisuke which seemed more interested in either trying to sneak a peak at the martial artist's female form or digging for any lurid details in Akane and the redhead's relationship.
"That's it, I had enough." Akane growled as she got up and stormed off towards Ranma.
"Go get him, Akane!" Yuka cheered.
"Wait!" Sayuri cried out as she got up and hurried after Akane who was clutching her mallet by the time she reached Ranma.
"You perverted freak, stop staring at as!" Akane demanded loudly gathering the looks of many of the students.
"I wasn't staring at anyone, especially not an uncute tomboy like you!" Ranma snapped back but Sayuri could see the hurt in the cursed girl's eyes.
"Don't lie to me you perverted freak!" Akane snapped back, nearly screaming. Ranma opened her mouth to say something else but Akane brought her mallet back and lashed out at Ranma knocking her high into the air sending her on an impromptu trip on Akane Air.
"Akane, I don't think Ranma was leering at us." Sayuri said meekly.
"Oh come on, Sayuri. That freak was practically undressing us with his eyes." Akane huffed out as she released her grip on the mallet letting the ki construct fade away into nothingness.
"Yeah, he deserved what he got." Yuka said joining the two, "Come on, lets get back inside before the bell rings."
"Might as well." Akane said following Yuka. Sayuri sighed sadly and followed her two friends in yet she couldn't shake the bad feeling that was plaguing her. Something was wrong with Ranma and Sayuri wanted to find out what and help if possible to pay the girl back for everything she had done for the students of the school from facing of against Ms. Hinako to defending them from the insane principal the school was unfortunate to have.
The remainder of the day went slowly by and Ranma had never bothered to come back to class which had ended up angering Akane even more even though it was the angry girl who had launched the redhead into orbit to begin with. Sayuri really did love Akane and Yuka, the three were like sisters, but there were times when Sayuri had to wonder about the two. It seemed that they were oblivious to everything while only seeing what the want to, especially Akane.
"Lets go get some ice cream." Yuka said as the three left school grounds in an obvious attempt to cheer up Akane and calm her down.
"I can't." Sayuri said timidly, hoping that she wouldn't regret the rash decision she just made but she felt she needed to find Ranma and make sure she was okay. Why do I keep thinking of Ranma as a girl?
"Why not?" Akane asked curious to why Sayuri would pass up an ice cream run.
"I have to go…My mom wants me home." Sayuri lied not sure of what else to say.
"Okay but call me later." Akane said.
"Me too." Yuka said.
"Later." Sayuri said as she hurried away from her friends as they said their goodbyes.
Not sure where to look first Sayuri decided to check out the canal first since she knew Ranma loved to hang out there for some reason. No one was there though and there were no signs of anyone being there recently but then again she was no expert at that sort of thing. She thought about the dojo but she couldn't go there because then Akane would find out that she lied about why she couldn't go with them.
She was starting to get worried that Ranma had really gotten hurt badly this time as she passed through the park and heard some familiar noises coming back in the thick grove of trees were a mostly unused hiking path wound through between them. Following the sounds she came out in a small clearing to find Ranma still a girl and doing intricate katas. Sayuri sighed in relief before noticing the wetness on Ranma's cheeks. AT first she wanted to put it off as just a light sheen of sweat but Ranma wasn't sweating. Looking closer Sayuri gasped when she realized it was from tears, Ranma was crying.
"Whose there?" Ranma demanded as she tried to wipe away the tears as she turned to face Sayuri.
"Ranma, are you okay?" Sayuri asked with worry.
"What do you care?" Ranma asked angrily.
"Because I was worried about you, Ranma. I just wanted to make sure that you were okay." Sayuri said.
"Am I really supposed to believe that, no one gives a damn about me." Ranma said hoarsely while looking away.
"Akane does, Ranma, she is your fiancée after all." Sayuri said though at times she wondered if it was true. "She is worried about you and...can we just please leave her out of this for now? I care about you to and I'm worried about you. Talking helps and I promise not to tell Akane or anyone else about what we talk about."
"Just go tell her whatever you want, it's not like she will believe me anyways." Ranma sighed as she jumped into the tree and bounded from one branch to another as she sped from the park.
"Oh Ranma…" Sayuri sighed sadly. Did Ranma truly believe that? Sayuri decided that she would call Kasumi and see if the older girl could do something to help Ranma.
Ranma sighed to herself as reached the dojo a few hours later while berating herself for letting someone catch her crying. If Genma heard about this she didn't want to think about what he would do. She was still not strong enough to defeat him but she was hoping soon. If she could just get a little stronger…More skilled, then she could defend herself from that bastard and escape from him once and for all. Until then she didn't have much of a choice and just did her best not to make him too mad and just went along with everything he said.
"Welcome home, Ranma." Kasumi said greeting Ranma as soon as she entered the house and traded her shoes for slippers. Ranma wasn't completely sure, Kasumi confused her to no end and it was near impossible to read her.
"Thanks Kasumi." Ranma said refusing to meet the older girl's gaze.
"Ranma, I talked to one of your friends from school on the phone and she was really worried about you. She said something about you crying." Kasumi said gently which angered Ranma, what right did she have to stick her nose in her business.
"Stay out of it, Kasumi." Ranma said.
"I just want to help." Kasumi said as Ranma brushed past the taller girl.
"Like you give a damn, Kasumi so stop pretending. I'm so sick of it." Ranma snapped as Akane came in the door. "If you cared you wouldn't have just thrown me away like trash and force me on Akane when you knew perfectly well how she would react."
"How dare you talk to my sister that way, Ranma!" Akane screamed hitting Ranma in the stomach causing the red head to double over in pain.
"Stop it, Akane." Kasumi said but her voice was strained. "Let me talk to Ranma alone, please."
"No way am I leaving you alone with that pervert!" Akane growled.
"You don't have to worry about it, I'm going to my room." Ranma said pushing her way past the two other girls while favoring her stomach. She knew she was in trouble when Genma found out about this and it was scaring her. There wasn't any way to hide it either and all she could do was hope for the best, maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
"I'm going to teach that pervert a lesson he won't ever forget!" Akane snarled moving to follow Ranma up the stairs before being stopped by a firm grip on her shoulder.
"Don't Akane, can't you see there was something really bothering Ranma?" Kasumi asked gently though she couldn't hide the hurt in her voice from the way Ranma treated her. No one had ever treated her that way before and she wasn't too sure how to respond to it. She really did care about Ranma but did Ranma really believe that she hated her?
"As soon as I get up there I'll be the one bothering her." Akane said angrily.
"No, Akane, you will not. Ranma was crying today in the park and something is really bothering him. I want to talk to him alone without you interfering. Do I make myself clear?" Kasumi said gently yet sternly.
"But Kasumi, there is no telling what that pervert will do to you." Akane said.
"No buts Akane and I know for a fact that Ranma won't do anything to me." Kasumi said, "I want you to promise me that you won't interfere in my talk with Ranma."
"Sis, I'm just worried about you." Akane sighed.
"And I'm worried about Ranma, he doesn't really have that many people he can talk to and I think he really needs someone right now." Kasumi said gently to Akane, pleading her with her eyes.
"Okay, I promise." Akane sighed worriedly, "Something is really bothering the jerk enough to make him cry?"
"From what I was told." Kasumi said as she turned from Akane and slowly made her way up the steps to Ranma's room and knocked gently. After waiting a few more moments Kasumi pushed the door open calling softly, "Ranma, can we please talk."
After getting no answer Kasumi pushed the door all the way open and walked in to an empty room. There was no sign of Ranma anywhere except for the open window letting a gentle breeze ruffle the curtains. It looked like what few belongings Ranma had was still there which hopefully meant he didn't run away. Looking again Kasumi noticed for the first time just how little Ranma owned and it shocked her that she never noticed it before. The young martial artist had a few sets of clothes, a couple pictures of people he meet since coming to Nerima and that was mostly it. He didn't have anything that most other boys his age took for granted most every day nor did he have any knickknacks that she would think someone on a ten year training journey would acquire over that long a time.
Kasumi swore to herself that she would have a long talk with Genma as soon as the large man came back home. Maybe Genma could help with Ranma's problems hopefully. The man may have been an oblivious idiot but she was sure that he still cared for his son. It sounded like everything that went wrong Genma had usually meant well except for a few times like Ukyo and the Amazons.
Sighing Kasumi left the room to start dinner for the family since it was getting late and her father and Genma would both be getting home soon. Her father had a council meeting and Genma was working late in Doctor Tofu's office which was good. Tofu needed more help around his office fixing things and that at least was one thing Genma seemed to be pretty good at.
"I'm home." Genma called as Kasumi heard the door closing.
"Uncle Genma, may we please talk for a few minutes?" Kasumi asked as she came in to meet him.
"Sure dear, what did you want to talk about?" Genma asked smiling politely though it was a smile Kasumi never liked. It just didn't feel right coming from the large man and always seemed to make her feel uncomfortable.
"Let me prepare some tea for us while we talk." Kasumi said.
"That sounds wonderful, and maybe some of those cookies you made last night." Genma said, his smile changing to one that Kasumi knew all too well and one of he few smiles that Kasumi didn't mind. It was a smile shared by many who loved her cooking and was lucky enough to have some of her best treats.
"Sure Uncle, have a seat and I will be right back." Kasumi said as she went into the kitchen and started a pot of water boiling. She then got a plate out and got a few cookies to put on it but not enough to ruin Genma's appetite as if anything ever could. Getting the tea out and preparing it she took everything out to the table and served Genma a cup of tea and gave him the cookies while pouring herself a cup.
"So Kasumi dear, what did you want to talk about?" Genma asked.
"It's about Ranma." Kasumi said, "Akane and him got into a fight at school today and Akane ended up malleting him again which I'm so sorry for. I plan to have a long talk with her again later."
"I'll make sure the boy apologizes also." Genma said gruffly, anger shining in his eyes.
"It wasn't Ranma's fault, Uncle. And I believe Ranma is very upset about it because he never showed back up for school so when it let out one of their friends went looking for him and found him in the park doing kata while crying. He seemed really upset to when he got home." Kasumi said deciding to leave out how he snapped at her.
"Yeah, the jerk snapped at my sister." Akane growled coming in. "Kasumi didn't do anything to deserve that. That pervert deserves a beating for the way he treated Kasumi."
"I'll have a talk with the boy." Genma said, something much worse that anger flashing through his eyes. Was that actually hatred?
"Uncle Genma, please, Ranma didn't mean anything." Kasumi said throwing a disapproving look at Akane, "I think he is just under a lot of stress and needs his father."
"You're right, Kasumi." Genma said with a sigh then smiling that seemingly fake smile yet again. "I'll see what is bothering him and see if we can't work it out.
"Thank you, Uncle." Kasumi said with a smile getting up while hoping it would work out, "I need to get started on dinner or it will be really late."
"Of course, Kasumi." Genma said, "I'll go find the boy."
Ranma sighed as she made her way out of the window in her room and out to the dojo to do some kata in hopes of cooling down while also hoping that when Genma got home he would catch her doing it. She was hoping that he would find her doing it and be happy that she was training hard or even better yet that he wouldn't find out about what happened earlier.
She knew that it would probably have been a better idea to get some hot water first but after getting to her room and deciding what to do she felt Kasumi's presence coming toward her room and she panicked jumping out the window since she didn't want to talk with the older girl. Genma would probably be a little upset about her still being a girl but she also didn't want to risk going back into the house and confronting either Akane or Kasumi.
"Hello Ranma." A chillingly familiar voice said from behind her. Genma was home and her father didn't sound to happy.
"H-Hi pops." Ranma said grinning.
"Bitch." Genma snarled grabbing her pigtail and yanking back on it hard making her stare up in his hate filled eyes making her let out a whimper. "What in the hell have you been doing today? Insulting your fiancé, crying, snapping at Kasumi? I told you, didn't I? If you ruin this I swear that you will regret it more than anything. I will make what happened at Jusenkyo look like fun."
"I-I'm sorry poppa." Ranma whimpered.
"Bitch!" Genma snarled kneeing her in the stomach as he let go of her hair launching her across the dojo with a little added ki. "Real men don't whimper."
"I'm s-sorry." Ranma gasped clutching her stomach as Genma stalked over to her.
"Real men don't cry." Genma snarled dragging her up by the hair, shaking her. "You worthless little piece of trash, you will learn or else."
"I'm s-sorry." Ranma cried, trying to fight the pain.
"What did I say?" Genma snarled as he kneed her across the dojo again. He followed her this time kicking her again and again screaming at her though he kept it low enough so not to draw attention. The words all started to lose meaning though as the beating continued while Ranma tried to protect herself the best she could. She knew he wouldn't strike her face or anywhere else her clothes wouldn't cover so she concentrated on protecting her body with her arms which also got in the way.
"You little whore!" Genma snarled when he finished beating her, his rage spent. "How dare you block me, now everyone will see your arms. Damn it…If anyone asks you got those bruises from sparing…Or better yet, fighting that pig."
"Y-Yes p-poppa." Ranma cried curling up in a ball.
"Damn worthless…Get up and go get cleaned up before Kasumi gets done with dinner." Genma snarled. "And make sure you apologize to that airhead!"
Ranma gasped as she fought to stand up before Genma grabbed her hair and dragged her to her feet and pushed her toward the door. She stumbled a little but made it out the door and quietly made her way across the yard but she felt Akane coming towards the door, probably for her afternoon block smashing session. She didn't know if she had the strength after that to pull it off but she didn't want Akane to see her like this so she gathered as much ki as she could in her legs and jumped up to the roof and made her way to her window and slipped back inside. She gathered some clean clothes, making sure to get her only long sleeved red Chinese shirt she had and made her way to the furo.
After making sure the occupied sign was up and locked the newly installed lock she stripped off her clothes and looked at herself in the mirror letting the tears fall. Her entire body felt like it was on fire and the many large bruises almost looked like one that covered her entire abdomen. It would take several days at least for them to heal completely but the bruises on her arms weren't actually that bad surprisingly. Genma seemed to strike her body more than her arms somehow so they should be healed by the following evening if not by morning.
Sighing she washed off as good as she could, being extra careful with her injuries before getting into the furo to soak in its warm comforting waters and changing back to her male form. The next think he knew someone was knocking on the door angrily waking him from the deep sleep that had claimed him.
"I'm coming." Ranma called out tiredly.
"Good, because dinner is ready you pervert!" Akane called stomping off away from the door.
Ranma sighed and got out of the furo to dry and get dressed deciding to try and catch Kasumi alone in the kitchen before getting everything out to the table.
Kasumi finished putting everything in serving bowls as Ranma slowly walked into the kitchen but he was waking a little funny. He seemed to be favoring his side and stomach as he looked at her with a mixture of emotions that she couldn't make out but she didn't think any of them was good.
"Are you okay, Ranma?" Kasumi asked with concern.
"I'm fine." Ranma said, his voice almost devoid of emotion. "Look, I'm sorry about earlier, I just had a bad day."
"Ranma, what's wrong?" Kasumi asked, starting toward him but he backed away from her.
"I said I'm sorry, okay, so can I please go now?" Ranma asked. Kasumi nodded sadly as he turned away from her and went back out to the dinning room and took his seat next to his father.
"How was your day, Ranma?" Soun asked. Ranma saw Genma's glare from the corner of his eye and frowned mentally.
"It was okay, I guess." Ranma said.
"Excellent, my boy." Soun said. Kasumi sighed and left the doorway shaking her head, there was something definitely wrong with Ranma. She decided to try and figure it out later though as she returned to the kitchen to start bringing out their dinner. Another sign that Ranma was upset badly about something, he often helped her with it and other things but it seemed like he didn't even want to be near her which bothered her greatly. She cared a lot for Ranma and the way he was treating her was very upsetting.
Dinner was a quiet affair with not even Akane and Ranma arguing that much and as soon as they finished Ranma decided to go to bed early but just before excusing himself Nabiki spilled a glass of water on him changing him back into a girl. With a heavy sigh Ranma made her way to her bedroom without even bothering to change back. Striping her clothes down to her boxers and tank top she crawled into her futon and tried to get some sleep and actually found herself falling into a restless sleep all too quickly until being woken up by Genma falling into his futon beside her which made her want to rethink changing back but decided that at the moment she no longer cared.
"Why are you still a girl?" Genma growled.
"I didn't feel like changing back." Ranma sighed not bothering to turn over to look at her so called father.
"Stupid…I'm warning you Ranma, keep this up and I will keep good my promise. Saioka is willing to pay me a lot of money for you and if you mess this up I will take it." Genma snarled before turning over to go to sleep himself.
Laying there seething in anger at the threat Ranma wanted to cry but didn't dare to after the beating she had earlier. She wanted so much to just beat the hell out of him and strike out one her own but she knew that it was impossible to truly beat her father at her current level. She was getting close, the morning spars were getting much closer now even if Genma still let her win she could tell that it wasn't by much. Just a little more then she would make sure that she would never have to see that horrid place again or that monster woman Saioka.
Turning her thoughts to today and thinking about the hurt look on Kasumi's face struck a chord in Ranma's own heart and made her feel guilty now that her anger at the eldest Tendo had died down. Kasumi was the only person here that ever treated Ranma with any kindness not including when she first got there but could Ranma really blame her for that. To be suddenly told that you might have to marry some one because of an arrangement made by your father was difficult, especially when you were all ready in love with someone else which was something all too familiar to Ranma. The only problem was that both Ranma and Kasumi's love interest looked very bleak at present. Ranma's wanted to kill her while Kasumi's turned into a blathering idiot when ever she was around..
Did Kasumi truly deserve the anger that Ranma showed her earlier that day? Kasumi may have stuck her nose in something she didn't understand but the older girl meant well and that was something Ranma had not encountered much since about ten years earlier when she trained under the American street fighter named Ken Masters. The man was a genius in the martial arts and had showed Ranma some pretty powerful techniques even if the old man didn't know about that one. It was during one of the only times that she went to school on the training journey and she met the man who was staying at a local dojo. Her father said that Ken was a fake, a fraud and disgrace to the martial arts since he was a foreigner. She found out different though and he even taught her some moves in secret.
Those were two of the only people who ever showed her that much kindness except for one other. The old woman who had helped her come out of the neko ken the first time. The old woman was enraged at Genma and refused to let him take her back. That was the day she learned just how ruthless Genma truly was. A lump tried to form in her throat as her eyes misted as she thought about the last moments of the old woman's life as she protected a young Ranma.
"Damn it." Ranma muttered to herself as she quietly got out of bed and put back on the now dry clothes she had on earlier. At first she was going to just go and knock on her door but that might wake up Akane and Ranma didn't want that to happen. Instead she went to her window, flinching a little at the pain in her side were the worst of the bruises were. She carefully climbed out of the window and crawled around the roof until she came to Kasumi's open window. Kasumi was sitting on the edge of her bed in her nightgown staring at what Ranma knew was her mother.
"Mom…I'm so worried about Ranma." Kasumi said, "What should I do? I know I didn't help much today but I really tried. He is like a little brother to me and I love him so much. Please…What should I do?"
"Kasumi." Ranma said softly causing said girl to jump. When she turned to face Ranma the redhead could easily see the tears falling from the elder girl's eyes. Wiping them away Kasumi smiled softly at Ranma while wiping away the tears.
"Ranma, are you okay?" Kasumi asked motioning for Ranma to come in. The redhead complied while climbing in the window and sitting next to Kasumi where she indicated.
"Shouldn't you put a robe on?" Ranma asked a little nervously. All she needed was Akane coming in here and seeing them like this. Kasumi's nightgown while modest was at the same time very revealing, hugging her ample curves which was the only Tendo girl who truly rivaled Ranma in that department.
"Relax Ranma, we are both girls at the moment." Kasumi said softly.
"Kasumi…About today, I really am sorry. I was so mad and all you did was try to help." Ranma said hanging her head in shame.
"You don't have to be sorry, Ranma." Kasumi said hugging Ranma causing the redhead to flinch a little in pain.
"Are you okay, Ranma?" Kasumi asked pulling away trying to pull the red head's shirt up.
"I'm okay, Kasumi. Honest. Just another stupid fight earlier today and I'm just a little sore from it." Ranma said pulling her shirt back down before Kasumi could expose any of her real injuries from Genma. "Kasumi…I want you to promise me something, okay?"
"If it doesn't hurt anyone then of course I will Ranma." Kasumi said.
"Don't talk to my dad about anything about me, please. If he thinks I'm not being manly enough then he ups my training time and I don't want that to interfere with my part time waitressing at the Neko Hanten." Ranma said.
"You waitress, Ranma?" Kasumi asked in shock.
"A little, a day or two a week to make a little bit of money while training with the old ghoul." Ranma said. "Its usually on days Shampoo has off so she is out looking for me which leaves me in peace since duckboy is usually off chasing her then. Please don't tell anyone about that either."
"Okay Ranma, I promise." Kasumi said. "At least let me look at your wounds, Ranma. Let me see if I can do anything."
"Its okay, Kasumi, the Doc all ready checked them out and bandaged me up." Ranma said smiling at Kasumi as she got up and moved toward the window.
"If you are sure, Ranma." Kasumi said a little worry in her voice.
"I'm sure." Ranma said, "Thank you Kasumi, for everything."
"Your welcome, Ranma. That is what family is for." Kasumi said.
"Good night then sis, love you." Ranma said before jumping out the window wishing that it was true about families. Her own family was nothing like that and was in fact the entire opposite. The only thing the Tendo family and hers had in common was that neither had a mother.
AN: This is the first book of my Starting Over series which there will be three books in all. The second book will have some minor changes and one major change in it when I get to it as all three will be posted as one with three arcs when it is finished. Also, I may go back and make some small changes and make some of the chapters longer by expanding on certain parts. So please leave reviews telling what you like or don't like, any suggestions to make this better or even any corrections. I will answer all reviews coming in as well as PMs.
I'm feeling much better now and intend to try and stay that way. I'm going to try and eliminate any thing that causes me stress though, like trying to write fifteen chapters a week. I will try my hardest to write at least two chapters a week though for my stories and until I finish them up I won't be starting any more for the time being.
Until Next Time,
Version 1.0 Tuesday 8/15/2006
-Posted first draft.
Version 1.1 Thursday 8/17/2006
-Fixed the conversation between Ranma and Sayuri