The Journey is the Destination

Heather O'Malley

Ranma 1/2 is owned by Takahashi Rumiko and they have no connection to this what so ever. These characters are used without their permission and include a plea not to be sued as I have no money.

Going to school and pretending things were normal just wasn't an option any more, too much had happened to him and he felt a little trapped by everything. After killing basically a god and having his wedding destroyed around him he has just had it. Ranma Saotome sat alone on the roof of the Tendo house and looked out across Nerima frowning. There was something wrong in his life, something that called chaos to him and made his life a hell and he did have an idea what it was. His life.

All of this stupidity about being a Man's man and having to be offended about anything even remotely girlish was just making him crazy, so crazy that it had almost been impossible to admit to Akane that he loved her, and that had occurred only when he had thought she was dead. If anything, all of this stuff was keeping him from being able to be the best person he could be, to be the best martial artist he could be. He knew emotions gave you power so what was wrong with acting on them or admitting them? He had two different forms that had different benefits and weaknesses. He had the kind of training that was beyond logical and into the insane. He had never really done well in anything besides the Art because his father had decided that anything else was worthless. He had never risked his life for any of the other fiancés that plagued him as he did for Akane. He loved her. The others were just friends. He had a maelstrom of insanity in his life and he was beyond tired of it.

He shook his head. What could he do to fix his life, to get things moving away from the chaos that surrounded him? He thought about his father and Happosai. They had taught him time and again that women were worthless. However, Shampoo and Ukyo were both incredible martial artists as was the old ghoul. Hell, Akane was also really good, just not in the same class as everyone else yet. Could he honestly say that women were inferior or that being a girl was a bad thing? His girl half had uses. That half was faster and more agile. May not be able to hit as hard but could certainly dish out damage. In addition, he could get free food with it occasionally. And it certainly more sensitive. Were his father and Happosai completely wrong about women?

That thought gave him pause. If they were wrong about that, what else had they screwed up? This made him worried. Given all the things that his father had learned from the Old Pervert and how much he had those ideas pounded into him he was screwed if he approached this like any other problem. He had to face this mess like a battle or a challenge; it was the only way he really knew how to deal with anything like this and to never fail. So if this was a battle and the trick was to try to figure out how to fix his life and how to get past the stupid and wrong things he had been taught he had to change things in a major way, something so drastic that he couldn't help but change in response. That idea scared him, which gave him an idea of how to proceed. He would go into his fear and see if he could escape that way.

It would be perfect and the idea scared the hell out of him. It was so totally against everything he knew about himself and his life, which increased the odds of it being a somewhat correct choice in this instance. He shook, knowing what it would mean. All the things he had been told that were right and true that seemed a bit off according to other people would be fought against. This sounded like a valid idea but he needed to get another opinion and there really was only one person who he could trust for this. There was only one person who had his back at all times, for the most part.

Instead of just going in to the house, Ranma swung down and knocked on the window of Akane's room lightly. She looked up at him from her bed, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. When she saw who it was, she opened the window and asked, "What do you want Ranma?"

"Akane… I… I really need to talk to you. Could you please come up to the roof?"

"Baka, it's like three in the morning."

"Kane please… this is important. I need your help."

There was something about the tone of Ranma's voice that underlined just how serious this conversation had to be if he was going to get her involved in it at this time of night. Something major was going on and it worried her. What could be going on that had Ranma so wound up? Akane made her way onto the roof and looked at the dark haired boy who was crouched on the tile roof with a serious look on his face. "So what is this about?"

"Akane, would you say my life is pretty screwed up, what with getting attacked all the time and women I don't care about throwing themselves at me and my every word getting misunderstood and twisted around?" Ranma couldn't really meet her eyes. He was kind of embarrassed about his plan and was afraid of what the girl he loved would say about it.

The girl blinked at him a few minutes before replying. What was he talking about? "Yeah, it is."

"Would you agree that Pops and the old pervert are idiots?"

Akane nodded. Where was he going with this? "Ranma what is this about?"

"Akane, I… I kind of hate my life. I… I… I do love you, you know that right? Well, my life is keeping us apart and the things I was taught by my father and to him from Happosai keep screwing me up and I hate it. I want to be with you and just you and not have to deal with all these other idiots. I wanna stop being an idiot. I know I'm not good at school and I don't really like that. I wanna be a good husband for you but stupid ways of thinking keep screwing that up. I wanna stop thinking like Pops taught me to think. I just wanna be happy." Ranma struggled to hold back the tears that were threatening to come out. It wasn't very manly to cry.

"So you do love me?" Of everything Ranma had just said, this one stunned her the most. She knew, but she hadn't really heard that clearly until right now. It almost made her light headed and giddy.

"Yeah. I always have. But right now I need to change my life radically and find some way to get past all the screwed up things that keep occurring to me that keep us apart." He lamented. "I don't want things to keep getting in the way."

"So what are you going to do?" asked Akane, sure that Ranma had some sort of plan. It was probably a stupid plan but she was sure her Baka had one.

"Let me tell you my plan. If you think its too dumb let me know." He explained what he had in mind and Akane rocked back from him in shock, her eyes wide. This… this was really radical and almost too much to believe. Ranma just waited, "Well?"

"Uh… that's uh… pretty crazy, even for you Ranma."

"But you see why I think it might work?"

Akane thought about the plan and about all the things that Ranma said he knew he needed to get past. Would this actually work and do what it was supposed to do? "I guess. This is a dumb plan though."

Ranma shrugged. He was well aware how insane this particular plan was and it would take everything he had and more to make it work. "Can you think of anything else that might make those idiots back off? That might help me get past these stupid things? That might help me get back to my life? I have to do something radical to break this and the only thing I can think of is how much this plan scares me. That right there makes me think it might be right for me."

Akane sat back and thought. Of all the dumb ideas Ranma had come up with this one had to be the most screwy, and that included trying to pretend to be Ryoga's sister and everything. Nevertheless, it might just be what was needed to turn the tide of these things away from Ranma. In addition, it was clear that the other women would probably back off, at least she hoped it would be so. Ukyo yes but Shampoo was odd and this might not make any difference. She shook her head and sighed. "Ranma, if this is what you want to do than I'll do what I can to help you make this happen. When do you want to make this happen?"



Genma and Soun were down in the living room playing shogi, waiting for breakfast. Genma had been a bit concerned because the boy hadn't been there when he had woken up. The boy might be getting weak by living such an opulent life and that was a problem. Granted he had done well on their last trip to China but that was no reason to slack off on training. Maybe he needed another training trip? The downside to that plan was that he would have to go as well and that meant missing Kasumi's excellent cooking.

Kasumi had finished cooking and decided that it was time to make sure her sisters and their guest were ready to eat. She stood at the foot of the stairs and called up, "Nabiki! Akane! Ranma! Breakfast is ready."

She turned and headed into the kitchen to collect the bowls of rice and Miso soup, as well as the several pieces of fish that they were going to eat that morning. They were all on a tray and ready to be taken out and everything looked ready. The tea was ready on the table and so everything was as ready as it was going to get.

Of the sisters remaining, Nabiki made it downstairs first and plopped down in her usual spot. She looked like she was deep in thought over some issue or another, working out the details of some scheme or other to make more money. The odds were that she probably was and no one would have taken that bet anyway.

Kasumi was coming out of the kitchen with the tray of food when she spotted Ranma and Akane on their way down the stairs together. She took one look at the two and stopped, eyes a bit wide and saying, "Oh my."

Everybody turned and stared when they heard that, as Ranma and Akane walked into the room. What was so shocking was that Ranma was in his girl form and wearing a girl's uniform. Genma and Soun's eyes bugged out at the sight, especially since Ranma's hair wasn't in it's normal braid but hanging free and held back with a green ribbon tied in a bow. This was so completely different from anything that Ranma had ever done before that it was causing Genma's reality to crumble. Sure the boy had crossdressed few times out of necessity, but there was no reason for this particular display. What was the idea behind this?

"What the hell are you doing, boy!" roared Genma, clearly upset at the fact that his son was dressed as a girl.

Ranma looked confused for a moment, as if Genma had lost his mind. The boy cocked his head, as if trying to figure out what Genma had been saying. The response didn't help matters at all. "I'm getting breakfast before going to school. Like I do all the time."

Genma sputtered as Akane and Ranma both sat down at the low table and smiled as they gathered up their food. The two of them both put their hands together and said in the silence, "Itadakimasu!"

Everyone but Akane stared at Ranma, their shock deepening, as he was eating at normal human speeds and not gorging himself as fast as inhumanly possible. Kasumi had a pleased smile on her face through this whole event while Genma and Soun had face faulted. Nabiki had merely raised an eyebrow.

Ranma's father shook his head and demanded. "Ranma, what is the meaning of this?"

"Of what?" replied Ranma, putting down the chopsticks.

"This!" Genma gestured wildly to imply everything.

"I'm not following you Pops." There was that look again from earlier and it was only serving to infuriate Genma.

"Why are you dressed as a girl?" His voice kept getting louder as if volume would solve this problem.

Ranma blinked a few times and then looked at Akane as if she could solve this issue or explain things. The dark haired girl just shrugged and Ranma looked back at Genma and said, "What am I supposed to wear? If I'm not mistaken, I am a girl, right? So, wouldn't I always be a girl no matter how I dressed. I just decided to change things up a little and 'kane here was nice enough to help me."

Genma's mouth hung open in shock and surprise, getting wider the longer his son talked. Words failed him and he had no idea what to do now. His son thought he was a girl? Had he hit his head again? This whole thing didn't make any sense. Should he smack Ranma in the head, just to check?

Nabiki narrowed her eyes in thought. Now this was something she might be able to do something with if she truly pondered it. The way Ranma and Akane were acting certainly begged for deeper and much more through consideration. There might be money in this for her if she handed it right.

After Ranma and Akane finished their breakfast, they retrieved their box lunches, said goodbye and headed to school. Once they left the house and had gotten a bit of distance, both of them began to smile, honesty pleased by things so far. Ranma had a mischievous gleam in his or was it now her eyes and chuckled, "So far so good."

Akane nodded. "I agree but don't get cocky, it will only get harder from here. I am proud of you for not reacting to your father."

Ranma's fists clenched some. "I just wanted to toss the idiot into the pond and be done with it."

"Remember your plan Ranma, you need to avoid violence. You need to try and avoid the little conflicts that always drag you into the larger ones. I think this plan might just work if we keep at it." Akane smiled at her fiancé which made Ranma smile back.

"I hope so. I just don't want to have to deal with this insanity anymore."