Abandoning One's Manhood
Part 1: Prologue: Lost and Found, Then Lost Again
by Minako

All of the Ranma 1/2 characters and related stuff belongs to Rumiko Takahashi. Any original characters I may decide to stick in here are mine, steal them and I'll cry. Then I'll get over it and steal them back, after sending you flames until your email account is full.

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A boy wandered through the middle of nowhere. He was rather cut up, and his clothing had probably seen better days. He was stumbling a bit, from exhaustion no doubt, and he looked as if he hadn't slept in days.

Wandering out of the forested area he had been in, the boy walked slowly down the road. After a short time, he stopped short in shock, and stared at the house in front of him.

"No way," he whispered. "This can't be... am I really - finally - home?" The boy stumbled up the steps to the house, then tried his key in the lock. Sure enough, it opened. "WWWOOOOOHHHOOOOO!!" The word echoed down the street, and most people ignored it. Only a few stopped to stare at the boy, crying in the open doorway. After a moment, the boy regained his composure and entered the house.

Once inside, he dropped his large bag on the ground near the door, and tried to remember just where his room was. After a minute, he decided to take a chance, and against his better judgement, he headed upstairs with the bag in tow. Lucky for him, his room was right at the top. Shoving through the door, he collapsed on the bed, and began laughing in joy.

After nearly a year, Ryouga had finally made it back home.

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"Hey, old man! Just where are we goin'?"

Genma paused to turn and look at his son, "To visit my old friend Hibiki."

Ranma looked genuinely amazed, "You have friends?"

Genma replied by elbow dropping his son on the head, "Of course I do! Foolish boy!"

Ranma shoved his father away from him, "Yeah whatever. Why do I have to go?" Genma ignored him and started to walk away. "Hey you! What's the deal? Answer me! Why do I have to go?" Ranma had a very bad feeling about this.

Genma paused, "I want you to meet his daughter."

Ranma looked surprised, then he punched his father, "I don't need any help getting a girlfriend thank you," he growled.

Genma backed up to a safe distance before responding, "It's not quite like that boy. You see, you're already engaged to her."

Ranma twitched, "I'm WHAT!?" Genma was off and running before Ranma was finished speaking, "Get back here!" Ranma yelled, taking off after him and wishing he had something he could throw.

"It was arranged before either of you were born! We decided to join our two families! I haven't heard from him since then!"

Ranma growled in frustration, "The hell! If you haven't heard from him since then how the heck do you even know he's got a daughter?"

This thought stopped Genma in his tracks and Ranma slammed into his back, "Well... of course it's a girl... it must be," having forgotten the danger his son posed, Genma then took a shot upside the head.

"STUPID OLD MAN!!" yelled Ranma. He watched in satisfaction as his father soared through the air. Without missing a beat, he began walking in the general direction his father had flew in, a confused look on his face. 'Hibiki... why do I know that name?' He wondered as he walked. Then he shrugged it off 'The old man must've mentioned it sometime' and he left it without another thought.

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Ryouga woke up. He stared at the ceiling and tried to remember just where he was this time. 'Oh yeah, home' He sat on his bed crosslegged and looked around the room, aside from the large bag laying on the floor, it looked pretty much the way it had before he'd left. Things were strewn about the floor, clothing in odd places, furniture turned over. He grinned. Boy, he'd been in awful mood after Ranma hadn't shown.

He sighed and flopped back on his bed, debating about whether he should stay home to see if anyone would show up or not. He laughed at the thought, 'Yeah right, my parents' directional sense is about as good as mine,' he smiled at the fact that he wasn't the only one so terribly lost.

He sighed again as he tried to think of what to do. He thought about all the places he'd ended up, and how long it had been since he'd been home. 'High school's started... I haven't been here since junior high... this is all Ranma's fault! If he hadn't left when he did!' his anger began to return, 'Ranma... how dare you... it's all your fault... your fault-'

"YOUR FAULT!!" he jumped up from his bed and made his way out of the room, just barely remembering to pick up his large travelling bag on the way out. Walking downstairs, he walked through the door in front of him, exiting the house. Slamming the door, but forgetting to lock it, Ryouga ran down the street, screaming in rage, "RANMA!!!" this time, a few more people stopped to stare, but most of them just got out of his way and continued with their lives.

Hours later, he stopped, his rage mostly gone. He looked around himself and sighed, 'Man, I'd kinda wanted to take a bath before getting lost... oh well.' He thought as he wandered in another random direction, looking for a hot spring this time, 'Ranma... this is your fault.'

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Not too far from where Ryouga wandered, a man stood looking around at his surroundings. He sighed and continued walking towards the city, brushing near black hair out of his eyes as he stared at a map. After a long minute, he threw the map into the oversized bag on his back and continued to walk.

"Defective thing," was all he said as he slowly made his way into the city.

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tbc

Well, I went through and reread the fic, having lost my train of thought when my computer broke, and wanting to update for all the people who keep asking me to. I realized that I had a lot of stylistic errors, and that I'd spelt the word prologue incorrectly. So, it's still got some troubles, but hopefully it's a bit more coherent now. Please review, and thank you to all who have reviewed this series, I'll try to write more soon.