Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Akane just stood frozen to the spot. Thinking Ranma must have lost his mind. She blinked, but girl-form Ranma was still there, wearing a bright smile and holding out her hand.

"Ranko? What are you taking about Ranma?" Akane asked nervously.

"Its like I told you I'm not Ranma…Look I know it's kinda confusing right now but I'm not the Ranma you know. Not in the slightest I am a totally different person. AND my name is Ranko."

"OK… Ranko what's your last name?"

"Uh?... I guess I don't have one? Maybe I did once but I don't remember,"

"So how do you know me? If you're different from Ranma?"

"Ummm…well that's sort of complicated."

"Why? What do you mean?

"Well let's just say I know everything that Ranma knows"

"WAIT! You said 'Know' so is Ranma alright do you know where he is?

"Geez! You can't just go for any simple questions can you?...Sigh first Ranma is not alright I'm not even sure he's there anymore he was in really bad shape. But I hope he's still there…and yet I don't, hmm its so different on this side…second, I know where I put him but, if he's still there, I cant see I lost all contact with him when it started raining." She finished her little speech with a big smile.

"But I need more than that! I have to know."

"Look we can talk all night if you want to but, let's get out of the rain before we both catch a cold."

Akane just nodded and the two of them walked back to the tendo's home.

Kasumi and Nabiki met them at the door. With all out shock written on their faces.

"Daddy called from Dr. Tofu's he said that you were unconscious Ranma and he when there with Mr. Saotome to see if the Doctor knew and remedies for you, but I guess we can call them back since everything's ok" Nabiki said brightly

"That's quite a rare tone for you Nabiki how much did Kasumi have to pay you to act nice to Ranma ?"

"I… well, it was a good price, I always do a family discount you know"

"Oh Ranma-kun I'm glade to see your alright, you know you really worried us all"

"Oh uhhh… I'm not Ran-"

"I think what she's trying to say is were both soaking wet and we would like to get into some dry cloths"

"Oh my yes, would you like me you run you a bath Ranma-Kun?"

"Yes that would be great Kasumi, uh Akane can I talk to you upstairs for a sec?"

Nabiki and Kasumi both looked surprised. Ranma wanting to talk to Akane, and alone? Nabiki raised her eyebrow and a smirk flitted a crossed her face. She knew something must have happened between them and it might be worth some money if she found out. Kasumi's heart sank, Ranma and Akane being alone together, as much as she didn't want to admit it, she was jealous; and angry at Akane. How long would it be until she hurt him again? After all she had put him through, all the misery she brought him, and he always went back to her. What did Akane have that she lacked? But she knew this was how it was supposed to be, no matter how it hurt her.

"Come on kasumi lets let them go get changed I'll help you get that bath ready for them"

"Why Nabiki what are you up to? Ranko asked.

"Nothing, nothing just trying to help." 'Damn Ranma's sharp today' she thought.

Kasumi and Nabiki moved out of the way so that Akane and Ranko could get up stairs. Nabiki watched them ascend the steps with her mind working furiously on what could have brought those two together. The two downstairs waited a moment before following up the stairs. Upon reaching the top step Nabiki saw Akane's door close with both of them in there. Now things were getting strange for her not only did they want to talk to each other but they wanted to be alone in Akane's room. Kasumi walked past Nabiki still trying to figure out why she was so emotionally attached to Ranma lately. She did think it was nice having someone around to help her, but that's not really what concerned her for the first time she had felt that someone around her noticed her, she felt he was on her side and saw what she went through everyday. Kasumi, since her mother had died had felt like she was on the outside of a glass sphere looking in on a family that didn't think about her that didn't need her as part of it, but as long as she continued to wait on them they would keep her around. Her father had barley looked at her since that tragic day and only spoke to her when he waited something. Nabiki at first looked up to kasumi but as the years went by Nabiki same as the rest of them, found that she didn't need her and grew cold toward Kasumi. Akane was always a petulant child and their mother always doted on her. When their mother left them their father still tried to keep that up and scolded Kasumi many times if she tried to deny her anything. But when Ranma came, after getting over the initial shock of his condition and his brash attitude, found he was someone who was selfless, courageous, and though they had been few and far between had moments where he noticed her and that had been the first comfort she had in years. And the last couple of days she knew he understood her and had helped her more than anyone had in years. She wasn't sure why he did it though he didn't do it for praise or he would have told them he did the work. In the back of her mind she had hoped it was because he had feelings for her and maybe he did, but it looked like he had finally committed to Akane. Kasumi was left to wonder if it was something she did this morning to drive him from her. Going into the bathroom she set to work running the bath for who she thought was Ranma and so set out all his bathing necessities she took great care in doing it but all her emotions left a bitter taste in her mouth, she knew she needed to get over these feelings for him but for now she would just go on as normal as she always did, alone.

Nabiki had positioned herself outside Akane's door listening intently to what the couple inside had to say.

"OK what did you want to talk to me about Ranko?"

"Ranko? Who is she talking to?" Nabiki wondered

"Well it's kind of embarrassing but I need to barrow some things…you see Ranma never bought any girl stuff, like a bra or any panties."

"You…want to barrow some underwear?

"I know our body types are different but, I mean, if you don't mind just till tomorrow and I can get some of my own."

"No, I don't mind, its just weird having you ask like that"

"I guess so, but I'm not the 'you' you are referring to, but I guess it will just take awhile for all of you to get used to me"

"I don't mind lending you something's…" Akane told Ranko as she went over to her dresser got out a plain white bra and matching panties "anything else you need?"

"Well…if you don't mind could I barrow a dress too?

Akane nodded and went to the closet got out a simple tan dress and handed it to Ranko.

"Here this should fit you; it used to be Kasumi's"

"Thanks Akane"

"Well I think I'm going to take a bath now and get out of these wet cloths. We could take one together it you want?"

"I…we can't" Akane spluttered, her face going red. "I mean you're a guy…"

"Hmm… yeah I forgot about that this body turns into a guy when it gets doused with hot water, but I'm not a guy trust me I am one hundred percent woman just like you."

Nabiki still creeping outside Akane's door thought she knew what was going on now, it had happened before when Ranma hit his head on a rock and became a girl. She was very disappointed in figuring this out. "Old News." She thought and went off to her room. A few moments later Ranko immerged and headed down to the bathroom. Akane just lay on her bed trying to sort out the days events. Kasumi had gone back downstairs and had ordered some takeout from a local place. She was quietly kneeling at the table with the TV on not listening to a single word of it. Lost in her own thoughts and dreading everything she had to do tomorrow, she had of coarse done these thing hundreds of times before, but now they seemed even more dull and boring.

"I should have gone with them" Kasumi thought "I bet there was a great battle, Akane was in trouble, and Ranma saved her again. Now they've made up…until the next time Ranma opens his mouth without thinking, then she'll hit him with her mallet and everything will continue. Ranma will be hurt again until the next time some crazy person kidnaps her."

This thought process was grating on her wary mind and only served to depress her further. But she would go on day after day. She would hitch that motherly smile on her face and cater to there every whim, until the day they no longer needed her. Then she would truly be alone, all by herself with no job, no education, no home, no family, no life.

"Yes that is how it will end. But I will go quietly just like mom did. I guess I'd better call father and let him know Ranma's ok"

After informing Soun and Genma she waited for them to get home. The delivery person got there at the same time Genma and Soun were strolling up the walkway. Kasumi went off to set the table asking if Genma could inform everyone that diner was ready. Genma shouted for everyone to come down and went to the table to get his dinner. Nabiki put the book down and sat up in her bed. She had been imaging all the girly outfits she could photograph Ranma in and how much she could sell them to Kuno for. Akane who had almost fallen asleep sat up; still groggy she rubbed the sleepiness from her eyes. She figured she could just bathe after dinner and went down to join the others, as she passed the bathroom she noticed the occupied sign was still on the door. She entered the first part of the bathroom and knocked on the door.

"Hey Ranko, Dinners ready." She waited a moment but there was no answer. "Hey are you in there?" she spoke knocking a little louder.

Figuring no one was in there she slid back the door. A scream ripped through the house. Everyone came running.

"What is it Akane? Did Ranma Walk in on you again? Nabiki asked dully coming out of her room.

"Yes what is it my daughter"

Akane looked close to passing out, she was stark white and her knees were trembling. Genma pushed past her into the bathroom. He immerged carrying his male-form son, limp and lifeless, with that same dead look in his eyes. He had him rapped in a towel holding him out for everyone to see. Nabiki was silent her eyes opened wide, Kasumi let out a terrified gasp, and Akane not being able to take anymore passed out. Soun caught her before she fell, and gently carried her to her room placing her on the bed. Genma had carried his son to their room and laid him on his futon. Kasumi had entered with them.

"What's wrong with him?"

"I don't know" he said darkly "this is how he was before, at shampoos house I mean," Genma went through all the happenings at the Cat Café. "We went to the doctor right after it happed, he said that he had herd of what happened to Ranma, and that he was going to research it more… but then we got the call from you… you said he was alright…so we came home…"

"How could he have lost his soul?!"

"He didn't lose it, he used it all up Kasumi, from all his battles he-"

You should have stopped him!" Kasumi interrupted Genma "You knew how hard he fought; you knew he gave everything he had into them, just like you taught him too. Why didn't you stop him, you always just pushed him harder"

Kasumi had tears welling up, she couldn't be around anyone right now, she had to leave that room before she did anything rash. Her wall of happy perfection had finally crumbled. She left Genma slack jawed staring after her. He couldn't figure out what that sudden out burst from her was supposed to mean.

He returned to looking at his son, outstretching his hand he felt for a heart beat, it was strong and his breathing seamed normal. Relief hit him, and breathing easier, he got up, covered his son with a blanket and left the room. At once he called Dr. Tofu to tell him what was going on, who rushed over. Genma met him at the door looking somber; he led him up to his and Ranma's room.

"So you say he was fine until he took a bath?" Dr. Tofu asked

"Yes, well that's what the girls told us."

"Where are they now?"

"Nabiki's in her room, Akane fainted when she saw Ranma so Tendo-Kun put her in her room, she's still resting there…And I don't know where Kasumi went off to."

"That's odd, it not like her to disappear. Did something happen with her?"

"I don't know she was very upset and she yelled at me."

"She yelled at you? Now that is very strange. What did she say?"

"She blamed me for what happened to Ranma said I pushed him too hard. But she doesn't understand being a parent. One must contently test ones children to make them strong."

"Well let me look at him" Dr. Tofu said not wanting to get into a pointless discussion with Genma.

Dr. Tofu Carefully examined Ranma from head to toe. He checked his breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and reflexes. He sat him up and applied various pressure points to his back and neck with no response form Ranma. Laying him back down he lit an inscent and waved it in Ranma's face but still nothing.

"If I didn't know better I would say your son is brain dead. He has loosed all outward control of his body and apparently can feel no pain. You see the pressure points I hit in his back were pain receptors. If I did that to a normal person they would be writhing in agony right now, but not so much as a twitch from him. He also has no reflexes, but his breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure are all normal. I don't think there is anything I can do but, I would like to take him to my clinic, at least there I can take care of him. All we can do now is wait to see if he comes back."

"I see Doctor, so when can you take him?"

"I will take him now, I can just carry him my clinic is not far. But…and you will have to forgive me for saying but you don't seem to upset about what's happening to Ranma."

"Well it is a fathers duty to be strong…and besides if he had trained harder like I told him to he wouldn't of had to rely on this 'soul power' of his, so I am just disappointed that he was using such a shortcut to gain strength, its his own fault so I don't feel guilty or anything."

"I guess so…" Dr. Tofu replied still not wanting to get into a pointless discussion.

Dr, Tofu bends down and sits Ranma up, he carefully positions him onto his back and begins to walk down the hall. Genma accompanies him downstairs and waves goodbye at the door before retuning to the dinning room to inform the others what's going on. After relating the story to Soun they both sat in silence for a while. Meanwhile Nabiki had come down to join them and after hearing what Kasumi said to Genma, she smirked and thought to herself

"My Ranma really is a popular guy with the ladies"

"Nabiki, Do you know what go into Kasumi?" her father asked.

"No, Father" she lied "but I guess its because she thinks of Ranma as part of the family and she was just worried about him"

Nabiki made a mental note to question her sister later. Akane was just waking up; she sat up suddenly rubbing her head. She got out of bed and ran down to Ranma's room, flung open the door, but he was gone. Tarring downstairs she met Nabiki in the entranceway.

"Nabiki!" She said out of breath, "Where's Ranma?"

"Dr. Tofu took him to his clinic about ten minutes ago; he said he was going to look after him."

"So he knows what's wrong with him? Dose he know how to make him better?"

"He said he knew but he said there wasn't anything he could do."

Kasumi had herd all that they had said, for she had been just outside the door. She steeled herself, made up her mind, this time she would go to him; she would help him if she could. The only problem was Dr. Tofu, she knew he always acted strange when she was around, maybe she could just sneak in. no that wasn't her way but lately shed been having a lot of ideas that were strange to her, she couldn't figure out what was wrong with her.

She knocked on the door of the clinic about five minutes later.

"Sorry were closed today…Oh! Kasumi!" Dr, Tofu said while his glasses fogged over. "What a coincidence meeting you here of all places"

"Yes doctor" she said without enthusiasm "Can I see Ranma please?"

"Y-Y-Yes of coarse…Hmm…My Kasumi you're getting very thin and you look very green," he said speaking to the small tree in his clinic.

Kasumi just rolled her eyes and side stepped him, leaving him alone to examine the tree. It only took her two tries to find the door Ranma was in. When she entered and saw him lying on the bed she collapsed to her knees, there he was lying on his back with tubes and IV's all over him. But it was the sight of his eyes that disturbed her the most they were still open and had two small tube on either side of them putting little drops of water in them. It took her a moment to recover; she walked over beside his bed and took a seat in the empty chair. Why did his eyes have to be open? Why did she have to keep looking into them? Tears leaked down her cheeks.

"Why did you have to try so hard Ranma? Our family, your father, we all put you through so much. And yet you stayed with us. Why?! Akane beat you yet you never left her…Did you love her that much? Your father he did everything he could to make you miserable, yet you stayed with him. I know you weren't happy. Why did you do it then? Always giving everything you had and more, just for people who ended up hurting you…and me why did you have to help ME! Why did you let me see that side of you? Were you just trying to torture me? Show me you care then leave, I'm sorry Ranma I knew shampoo had you and yet I stayed home. I'm sorry, you would have come for me and yet I let this happen to you. I should have done something…I didn't…I…

Emotions overcame here and she surrendered to her tears letting them flow freely.

"I'll stay with you now until your better. Ok? Your not alone any more…you have me…so don't leave me not now that I have found you the real you."

She reached out a hand and ran her fingers down the length of his arm. She grasped his had and squeezed with all she had.

"Did you hear me your not alone!"

She fell off her chair…no she had imagined it…but she thought she saw him blink. Getting back up she snatched his hand back up and held it to her face. She called his name over and over squeezing it every time she did, but nothing. She felt drained she returned to her chair.

Akane had followed her to the clinic but only because she had an idea of how to help Ranma. She had stopped outside the door when she heard Kasumi's voice. Hearing all that her sister had to say, she was hurt, not only at her sisters words but by the fact that everything she said was true, but she didn't care she was here to help Ranma. What did she care if Ranma liked someone else her pride told her, though she knew how she really felt about him now, shampoo had forced her to realize her true feelings. She knocked on the door just to give her sister time to compose herself. When she heard Kasumi say enter she went in.

"Oh hello Akane." Kasumi said looking depressed

"Uhh Hi Kasumi!" Akane replied with a forced smile

"What are you doing here?" they asked in unison

"Well I'm here to see MY fiancé" Akane retorted angrily.

"Oh that's nice" kasumi said dully

"So…why are you here sis?

"I came so he wouldn't have to be alone"

"Isn't that MY job Kasumi?"

"I didn't know you cared Akane, your part of the reason he's here" Kasumi said darkly

"What's up with you Kasumi? This isn't like you at all."

"Maybe not, but you can only watch someone you care about be in pain for so long…"

"C-C-CARE ABOUT! Sense when do you care about Ranma?"

Kasumi just glared back at Akane hurt by her words.

"I have always cared about Ranma and everyone else in our family"

"Maybe that was all she meant about not leaving him alone she thinks of him as a little brother" Akane thought to herself cheering up a bit.

"I came down here cause I had an idea on how to help him sis" Akane said brightly.

"What do you mean?"

Akane sat down on the other side of Ranma and told her sister about Ranko and all the things that passed between them.

"So I just figured that maybe if we splashed him with some water he would wake up and…"

"I cant believe you Akane, you would trade Ranma so easily."

"What no that's not what I said. I said he would wake back up in female form."

"You also said that the person in his female body wasn't him. How do you know that Ranma isn't suffering more having someone else in his body…Would you like it?"

"But she says she knows Ranma maybe we can find a way to help him."

"I guess you have a point there, ok lets do it, I just hope Ranma will forgive us for this."

"I don't care if he dose or not if it will bring him back he can hate me all he wants"

Akane got up and went over the sink in the corner. She could still hear Dr. Tofu talking to his plant outside but she ignored it. She took a glass from the sink and filled it with cold water praying to herself that his would work. Coming back over to the bedside she took a quick look at Kasumi who nodded at her. Taking a deep breath she poured the whole glass onto him and watched him change.

"AHHHH That's Cold!!" Ranko's voice rang through the room causing Akane and Kasumi to jump.

"Oh thank god" Akane said displaying her relief.

"who doused me with the ice water?" Ranko said angrily

"I did. I just thought that if you were back in your female form you'd be ok"

"and I'm grateful but you didn't need to freeze me to death to make me change you know" Ranko said starting to shiver.

Kasumi who still hadn't said anything simply got up went over to the cupboard and got down some dry hospital gowns and a dry blanket. Handing them over to Ranko she stooped down low in front of her and stared deeply into her eyes, after a moment…

"No your defiantly not Ranma." Kasumi said simply

"I know that Kasumi-Kun, Hi I'm Ranko"

"Kasumi-Kun?" Akane asked

"huh? Did I say that just now? Sorry I'm still getting used to this myself you know" Ranko Responded with a smile.

"So what happened?" Akane asked eagerly.

"Where's Ranma?" Kasumi Asked solemnly

"One question at a time please" Ranko answered them still smiling "First off I'm not sure what happened, it was like being sucked out of my body and placed back where I was before this all happened, I was trapped inside Ranma again. I was scared I thought I would never get out again."

"It's not your body Ranko" kasumi said coolly

"It is right now Kasumi." Ranko said with a note of anger in her voice. "Akane could you go outside for a moment I would like to speak with Kasumi"

"O-Of coarse I'll be right outside if you need me" Akane said heading for the door.

She paused just before reaching the door she turned back and saw them both looking at her, quickly turning back around she closed the door behind her. She sighed and wondered what was up between those two. Looking around she noticed Dr. Tofu had stopped trying to examine his plant-Kasumi and was looking depressed with his head in his hands. Akane walked over to him bent down low and smiled patting him on the shoulder.

"Hello Akane." He said with out looking up.

"How did you know it was me?"

"No other person I know wears heels and has the strength in her hands to knock over a cart horse" he replied looking up and smiling. Seeing the look on Akane's face he went on "Oh I didn't mean anything bad by that Akane I've always admired your strength and your caring"

"Oh thank you Doctor" she said blushing

"So I heard Ranko in there I guess you two changed Ranma to his female form"

"Huh? How did you know about that doctor?"

"Mr. Saotome told me about what happened and when I learned about what happened in the bathroom at your home it was fairly obvious what was going on Akane."

"So you knew what would happen if Ranma turned back into a girl" seeing him nod she went on "So why didn't you change him while you were at our house?"

"I couldn't in good conscious do that Akane, How do we know that he is not suffering more while Ranko has control of his body. I am a doctor and my job is to stop the suffering of others not increase it, I could never had done that to him but I'm not sorry you did" he said brightening the smile on his face "I wanted to do it understand I wanted to question this Ranko person, so I'm not at all disappointed in you quite the contrary in fact"

"You knew I would do it didn't you?" Akane Chuckled slightly "Umm Doctor…Why where you looking so sad when I cam out here if you are happy we came to change Ranma into Ranko?"

"Oh uhh…Well…" he sighed deeply "I just realized I spent the last ten minutes trying to examine my fichus in the corner…I thought it was Kasumi, she must think I'm such a fool."

"No she doesn't she likes you doctor; you just get a little silly when she's around."

"Really?" his mood picked up "She told you this?"

"Well, she never came right out and said it like that, but why do you think she is always barrowing books from you and bringing you her cooking"

A smile grew across Dr. Tofu's face and he nodded to Akane. Back in the clinic room Ranko and Kasumi where still sitting in silence. Ranko was looking at Kasumi who was just looking at her hands in her lap trying to figure out how to start.

"You said you wanted to talk to me." Kasumi said coldly

"Yes but I want to know something first why do you dislike me so much"

"Because you have taken over the body of someone I care about and you are hiding something from us all"

"You are very perceptive Kasumi-Kun, but I have not stolen this body I'm just using it while Ranma is away. Though you are correct I am concealing some information from you all but I think it is what Ranma would want me to do."

"Why do you keep calling me Kasumi-Kun?"

"Because Ranma always thought of you that way but he lacked the courage to tell you" Ranko Explained chuckling to herself "would you like me to tell you all the thoughts he has about you? You wouldn't believe the fantasies he's had about you lately."

"Stop it! Is this a big joke to you? Are you having fun toying with us all?"

"Yes I am, but don't think to harshly of me Ranma cares for you all and he has for a long time especially you and Akane, and over time I have learned to care for you all as well. I really do love all the Tendo family, so does he though he would never admit it."

"So you love us all huh? Then why all the deception? Why not tell us all that is going on?"

"I told you I'm only doing what I think Ranma would want me to do."

"Can you answer me this at least, who are you really and where did you come from?"

"Your as bad as Akane, you both never have time for small talk you both just want the facts and want them now?" Ranko responded still smiling "ok where to start, lets start with who am I. I am Ranko Makichi and I am dead sort of."

"Dead?" Kasumi asked in horror. Whatever she had been Ranko to say it wasn't this.

"Again I said sort of. I remember dieing, the way it felt to die anyway, I don't remember what happened. Then I remember my mom crying over my grave, and her going into a room with lots of candles and saying words that I didn't understand, for days and days she sat their just saying the words over and over. The only words I could make out where Saotome Ranma, She kept saying Ranma's name after every verse. I could feel myself falling apart, no not falling apart more like slowly fading away. I was terrified you must understand, I knew I was dead and I thought I was just going to fade into nothingness. I was screaming for my mom to stop, I screamed and screamed for her to just see me to notice I was there but she never did" Ranko paused tears leaking down her face.

Kasumi rose from her chair and walked over too the little counter and grabbed the box of tissues, retuning to the bedside she handed them to Ranko.

"Oh my, I'm sorry; I had no idea please go on if you can."

"Well next thing I knew I was fading fast I thought this was it for me, all my thoughts had gone I felt compressed I couldn't move, I couldn't see, for what seemed like an eternity I was like that, unable to hold a thought alone trapped in silent darkness…But then I heard a voice, it wasn't my own it was a little boys voice and it said…" A grin had spread across Ranko's Face and she paused.

"Said what?" Kasumi asked urgently.

"I'm hungry I want Melon Bread." Ranko finished laughing in spite of herself

"What? Oh you entered Ranma's body. And, and you could hear his inner monologue…and he wanted bread" Kasumi couldn't help it she joined Ranko in a laugh.

"That's right, it was such a strong voice too and the absurdity of it dispelled all my fear for the moment. I just listened to that voice for a long time it seems but to tell you the truth I have no idea how long it was. In time I learned that I could have thoughts of my own and I could even see and hear what was going on outside this boy."

"But when did you enter Ranma at jusenkihyo when he got his cur- I mean condition?"

"No it was years before that, I can remember Ranma being in grade school fighting with Ryoga."

"But you don't know how or why you entered Ranma's body?"

"Nope I have no idea, all I know is that when Ranma fell into the cursed spring and changed into a girl the part of Ranma where I resided grew, I was like I had been in a cage and never knew it but once he was a girl it gave me room to expand, I became stronger and able at times to try to talk to him to let him know I was in him…I think I just scared him though, When I think about it now hearing a girls voice in your head must not be a pleasant experience."

"I think I understand now why he always hated turning into a girl and why he had to keep telling us that he was a man…he was trying to reassure him self more than us"

"Right again! Your good at this Kasumi-Kun…Opps I can stop calling you that if it bothers you"

"No its fine IF you don't mind if I call you Ranko-Chan" Kasumi said with that imperturbable smile back on her face.

"I don't mind…Anyway like I was saying, when he was a girl I grew stronger and over the years even when he was a boy I could remain strong I didn't understand it but it felt like all the parts of him were just slipping away little by little and I was there to replace them. I didn't like it at all. For the more he slipped away the more he gained control of me and my parts. Until yesterday when he learned what shampoo was doing to him, I mean she tried to rape him…He lost it his heart and mind had already been stretched to their limits and beyond. He didn't know how to cope with what had happened to him. Thoughts of suicide flooded into his mind."

"Ranma commit suicide he would never do that!" Kasumi said forcefully

"Well he had been thinking about it for awhile. I mean how long could one person no matter how physically strong they were, go on that way day after day having selfish women pursue him, manipulate him, hurt him, and try to make him be something he couldn't be. How long can a person keep going knowing that just because he was so strong, would come to challenge him. Again and again he fought them with everything he had; more than everything…How many times did his mind and body tell him to give up? I don't know I lost count, but his heart, his soul wouldn't let him."

"What do you mean they wouldn't let him? He had a choice didn't he?"

"No, not really, you see I was there too watching in horror every fight, every blow. I could feel his pain but in a distant way, But when he had given it his all and still couldn't win a feeling would burst from inside him."

"I don't understand Ranko-Chan" Kasumi said her voice becoming shaky.

"Rage…Pure, unbridled, all consuming rage, that was what it felt like. And every time it happened I would shrink back down in him just out of pure terror. The ferocity of his emotion blocked out his mind to me, probably to himself too. He could no longer feel pain, or anything else for that matter" She paused looking into kasumi's face and saw the fear that was present there. "Look let me try to explain in a different way when Ranma was in this state he was not himself only two possibilities existed for him, death or victory: and when I say that I really mean it, if you would have ripped of Ranma's arms and legs when he was in this state he would have rolled his body over to his opponent and try to bite him until he was killed."

"But where did this blinding rage come from?'

"Two words: Saotome Genma." Ranko said simply

"I guess I've always sort of known he was the problem."

Akane was growing impatient outside the room what could be taking so long? She wanted just to burst back into the room and demand answers, but she was torn between wanting answers and having this heart to heart talk with Dr. Tofu. She knew she still carried a flame for him and some of her happiest moments in her life was just sitting here talking to this man.

Back in the room Kasumi was trying to digest the volume of information Ranko had just laid upon her, mulling it over in her mind she realized that one central question still had not been answered.

"Ranko-Chan where is Ranma and what is happening to him now?"

"Well that is a difficult to tell you, I don't really know 'where' he is. I know he's in me know, the way I was in him. And to what is happening to him well we have finally reached the reason I wanted to talk to you alone. When Ranma was in his male from I lost my control of his body. It was like being paralyzed. I could however feel that Ranma was still there, small, broken, alone, but still there! I could feel him calling out for someone, I tried to reach him but I couldn't. Then you were here, your voice reached him, he started calling out your name, desperately trying to find you. I was creaming to him that you were right here with him but he couldn't hear me. Then when you torched him…he grew, from a nearly undetectable spec of life to something a little more."

Kasumi at once reached out and grasped Ranko's hand.

"Ranma-kun are you in there! I'm here! Ranma-Kun!" She shouted desperately

"He cant here you now Kasumi-kun." Ranko said shaking her head.

"How do you know? Maybe he can."

"No he's not anywhere you can reach him for now."