Ranma 1/2 and crew belong to the Rumiko Takahashi. I'm using her
characters in order to tell a story.
Akane Tendo woke up with a scream that startled all that were present
in the house of Nodoka Saotome. In an instant, the mother of the Saotome
twins rushed into the guestroom to see if Akane was all right. Behind her,
Shampoo's great-grandmother hopped inside a moment later. Both women
were wearing looks of concern as they leaned over the bed and took the
sobbing girl in their arms, trying to soothe her agitation. Akane cried
uncontrollably as she began reliving the terror and horrible torture that
she had received at the hands of the Dark World demons.
"MAKE IT STOP! OH PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!" Akane shrieked as
she gripped Nodoka and Cologne with a viselike grip that would make
Shampoo's Amazon glomp seem like a light embrace.
In the living room, Ranma Red, Ranma Blue, Ukyo and Shampoo
looked in the direction of the screams and the voices of the two women
as they tried to calm her down.
"Whoa! Soren and Taron weren't kidding when they said that Akane
would have some real painful memories!" Ranma Red remarked as he
looked at the adjoining door with sympathy.
"I'd feel the same way if I almost had my soul torn apart." Ranma
Blue added. "Come to think of it, we almost did."
"Ran-chan. You mean that story about Akane really dying is true?
You went into the Kami Plane to get her back?" Ukyo said with a
slightly fearful voice.
Ranma Blue looked at his fiancée and slowly nodded. "We had to. It
was because of us that she committed suicide. If we hadn't gotten to her
Ukyo began to have fears that she might lose her future husband to
Akane again. Shampoo also began thinking the same thoughts. Both
twins noticed their expressions and decided to put their fears to rest.
"Ucchan. The reason why we risked our lives for her is because she's
"That's right. No matter what she's done to us in the past, we couldn't
just stand by and let her slip away like that." Ranma Red said. "Right
now, she needs our support, more than ever."
"We really made a mess about the whole fiancée business and our
biggest mistake was not talking to Akane about all this sooner!"
"We love Akane, but it's not the same kind of love as we have for you
two. More like a sister and her brothers. It wouldn't be right to just
leave her like that without at least saying goodbye. After all that we've
been through with her, she deserves that much. We have to get her to
understand that it won't work. Neither of us can marry her. We love you
two! But we don't want to leave her like this either! We went through a
lot to get her back! We wouldn't want her to kill herself all over again."
Both girls relaxed a bit when they heard their words of reassurance.
They each gave their beaus a kiss, then took a deep breath and looked
into their eyes. After a long silence, Ukyo decided to speak. "Go to her
Ran-chan. She needs you both."
"Shampoo understand. No want Akane to like this."
Both brothers looked at their fiancées with small smiles, then turned
towards the guestroom, just as Cologne hopped into the living room.
"Ah son-in-law! I assume that you and your brother wish to have a
word with Akane?"
"It's a discussion that has been long overdue." Ranma Red replied as
he and his other half nodded. "Is mother still there with her?"
"Yes. She finally managed to calm her down. Although I had to use
several pressure points in order to relieve some of her convulsions. I
was just going to the kitchen for some water to help in easing her back
"Convulsions?" Ranma Red asked concerned.
"Yes." Cologne's expression took on a very serious look. "Whatever
she experienced in the Kami Plane has caused extensive damage to her
psyche. I fear that Miss Tendo will have a long and difficult road to
"If you would wait for a little while Cologne." Ranma Blue said. "My
brother and I need a bit of privacy with her."
"Very well. I will wait here with the girls. Please call me immediately
if you need any assistance with her."
The boys nodded as they headed into the guestroom. They saw their
mother sitting on the bed, cradling a whimpering Akane. She looked up
and saw her sons standing next to the bed. Their expressions were a
mixture of sadness, sympathy and a bit of apprehension as they gazed
upon the trembling Tendo girl.
"Mom…" Ranma Red began.
Nodoka held a hand and said in a gentle voice, "You don't have to tell
me. I knew that the two of you would need to speak with her sooner of
later." Looking down at Akane, she quietly whispered, "Akane-chan. My
sons would like to talk with you. Will you be all right?"
Akane gazed up at the two Ranmas standing in front of her then
turned her head to their mother. With a little sniffle, she nodded.
Nodoka gave her a gentle hug. She then stood up and left the room,
quietly closing the door behind her.
As soon as they were alone, Ranma Red brought his hands together
as if he was praying. His aura glowed briefly as he uttered a single word.
"Akane looked at him strangely and asked, "W-What was that?"
Ranma Red shrugged and replied, "Just a simple spell of silence. I
wouldn't be surprised if Ukyo, Shampoo, Cologne and Mom were
leaning with their ears against the door right now. I mean, that sort of
thing always happened at the dojo, right?"
The twins gave her a playful smile and gave a little laugh. Akane
couldn't help but laugh with them. Her smile warmed their hearts. Each
Saotome walked to the opposite sides of the bed and sat down next to her.
"So how do you feel?" Inquired the blue-shirted Ranma.
Akane let out a tired sigh and her expression became slightly fearful
as she remembered what Arcodos and Zuruka had done to her. She
shuddered at the memories. "It was the most horrible thing that I ever
went through. I… I… can't get them out of my mind! Every time that I
close my eyes, I see them tearing my soul apart and laughing! Even
when I'm awake, I can still feel them as they ripped me apart!" As her
shivering became worse, Ranma Red reached out with a glowing hand
and placed it on her shoulder.
Instantly, the shivering stopped. Akane gave Ranma Red a half-smile,
which soon became a frown. "Thanks, but it doesn't help me much. Even
the pressure points that Shampoo's great-grandmother used aren't enough
to deaden the pain. I can still see them in my mind. You don't know what
true agony is until someone tears your soul apart, little by little. I felt as
if I was losing my entire being. I wasn't Akane Tendo any more. I wasn't
anybody. You can't know what it's like to totally lose what you are."
Both Ranmas nodded their sympathy.
"You're right Akane." Ranma Red agreed. "Compared to what you
went through, the pounding that those two monsters gave us was nothing."
"How long were you in the Realm of Oblivion? How did you end up
Akane sighed as she began her story. "I wandered around the Kami
Plane for what seemed like hours. I had thought that after I had… died,
the pain of… losing the two of you would go away. It didn't go away. I
still felt those feelings! During my wanderings, I met up with a lot of
famous people who had died over the last few hundred years. They all
had stories to tell and the regrets that they had in life. Unfulfilled
dreams, mistakes, wrong decisions and missed opportunities."
Sounds familiar." Ranma Blue said, his tone expressionless.
Akane looked at him for a moment before nodding. "Listening to
their life stories made me remember my life. And how… badly treated
the two of you."
Both Ranmas nodded as they waited for her to continue.
"It was one ghost in particular that made me realize that I was all
wrong about you. Both of you."
"That ghost wouldn't happen to have been George Armstrong Custer,
now would it?" Ranma Red asked.
Akane's head looked up in surprise. "How did you know?"
Ranma Blue gave her a shrug as he replied, "We met him while we
were following your spirit trail."
Akane let off another sigh as she brought her knees up and crossed
her arms over them. "Well anyway, what he said about respect and
treating other people better stuck with me. I should have done that with
you. I should have treated you better and given you more respect. It
wasn't your fault that you were cursed from the Spring of Drowned
Girl. It wasn't your fault that your stupid father engaged you to all those
girls. Just because I was fighting all those boys at school didn't mean
that you were like them. You didn't ask to be put into an engagement
that was made before you were born. But no, I didn't take into
consideration of what you felt. All I could think about was myself. I
made a snap judgement about you the moment I walked in on you that
first day. I never thought about what you were going though."
"Akane…" Ranma Red began.
"No." She interjected. "You were right. You've had to put up with my
temper for almost a year. At first I thought you were nothing more than
a self-centered, egotistical jerk, but after being dead… I realized that it
was just as much my fault as it was yours that we fought a lot. I did
assume the worst when something went wrong. I always thought that
you were the cause of the problem because it was so easy and … it
became a habit. I just couldn't stop!"
"Well Akane. You have to admit, we weren't exactly the perfect
gentleman." Ranma Blue commented. "I guess deep down, we really
didn't want to upset you or make you mad, but then again we were
sharing the same body and developed a taste for foot. We certainly had
it in our mouth a lot."
"It was really easy to go into the usual fights and arguments." Ranma
Red added. "Talking it out just seemed to be impossible for all of us.
We just couldn't open up. We couldn't tell you how we felt. Heck, there
were a lot of things that we wanted to say, but we just couldn't do it!"
"Speaking of things that you wanted to tell me," Akane's face took on
a hardened look as she said in an irritated tone. "Why didn't you tell me
"Tell you about what?" Both Ranmas asked in a nervous voice.
Akane frowned as she said in a very annoyed voice, "Why didn't you
tell me that Ryoga was P-chan!"
"Y-You know?!" Both Ranmas stammered.
Akane nodded. "While those demons were torturing me, they teased
me as to how dense I was as to not being able to figure out that Ryoga
and P-chan were the same person. They even pointed out all the clues.
They were never seen together. Both would go missing for days or
weeks. They both had the same bandanna. You would always get mad
whenever I held him or defended him. Ryoga was always afraid of cold
water and he never ate pork. Then there were those incidents with the
Tattoo, the Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament, the Skating competition
and so on. Ryoga would always get excited whenever he heard of you
getting a chance at curing your Jusenkyo curse. They even reminded me
of the fact that you used to call him P-chan right in front of my face.
Why didn't you just TELL ME?!"
"It's because we promised Ryoga not to tell anyone." Ranma Blue
replied. "Since you know the truth, I guess it's all right that we tell you
the whole thing. You see, after we had gotten cursed, we were so mad at
Pop that we weren't thinking straight."
"We were more than willing to pound him into the next century and
we chased him around the training grounds. We were so angry that we
didn't notice that Ryoga was there. He was still after us for missing that
duel behind his house. You know, the one that we waited three days for
him to show, but it took him four days to get there? Well, he had followed
us to China and was standing near a cliff that overlooked the springs. We
had chased Pop over the cliff and… accidentally knocked Ryoga into the
Spring Of Drowned Pig. We didn't know about it until after P-chan
showed up later. Remember when you asked us to give him that bath?"
Akane nodded slowly as look of realization crossed her face. <So
that's why Ranma was so mad when she came out screaming after P-
chan… I mean Ryoga. And here I always accused him of picking on
him. Why was I so stupid?> Akane let out another sigh as she looked up
and asked, "So who else knew about it?"
Ranma Red cocked his head and then replied, "Well, besides us, Pop
knew about it. That's another reason why Ryoga was so mad at us. Just
after he got cursed, Pop found him and almost made him into Sweet and
Sour Pork. Ryoga turned back into a human after being dumped into a
wok of boiling water."
"Shampoo and her great-grandmother knew." Ranma Blue added.
"Cologne found Ryoga as a pig and… tried to boil him for lunch."
"Mousse knew. After all, he did get captured with him and Shampoo
when that Secret Society of Jusenkyo were after them. Also, he did
team up with Ryoga against us that one time."
"And we really hate to tell you this Akane, but your father knew as
"WHAT?!" Akane yelped in disbelief.
"It's true! Ryoga had used the dojo's bathtub several times to change
back into a human. Twice he used it when your father was still in it. We
never could figure out why he never told you about it, despite the fact
that we were supposed to be engaged. You'd think a father wouldn't let
another guy sleep with his daughter when she's supposed to marry
"RYOGA NO BAKA!!!" Akane raged.
Ranam Red shook his head in sympathy as he watched Akane fume.
<Well, at least she's not mad at us this time around.> He was so
absorbed in watching Akane getting angry with his rival that he had let
his control over his spell of silence slip a bit.
In the living room, four females were sitting around the table,
sipping tea and discussing the events of the past few days. Suddenly,
they heard Akane scream out her thoughts about Ryoga.
Nodoka and Ukyo were understandably alarmed when they heard the
shout. Shampoo and her great-grandmother however were not.
"What's happening in there?" Nodoka asked in concern as she began
to get up.
"No need to be concerned Nodoka." Cologne said as she gestured
her to sit down again. "It seems that Miss Tendo has just realized that
she has been lied to, from someone that she had considered as a good
"About time Akane know truth about Ryoga." Shampoo affirmed.
"What do you mean? Why should she be angry at Ryoga?" Ukyo asked.
"That right. Future sister-in-law not know it yet! Ranma promise no
tell anyone because of honor. But Shampoo and great-grandmother
"That's right. And unlike son-in-law, we are not bound by that pledge.
You see, besides Mousse and Shampoo, Ryoga also has a Jusenkyo
curse. He had gotten it when Ranma accidentally knocked him into one
of the pools in Jusenkyo! Son-in-law felt that it was his fault that Ryoga
had gotten cursed, so he swore not to tell anyone, especially Akane."
"Why especially Akane? What does he turn into…?" Ukyo then
paused as she started to put two and two together. Unlike Akane, she
came up with four. "You don't mean that Ryoga is… P-chan?!"
Shampoo nodded as replied, "Is true! Great-grandmother found
Ryoga as pig! Thought he make good lunch. Tried to boil him, but
forget idea when Ryoga turn back!"
Ukyo gave off a low whistle. "NO WONDER Ran-chan never liked it
when Akane slept with P-chan!"
"Akane slept with Ryoga?!" Nodoka said in shock.
"Is true Mother-in-law! Ryoga is nothing but pervert. Shampoo knew
that he in love with Akane, but he never told her truth! Always lying to
her! Ranma try to stop it, but Akane no listens and always hit him! Always
believe that P-chan do nothing wrong, and think that Ryoga is innocent!"
"Ryoga was always talking about how dishonorable Ranma was for
not showing up for their duel." Cologne continued. "Judging as to how
he has suffered Akane's abuse due to upholding his vow to the Hibiki
boy proves that he has a great sense of honor. Both Ranmas."
"If you knew about Ryoga's secret, then why didn't you tell Akane?"
"As you remember Nodoka," Cologne responded, "we came to Japan
in order to persuade Ranma to accept his marriage to Shampoo, as
according to our Amazon Laws. Ryoga considered himself a suitor for
Akane's affections. That would have helped our cause. Telling Akane of
his secret would have been counter-productive and drive her into
"I see." Nodoka thought for a moment. "Although I understand your
reasons, I still find it uncomfortable that you did not inform Akane. It
would have been the decent thing to do."
"I suppose it would have been." Cologne agreed. "However, you must
understand, we were under great pressure to get Ranma to return to
China with us! Our laws are most strict when it comes to marriage! They
have preserved our way of life for thousands of years! As I told you
before, we were forced to use… underhanded methods in our attempts to
win your son. It is something that I truly did not want to resort to."
Nodoka nodded as she said neutrally. "As I have told you before. I am
in favor of your great-granddaughter's marriage to Ranma Red. I had
hoped to get to know my future daughter-in-laws better today." Ranma's
mother then turned her attention to Shampoo. "Shampoo-chan. As it
will have no affect on your engagement to him, would you please tell
me of your history with my son? Please be honest with me."
Shampoo became very nervous as she began recalling all the times
that she had tried to drug, trick and magically influence her future
husband's affection for her. She glanced at her great-grandmother for
support. When she saw Cologne give her a slight nod, she took a deep
breath and began her story.
In the guestroom, Akane had finished her bout of fuming at Ryoga.
Needless to say, the twins were gratified that they were not the recipients
to her anger this time. They were silently happy that Ryoga would finally
receive his due for all the trouble that he had caused. Of course, they
didn't really wish for anyone to be subjected to Akane's wrath.
"I can't believe that he lied to me!" Akane said despondently. "All this
time he's been sleeping with me! He saw me in my nightclothes! He
saw me undress! I always wondered why P-chan would get nosebleeds!"
"What can we say Akane?" Ranma Blue commented. "We couldn't do
anything about it because of our oath. The most we could do was to
keep an eye on you and make sure that things didn't go too far."
"Ranma… I'm sorry that I blamed you for all those things. Both of
you. It wasn't your fault after all."
"We're glad to hear it Akane." Ranma Red said tenderly. "Now that
we got that out of the way, it's time we started talking to you about what
we came here to say."
Akane's heart started to beat a sorrowful rhythm. She knew what they
were about to tell her.
Nodoka was more than speechless after Shampoo had started telling
her story. The Amazon had begun when she first met Ranma at the
Annual Martial Arts Tournament in her village. Nodoka could not
comprehend anyone swearing to hunt down a person and kill him, just
for eating some of the First Prize. The resultant chaos that occurred
soon after was also unbelievable. Ranma's curse had made it awkward
since Shampoo was honor bound to marry his male side, yet kill his
female side. When the truth was finally revealed to her, albeit the
wrong way, Nodoka could not help but feel sympathy for the purple-
haired girl, whose hopes of happiness had been shattered when Ranma
had announced that he was really a girl.
Cologne's great-granddaughter continued with her tale. Returning in
disgrace after not fulfilling either law had earned her a Jusenkyo Curse.
The subsequent revelation that Ranma was really a man and his fear of
cats were told. Shampoo displayed her sadness after her discovery that
she had become what he feared the most. Her very curse drove him
away from her.
She then went into the subsequent encounters between her great-
grandmother and Ranma. She told in detail of the Full-Body Cat
Tongue, the Phoenix Pill, the Chestnut training and the battle in which
Ranma had used her in order to defeat Cologne. She followed up with
her encounters with Mousse, Kodachi Kuno and of course, all of her
battles with Akane.
It was just after she started telling Nodoka about all the potions,
drugs and magical means by which she tried to win Ranma's love that
she got the most negative reaction from her future mother-in-law.
Nodoka frowned as she was told about the Xi Fang Xiang Gao Shiatsu
technique, the Instant Naniichuan, the Magic Mushrooms, the Love Pill
Bracelet and the Magic Thread. By this time, Nodoka had become
most… disturbed as to how anyone would do such things.
Shampoo noticed Nodoka's expression and nodded. "Nodoka is right
to think that is bad things to do to Ranma. Shampoo know that now.
Shampoo wanted to have happy marriage with Airen, but she know that
he no be happy ! If he no happy, Shampoo not happy either!"
Nodoka nodded as she began to get an understanding of how Shampoo
Shampoo took another deep breath as she continued. "Shampoo was
very sad when she try to show Ranma that she love him, but he no want
to be with her. Shampoo wonder why he no even like her. I no hit him
like Akane. I never call him names. I no blame him when things go bad.
But still, he show he like Akane better. Akane violent and always treat
Ranma bad before! Always say she no want to marry him, but if other
girls show they like him, she get very jealous, then call Ranma pervert!"
Shampoo was clearly becoming agitated when she recalled Akane's
treatment of Ranma. "Shampoo no like to see Ranma treated like that!
Ranma no always deserve it! Ranma not perfect before he have twin
brother! Was very arrogant and like male chauvinist! He sometimes
have big mouth! Get into trouble lots of times! Many times he treat
Shampoo the same way as Shampoo treat Mousse! But Shampoo STILL
LOVES HIM! Many people say that Shampoo should marry Mousse,
but Shampoo will no be happy with Mousse! Be only happy with Ranma!"
"Why?" Nodoka inquired. "If I went through all the trouble that you
had gone through, I would have given up on him."
"Some time ago, Shampoo ask herself same question. First guess
was because of Amazon Law. Later, Shampoo know that not it. Is no
because of Amazon Law! Shampoo always trying to win Ranma because
Shampoo fall in love with him! No can imagine life with no Ranma!
Ranma is strong, brave and have good heart. Also stood up to great-
grandmother! Shampoo never saw anyone do that before! Even
Shampoo no do that! After he save Shampoo from Ghost Cat, Shampoo
knew that she love him! Is only reason why she still chase him!"
"Ghost Cat?" Nodoka asked.
"Shampoo's curse to change into cat was why she was kidnapped by
Ghost Cat. Wanted to make Shampoo as bride! Ranma come and he
save her! Shampoo knew that Ranma DO care about her! No other
reason why he face greatest fear! If Ranma care for Shampoo, then is
good chance that Shampoo can get him to love her!"
"But what about all those potions and spells. Aren't those unfair ways
to win my son?"
"Shampoo know that! At time, Shampoo and great-grandmother
thought it only way to make Ranma come back to village as Shampoo's
husband! After Ghost Cat, Shampoo decide to change! Will tell
something now! Seven days before Ranma become twins, Shampoo
almost use potion again! Great-grandmother make very strong potion!
Just like lifetime pill of bracelet. Only make once! Cannot do again!
Ranma come to restaurant and Shampoo about to give food with potion
in it. Too, too easy chance! BUT SHAMPOO NO DO IT! Finally figure
out why Ranma no love her!"
"And what was the reason Shampoo?" Ukyo queried.
"Very easy reason. Shampoo stupid not to figure out before! Ranma
no love her, because he no trust her! Shampoo always use trick on him!
Give him potions! Use magic! Try to trick him to take her on date!
After Shampoo figure out reason, she promise Ranma no more potions!
No tricks! Great-grandmother no like when Shampoo tell her."
Nodoka looked at Cologne. Cologne's features hardened a bit, but
she nodded and replied, "Yes, it's true. I was very angry as I thought that
my only family was about to throw her life away. At the same time
however, I couldn't have been more proud of her."
"Why?" Nodoka inquired.
"She stood up to me. In well over two hundred years, no else besides
son-in-law had ever defied my authority. In the past, Shampoo had been
the perfect obedient great-granddaughter. She never questioned my
orders, nor did she ever object to any of my plans to catch Ranma. That
all changed when she threw away that potion. She was prepared to take
responsibility for her actions. She knew the consequences, if she were
to fail in gaining Ranma as her husband. She had decided to take control
of her life, instead of letting me decide for her. In that respect, she was
growing up. Over the last few months after we had arrived in Japan, she
had been acting in a rather childish manner, especially toward Ranma.
Her attitude was seen like a tart's and many people referred her as a…
bimbo. Yes, that's the word they used."
Ukyo lowered her head when she heard that remark. She couldn't
deny it though. Until recently, she too had thought of Shampoo as
someone of loose morals.
"Her new maturity was what finally began to win Ranma over. At
least one of the souls that was trapped within his body. She gave him a
few things that Akane had not in the past. She trusted him and she
respected him. Ranma was not a possession in her eyes anymore. In
effect, she wanted to start over with him."
"Shampoo know now that what she do before was not right! Shampoo
want Ranma to love her because He WANT TO! Not because of potion,
magic or Amazon Law. Now Ranma DO LOVE Shampoo! He fight her
again to make Amazon Law count!"
Cologne nodded to her great-granddaughter before speaking to
Nodoka again, "You see Nodoka, we are from a culture that prides itself
on strength and wisdom. Our laws have ensured that our people will
remain strong! Now our ways may seem harsh and somewhat cruel, but
we are not a heartless people! We value honor and we do show respect
to those who are worthy of it. And we think that love is a rare and
precious commodity. It is considered a good thing for an Amazon to
have a strong husband. However, an Amazon who has a strong husband
who LOVES her is considered one of the most fortunate members of
the village. As of now, Shampoo is extremely fortunate indeed."
"Still, a law which forces a girl to marry a total stranger just because
she was defeated by him. That leaves her with very little options,"
"And how is THAT any different than Genma's arrangement for
Ranma to marry one of the Tendo girls before he was born? Son-in-law
had told me that neither he nor Akane and her sisters had been informed
of the engagement until he arrived in Nerima. He was also not given any
choice. And I recall that before Urd showed you the truth about Genma,
you were also going to make one or both of the twins go through with
that vow for the sake of honor."
The mother of the Saotome twins remained silent for a very long
while as she considered what she had been told. Finally, she nodded and
replied, "Once again Cologne, you have made your point." She then turned
her attention to Shampoo. "Shampoo-chan, I still do not approve of your
past treatment of my son, but your great-grandmother assures me that you
do love him. It is also apparent that he in turn loves you and is happy. So
long as you keep him happy, I will be content. Do you understand?"
Shampoo's eyes became tear-laden as she smiled and leaned forward
to embrace the Saotome matriarch. "Yes Nodoka!"
The wife of Genma smiled as she patted her back and said fondly,
"Please Shampoo. I told you to call me Mother."
In the guestroom…
"We're… not marrying you Akane. Neither of us. We're in love with
Shampoo and Ukyo." Ranma Blue said in quiet voice.
For a moment, Akane felt the despair and heartache that she had the
moment before she jumped off that building. Then she recalled all that
had occurred afterward and decided that she had no desire to repeat the
experience. The pain and anguish that she had been subjected to was far
worse than any nightmare she ever had. She looked into their eyes and
feverently hoped she could see something that told her that they still
loved her. However, this was not to be. Although she saw great concern
and caring in their blue eyes, she saw absolutely no trace of the love
that they once shared for her. Even though Ranma had never admitted it
in the past, she knew that deep down, he did indeed love her. She had
many hints over the past several months. Whenever he regarded her as
cute or peeked around corners at her when he thought she wasn't aware.
He would always become jealous when some other suitor appeared and
he really did like it when she smiled. Now, their feelings of love were
in favor of Shampoo and Ukyo. That last thought finally made her
realize the futility of clinging to an impossible dream. She sighed and
decided that it was time for her to accept the truth.
In the living room, Nodoka had just finished her embrace with
Shampoo and had now turned her attention to Ukyo. "Ukyo-chan. I am
now satisfied that Shampoo is a good match for Ranma Red. Although
you do have a valid claim to Ranma Blue and I would have allowed your
marriage to him anyway, I am still curious about you. Other than what
my sons and that Goddess had told me, I still do not know much about
Ukyo nodded as she began to tell her future mother-in-law her side
of the story. "Ran-chan and I met when we were just kids. We were both
six-years old. At the time my father Haruka Kuonji was raising me. We
kind of started our friendship in combat."
"Combat?" Nodoka was bewildered.
"Well, every day, Ran-chan and me would fight for a free okonomiyaki
from my father's yattai. Ran-chan would always win. I'd complain about
always losing but back then, it really didn't matter. Ranma honey was very
lonely, since he didn't have any friends while he was training with his
father. I didn't have many friends either since my Dad's business kept us
moving around a lot."
"I see." Nodoka nodded for her to continue.
"Well, after a while, I started to fall in love with Ranma and my Dad
noticed this. He wanted me to be happy so he went to talk to talk with
your husband and… well, you know what happened after that."
"I do indeed."
Ukyo let out a depressed sigh as she began recalling what followed
afterward. "I was so angry at them leaving me on the side of the road,
that I decided not to trust any man again. That was the time that I started
to dress up like a boy. I made arrangements to have myself registered as
a boy at an all-boys school and when my body started to… change, I did
what I could to conceal it." Ukyo slowly undid her blouse and showed
her chest bindings to the others. "Even though Ran-chan accepts me as a
girl, I guess I've been doing it for so long that it's became a habit."
"It is habit that you will have to break Ukyo-chan." Nodoka said in a
motherly tone. "You cannot deny what you are."
Ukyo nodded as she redid her blouse. "Back then, it was easy to deny
that I was a girl. All I had to do was think about that day. Of course there
were some problems."
"Well, most of the other students were convinced that I was a boy.
Except for one. Tsubasa Kurenai. He figured out that I was a girl and
chased me around just as badly as Mousse did with Shampoo."
"I take it that you did not want his affections?"
"That would be putting it mildly." Agreed the okonomiyaki chef. "He
also had a weird way of thinking. He dressed like a girl since I was
dressed like a boy."
"And when I say dressed like girl, I mean the whole nine yards.
Dress, make up and… women's underwear. It really annoyed me! Not to
mention the fact that he did this in public at an all-boys school! It was
"I can imagine."
"He also had this fetish for disguising himself as inanimate objects.
Mail boxes, fire hydrants, soda machines and Kami-sama only knows
"I can see that you've had a rough time of it. Did you try and convince
him that you weren't interested?"
"Kami-sama, did I ever! Unfortunately, Tsubasa understood the word
'no' about as well as Mousse did! I tried to be subtle, and when that
didn't work, I had to tell him bluntly. That also didn't do any good and I
even hit him several times with my spatula to try and get him to leave
me alone! None of it worked though. Out of desperation, I told him that
I already had a fiancée!"
"I take it you were referring to my son?"
"Yes, but at the time I really didn't mean it. Of course, technically
since your husband did take my dowry, I was engaged to Ran-chan."
"Yes, I suppose you could see it that way."
"Tsubasa left me alone for a while after that, which suited me fine
since I had no intention of ever getting close to a man again. That all
changed when I moved to Nerima. When I found out that Genma and
Ranma were in the area, I thought that I had my chance to get even."
"I first challenged Genma and beat the living daylights out of him."
Ukyo looked at Nodoka for any sign of offense. Nodoka simply
shrugged and nodded her to continue. "I then met up with Ran-chan in
class when I transferred to Furinkan High. After Ran-chan recognized
me, he was really excited at seeing me again. I wasn't"
"I don't understand."
"Ran-chan still considered me as his old childhood friend. In fact, he
didn't know that I was a girl or of the arrangement that our fathers had
made ten years ago! I was so hurt at his ignorance that I challenged him
to a fight."
"Who else? During the fight, Ran-chan finally… discovered that I
was a girl." The Kounji girl's cheeks reddened at the memory. "He
confronted his father about the yattai and Ran-chan even offered to let
me beat him up. I was about to take him up on it, but then he did
something that I never expected."
"What that?" Shampoo asked.
"He called me cute. It was in that moment that I realized that I still
loved him. Maybe deep down, I guess I was always in love with him.
After that, I just couldn't stay mad at him."
"So you then acknowledged yourself as one of my son's fiancées?"
Ukyo nodded. "Of course, it didn't help my situation when I found
out that Ran-chan had been engaged several times and had three other
girls after him."
"Well, there was Shampoo of course. And then there was Kuno's
twisted sister Kodachi. But my biggest rival was Akane. She'd repeatedly
deny that she didn't want to marry him, but I knew that was a crock. If she
didn't want him, then she should have been glad that he had someone else
that he could marry. I also knew that Ran-chan had some feelings for her.
Being his best friend made it easy for him to talk to me when he was
"It sounds like that you've been a good shoulder for my son to lean
on." Nodoka said.
"Well, he was my fiancée. Furthermore, he was my friend. With all
the craziness that was going around, Ran-chan really didn't have too
many people supporting him. Akane was always blaming him for
everything, even when it wasn't his fault. Shampoo was always drugging
him and trying to trick him. No offense Shampoo."
"Is okay. Shampoo already admit that she do wrong. Of course,
future sister-in-law also no innocent."
Ukyo's expression sobered at the thought as she gazed back at
Nodoka. "It's true. I'm not really a saint either. I have tried to break up
Ranma and Akane on several occasions."
"Tell me about those occasions." Nodoka said.
"Well, the first time I tried to split them up was when I found out that
Ryoga was in love with Akane. I tried to set them up, but it didn't really
work. After that, I found out about Ranma honey's curse. Another time I
tried was when Shampoo and me came across this pamphlet about the
Tunnel of Lost Love."
"What is that?"
"It's a cave that has ghosts and booby traps that were designed to
break up happy couples. I even roped Ryoga into the scheme, but…well,
to make a long story short, I ended up getting caught in my own trap."
Ukyo let off another sigh. "Now that I think back on it, there were a lot
of things that I did that I wasn't very proud of. For one thing, my goal to
get Ranma had caused me to make snap judgements of other people. I
was one of those people who thought that Shampoo was bimbo, just
because she spoke bad Japanese and kept on throwing herself at him.
After listening to her story, I realize that I had been wrong. Shampoo was
doing what she could to get Ran-chan, just as I was doing. Most of all, I
held a lot of resentment toward Akane, since she kept on abusing Ranma.
But I got so mad at her engagement to Ran-chan that I put her down every
chance I got. I'd tease about how poor a cook she was, or how unfeminine
she was. There were times that I wanted to strangle her, because despite
what she did to Ranma, he always stayed by her side. I could never
understand that. I treated Ranma with respect and love, but he still
considered me as only a friend! It was driving me out of my head!"
Ukyo calmed down a bit before continuing. "I never had anything
against Akane personally, other than the fact that she had a claim on my
Ran-chan. But that didn't stop me from putting her down a lot and try to
make her look bad. After hearing about her committing suicide and
what the twins had to do to get her back, it made me realize how badly I
had treated her. Oh sure, there were times that I wished she was out of
the way, but I want you to know, I never meant it!"
"Mrs. Saotome... I mean, Mother. I love your son. I've loved him ten
years ago and I love him now. I've lived so long as a boy, I never would
have admitted that kind of thing to anyone, but him. He is my life. My
reason for living. If I had to choose between okonomiyaki or him, I'd
choose him. It was the happiest moment of my life when he finally said
he loved me and proposed to me. I love him so much that… if he
wanted to go back to Akane, then I wouldn't stop him. But even then, I'd
still fight for him! I love him that much!"
Nodoka was silent as Ukyo finished her tale. <Such loyalty! Such
devotion! My sons are very fortunate to have such girls as fiancées!
Now, it is time to tell them.>
In the guestroom, Akane was near to tears as she quietly whispered,
"Ranma, I hope you will be happy. Both of you. I… renounce my claim
on either of you."
Both twins were speechless. Akane was giving them up?
"Akane…" Ranma Blue began.
The Tendo girl shook her head as she said, "No Ranma. This whole
experience has made me see that it was not meant to be. I'm going to
tell my Dad that I'm not going to marry either of you. I'm going to
convince him that I'm serious this time."
"But Akane…" Ranma Red said.
"Leave." Akane said as tears streamed down her face.
Both twins made no move.
The twins still did not move toward the door. Instead they placed
their hands on her shoulders and brought her close to their chests in a
three-way embrace as Akane quietly sobbed. As they watched Akane
pour out her final tears for them, they realized that they still retained
one element of their former personality as the single Ranma. They still
could not bear to see a girl cry, especially if that girl was Akane.
After a few minutes, the crying stopped and Akane finally
succumbed to exhaustion. The Tendo daughter drifted off to sleep and
her breathing soon became regular. For a long time, neither brother
said a word as they watched over her. Then, it began again.
At first, Akane's body let off a slight tremor, as if she had received a
slight shock of electricity. Then her quivering began to increase in
intensity. Her breathing became labored and shallow she let off short
gasps. Her face contorted into agony as she began remembering her
experience after her suicide. She started to let off whimpers, which
grew into moans of pain.
Both twins became alarmed, when they witnessed their former
fiancée become even more agitated. They were caught off guard when
Akane let off a piercing shriek.
"GREAT-GRANDMOTHER!" Ranma Red called out. He tried to
hold down Akane's arm as she thrashed about in the bed. His brother
was doing likewise with her other arm. Despite the fact that they could
have easily restrained her with their enhanced strength, they did not
want to cause her any harm by holding her down too hard. Her jerky
movements threatened to tear her apart.
Cologne was inside the room in an instant. A moment later, the
others came in as well. They all stared in shock as they saw Akane
screaming in pain and writhing around like an octopus.
Ranma Blue and his twin were in a state of panic as they tried to
think up a way to calm her down. Then suddenly, he decided on a gamble.
"Cologne! Formula 110!"
For a moment, the matriarch of the Amazons was confused, but then
realized what the twins wanted. Leaping forth with a speed that defied
logic, she produced a small bottle and some hair care instruments and
shouted out the technique.
"XI FANG XIANG GAO SHIATSU!"
In an instant, Cologne's hands blurred over Akane's head as her hair
was subjected to effects of the herbal shampoo and to certain pressure
points on her scalp. In less than five seconds, Akane had once again been
the recipient of the dreaded memory-erasing technique of the Amazons.
As soon as Cologne had finished executing the process, the youngest
member of the Tendo clan stopped in her convulsions and lay still in the
bed. Much to the relief of all those present, Akane's breathing had
returned to normal and she seemed at peace with whatever had been
going about in her mind.
"What was that?" Nodoka asked.
"That one was Xi Fang Xiang Gao Shiatsu Technique!" Shampoo
replied. "It very effective in erasing some memories. Shampoo use that
one before to try to make Akane forget about Ranma. No work since
Akane's memory of Ranma too strong!"
"Yes." Cologne agreed. "Although I am far more skilled at the
technique than you are child." She then looked at Ranma Blue. "What
gave you the idea to use that technique to calm her down?"
Ranma Blue became thoughtful as he replied. "I sensed a lot of
anguish and pain in her mind. I figured that she was reliving the torture
that those demons had put her through. I was hoping that you would be
able to erase those memories from her mind."
"A good plan Ranma Blue. However, I'm afraid my ministrations
were a temporary measure at best. The damage done to her mind goes
beyond the physical realm, as it deals with her very soul. I managed to
dull some of her most painful memories, but the damage was just too
extensive. I fear that she will have these terrors again."
"I take it we can't use the Xi Fang Xiang Gao indefinitely." Ranma
"Very good son-in-law. You're right. I may be able to use this
technique a few times, but repeated exposure to the Formula 110 has
been known to cause the person to build up immunity to the herbal
extracts of the shampoo. I suggest using the technique only as a last
resort. I'm afraid that Akane must suffer these experiences, until we can
find a better way to cure her of it. For now, my ministrations have
alleviated her symptoms and we should let her rest."
"We'll look after her until she wakes up." Ranma Red said as he and
his brother took up their positions at her bedside.
After another long while, the Saotome twins and Akane emerged
from the guestroom and headed to the den. Akane looked like she had
more or less recovered from her ordeal, but everyone knew that it was
only a temporary respite. The four females spotted them and they were
soon all sitting down around the table.
Akane set her gaze on Cologne with a soulful expression. "The twins
told me what you had done for me. I know that we don't see eye to eye
very often, but… thank you."
"My pleasure Miss Tendo, but I would have done it, even if Ranma
Red was not marrying my Shampoo."
"Y-You would?" Akane said, slightly surprised at the comment and
the warm expression Cologne had toward her. In the past, she had never
shown Tendo girl any kind of friendly gesture, other than basic courtesy
toward a stranger.
"You needn't sound so surprised Akane. Although I did not like the
fact that you were the main reason, why my Shampoo had not gotten
Ranma sooner, I had no malice toward you. In fact, I rather like you.
You remind me of myself when I was at your age. Also, the fact that
you instilled devotion and loyalty with Ranma, also tell me that you are
a very special person. How could I not aid you?"
Akane was taken aback. Never had she been described so eloquently
by someone whom she considered as a cold-hearted and cruel
individual. It was then that she began to rethink her evaluation of her.
Perhaps she had been making snap judgments again.
As she sat down, the twins informed those present that Akane has
now released them from the vow to unite the Tendos and the Saotomes.
"That is all well and good Akane-chan, but I'm afraid that it won't be
enough." Nodoka then moved toward Akane and took her hands into
hers. "Before I continue, I would like to apologize for my past outburst
when I was at your home. I made some quick judgements about you and
I should have chosen my words with more care. I never intended to
offend you or your family in any way."
Akane shook her head and replied, "No. You were right to think of
me as unfit for your sons. My experience in the Kami Plane has made
me realized how I had been taking Ranma for granted. My past
treatment of him… them, had been less than stellar quality. I should
have been more understanding and trusted them better. Ukyo and
Shampoo have shown them love far better than I ever did. I can only
hope that your sons will be happy."
Akane stood up and moved toward her former rivals. "Ukyo…
Shampoo… please take care of them. Just remember that they need a
lot of love. And… don't forget about me?"
Both girls stood up and took Akane into their arms. All three had
tears in their eyes.
"Forget about you? Not bloody likely!" Ukyo said tenderly.
"Shampoo never forget her friends!"
"Friends?" Akane said, very confused. This was the first time she had
heard Shampoo say anything civil toward her. She assumed that since
Shampoo was getting Ranma Red, she had no reason to be hostile
The Amazon shook her head, as she knew what her former adversary
was thinking of. "Last few days show Shampoo that Akane is no enemy!
Ukyo and Akane is closest Shampoo have to friends in Japan! Be very
sad if Akane no be there on Shampoo's wedding!"
"Wouldn't be right if our maid of honor wasn't present!" Ukyo added.
Akane was a bit shocked to hear those statements. Then she got
Shampoo reached behind her back and withdrew a pair of gold
bracelets. Each band was adorned with the crest of her tribe. She placed
one on Ukyo's wrist and then slipped the other on Akane's. As she
looked up in surprise, the Amazon gave her a warm smile. "I give you
Bracelet of Friendship. It important for Amazon to remember best
friends. Shampoo want to start over with Ukyo and Akane. Even though
she marry Ranma Red, Shampoo want Akane and Ukyo to be close to
her. Shampoo ask to give her another chance, yes?"
Akane felt a twinge of anger as she remembered her past
relationship with the purple-haired girl. <She's just trying to buy me
off! I know she is! She got what she wanted! She just using this piece of
junk jewelry to…>
Akane never finished her thought as she looked up and saw her
tearful expression. Looking into her violet eyes, Akane saw the
desperation and sadness in their depths. <Does she really mean it? She
really wants to be… friends?>
"Shampoo," Akane said slowly, as she removed the bracelet and
placed it in her hand. "I… can't really forgive and forget all that you've
done to me, but… I want you to know that I'm glad that Ranma has
found someone that he loves. You were able to give him some things
that I couldn't do. Now you're asking me to give you my friendship.
That's something that I can't do right now. I'm not even sure about
myself anymore. I can't accept this bracelet now. But that doesn't mean
that I won't ever accept it. I… just need some time."
Shampoo clearly became disappointed. But soon gave Akane a warm
smile. "Is okay. Shampoo can wait. Having Akane as friend very important
to her. If Shampoo need to prove to Akane, then that what she do!"
Akane's expression turned into a small smile and she nodded. The
three of them shared a good-natured laugh and then saw Nodoka
smiling, while gesturing them to take a seat. As they all sat down,
Nodoka informed them that she wished to discuss one further matter
with everyone present.
"Girls, I am very proud to be associated with you all. I now am quite
satisfied that my sons will be happy. However, there is still the matter
of satisfying the family honor between the Tendo and Saotome clans.
Even though I had invalidated the vow and Akane has renounced her
claim, I'm afraid that Soun and Genma will still press my sons into
marrying Soun's other daughters."
"Wouldn't Pop still be afraid of the promise of seppeku?" Ranma
"Yes he would, and I will hold him to it, if things get too far out of
hand!" Nodoka replied. "However, Soun will be of a different mind. I
believe that he will still maintain that it is a matter of honor that one of
you will marry a Tendo girl. Besides the threat of seppeku, which I am
quite reluctant to use even on my idiot husband, there is only one other
way I can think of, to release you both from that oath, without
impugning on the honor of either family."
Both twins became silent as they suddenly realized what their
mother was implying. Still, they had to ask.
"What is it Mom?" Ranma Blue asked quietly.
Nodoka took a deep breath and said, "You two must renounce the
The room suddenly became silent as the Ranma brothers considered
To be continued…
Whoa! After having to recreate my web page and studying for an
exam, I have been quite put out as to how to write this chapter. Ranma
Saotome has always been proud of who he was and honor was always a
big issue. Now the twins are faced with a choice. In order to marry
Shampoo and Ukyo, they must either get their father to commit
seppuku or renounce their family name, which would make them as
outcasts in Japanese society.
I was inspired by this plot line after rereading the second chapter of
the Long and Winding Road, and receiving a few suggestions from
several of my readers. Now that Akane has finally given up her claim on
the twins, we will be going into the heart of the Tendo clan. Nabiki and
Kasumi, characters that I think have been greatly neglected in
both the anime and the manga will be the main focus in Chapter 18.
For those of you who think that I haven't pointed out all of Ukyo's
faults, just remember that this story takes place just after Volume 20 of
the manga. Many of Ukyo's crimes have not yet occurred, and probably
won't happen now that she's engaged to Ranma Blue. All in all, I think
that I had made Shampoo reflect on her past misdeeds in good detail.
In response to a few readers who say that I rushed through this
chapter and said that Akane recovered too easily from her ordeal and
forgave the Amazons too quickly, I hope this rewrite has satisfied those
people. Akane does indeed have a long road to recovery to travel and I
will be expanding on it.