Legacy, a fanfiction by Overbore
Legal stuff: I do not own Ranma ½, nor do I own any rights to the characters, places or plotlines therein. Please be kind and do not sue, I am a poor college student and have no money anyway.
Authors stuff: This idea came to me out of the blue one day. This is my first attempt at fanfiction so please be kind. Reviews and constructive criticisms are welcome, flames will be used to keep warm on cold winters nights.
Ranma hadn't slept in more than a week. Only pure willpower kept him going in this, his latest and greatest challenge ever. He had been struggling frantically for more than a month now to defeat the most powerful enemy of all: death. He had to, because Kasumi Tendo was dying.
It began some seven months after the battle with Saffron and the subsequent failed wedding. The relationship between Ranma and the Tendos had only become more strained in the interval. Akane blamed Ranma for the wedding fiasco, totally forgetting that she had never wanted to marry him in the first place in favor of heaping more abuse upon her savior's head. Her trademarked "mallet of doom" was starting to show a dent in its face that corresponded with Ranma's. Nabiki, on the other hand was her usual ice-queen self, a fact the emphasized the strain Ranma had dealing with her after finding out the she had sold out the wedding to all his rival and fiances. The parents were as stubborn as ever, with their unceasing demands for Ranma to unite the schools and start providing grand babies. In fact the were worse than ever, constantly blaming every fluctuation of Akane's increasingly unstable temper on him, and demanding he apologize for upsetting is fiancé. Only Kasumi, the angel of Nerima, was still kind to the pigtailed martial artist. The rest of the fiancé brigade and the rivals seemed to have redoubled their efforts after the wedding, like sharks sensing blood in the water. Then the bombshell dropped into Ranma's already chaotic life: Kasumi had cancer.
It had started innocently enough. Mild abdominal pains now and then, but nothing to be worried about. Then the periods of dizziness and weakness followed by stronger pains and eventually collapsing fits.
Her father, at first. Had been totally against seeking medical help. "Those doctors know nothing and bill for everything," he exclaimed. "And with Doctor Tofu overseas there is no one left I trust to take care of my Kasumi."
"Quite right, Tendo," Genma seconded. "Besides only the weak need the help of those quacks, and your daughters are anything but weak." Hearing this Ranma rolled his eyes but said nothing, too busy watching for the inevitable return to the old "unite the schools" nonsense to bother arguing with the stupid panda.
Then one day Kasumi had clutched her abdomen and cried out in pain before swooning while serving supper. After this collapse, Soun and finally gotten off his butt and take Kasumi to the hospital, a place he had avoided since the death of his wife. There the anxious Tendos and Saotomes waited restlessly for the results the of physicians examinations. Any hope they had was shattered when the doctor return and informed them that Kasumi was suffering from the same for of cancer that and claimed her mother; just as implacable and incurable now as it was back then.
Soun immediately began to live up to his nickname of the human flood. Akane and Nabiki were shocked. Genma was stupefied. No one could imagine life without the eldest female Tendo there, with her incredible cooking, calming smile and sweet disposition. Only Ranma, a veteran of many life-or-death crises kept his head.
"Are you sure there's nothing ya can do?" he demanded.
The Doctor sadly shook his head. "I'm sorry, but the there is nothing that can be done at this point. Medical science has been advancing for years, but some thing are still beyond us. Maybe in a few years, but for now we can do little but make her comfortable."
"I don't understand," Ranma exclaimed. "You guys can beat cancer, right? I mean, Daisuke's uncle and cancer, and he told me that he's fine now. He had an op...op...operation and came out just fine. So why can't ya do that with Kasumi?"
The Doctor sighed. "Miss Tendo has rare and difficult form of cancer. It is not centralized like most forms. Instead it is expanding from organ to organ, jumping across her abdominal cavity and moving upward toward her heart and lungs. There is simply too much infected tissue to remove without losing her in the process. I'm sorry, but there really is nothing we can do." Another sigh. " I begin making arraignments to have her transferred to a cancer ward and Tokyo General Hospital."
"YOU WILL DO NO SUCH THING!" Soun's demon head roared. "I WILL NOT LET MY DAUGHTER WITHER AWAY LIKE MY WIFE SO YOU CAN POKE AND PROBE HER! WE ARE TAKING HER HOME, WHERE QUACKS LIKE YOU CAN'T GET TO HER!" And before anyone could stop him, he rushed into the examination room, grabbed his eldest daughter and lest the hospital.
Things became strained at the Tendo household after that. Kasumi was nearly bedridden, leaving the rest of the family to take up her duties. Soun adamantly refused to even consider taking her back to the Hospital, leaving her care up to Akane, Ranma, and Nabiki. Akane refused to let Ranma help, claiming that it was an excuse to do perverted thing to her sister. Nabiki was selected to take care of cleaning the house and promptly blackmailed several neighbors and students into fulfilling her duties for her. Akane volunteered to cook the meals, but to everyone relief Ranma claimed that he could do it instead. This of course led to the usual argument:
"Ranma, are you insulting my cooking AGAIN!" she screeched.
"Geeze, I was just trying ta help," he responded, rubbing his ear "Besides, we all know that your cooking is the last thing a sick person needs. Your slop will have her in a coffin before the day is out." behind him the rest for the group was trying hard not to look like they agreed with him, lest they share the same fate.
With a might cry of "RANMA NO BAKA!" the mallet of doom knocked him through three walls and out into the koi pond, where a busty redhead emerged momentarily.
"Un-cute gorilla of a tomboy!" the pigtailed girl yelled.
"Now Akane," Nabiki drawled, "Ranma should be the one to cook. After all, your going to be busy looking after Kasumi. Unless you want Ranma to do it instead."
"No way!" Akane cried. "I'm not letting that pervert anywhere near my sister while she's helpless. Who knows what perverted things he would do to her."
"Then Ranma will do the cooking, and you'll take care of Kasumi," Nabiki inwardly smirked at her victory.
Things continued to deteriorate at the Tendos. Within a few days it became clear that Kasumi was fading. Ranma went up to see angelic Tendo on the third day when Akane went out for a little while. She looked of pale, lying there on her futon. He cheeks a sunk and she moaned softly.
"Heya, Kas-chan," he spoke timidly from the doorway, not wanting to disturb the weakened you woman. "How ya doing?"
"Oh, Ranma," she said looking over at the cursed martial artist. "I have felt better. I do wish that I could get up. This room need airing out and I'm sure the laundry needs to be done. Urg!" she gave an exclamation of pain as another spark of agony briefly flared in her stomach. Ranma was by her side in a flash, and watched as she twitched with another pulse of pain. On impulse he reached for a pressure point to relieve her pain. "Thank you Ranma," she smiled wanly. "That feels much better."
"You just rest," he stated firmly. "The chores can wait for a little while. Besides its 'bout time that others started doing their fair share. You really need to learn to relax." He gave her one of his heart stopping grins, a little shaky this time, but still full of confidence and warmth. He turned to the door, "any way, gotta go. Don't want the tomboy coming back and findin' me here. She'd probably blow a gasket."
"Ranma-kun," Kasumi said softly from the bed, "I'm afraid, Ranma-kun. I'm not afraid of dying, but I am afraid for my family. After Mom died, I worked so hard to be the pillar of the family, to support them when she could not." She was crying softly now. "Who will support them when I'm gone?" she whispered. "Daddy fell apart last time and Nabiki became so cold and Akane got so angry. I'm afraid of what will happen to them when I'm gone."
"That's not gonna happen, Kasumi." She looked up to see Ranma staring at her, his eyes filled with resolve, his voice serious. "I promise, I'm gonna find a way to beat this. I'm not letting you go. If I can beat a stuck up dragon prince and a stupid phoenix god, I can beat some stupid cancer. After all," his confident smirk returned full force, "Ranma Saotome don't loose."
"Oh my, Ranma..." she breathed, filled with a kind of awe and wonder. She knew, Ranma never broke a promise, never went back on his word. And he never lost when it counted. "Thank you, Ranma." she whispered. "Thank you."
Over the next week, Ranma studied furiously, consuming everything her could find that might help Kasumi: a scroll on ki manipulation begged off the old ghoul, the medical books left with Kasumi by Doctor Tofu, a pressure point map won from the old pervert, anything and everything he could get his hand on. Finally he was ready to announce his intentions to the rest to the family. He waited until dinner was underway before dropping the bombshell, figuring to get the drama over with as soon a possible.
"I think I can cure Kasumi." he stated as the meal began to finish up. The reactions more than lived up to his expectations.
"WHAT?" screamed everyone else in to room. Soun's tears, which had been constant since the hospital, even ceased at the announcement.
"RANMA NO BAKA! What kind of sick joke do you think you are trying to pull?"
"What the hell, Saotome! Are you serious? I know you think your invincible but to you honestly believe..."
"Boy! Are you telling the truth?"
"My manly son! I knew that you would let your family down."
"My daughter, My sweet Kasumi!"
"QUIET!" He yelled. The room slowly stilled. "Look, I think I can do it. I've been studying like mad and I think I have found a way to bolster he with my ki."
"Yeah, right," Akane snorted sarcastically. "The pervert just want to feel up my sister while she's weak." While all the Tendos had been dealing with their upcoming loss in their own ways, Akane had jumped straight to the denial stage and stayed there. "I swear if that lousy pervert lays even one finger on my sister I'll.." she was cut off as her father, always emotionally distraught and now even more so, fell back on the old patterns of taking his daughter's side against her fiancé and went into full demon head mode.
"HOW DARE YOU TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MY DAUGHTER!" He screamed.
"SHUT UP!" Ranma's battle aura was now fully engaged, swirling around him like flames, it's normal blue color now red tinged with wrath. The sheer spectacle caused the demon head to wilt. "I would never try to take advantage of Kasumi!" he shouted. "I promised her that I would make her well. And I keep my promises!" his battle aura had doubled in size, ethereal flames licking the ceiling.
"A word, Tendo, if I may." Genma interjected, trying to defuse the situation before someone felt the need to take their anger out on a certain panda. He took is friend by the shoulder and led him to the dojo. "Listen, my old friend, we lose nothing by letting the boy try." he spoke with the kind of dignity that anyone who knew him knew he didn't have, but in Soun's case it further calmed the human flood. "In fact we even stand to gain either way." Soun look mystified. "If the boy can succeed," Genma continued, "then not only will he have saved your eldest, but certainly Akane will feel deep gratitude for Ranma. Then they will most certainly be wed and the schools will be joined!"
"Yes, my old friend, I can see it now." Genma's enthusiasm (and idiocy) had infected his friend and Soun had begun to perk up. "But I fail to see what good will come if Ranma fails."
"If the boy does fail, then he will of course be devastated and so will Akane. Who better to comfort each other with their loss. And after their grief runs it course, they will be wed and join the schools once and for all!" Genma explained. "Think about it Tendo: even if you do lose a daughter, you will gain a son. And lets not forget that the boy could very well save Kasumi, but in either case..."
"The Schools will be joined!" Soun finished for him. The depression of earlier was now only a tiny shadow of it's former self. "You are a true friend, Saotome," he said, "in my hour of need you are there to lift my spirits again. It shall be done. Ranma will cure my Kasumi and then the schools will be united at last."
While this was going on in the dojo, back in the dinning room Nabiki, Nodoka, and Akane were all still staring at the martial artist. He had calmed himself, and the battle aura was gone, but a truly angry Ranma was a rare sight. Sure he got pissed of, annoyed and peeved a lot, but rage like they had seen smouldering in his eyes was almost unheard of. Akane was muttering under her breath and Nodoka was going off on how manly her son was, so it was left to Nabiki to ask the big question.
"Do you really think you can pull this off, Saotome?" she asked
"Think so," he replied. "Got a few good ideas but won't know until I actually start. But it doesn't matter. Ranma Saotome don't lose. Not when it counts, and right now, it counts more than anything."
Nabiki smirked. His confident tone had told her all that she needed to know. He actually believed he could do it. Her crafty mind was already finding ways to may money off this situation; the ultimate betting pool: Ranma versus cancer! Even better, if he actually succeeded, then he, Ranma, the guy who would know a bankable commodity if it kicked him in the face, would have found a cure for cancer, just thinking of the money she could make as his manager, selling his cure to the wealth sick almost caused her to drool. And if he failed, she could hold it over his head for the rest of his life. Yes, this situation had all the earmarks of being incredibly profitable.
The fathers returned and gave their official blessing to Ranma's attempt, as much as it was worth. And Ranma told them he intended to start that very night. He gathed a tray of food and went up to Kasumi's room where he found the eldest Tendo daughter sitting up reading, and attempting to ignore the pain in her chest.
"Hey Kas-chan, I brought ya some dinner," he said as he entered the room. "Wha'cha reading?"
"Thank you Ranma. I was just reading an old novel. I remember starting it before mother passed away and then I just never got around to finishing it. Its been so long that I forgot nearly everything and had to start over from the beginning. I really want to finish it before I pass on."
Ranma frown and the note of resignation in her voice. "What are you talking about? I promised I would fix you and I'm going to do it."
"No, Ranma, it alright. I've made my peace. The other day I just had a bit of a panic attack, that's all. You don't need to worry about me. I'm sure there are other things you would rather be doing."
"No, Kasumi, there is nothing I would rather be doing, and in fact we are going to start right now. Now lay down all the way and pull you shirt up off you stomach or I'll pressure point you and do it for you." Ranma's mind was in full battle mode now, all fears, doubts and hesitations swept away by single-minded determination. For at least this moment, Ranma lost his usual shyness to girls, lost all his stuttering awkwardness when it came to the opposite sex. The Ranma Combat Supercomputer was online and focused like never before.
"Oh my!" Kasumi exclaimed and did as told, amazed by this assertive, authoritative Ranma that she had never seen before. She lay down and turned to look at Ranma, whose eyes were trained of her abdomen.
Ranma stared hard at the unoffending flesh, trying to see through it, trying to pierce the secrets of her disease. He slowly placed one palm on her flat stomach and closed his eyes. He began circulating his ki into her, tracking it as it flowed through her system, mapping her ki flows. His mind began assigning colors to the life energy: his own ki was blue, Kasumi's was yellow, and there twisted and knotted in her abdomen, large patches of sickly brown. He was so shocked he lost concentration and the mind image shattered. Damn the stuff was complex! Twisting and turning back on itself, pulling healthy flows out of alignment, riding the paths to new, still healthy areas. This thing was a monster, plain and simple. Oh well. No one ever said this would be easy. He returned his concentration and once again scanned her ki, and opened his eyes, straining to maintain the "ki vision" that allowed him to monitor the deepest levels of her life energy. He reached into hidden weapons space and pulled out an old, yellowed parchment. Inscribed upon it was a map of over 300 pressure points, hard won during a vicious bout with Happosai. Reaching again into the ki pocket, he fished out the scroll on ki path manipulation. It had cost him the promise of an entire month of waitressing at the Cat Café to score this off the old ghoul, but a least he managed to convince her he wanted it in order to develop a new technique. Technically it was the truth, he was developing a new technique, but the last thing he wanted was amazon interference into what promised to be a very complex and delicate task.
He returned his attention tot he job at hand. Now if he had figured this out right, if he pressed this point here, and infused his ki into this pathway here... well only one way to find out. He pressed the minor pressure point between the third and fourth ribs, infusing his ki through a nearby pathway. To his "ki vision" the flow suddenly changed, his own powerful ki freight trained down the now straightened pathway into the monestrous mass of corruption. Almost immediately the domino effect rippled through her system. The change in direction and pressure in one flow rippling outward to effect other flows. Even the mass of cancer ki had shifted withe the force of his own ki's impact. Kasumi's ki paths twitched in response to his simple experiment. Ranma was both elated and horrified. This was going to be even more complex than he thought. Every little action he took was going to have to watched and measured. Anything he did might conceivably backfire and make things worse, but at the same time, the area his infused ki had touched was healthier. Not by much, but enough to justify his theory. He was going to have to proceed very cautiously and very delicately, but he knew he could do it. He turned to Kasumi's face to tell her the good news, only to find she had fallen asleep. A glance at the alarm clock told a surprised Ranma that he had been in the room for more than half and hour. He smiled at the sleeping angel before him. A sudden attack of self consciousness left him red faced and having touched a beautiful girl for so long and he barely managed to pull her shirt back down and pull the covers up. The pigtailed martial artist picked up the untouched tray of dinner and left the room is confident smirk back in place. Yes, he could do this. Ranma Saotome didn't lose.
Over the next few weeks Ranma became increasingly busy. Every morning before school and every evening after school let out he would check on Kasumi and press a few points and infuse a little more of his ki. The more he worked, the better he began to understand how her body and the cancerous parasite within it would react to his ministrations. On the downside, the cancer was spreading fast, further weakening the Tendo daughter day by day. Soon he started returning to the dojo and lunch times as well. And after three weeks of effort he finally stalled the growth of the malignant thing. But Kasumi was not improving. In fact she was still decaying. Flesh seemed to be shrinking of her frame. She was withering away, and the martial arts prodigy could not understand why. Finally it came to him, her body couldn't stand the stress. She was the battlefield where he and the cancer fought, and thought he was winning the battles, the war was proving to be too stressful on her. The longer the battle raged, the worse she would get.
He started spending every spare moment with her, but even then knew that at the rate he was going, he wouldn't win in time. By then Kasumi was practically catatonic. Finally he made his decision. No more school, no more rest, no more breaks, he would stay with Kasumi until it ended. Much to the dismay of the rest of the family, he barricaded himself in Kasumi's room, and set to work. He began manipulating her pressure points, infusing his ki directly and indirectly, slowly increasing his pace. He began to make moves to counter the ripple effects as opposed to merely waiting them out as before. His pace increased yet again as he strained to fight the evil presence inside her. Days passed, but time had no meaning, his aching body had no meaning. He didn't even notice when he had sweated enough to activate his curse. All Ranma cared about was beating the fast approaching deadline. He flooded her with his ki, calling upon his incredible reserves like never before to heal the pale and suffering you woman in front of him. His hands were now moving at amaguriken speeds, touching points, infusing ki re-aligning paths and bolstering recovering areas. His mind was running in full combat mode on a level never before seen, analyzing, anticipating, improvising and adapting. Totally concentrated on the task at hand.
CRASH! Ranma couldn't even spare the concentration to look as Akane broke open the door with a yell of "Ranma! Doctor Tofu is coming back! Daddy just got off the phone with him. He'll be here soon. Now get out of my sister's room you pervert!" She froze on shock as she saw a gaunt and haggard looking Ranma-chan leaning over an equally emaciated Kasumi. Even worse, the pervert was touching her sisters uncovered abdomen. She screamed "RANMA NO HENTAI" and brought the mallet around for a blow that would sent in into the stratosphere. The mallet connected with the sickening crack of breaking ribs. Ranma rocked with the blow, but didn't move. She screamed in inarticulate rage and brought the mallet back up to give him the beating of his life.
Ranma, for his part, didn't say a word. As the blows came down all he could do was take them, and shunt the pain away the same as he shunted away all the aches of his feverish vigil. He had no ki to spare to buffer himself, none to use to reinforce is injured areas. All he could do was ride out the blows and pray she ran out of gas before he did. Ranma had the cancer on the ropes now. It was in full retreat. In initial infected area had shrunk down to the size of a golf ball, and even now Ranma continued to pour on the ki, his incredible vitality run to the redline as he strove to finish his task.
Then disaster struck in the form of Akane's mallet in a sweeping blow that struck both of his blurring hands. Their own great velocity added to the mallets force creating a blow that shattered his fingers. The sudden caseation of his ministrations snapped his mind out of the dedicated fog that shielded him.
She was ranting now, actually frothing at the mouth and she screamed. "RANMA..." Smash! "HOW DARE..." Crack! "YOU TOUCH..." Crunch! "MY SISTER!" Crackle! "I SWEAR..." Pow! "I'LL BEAT..." Whack! "YOU TO DEATH, YOU PERVERT!" His concentration now broken, Ranma was flung into a bookshelf. His mind began going into shock as the exertions of the past week and the recent beating all caught up with him at once. Akane advanced upon him with the fire of insane fanaticism raging in her eyes. All his benumbed mind could grasp was how much like the Kunos she looked right now; Too crazy to see the anything but what she wanted to see.
By now, her shouts had attracted the rest of the household including the freshly arrived Doctor Tofu, who stood frozen in the doorway as they watched her continue to beat the fallen Ranma.
"Akane! That's enough!" Yelled Nabiki who had seen here sister's berserker rages before, but never like this. Her shout distracted the furious kitchen destroyer long enough for Dr. Tofu to rush forward and deliver a pressure point touch that dropped the girl bonelessly to the floor.
"What in the world is.." Doctor Tofu began, but was cut off by a weak and quiet voice that still somehow seem to fill the whole room.