Half a Y
Warning: this has a high body count. Very high. Includes lots of dying. If you don't like people dying, then… WHY THE HELL ARE YOU READING A RANMA/Y THE LAST MAN CROSSOVER?! Idiots I tell you. They are idiots Telinú.
Caution: by reading this story, you admit that this is illegal. You know that, right? Because if I'm going down, I'm taking you with me! Especially since Noy is hiding and Telinú would probably love that.
Winner: this is, for most people killed in a Noy Telinú fanfic so far. That's a lot of people.
Alert: if you are squeamish of blood, gore, or you favorite characters dying, then don't read. Because there is tons of that.
Seriously: why can't I find another Ranma/Y the last man crossover? Why? Y?
Attention: the characters from Y the last man won't show up for a while… so… yeah… that part of the story isn't touched with for 3 years so… by default. You know? Yep.
You have been warned….
Prologue: Worst timing or best timing?
Ranma Saotome was running towards the pot of liberation that was just up the mountain. She was followed by Ryoga and Mousse, both animals at the moment due to splashing themselves with the pail of preservation.
Herb and her two Musk minions were already there, the formerly half dragon already walking into the water that would restore her.
However, at that moment, when the human girl was transformed back into a half dragon, disaster struck.
*COUGH* Herb's minions who were human/mammalian animal hybrids coughed up blood as they suddenly and painfully died.
Not that far away, a small, black pig was suffering the same fate.
"Ryoga?" Ranma picked up the cursed piglet that had stopped and was spewing blood from his mouth. "What's wrong?"
Ryoga responded by coughing up more blood before finally ceasing to struggle, eyes closing as the piglet's heart stopped.
A moment passed without any movement.
"Ryoga?" Ranma couldn't believe her eyes. "Ryoga!"
The piglet didn't respond.
Ranma felt for a pulse and found none.
"Quack!" Mousse had pulled out medical supplies from under his wings.
"I… don't think that'll do any good." Ranma's head dropped. "He's dead."
"Quakk! Quakk!" Mousse voiced his opinion.
"How… how can this happen?" Ranma tried to figure out why her rival just dropped dead. "Why?"
Tears fell from her eyes. "You can't just die like this!" Ranma screamed. "Not when we're so close!"
Ryoga didn't move.
"Ryoga…" She called out weakly.
"Quack." Mousse wished he could talk.
A moment of silence passed between them.
"How? How can this happen? He… he just… died…" Tears flowed down the girl's cheeks.
"I won't let you die in vain, little buddy… I won't."
"Quack!" Mousse pointed over to the woods.
"Mousse? What… oh…" Ranma saw where the duck was pointing, finding numerous monkeys laid out… dead.
Ranma ran up the mountain as fast as she could, Ryoga in her arms.
Mousse followed, flying behind her.
What greeted Ranma at the top of the mountain was Herb in all HIS glory kneeling over his henchmen, both of whom had blood coming out of their mouths.
He held the kettle-like pot Ranma and Mousse were searching for.
"Very peculiar… Didn't think it would happen this year…" Herb thought aloud.
"Alright, Herb, I've come to reclaim my manhood!" Ranma growled.
Herb turned to face the voice and smiled. "Go ahead, I won't stop you. Here, be a man one last time."
The Musk prince threw the pot at Ranma, who caught it easily.
"Want a fair fight then, huh?" Ranma smirked. "Big mistake."
The redhead girl lifted the pot up to pour over herself, but stopped.
'He's grinning… waiting for me to do this… He's hiding something…' Ranma lowered the pot. "It's a trap, isn't it, Herb!?"
Herb laughed. "In a way… But I have no time for foolishness. My men must be taken back to China with me. I wish for them to be given a proper burial for the end of the world."
Mousse quacked, trying to get the pot.
Ranma's eyes narrowed. "Is that supposed to scare me or something?"
Herb picked up the late Mint and Lime and slung their remains onto his shoulders. "No, but a warning. My people spoke of the end times, when women will take over the world by killing all the men. Only a dragon-born would survive to ride out the chaos, bringing in a new era. It appears to have started. If you take a look around, you'll see. All male mammals are dead. And I can see no obvious cause."
The redhead raised an eyebrow. "You know this… how? WHO KILLED RYOGA?!"
Herb snorted. "They did. The females of your species killed your pig and my men. By what means I do not know; neither do I know how nor why it happened. Suddenly they dropped dead, blood seeping from their mouths. It would be a shame for you to die like that, but I am wasting time as it is. If you do survive by switching sides, I will find you and I will kill you. Farewell, Ranma Saotome. Choose wisely."
With that, Herb flew away under his own power.
"…" Ranma watched him go. "What the…?"
Mousse stopped trying to get the water and thought over what he had heard.
Suddenly, he pulled out a radio from his wings and turned it on.
It was static at first, but Mousse adjusted it until a scream was heard. "AHHHHHHH! IT'S EVERYWHERE! IT'S EVERYWHERE! THE BLOOD IS EVERYWHERE!"
Ranma placed down the pot and listened, eyes widening.
The radio scream continued. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE'S DEAD TOO?! OUT IN THE HALL? IT'S BLOOD! WHERE IS ANYONE IN CHARGE?"
Ranma started sweating. 'It can't be… It's just…'
Mousse changed the station. "Good morning. This is just in, the men are dead. All throughout the world, men and boys of all ages are dead. The limited communication has confirmed this. Do not panic. However, the men are dead. They are all… dead."
Ranma fell to her knees. 'No… this can't be happening… It can't!'
Station after station had women screaming or were off the air entirely. It eventually became too much and Mousse turned it off.
The young girl stared at Ryoga's pig body in her hands. Blood stains were still evident around the mouth and eyes.
Ranma looked over to the pot to her left. "It would be… suicide. Ryoga is dead… So is every guy I know… Pops… Mr. Tendo… Except you…"
"I don't know…" Ranma had tears running down her cheeks. "I need to see it… I… MOM!"
The girl jumped up. "If this is true, then… MOM WILL KILL HERSELF!"
Gathering everything and putting it in malletspace, Ranma ran down the mountain faster than she thought possible.
Back in the town at the foot of the mountains, Ranma ran down the street, noticing dead men everywhere with women and girls in a panic.
Seeing this only cemented Ranma's fears that this disaster was real.
She hurried down the path, hoping to get back to Tokyo soon.
Mousse was flying overhead, sounds of screaming women making him shiver.
'If I didn't listen to my gut… I would be dead too,' Mousse thought to himself, realizing how close he'd come to dying.
"Trains are closed!" a random woman shouted as the duo made their way towards the train station.
"Of course it is! They were all men who ran it!" another screamed.
"Mommy, I'm scared!" a little girl cried, clinging to her mother.
"Calm down! Just calm down!" a woman yelled.
Ranma gulped at hearing everything around her. 'Dead. Dead… They're all dead! Akane… sorry about that promise… I can't come back as a guy….'
Seven days later…
"Auntie!" Akane was surprised to see Nodoka. "Please, come in."
The Saotome matriarch wiped her face with her sleeve. "Hello, Akane. Where are they?"
Akane's face fell. "Mr. Saotome is in the dojo. And Dad… we… we put him next to Mom…"
"What about…" Nodoka sniffled, "my son?"
Akane tensed, fear gripping her all over again. "He was gone… at the time. I don't know…"
"… I see. And where are your sisters?"
"Nabiki is working on salvaging everything of value from what's left of Furinkan High after the plane crashed into it," Akane explained, lip quivering. "Kasumi is helping to collect and distribute all the food around… They should be back soon."
Nodoka nodded and treaded slowly towards the dojo.
"What of your cousin, Ranko?" Nodoka asked, cheeks damp once more.
Akane hesitated. "I… don't know."
"Very well…" Nodoka knelt in the middle of the dojo, Genma's remains in an urn in front of her. "I… I want to see my son again… I'll do anything…"
Akane's heart skipped a beat. "Auntie, no… No, don't do this, not HERE!"
Nodoka looked away. "Why not here? It was the last place he was at that we know… With the world seeming not to value manliness anymore… I don't know what to live for… Not even Ranko is here…"
Akane glomped Nodoka. "Please don't. Please, Auntie… We need you."
"I need to see him again, Akane. You are still young, I'm just an old woman who has lost the will to live. I need to see him…" Nodoka let a fresh stream of tears run down her face.
*Ding dong* The doorbell rang.
'I didn't know we had a doorbell,' Akane thought as she went to answer it. "Please don't do it, Auntie. Not yet…"
'Son… I shall see you soon,' Nodoka thought to herself as she brought out a tanto. 'I miss you… very much… If only… if only there was a way… If only… I'd do anything… just to see you once more. You must have been very manly.'
Akane's eyes widened as she saw a duck with glasses standing on the porch.
"Mousse?" she asked in disbelief.
'If he's here… Ranma!' Akane rushed back to the dojo.
Meanwhile, Ranma was walking into the dojo, having entered the property through the rear gate.
"Ranko!" Nodoka called out. "Please, can you help me?"
'Mom!' Ranma thought as she walked over to her mother. 'I'm not too late…'
"What do you want me to do?" Ranma asked as she knelt down before her mother.
"I want you to be my second… I always thought of you like the daughter I never had… Please… send me to my death so that I may see my son again," Nodoka cried.
"No! No!" Ranma shouted. "Don't do this!"
"I must… That's why I asked you… I don't think Akane could do this."
"No… No… before you do that, I… I need to show you something." Ranma pulled out the pail of preservation to get to the pot of liberation.
"Mom… I'm Ranma!" Ranma declared right before pouring the hot water over her head.
The hot water from the pot unlocked the curse, allowing Ranma to be male once more.
"DAHHHH!" He screamed in agony as blood spewed from his mouth and eyes. Clenching his chest, Ranma struggled to stay alive.
"Ranma!" Akane screamed as she ran into the dojo, witnessing him spasm on the floor.
"GRUNNKKK!" Ranma was dying fast, only his willpower allowing him to live thus far.
"Son?" Nodoka held Ranma in disbelief. "Ranma?"
Ranma nodded as he squirmed in his mother's lap, eyelids falling slowly.
"No! Ranma, you idiot!" Akane screamed as she cried uncontrollably, witnessing Ranma kill himself so that his mom could see him again.
"I love you, my son!" Nodoka cried, holding onto Ranma in his last moments.
Ranma smiled as his eyelids fell faster, happy to die with his mother's approval. He embraced the sweet stillness of death…
Ranma was soaked, female and unconscious… but alive.
Nodoka's looked upwards to see Akane holding the pail of preservation. "Akane?"
"I won't let him die…" Akane cried as she fell to her knees. "Please stay alive, Ranma… Please…."
Ranma was soon on a bedroll in the dojo, being cared for by Kasumi.
"Well?" Akane asked nervously as she and Nodoka waited for the verdict.
"Ranma is alive, that's all I am certain of," Kasumi announced. "I need medical equipment to know the damage internally."
Kasumi left to go get it.
Nodoka looked at Akane with pleading eyes. "Please… Please tell me that I didn't dream this… I… Is this…"
Akane tearfully explained Jusenkyo and the locking of Ranma's curse to Nodoka.
"So… that's the full story?" Nodoka asked after listening to the story of Jusenkyo.
"The entire time… Ranko was Ranma…" Nodoka wiped blood off of Ranma's face. "No wonder she acted like a man… I'm so proud…"
"I'm just glad he's alive," Akane stated, staring down at the sleeping girl.
"Yeah, only guy available. He better pull through," Nabiki commented as she walked into the Dojo. "Hey, Auntie."
"Nabiki!" Kasumi scolded as she rolled in some medical equipment. "Please… Now's not the time."
Nabiki brushed off the comment. "Somebody has to stay positive. Besides, I won the bet; he's alive. He's too stubborn to let a simple disease kill him."
"How?" Akane asked, trying to figure it out. "How did all the men die? And how did Ranma stay alive for so long?"
Nodoka brushed Ranma's check. "I don't know. I just don't know."
"Well… do we keep it a secret?" Nabiki asked. "If we let word out, everyone will be fighting over him."
Akane sighed. "The Amazons already know. Mousse is alive as a duck."
"Guess we're going to have to keep this small…" Nabiki rubbed her chin. "2000 yen says that Ukyo will show up soon and discover that Ranma is alive."
"My son is so manly… even as a girl." Nodoka smiled.
"Oh my! There is some sort of coffin in this backpack," Kasumi discovered as she nearly tripped over Ranma's pack. She pulled out a little wooden box that had the name 'P-chan' written on it.
Akane took it sadly. "You put him in a casket. Guess you do care after all… Excuse me…" she whispered, leaving the dojo.
"Kasumi, Nabiki… once my son is cured from this disease… I would like both of you to have his children, as well as Akane," Nodoka declared. "The fate of the species depends on it. Now… I believe you mentioned someone named Ukyo…"
That night, Nabiki quietly convinced Shampoo, Cologne, and Ukyo to come over.
Being a quiet part of Tokyo with minimal cars or trains, Nerima was, for the most part, undamaged. Its population, like the rest of the world, was about half as much as a week ago, but it was more of a ghost town rather than a post-apocalyptic world.
Most in the area kept indoors, mourning. But for the most part it looked unaffected—except for the power being inconsistent, that is.
With everyone in the dojo except for Ranma, who was sleeping on the second floor, a plan for the future was being discussed.
"Ranchan's alive?" Ukyo sniffled in disbelief.
Nabiki held out her hand. "Pay up."
Ukyo glared at her.
"Shampoo no doubt Ranma live," Shampoo stated arrogantly. "Too, too good to die like this."
Mousse, who was in a cage, quacked angrily.
"OK, why is Mousse in a cage?" Ukyo asked, curious. "Being the only other guy on Earth… even if he's stuck as a duck… doesn't mean you can lock him up."
Shampoo huffed. "Mousse deserve. Hitting on Shampoo and being touchy feely."
Mousse quacked to defend himself.
No one present cared, really, and the conversation continued.
"We can't let this get out," Nodoka spoke up. "We don't need harassment and hordes of women coming here. For all intents and purposes, Ranma Saotome is dead. Ranko Tendo, however, is alive."
"Ah, using an alias." Cologne smiled. "It's the smart thing to do."
Kasumi smiled as she held up a page of test results. "Good news on Ranko. She appears to have no significant organ damage. And with her healing abilities, I think she should be up and about by tomorrow morning."
"That's a relief," Ukyo sighed.
"So Shampoo call Ranma 'Ranko' now, yes?" Shampoo asked.
Nodoka nodded. Akane pouted.
"We do need to make his disguise better; the school knows what Ranko looks like," Nabiki voiced her concern. "I don't want to deal with that. It's bad enough with you guys."
"Oh, come on, who would believe that Ranma lived?" Akane threw her arms in the air.
Nabiki rolled her eyes. "Forget where we live? Seeing a redhead girl walk the streets will leave us swarmed with girls in no time."
Nodoka made a suggestion. "What if her hair were a different color? Ranko introduced herself to me as Akane's cousin. Having blue hair would make that a bit more believable."
Akane shrugged. "It could be a pain dying it again everyday. But I guess it seems reasonable."
Cologne mused. "I might have something among my things that could help."
Nodoka smiled. "Thank you. There is one more thing. Since we need Ranko to help keep humankind alive, I need everyone to cooperate in sharing my son."
Shampoo's eyes glimmered. "Really?"
Akane grumbled. Nabiki elbowed her in the ribs.
"Broadening the gene pool?" Cologne nodded. "While we will run into problems in the long term, it's for the best until science… or magic… can overcome this problem."
The old woman turned towards Shampoo. "This means that you all have to get along with each other. Ranko won't like this situation and it'll help if you can play nice."
Ukyo snorted. "You? Play nice? Yeah, right. Amazons don't ever play nice. How can I believe you now?"
*Bonk* Cologne removed her staff from Ukyo's head.
"I'm with Ukyo on this. Shampoo tried to kill me!" Akane narrowed her eyes, staring at Shampoo.
Shampoo just shrugged. "Law says Shampoo kill."
"There will be no killing each other," Nodoka put her foot down. "If you want to be with my son, then you all have to get along. There will be you five since you know him, and I consider you to be the best choices. However, I'm sure someone else could carry his child instead if you are unable…"
The threat was left hanging as the room was silenced.
After a few moments, Kasumi stood up. "Please excuse me; I have to check on Ranko."
With that she departed the dojo.
Everyone else sat silently until Cologne sighed. "I'll be sure my great-granddaughter behaves. The fate of the world is more important than that of the tribe. Come, Shampoo, we are leaving for now. Take care, daughter-in-laws and take care of your new daughter, Nodoka."
The Amazons then left.
"Auntie, it won't be enough to do it this way," Nabiki noted. "Ranma will need to spew out sperm like crazy and give it to strangers in order for the gene pool to have a shot."
Akane gasped. "Nabiki! That… that's!"
"Absolutely disgusting," Ukyo finished.
"What?" Nabiki shrugged. "Am I supposed to behave like a lady or something? I see no point, frankly. The truth of the matter is that we'll need more than us five."
Nodoka sighed. "Perhaps later. First, all of you need to get along… and then we find a cure to this disease. Besides, I want my grandchildren to have a loving family."
Ukyo stood, turned to Nodoka, and bowed. "I would be honored to be one of Ranma's wives, even if I do have to share. Don't worry about fighting; I get along with Akane well. I know he loves her and I won't make him miserable. I just want in. Thank you."
Bowing briefly once again, Ukyo left for her restaurant.
"I'm surprised you aren't denying it, sis," Nabiki observed.
The girl in question sighed, lowering her head. "I can't anymore. I thought he was dead. I promised myself that I wouldn't deny it any longer, that I'd do anything if he was still alive. I won't go back on it."
"That's wonderful." Nodoka hugged Akane. "You have really matured since I last saw you. I'm proud of you."
Nabiki lowered her head. "A week now. Already a week since the end of men."
Nodoka pulled Nabiki into the embrace. "I know… It's a day of remembrance. Tell me about your father…."
"Everything seems normal," Kasumi noted as she ran what tests she could on Ranma. "Even your eyes don't appear damaged."
Kasumi, feeling she had done all she was able, left the guest room where Ranma was sleeping.
A few moments passed with nothing happening.
*Crash* The window blew in.
Standing in the room was Kodachi, a deep, angry frown on her face.
"Pigtailed girl…" she spoke venomously, "I have found you at last. Now you will pay for killing my darling Ranma!"
With that, Kodachi took out a club from inside her cleavage and brought it down in a strike aimed at Ranma's head…
… That she dodged easily.
Kodachi fumed and struck again, only to be foiled once more.
Hit after hit was evaded unconsciously on Ranma's part.
Kodachi growled. "DIE, DAMN YOU!"
But it was no use; Ranma kept moving her head left and right out of the way of the club.
Frustrated, Kodachi straddled Ranma and leaned down to her face. "This is for Ranma, you heartless monster!"
Kodachi pulled out another club and swung them towards each side of Ranma's head.
*Clank* The two clubs hit each other instead.
It was because there was no head there to hit. Ranma's head instead moved upwards… right into Kodachi's.
*Bang* The duo hit heads violently.
"OW, ow, ow, ow AHHH!" Kodach screamed as she fell to the floor and rolled in pain. "BLAST IT! WHAT IS YOUR HEAD MADE OF!?"
This woke Ranma up.
"What's going on?" the redhead asked, rubbing her eye. "Oh, hey, Kodachi… Wait… KODACHI?"
Ranma was fully awake now and she narrowed her eyes. "What are YOU doing here… huh? What am I doing here? This is my room… Funny afterlife…"
Kodachi seethed. "You'll wish you were there after I'm done with you!"
"Weird…" Ranma looked around and felt something off. 'No… I'M A GIRL? GAH! That means… I'm still alive… but a girl… Who hit me with water? Just my luck.'
The pigtailed girl grumbled and stood up.
Kodachi got to her feet as well. "STOP! You WILL pay for your crimes!"
Ranma blinked. "What stupid nonsense are you talking about NOW?"
"You killed all the men in the world, pigtailed girl!" Kodacchi accused. "Including my darling Ranma!"
Ranma facepalmed. "I am… Oh, forget it. I'm leaving now."
Kodachi pulled out her ribbon and lassoed it towards Ranma, who easily caught it.
"Look, you won't have to deal with me anymore in a minute ever again, so… bye." Ranma tossed her out the window.
In the room, Ranma found a teakettle with fresh tea.
With a shrug, the redhead dumped it over herself…
"Hot!" Ranma exclaimed.
… And stayed female.
'What? It's locked again? But how? I left the pail…' Ranma's eyes widened. 'In the dojo… That's how I ended up as a girl. Mom must have used it on me when I was bleeding.'
This got Ranma to think about what this meant.
'I am still alive… Mom HAS to know by now… The sun is down… yet I'm still breathing. Why am I not dead? Mom can't think this is manly at all… Is it because I have to commit seppuku? I don't get it…" Ranma thought as she walked down the stairs.
Suddenly, Kodachi came charging towards her.
"DIE!" the rich girl yelled as she attacked Ranma.
Her target easily dodged her.
That's when Akane came along. "What's all the racket- Ranma! You're awake!"
"WHAT?" Kodachi looked around frantically. "WHERE? No… He isn't… YOU MOCK MY PAIN, TENDO GIRL!?"
Akane facepalmed as Ranma blindsided Kodachi.
"Man, you're an idiot," Ranma observed.
Akane took a deep breath. "Kodachi… Ranma is dead… I admit it…"
A giant question mark appeared over Ranma's head.
"My cousin… RANKO here sometimes is called Ranma due to being… similar," Akane explained.
Ranma rolled her eyes. "Mom knows, Akane. Jeez."
Akane glared at Ranma. "But Kodachi, RANKO hasn't done anything wrong."
"LIAR!" Kodachi interrupted. "She killed my RANMA!"
Ranma sighed. "I didn't! Will you get it through to your GIANT HEAD!?"
Nodoka at that moment came into the area. "Ra-Ranko… You're up!"
Ranma turned and stared at her mother. "M-Mom?"
Kodachi took this distraction to elbow Ranma in the ribs.
"HEY!" Akane angrily leapt into action as Ranma fell to the floor in pain.
The blue-haired girl rammed Kodachi into the wall.
"Ranko?" Nodoka got to Ranma's side. "Are you alright?"
Ranma nodded, biting her lip. "It's just tender… It hurts WAY more than normal… Ow… Must be the blood loss…"
Akane growled at Kodachi. "Don't touch her! Don't you EVER TOUCH HER!"
Kodachi narrowed her eyes. "You, peasant, have no authority over me, the Black Rose!"
"Mom…" Ranma swallowed. "Why am I still alive?"
Nodoka embraced her child. "Akane saved you… You… you were so manly at that moment… I'm so proud of you…"
Ranma's eyes widened. "What? I… WHAT?"
"You are a man, my son," Nodoka whispered into Ranma's ear.
"Really?" Ranma asked in disbelief.
Akane twisted Kodachi's arm. "Try me!"
Nodoka nodded. "When this disease is cured, you will be the father of many children… You have been a far greater man than I ever hoped for. You have fulfilled your promise, my son."
Kodachi squirmed as Akane hurt her.
"Now, we have to say Ranma is dead to keep a low profile, Ranko," Nodoka explained.
Ranma blinked. "What? No… I… Mom… Hold on…"
The pigtailed girl stood up, idea in her head.
"Kodachi," Ranma spoke loudly.
The rich girl looked at her.
"Ranma isn't dead," the redhead said with a smirk.
"LIAR!" Kodachi roared.
Ranma stepped forward. "He isn't. I've saved him in… another dimension. I put him there until this plague passes. And I'm the only one who knows how to bring him back."
Akane rolled her eyes.
"You kill me, and he is trapped there… forever." Ranma smirked wider.
Nodoka tilted her head in befuddlement.
Kodachi furrowed her brow and considered what she'd been told.
A few silent moments passed.
Akane sighed. "Ranko, that's…"
"Of course!" Kodachi interrupted. "Why would the pigtailed girl kill Ranma? She is obviously attracted to him. Given your power, sending him to a safe place should be easy…"
Ranma blinked. 'Can't believe that worked.'
"So that's how it is, then?" Kodachi scowled. "Fine. I shall be civil to you, pigtailed girl. I won't harm you again. Now, get your cousin to let me go."
Akane dropped her. "You remember THAT but not her name?"
Kodachi dusted herself off. "… Who are we talking about?"
With that, Kodachi left.
"…" All three females stared in disbelief.
Nabiki, who cried herself to sleep earlier in the dojo (not that she'd tell anyone that), stirred when she heard shouts from inside the house.
'Wow, my bed has gotten hard,' Nabiki noted. 'It feels like wood.'
"No, I won't pretend I'm dead! I'm sick of pretending to be someone I'm not!" Ranma argued against her mother.
'Can't they keep it down? I'm trying to sleep here,' Nabiki complained in her mind.
"But Ranma, it's too dangerous!" Akane warned worriedly. "Being the only male in the world can put you in very real danger!"
Ranma scoffed. "Danger? Hah! I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger, HAHAHAHA! Besides, who can be a danger to me? The freak is dead. Pantyhose Taro? He's dead. Heck, even Kuno is dead… They're all dead…"
Nabiki could FEEL Ranma's mood swiftly change from arrogance to depression.
"They're all dead… and YOU want me to impregnate EVERYONE!" Ranma yelled.
Nodoka defended herself. "I don't ask you to do that, son. Just… just those to whom you're engaged. It's honorable."
Nabiki rolled her eyes while keeping them closed. 'Hitting him with the honor card. Like that doesn't have horrible side effects.'
They were quiet for a while.
"Still…" Ranma spoke up. "It won't matter if I'm going to die as soon as I'm a guy. That sucks."
Nabiki heard footsteps going up the stairs getting softer and softer with each step.
'Wait a minute…' Nabiki opened her eyes to see the dojo. "Great…"
Nabiki irritably got up and left the dojo.
"I don't know what to do, Akane," Nodoka spoke her concerns. "I don't want to lose my son again…"
"Auntie…" Akane responded, "Ranma is stubborn, but… he's great at not dying. I have faith that he won't do anything… stupid."
"Fat chance of that happening," Nabiki threw in her thoughts as she walked by. "'Stupid' is Ranma's middle name."
"Nabiki!" Akane fumed.
"Argue tomorrow. I'm tired. Goodnight," Nabiki stated as she walked to her room.
"It is late, Akane… We can figure this out tomorrow," Nodoka concurred.
Akane reluctantly agreed and went to bed as well.
"Mom?" Ranma asked as she and her mother got into their futons. "Why didn't you kill me?"
Nodoka gasped. "Why would I do that?"
"LOOK AT ME!" Ranma shouted. "How is this manly?"
"Ranma, it's not what you think…" Nodoka started.
"Am I only alive because I'm the last guy?" Ranma accused. "Well, I'm NOT. Mousse is alive. I don't get this at all!"
Nodoka remained calm. "Ranma, why would I make you commit seppuku for fulfilling your pledge?"
"HOW?" Ranma asked. "How is it manly to hide as a girl when the guys are dead? How is it manly to be THIS!? I'm thinking the only reason you're saying it was 'fulfilled' is to make me a breeding stock. If I showed you the curse under different circumstances, I would be DEAD."
"Ranma, you can't mean that…" Nodoka tried to calm her son.
"Tell me." Ranma stared at her mother. "Would I have to commit seppuku if it was a different situation?"
Nodoka squirmed internally. "That's not something easily answered…"
"I would, wouldn't I?" Ranma cried. "If I showed you when we met I would be dead."
Nodoka frowned. "Ranma…"
"Why?" Ranma stared at her chest. "Why did I get this curse? There were hundreds of springs at Jusenkyo… I could even have gotten out of there as me. Then I could have seen you. We could have been a complete family for a month… Then I would be dead, leaving you alone…"
Nodoka closed her eyes.
"I would be dead… along with all the other guys… All the other guys… Pops… Ryoga… Mr. Tendo… Why do I get to be alive and not them? Why make me live by being a girl instead of… me? I don't deserve it." Tears came down Ranma's face. "Now I'm crying as a girl…"
Nodoka held her child. "There, there, my child, no need to fret."
"Yes, there is…" Ranma disagreed. "Just tell me the truth. If I showed you on the day we met, you would have felt I was unmanly… right?"
Her mother was about to deny it. But looking into her child's face, a face that was pleading for the truth, she realized that her child's heart was so fragile in that moment that if she were told a lie and found out the truth later, it would destroy their relationship. "I… would likely have called on you to fulfill the pledge… But Ranma, that's only if I didn't learn all you'd been through. Please try to understand, my darling, it was a matter of honor… I have always and will always love you… no matter what you do. The contract was an extension of my love. I never WANTED to kill you. I just felt that if it were for the best, I would do my duty."
Ranma fell into her mother's chest. "Thank you for telling me the truth, Mom… I… I'm still trying to get this to sink in… Being a guy in a girl's body after the men die off. Do you know why I showed you? I wanted us to be mother and son together for one more time before I died. I wanted to be a family again. I love you, Mom. It's why I tried to spend so much time with you as Ranko… You… you were so sad about not being able to see me… I just wanted to be with you… no matter what I had to do. But now that we can be with each other, I'm stuck as a girl… I'm sorry, Mom."
A tear fell down Nodoka's cheek. "Don't be sorry. If I didn't give in to your father's demand… If I resisted the temptation of honor… you wouldn't have needed to hide from me in the first place. We will get through this, and you will be my son physically again… I promise."
Ranma smiled at that.
Author's notes: wow… that is crazy. Dark and messy… what will happen next? I don't know, I'm the Text. But Noy HAS written a quarter of a million words now for this site. Wow. If there is a day tomorrow, this story will continue. If not, well, it was a nice life, people. Goodbye!