Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters are property of Rumiko Takahashi. This story is for the free use and enjoyment of those who read it.
By Michael Fetter
I've been your mother.
I've been your father.
Who could ask me for more?
I've been your sister.
I've been your mistress.
Maybe I was your whore.
Who could ask me for more?
The whole family was here; the one's that mattered to her anymore.
Their home sat on top of a restaurant like the one Ukyou had in Nerima. It was bigger to make space for Hiro, Kiima, and a spare used by Ryouga when he found his way to the restaurant. Konatsu had moved out after Keiko and Ukyou returned together from China. The kunoichi still worked at the restaurant and had become part of the family, though he didn't sleep over as often. Nabiki helped them find a contractor at a good price to build the new dojo in the backyard. It all cost a pretty penny, but the sale of the Tendou home in Nerima and Soun's life insurance, bequeathed to Keiko, left them with some money to spare.
It's been two weeks since they moved into their new home and the restaurant was almost ready for its grand opening. Ukyou and Keiko had been married for almost four months and everyone had fairly well settled into the new situation. The marriage license was easy since Ukyou had registered herself as a man since she was seven.
Things were looking brighter every day now. Ukyou complained occasionally about everyone calling him Otoosan, but Keiko only smiled and told him he would get used to it. Though, it was a riot when the family called Ukyou that in her uncursed form. People gave them strange looks on those occasions.
Keiko walked out of the bathroom after washing out her mouth. She could still taste the mint where she swished and gurgled.
Keeping her body in perfect posture, Keiko headed into the room she shared with Ukyou and grabbed the katana off of the bookcase.
She still wore her nice kimonos around the house. After her last marriage they were just comfortable for the protective reservation they implied. It was only a cover though. Ukyou could testify how unreserved Keiko could be now – many sleepless nights.
Keiko waited until she could keep herself from smiling before leaving the bedroom. The katana was like an old friend, the familiar textures rubbing against her palm, years of use having molded the grip to the contours of her hand.
She found them in the front area of the downstairs restaurant. Hiro and Kasumi's twins were sharing a generous bowl of ice cream her mother must have scooped out. Nodoka sat with the kids, smiling and talking to them about the little things they enjoyed doing. Sometimes it was hard to watch; Nodoka was never so open or warm with Keiko, but they expressed their love in a subtler fashion. Not much more can be expected since Keiko received her sense of duty from her mother.
For a time, Keiko had almost dared to hope her father would be returning with them to Japan. It was during the first week of her recovery after having Perfume remove the broken rib that she learned how things had ended between her parents.
After the meeting near Jusenkyou, Genma's shame had returned and he could not face his 'once son' or wife again. Nodoka must have expected this because she carried her katana around now more as wishful thinking. Keiko had heard her mutter more than once how she wished she'd taken the initiative way back when. Still, the Saotome clan would one-day die with the fat recluse living in the forests of Quinghai.
Whispering privately with soft touches, Ryouga kept an arm around Kiima's shoulders. It wasn't often that Ryouga made it to the house, his sense of direction as bad as it had ever been, so they made the most of it when they could.
Many things had changed for Keiko in China. From being a cursed widow, she became ambassador to Musk, Phoenix, and Japan. As a blood sister to Cologne, Keiko was recognized as an Honored Amazon, which may have led to a position amongst the Council if she'd chosen to stay. Instead, she returned with her family to Japan, the home Ukyou and she had purchased became a haven for those allied tribes who wished to journey to Japan. Blush and Shampoo had already visited. At the moment, Kiima was living in the guestroom. Keiko wasn't sure if the Phoenix woman's stay would be more permanent or not. Kiima had lived with them for almost a month now and had been treated by Nabiki and Kasumi as a sister. Where all of this may eventually lead, Keiko and the rest would have to wait and see.
Nabiki sat in the second booth with a paper open to the stock pages. She tapped the keyboard of her laptop to make whatever changes she needed to her mutual fund operation she was heading.
Keiko only gave her a glance as she walked by. There was no animosity between the two of them for what had happened in the past. Ranma was still a sensitive subject, but Keiko wouldn't allow anyone to speculate on what might have happened. The past would stay in the past. There was a family Keiko cared for and she would fight to keep it. So talk with Nabiki was often over the contractor, restaurant finances, or her new secretary, a man named Sean Nevers from America. The last Keiko would use to fluster her middle daughter and watch the spreading blush.
A flash of light reflecting off the hilt of Keiko's katana distracted Nabiki long enough to catch the redhead walking by her booth. She had to blink a few times before the whole image registered in her mind. Swallowing hard, Nabiki followed Keiko's path through the seating area, biting her lip.
Toufuu and Kasumi stopped talking to Ukyou as Keiko approached. Having known Ranma while she was married to Soun, they too knew how to interpret her mood. Unknown to anyone, Kasumi made Keiko feel awkward at times. The girl had gone from raising one family to another, and without raising an argument. It made Ranma look like a child, complaining that things weren't going her way rather than making the most of it.
Keiko had plenty of reasons to hate her daughters' father, but in the end she knew many of his problems later in life were indirectly her fault. The entire time they were together, Ranma had declined to give him even the slightest hint of a smile. From going to losing a love to not being loved at all, no one would go unaffected.
She felt similarly for Toufuu. After all her pain, Keiko watched the two marry and thought 'how dare someone else find happiness'. Her thoughts, sometimes interpreted through anger, led her to believe that she would've been happier to marry Toufuu as well. That wasn't likely to be true. Ranma was a cursed man and he would have hated any man he married.
It was a sad day when Ranma realized he would never be happy again if he remained a man. Keiko was in the making ever since the first bottle of sake was drained in the Tendou home.
Keiko now stood before her husband, her face an emotionless mask to fend off any of the emotional attacks another man would have used. Ukyou was no exception, Keiko discovered. The okonomiyaki chef learned to mimic men very well during her childhood, too well. She saw it on their first night together, when someone asked Keiko to dance on one of their dates, and when a passerby asked if he was any good at making okonomiyaki. Prideful. Ukyou was also learning the joys of being male in bed. He kept Keiko teetering on the edge for hours on occasion (being half woman gave Ukyou the good grasp of foreplay).
Firming her jaw, Keiko glared at Ukyou until he was blinking out the sweat rolling into his eyes.
Running a finger through his collar, Ukyou looked between the angry Keiko and her katana. "Is s-something wrong, Keichan?"
Keichan. Ukyou used that when he was trying to be affectionate, it usually softened Keiko up. There was no such result this time. Instead, Keiko reached up with her free left hand and grabbed Ukyou by the lapels, dragging him down to her eye level, not very far in his male form.
"Kounji Ukyou." Keiko growled, bringing her face within an inch of his.
Ukyou was frantically looking for a way to escape his situation, eyes darting about the area and a hand coming up to grab Keiko's steel grip. All he saw were nervous looks on the various people around the room. He still seemed reluctant to call them all his family since most were older than he was and they were supposed to be his children.
His eyes returned to the angry redhead. Even with her mouth pressed in a line and her eyes piercing him with daggers, Keiko looked too beautiful to resist. Closing his eyes, Ukyou prayed that this would work. "I'm really sorry, Keichan."
No one was sure what to expect. The katana was easily available to Keiko for lobbing off her husband's head. Yelling could be an even worse option, especially when it was Keiko yelling. She could even use her ki-reinforced strength to toss Ukyou across the room. Knowing all these possibilities and more, the room cringed even before Keiko acted.
It happened so suddenly, Ukyou almost jumped out of his skin. Keiko pulled him in close enough that she was pressing their lips together hard to give her tongue access to his. The passion behind those lips became so strong Ukyou barely registered the clatter of Keiko's katana on the ground. Her hands finally came up to hold his head in place while she drank in the kiss for as long as she could.
When it was finally over, a dazed Ukyou discovered himself to be kneeling on the floor, his legs having gone weak long ago. Others were looking equally bewildered, still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Ukyou blinked then looked up to his wife. "Keiko?"
Her face returned to the hard mask from before as she considered her kneeling husband. "This is the last time." She replied in all seriousness.
"What?" He was really worried now.
Crossing her hands over her chest, Keiko closed her eyes to speak her piece, making it look all the more commanding. The katana lying on the ground still hadn't quite registered in Ukyou's brain. "If you want any more children then you're going to have them yourself. Two is enough for me."
There was a stunned silence while everyone let their minds process what had been said. When they figured it out, they turned back to see Okaasan, smirking with a devilish glint. The room exploded in noise as people congratulated Ukyou and Keiko, proclaimed this was cause for celebration, and offered the expecting mother hugs.
Keiko only looked at Nabiki oddly when she asked how this could have happened.
Hiro, at Nabiki's side now, grabbed her hand to get her attention. "I know. It's got something to do with all that pounding in Okaasan's room late at night. I don't think they're repairing the walls at all."
Most of the room broke out laughing with Hiro's explanation; Nabiki and Keiko were the only ones to blush.
"Well, come on, Ukyou. Say something." Nodoka urged with a poke.
With all of the commotion, Keiko hadn't even realized Ukyou was still on the floor, a shocked expression on his face. "Ucchan? You're not upset are you?" she asked with a little worry in her voice.
"Upset?" Ukyou still looked a bit lost as he gazed at Keiko. "I'm going to be a mother."
Keiko covered her mouth to hide the giggle. Placing a hand on Ukyou's shoulder, she leaned down to kissed him briefly. "I think you mean father."
Keiko nodded, grinning widely.
"I'M GOING TO BE A FATHER!" Ukyou cheered, grabbing Keiko by the waist and swinging her through the air.
Laughing, Keiko held him about the neck, their lips meeting as Ukyou began to wind down.
"See Nabiki." Kasumi cut into the quiet. "I told you Okaasan wasn't sleeping with Otoosan as a woman all the time."
Scrunching up her face, Nabiki reached into her purse and handed over a small wad of yen to her older sister. "Yeah-yeah. Aren't you smart." Her voice dripped with sarcasm.
"Nabiki!" Okaasan made herself look scandalized, though she was used to this behavior from her middle daughter. "You were betting over that?!"
"Only a little." Nabiki admitted sheepishly.
"Ahem." Ryouga and Kiima held out their hands, palm up.
Nabiki scowled and dug back into her purse.
Another small cough broke the room and Nodoka smiled expectantly at Nabiki.
"You're really losing your touch, Nabiki-chan." Looking more disgusted than she was, Keiko grabbed Ukyou about the waist and stuck out her tongue at everyone else. "C'mon Ucchan. You're taking me out on a date while these perverts settle their bets."
"Have fun on your date, Okaasan." Kasumi beamed at the redhead then gathered up her children to leave.
"Are you going, Kasumi-chan?" Keiko asked.
Kasumi nodded. Toufuu helped her put on a long blue jacket. "The kids have school tomorrow so we need to be heading out. Congratulations, Okaasan." There was a quick round of the twins kissing Grandma Keiko then grabbing their jackets. Toufuu kissed Keiko's cheek and followed his family out the door, waving to the rest of them.
Nabiki stood up next, stuffing her newspaper into the same bag as her laptop. "I'm off too. Office can't run itself for much more than a week without me checking in. Congratulations, Okaasan, Otoosan." Nabiki kissed both stepparents on the cheek before leaving.
"Say 'hi' to Sean for me, Nabiki-chan!" Keiko called out after her. "Well, I guess that leaves Ryouga and Kiima."
"Uhm, sorry, Kuonji-san." Ryouga apologized as he fit Kiima with her black leather jacket.
"We were going to go out tonight also." Kiima explained, rolling the ball of her foot along the ground.
Nonplussed, Keiko nodded and kissed her adopted daughter goodnight since they weren't likely to be back until very late. "Isn't that just like kids. One minute they're coming to you for help and the next they're heading out on their own."
Ukyou looked flatly at the chuckling redhead.
Her smile faded slightly as Keiko turned to her last alternative. "Well, mom. Do you have some hot date to go out on tonight too?"
"Nothing I couldn't break for my grandson." Nodoka smiled then grabbed her daughter in a tender hug. "I'm glad to see you smile again Keiko. A wife has many duties, but raising a family shouldn't feel like one of them."
Keiko returned the hug and held on for a few extra moments, feeling more complete with the contact. "Thank you, mom."
Nodoka nodded and reluctantly released her daughter. "Have a nice time, dear."
"I'll make sure of it." Ukyou grinned, putting an arm around Keiko's shoulders as they left.
Alone in the restaurant, Nodoka smiled conspiratorially at Hiro, who smiled back. Together, they both headed for the back of the kitchen where they would find the freezers.
"And don't spoil Hiro too much while I'm gone!" Keiko's voice caught them before Nodoka could open the kitchen door.
Sighing, Nodoka looked back at Hiro. "I thought for sure she wouldn't remember after buttering her up this time."
* * *
Permanent physical damage:
Kounji Keiko (rib)
Kuno Kodachi (sliced body)
Kounji Ukyou (nannichuan)
Kounji Keiko (permanent nyanichuan)
Kiima (Spring of Drowned Akane)
Hiro (son of Ranma and Soun Tendou)
Kei and Yuri (twin daughters of Kasumi and Toufuu Ono)
Blush (adopted daughter of Shampoo)
Gloss (new born daughter of Shampoo and Mousse)
Sean Nevers ('secretary' to Tendou Nabiki)
Soap (great granddaughter of Lotion)
Kounji Ukyou and Keiko(formerly Tendou Ranma)
Ono Toufuu and Kasumi
Mousse and Shampoo
Tendou Abortion Attack (small ball of ki
that can penetrate the body without causing damage
and explode within. Developed by Tendou Ranma.)
Light Show (will control exercise
To develop skill over Subtler aspects of ki.
Capable of creating images. Also used to block Herbs attack
By exerting stronger will over ki.)
Berserker (Akane's insanity ki technique.)
New family tree:
Nodoka -(divorced Genma)
(Ukyou – Keiko) – Soun*) - Kumiko*)))
Hiro - (Toufu – Kasumi) – Nabiki - Akane
Kei – Yuri
(Mousse – Shampoo)**
Blush – Gloss
**(Keiko was taken in as blood sister to Cologne.)
This means Nodoka is a great great greatgrandmother to Blush and Gloss!! Poor Hiro is already a great great uncle or something like that to Blush and Gloss!!!
* * *
I felt this ending left me enough room and interest to begin another mystery with the altered characters. I'll leave that decision up to you, dear reader. Wouldn't you like to find out just how Kiima got together with Ryouga? See what happens to Keiko and her many children and grandchildren? What possibly more twisted plot I could use for my next mystery? Or maybe you just want me to stop asking all these questions?!
With this story done, all I have left to finish are More Than Half, Juuban Incident, Kitten or Cat, Hip-Hop Streets, . . . the list goes on, oh my!
Let me know what you thought about my first dark/mystery fanfic by sending C&C to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit my website: www.geocities.com/jehtek/