Dual Destinies
                                  Chapter 14
                                 A Time to Talk
     Ranma Red and his brother were sitting on the roof of their mother's 
house. Their bodies were almost fully recovered from their titanic 
battle with the supercharged lecher Happosai, thanks to Ranma Red's 
healing spell and some added power from Taron and Soren. By 
morning, the twins would once again be at full strength and health. 
Happosai however, would take months to recover from his injuries. At 
present, the Immortal Twins had put him into suspended animation.
     Although each brother was glad to be alive, they couldn't help but be 
a little concerned about what they would soon be facing. They were 
barely able to stop a near-godlike pervert. Who knew what the demons 
of the Dark World would be like.
     As of now, their thoughts went back to what was said to them a few 
short hours ago. It was Cologne's statement, which shook them the most.
After the twins had been revived…
     "You're joking, right?" Said Ranma Red. "We really don't have to get 
married SO SOON, do we?"
     "Come now son-in-law," Cologne replied, "you should know by now 
     "Married?!" Ranma Blue exclaimed.
     Cologne looked suspiciously at the twins while Ukyo, Shampoo and 
the others looked on. "I thought that the two of you were eager to marry 
Ukyo and Shampoo?"
     "WE ARE!" Both Ranmas replied.
     "Then what's the problem?"
     "It's just that it's kind of sudden." Ranma Blue answered. "I mean, 
Ucchan and me were planning to get married after we had finished high 
     Ukyo nodded as she too had become shocked at what her future in-
law had said.
     "I always knew that Shampoo and I would get hitched once we got 
back to her village, but I assumed that it would be after we had beaten 
the Dark World." Ranma Red added. "I was kind of hoping to have some 
time alone with Shampoo before the wedding. Why do we have to get 
married as soon as we pick up the Mystic Sword and Elemental Hammer?"
     "Quite simple, son-in-law. You see, both weapons are considered as 
treasures to the Amazons. Therefore, we cannot simply tell any 
outsider of their secret locations. Especially MALE outsiders."
     "I thought that the existence of those weapons were known only to 
your family!" Ranma Red said..
     "For nearly one thousand years, they were a family secret. However, 
when I became a matriarch, as part of my initiation into the council, I 
was required to reveal all of my secrets to the other elders. I had to tell 
them of the existence of the weapons and my family's involvement in 
the last Contract Renewal. Fortunately, they did not require me to 
divulge the secret of their locations, as they had no wish to incur the 
wrath of the gods. I was still able to keep the vow that my ancestors had 
made to Taron and Soren."
     "I still don't understand why we have to get married so soon." Ranma 
Blue said.
     "It is because of my ancestors' promise to Soren and Taron and the 
laws of the Amazons! The original Cologne and Shampoo had sworn 
that they would tell no one, but a family member of the location of the 
weapons. Furthermore, the laws of the Amazons clearly state that only a 
female member of our tribe may be granted access to our treasures. That 
is the reason why the two of you must marry Shampoo and Ukyo by the 
time we get to the village." Cologne paused as she took a sip of her tea.
     "Please continue." Nodoka requested.
     "Shampoo was dishonored when she returned to the village without 
Ranma. She is considered an outcast until she returns with Ranma Red 
as her husband. Once she marries him, she will be reinstated as an 
Amazon and I will be able to give her the information to the 
whereabouts of the Mystic Sword. She will tell her husband, who will 
then be a part of my family. That way, both the Amazon laws and the 
ancient oath will be satisfied."
     "But what about Ukyo and me?" Ranma Blue inquired.
     "It was passed down from generation to generation, that the 
information concerning the sword and hammer would be given separately 
to each of the Chosen Twins. In order for you to gain the Elemental 
Hammer, you must wed Ukyo. As Shampoo's sister-in-law, she will be 
given honorary Amazon status, as well as become part of my family. That 
way, I can tell her the secret to gaining the hammer, which she will relate 
back to you. Once again, the oath and Amazon laws are satisfied."
     Both twins were left speechless after hearing what was required of 
them. They looked at their respective fiancées with slightly 
apprehensive expressions. Both girls' expressions were hard to read. 
They seemed to express a mixture of anticipation, uneasiness and 
something else that they couldn't identify. Right now, they were have 
some wicked speculation going in their heads. They waited in silence 
for their future husbands to say something. 
     Both Ranmas gulped as they tried to form words in their mouths. 
There was no doubt in their minds that they loved them unconditionally, 
but to do such a thing so soon… 
     Both Cologne and Nodoka noticed their expressions and nodded.
     "You do not have to be so fearful, you two. " Cologne soothed. "You 
need not have to… consummate your unions right after the weddings."
     Both twins looked at the aged Amazon with looks of surprise and a 
relief. The girls became a bit disappointed at hearing this.
     "You two need only go through the wedding ceremonies to officially 
become part of the tribe! As a matriarch, I am authorized to perform the 
ceremonies, but I may only do so on Amazon lands! Once you have 
completed you're training here, we will travel to China and have the 
weddings performed before we reach the village. I will simply introduce 
the both of you as members of my family, since in truth, you will be."
     Nodoka nodded as she understood what Shampoo's great-
grandmother was saying. Although she would have liked to see her sons 
married in a real sense, she knew that it was just too soon for the twins 
to be put though that. She supposed that they could arrange for real 
weddings after all of this Dark World business was done with. The 
Saotome matriarch sighed as she put away those thoughts.
     Ranma Red walked over and took Shampoo into his arms. His 
brother followed suit and had Ukyo in a tight embrace. Both brothers 
gave their loves a long and lingering kiss. After they had separated, they 
held the their hands an d gazed lovingly into their eyes.
     "Ucchan…" Ranma Blue began. "I know that this isn't what you 
wanted things to be on your wedding day, but…"
     Ukyo placed a finger on her fiancées lips and said, "Shhh. It's okay, 
Ran-chan. I know that we have to do this! Let's just think of it as a 
rehearsal for the real thing! I've waited for you for ten years! I can wait 
a little longer." She drew forward and planted her lips on his.
     Ranma Red swallowed hard as he looked at Shampoo. He knew that 
she was eager to become a mother and was more than willing to make 
the marriage real in every sense. "Shampoo…"
     Shampoo smiled as she interrupted, "Is okay Airen! Shampoo knows 
you not ready yet. Shampoo also wait too!" She leaned forward and 
kissed him.
     Both brothers let off a sigh of relief as they returned their kisses. 
Behind them, the Immortal Twins nodded their approval.
On the roof…
     Ranma Blue and Ranma Red sat in silence as they telepathically 
discussed the day's events. Ukyo and Shampoo had gone home for the 
night, but Cologne had decided to stay awhile to get to know their 
     {"Man! Am I glad that we only have to marry them and not…you 
know."} Ranma Red said.
     {"I know! Then again…"} Ranma Blue shook his head to clear it of 
those thoughts. When he had felt a part of his anatomy harden slightly, 
he knew that he had better take a cold shower soon.
     His brother was not faring any better. When he thought back to the 
time when Shampoo had emerged naked in his bathtub, he began to 
squirm a little.
     Ranma Blue began thinking of his Ucchan and inevitably thought 
back to when he had discovered that she was a girl. He could almost 
remember how soft her… He groaned loudly as he tried to quell those 
     Ranma Red suddenly got an image of Shampoo putting a bottle of 
Formula 119 down her blouse. He whimpered as he squirmed some 
     Ranma Blue remembered when he showed Ukyo's chest to Ryoga. 
     Ranma Red remembered how sexy Shampoo looked in that leotard, 
during that Ping-Pong tournament. He squeezed his legs tightly together.
     Ranma Blue just remembered how pretty Ukyo looked in her school 
uniform. Then he started to wonder if she was still wearing those chest 
bindings. <Help!>
     Ranma Red remembered how sexy Shampoo looked in that one-
piece at the beach. <Oh no! I think Happosai is starting to rub off on 
     Both Ranmas were clearly uncomfortable as they looked at each 
other, nodded, then quickly got up and leapt down to the ground. They 
both ran into the house and headed to the bathroom. A minute later, 
both twins were heard letting out a shriek as cold water relieved them 
of their… problem.
     In the den, Cologne and Nodoka were having some tea, when they 
heard the shouts of the twins.
     "What was that?" Nodoka said as she became concerned about her 
     {"No need to be alarmed."} Soren said from the Realm of Infinity. 
{"Your sons are fine!"}
     <What happened to them?> Nodoka thought.
     {"It was just a normal reaction that all boys get when they start 
thinking about certain… things."} Taron explained.
     <Excuse me?> Nodoka thought, very bewildered.
     {"Well, both Ranmas have been through a lot during their ten-year 
training journey."} Soren began. {"Genma had put them through intense 
training procedures. Especially the Cat Fist."}
     <Cat Fist?>
     {"We'll let Cologne explain that. In any case, to keep his son from 
losing any edge, Genma made certain that he had no… distractions. To 
that end, he neglected to inform his son about certain… aspects about 
life. That was the reason why they were very uneasy about being 
married so soon."}
     <I still don't…> Nodoka paused in her train of thought as she 
realized what Soren was implying. <You mean, they DON'T know?>
     {"Oh no! They know the mechanics of it! Thankfully, they didn't 
miss that part of their education in school! It was just that growing up 
with Genma had left them unprepared to deal with members of the 
opposite sex. Genma never had that traditional 'father-to-son chat' with 
Ranma, which left Ranma confused, scared and a little repulsed at the 
notion, especially when puberty hit him!"} Taron explained. {"This was 
part of the reason why Ranma couldn't deal with his multiple fiancées 
in the past."} The immortal paused to collect his thoughts before 
continuing. {"The twins know what love is, at least the general idea. 
Since they are now separated, they are no longer… inhibited. However, 
they haven't been able to EXPERIENCE love to the fullest and the best 
way to truly experience it is to… er, do it. Of course, when they get 
married! Now living with the Tendos and dealing with the Curse of 
Drowned Girl did not make things easier for them. Akane was always 
calling Ranma a pervert, whenever he had these thoughts. Then she 
would pound on him. Genma was always trying to make certain that his 
son did not get any FUNNY ideas. And of course, Cologne can verify, 
as to how bad an example Happosai is."}
     {"So you see Nodoka,"} Soren continued, {"Both boys feel guilty, 
whenever they have such… intimate thoughts. They're like bottles of 
raging male hormones that have been corked for too long. The fact that 
they are now engaged to two, very attractive girls has just added to the 
     {"My brother is correct. Those two need to be assured that what they 
are thinking is not wrong. It is perfectly natural! It is how they 
DISPLAY IT that needs to be judged. Showing such feelings toward 
one's future spouse is acceptable, and that's all they were thinking 
about a few minutes ago. That's why they had to take a cold shower!"}
     {"Ha ha ha! You had often worried, when Ranma was away, that he 
might not grow up into a man among men! I would say that they are 
acting like NORMAL, healthy males."}
     Nodoka reddened slightly at those words, then nodded. <It seems 
that I must have a talk with my sons, first thing in the morning. It is due 
to my husband's stupidity that both boys are so… unprepared!> 
     {"We appreciate it! We don't want something like this to impair 
them in their training. Good evening."}
     As soon as Nodoka and Cologne could no longer feel Taron and 
Soren, the mother of the twins turned to Cologne and said, "I cannot 
believe that Genma would neglect such a thing!"
     Cologne sighed as she said, "Genma is a fool! Always has been and 
always will be. I am surprised that both boys had turned out so well, 
despite living with him for ten years."
     Nodoka nodded, then decided to change the subject. "By the way, 
Soren mentioned something about a Cat Fist. What is that?"
     "One of the biggest mistakes in martial arts. And Genma was stupid 
enough to repeat it." Cologne answered before beginning her 
At the Tendo dojo…
     Akane had just finished her latest bout of crying when she headed 
downstairs to practice in the dojo. In the living room, she saw Nabiki 
watching the evening news. The top story of the day was a huge 
explosion that occurred earlier that day near downtown Tokyo. 
Witnesses claimed that they saw a giant troll, which looked like 
Happosai battle some electric dragon. The resulting carnage had 
devastated more than a square block and had demolished several 
derelict buildings. Unconcerned, Akane headed to the training hall. For 
all she cared, the world might have been coming to the end.
     For several hours, Akane went through different katas as she tried to 
forget about her problems. Unfortunately, Ranma Saotome was 
someone whom you cannot dismiss so easily. Every time she threw a 
punch or kick, she would see Ranma in front of her, effortlessly 
dodging her attacks. Her frustration began to mount as she saw Ukyo 
and Shampoo in her mind. Taunting her. Telling her that she had lost. 
They were now the fiancées of the Ranma twins. Akane had dark 
thoughts about wrapping her hands around their necks and squeezing 
them until they turned black and blood was spurting out of their eyes. 
As her anger began to build, her movements became erratic and less 
effective. It wasn't long before the young girl realized that she was 
losing control again. She stopped in her movements and stood up 
straight and took a neutral pose. 
     <No. I've got to pull myself together!> Akane thought. <I have to 
stop thinking about them! So they're not my fiancée any more. That 
doesn't mean that I have to mope about it like some lovesick schoolgirl! 
I'm a martial artist! I was a martial artist before he came and I'm still a 
martial artist! I don't need either of them! It's not like there's any love 
between us!>
     As soon as she thought about the word love, she caught herself in the 
lie. It wasn't true. She loved him… them. She had just recently come 
that conclusion. That was the reason she was so upset. If she did not 
love Ranma Saotome, then she would have been glad to have been 
finally freed of the engagement. Already, she could feel the tears well 
up in her eyes. She bit them back and continued with her katas. In 
another thirty minutes, she could feel some of her tension melt away. It 
was then that she heard the squeal of a familiar friend.
     Akane looked behind her and saw her pet pig shuffle his way into the 
training hall. He looked a little more battered than usual, but Akane 
didn't care as she rushed over to pick up her P-chan.
     "P-chan! Am I ever glad to see you!"
     Ryoga was fuming a bit since he had once again turned into his 
cursed form. Apparently, he had the misfortune of wandering near the 
site where the Ranma twins had been battled Happosai. As he passed by 
a fire truck, he was inevitably, sprayed by an errant water hose as the 
firefighters tried to put out some of the blazes. He later stumbled 
across the Tendo dojo and was surprised to hear Akane's voice. He 
looked up and saw his beloved Akane rush toward him. With a joyful 
squeal, he jumped into her outstretched arms and was soon cuddled 
near her bosom. As he reveled in his new position, he noticed that 
Akane's cheeks were red and puffy, almost as if she had been… crying?
     "P-chan! Where have you been? It's been days!"
     <Oh… here and there, Akane! The usual.> Ryoga answered silently. 
Of course, all he could say was, "Bwee."
     "I don't know where you were but I'm glad you're here now." Akane 
walked over to the wall and leaned her back against it. She then let 
herself slide down it until she was sitting against the wall. P-chan found 
himself nestled in her lap. "I need someone who'll listen."
     <I'm listening Akane.> Ryoga looked up at her and waited for her to 
     "Ranma is gone. He's not coming back."
     "It's true. He's not my fiancée any more. Neither of them."
     <Oh happy day! That means that Akane and I can… wait a minute! 
NEITHER of them? What's she talking about?>
     Akane looked down at P-chan's confused expression, then gave him a 
small smile. "Oh that's right, you don't know about it."
     <Know about what?>
     Akane let out a long and tired sigh. "Ranma has a twin brother."
     <Twin brother? Ranma doesn't have a…>
     "It's true P-chan. There are two Ranmas now." Akane then began to 
explain to her pet about the events in which Ranma Saotome had 
become twins. After her brief narrative she finished off by saying, 
"…and now those two are going to marry Ukyo and Shampoo! Their 
mother has disallowed my engagement to them and…" Akane sighed 
again as she tried to keep herself from going into another bout of 
     By this time, Ryoga had started to become steamed. <Grrrr… SO 
THAT"S HOW HE DID IT! He didn't increase his speed! He double-
teamed me! That bastard! When I get my hands on him, I'll rip his stupid 
head off! Both of them!>
     Akane looked down at her pet and saw that he was getting agitated. 
She started to pet his head and tried to soothe him. "Calm down P-chan! 
Getting mad at those jerks isn't going to help. It was my fault that his 
mother had disallowed the engagement."
     Ryoga momentarily forgot his anger and looked at Akane in 
confusion. <You're fault? I don't understand.>
     Akane sighed again as she explained, "When those two announced 
that they were going to marry Ukyo and that bimbo Shampoo, I… lost 
control. Their mother saw me as unfit to marry either one of them and 
invalidated the vow between the families."
     P-chan gave her a look of sympathy.
     "It's ironic, you know. I've always been telling people that we're not 
engaged and I'd never marry a jerk like that, but… now that I don't have 
to…" Akane sniffled a bit before continuing. "What was that saying? Be 
careful what you wish for?"
     <Please Akane, don't be sad!> Ryoga silently pleaded. <That jerk 
Ranma doesn't deserve someone like you! I'm the one who loves you, 
not him! Now that you're no longer engaged, that means that…>
     Before Ryoga could finish his thoughts, Akane sniffled again, as she 
finally could not hold back her sadness. As a lone tear made its way 
down her left cheek, she said quietly, "It took something like this to 
make me realize that… I love him."
     Ryoga looked like he was having a stroke as his eyes bugged out and 
he let out a strangled squeal.
     <No…no…no… NOOOOOO!!!>
     Akane noticed her pet squirming in her arms and nodded. "It's true P-
chan. I love that insensitive, arrogant, tactless, rude and obnoxious jerk! 
It should have been me that he's supposed to marry, not those other girls!"
     Ryoga stopped in his struggles when he heard this. He was in total 
shock. Then, Akane had decided to deliver the final blow to his already 
fragile psyche.
     Akane took on a look of determination, as she said, "I'm not going to 
let it happen! Ranma belongs to me! I love him. Both of them! They 
were engaged to me before they were born! They're my fiancée, not 
Shampoo's and Ukyo's! I'm going to prove to their mother that I am 
right for them and get married to one of them! I'm going to tell them 
how I feel! I'm not going to take this lying down! I'll win them back! My 
biggest mistake was treating them badly before! Not this time! I'll be 
kind and understanding and patient and… P-chan? What's the matter? 
What's wrong?"
     Ryoga could not take it any more. He began to violently struggle in 
Akane's arms and finally jumped down to the floor. He ran out the door 
and promptly got lost. As he went squealing into the night, Akane tried 
to call back her pet.
     "P-chan! Come back! Where are you going? Come back! What's 
     Ryoga ran blindly through the streets with tears in his eyes. Akane's 
decision had struck him where he hurt the most, his heart. The truth was 
out. His beloved Akane was in love with his most hated rival. She was 
going to try to win him back! Now his tender feelings toward Akane had 
transformed into despair, depression and rage toward the Ranma twins. 
<Ranma Saotome! I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!!! BOTH OF YOU!!!>
The next day…
     Both Ranmas appeared in a flash of light near the gates of Furinkan 
High. They were a bit surprised to see that the schoolyard was littered 
with the bruised and battered bodies of most of the male student 
population. At the front doors of the main school building, Ukyo waved 
to them. As they walked over to her, the twins heard several moans, 
groans and mumbling coming from the boys who were sprawled around 
the lawn.
     "Oh Akane!"
     "Date with me!"
     "I'll beat her tomorrow!"
     Just as they got to the front door, they saw Kuno face down on the 
ground. His clothes were tattered and his wooden sword had been 
smashed over his head. He was in a daze as he moaned, "The lovely 
Akane! Her beauty matches her fiery spirit! I will date with thee!"
     Ukyo ran up to the twins and was soon embracing Ranma Blue. After   
exchanging a brief kiss, Ukyo exclaimed, "Hey Ran-chan! You wouldn't 
believe what happened here!"
     Ranma Blue smiled as he said, "These guys were trying to beat Akane 
so they could date her and she massacred the lot."
     "Hey! How did you know about that?"
     "It happened all the time when we first transferred to this school." 
Ranma Red replied. He looked at Kuno's battered body and remarked, 
"Looks like Akane went rougher on Kuno than usual."
     "I suppose that now that we're not engaged to Akane, it's back to the 
old 'beat-Akane-so-you-can date-her' routine."
     "I see. " Ukyo said as she took her love's arm and walked inside the 
building. "No wonder Akane was so steamed when they attacked her. 
Who made this up?"
     "Kuno did." Ranma Red replied. " I guess he wants her now, just as 
much as he did then."
     "Speaking of Akane," Ranma blue said. "Do you have any idea what 
we're going to say to her?"
     Ranma Red shook his head. "Nope. I know we have to talk to her, but 
I'm not sure as to how to do it. She looked really sad after I had beaten 
     "I really feel sorry for her. " Ukyo said quietly. "Not that I want to 
give you up Ran-chan, but…"
     "Hey! I'd have to be nuts to leave you Ucchan!" Ranma Blue said as 
he gave her another kiss.
     Ukyo smiled as she returned the kiss, but then her face became a 
little more serious as she said, "Ran-chan. I know that you and your 
brother have to set things straight with Akane. But I can't help but worry 
     "Don't be concerned about it Ucchan!"
     "That's right!" Ranma Red assured. "No way that we're going to marry 
anyone else but you and Shampoo! It's just that we've been with Akane's 
family for a long time, and we think that we owe it to her to explain how 
we feel now."
     Ukyo looked at her fiancée and his brother for a moment, then 
nodded, "Okay Ran-chan."
     As Akane waited for the twins to arrive at their homeroom, she 
mentally began planning on how she would win back Ranma's love. At 
least one of them. She was in a bit of a dilemma as to which Ranma she 
would marry. Ranma Red and Ranma Blue were, essentially the same 
person. Furthermore, she had no idea as to how she could convince 
either one to break off his engagement. 
     She did not have the ability to plan as her sister Nabiki could. When 
it was almost noon, she still was no closer to solving her problem. It 
was at that time that her mercenary sibling came along.
     Akane had been sitting alone near the baseball diamond when her 
sister had caught sight of her and walked over. Nabiki could tell that her 
sister was in a very depressed state as she still hadn't touched the lunch 
that Kasumi had made for her. She quickly assessed that her depression 
was due to the Ranma twins and decided to have a few words with her.
     "Hey Akane! If I were you, I'd forget about them!" 
     Akane was a bit startled when she heard her sister's voice. Quickly 
composing herself, she looked up and replied, "What are talking about?"
     "Don't play dumb with me sis. You're not very good at it. You've been 
crying about this ever since the engagement was dissolved. What I'm 
telling you is that both Ranmas are off-limits now. Besides, they've 
been nothing but trouble ever since they came here."
     "Hmpf! You weren't complaining so much whenever you used Ranma 
to make money!" Akane countered.
     "That's different. That was business!" Nabiki said in a calm tone.
     "I don't care what you call it! I'm going to get him back! And I need 
you to help me!"
     "Why should I help you do this? In fact, why should I even bother? I 
mean, it's not like you and Ranma ever got along in the past for more 
than a day. He was more trouble than he was worth. He always insulted 
you, ate too much and caused a lot of damage to our home. Besides, 
Ranma's mother has already disallowed the engagement. Even if by 
some miracle you do convince one of them to become fiancée again, 
what makes you think that things will be different?"
     "Because… I love him." Akane said in a quiet voice.
     Nabiki was a little more than surprised to hear those words from her 
sister. Akane had never expressed any tender feelings toward anyone 
outside of her family before. To have her admit that she loved someone 
like Ranma, despite of all that had occurred in past, must mean that she 
meant what she said. Nabiki couldn't believe it. <My little sister is in 
love! Now there's a rarity if I ever saw one! Too bad that she's in love 
with a guy who's engaged to someone else. I don't like seeing her like 
this, but…>
     "I'm sorry Akane, but I can't get involved with this one."
     Akane's eyes widened as she heard this. "Why not?" 
     Nabiki gave her sister a hard glare before responding. "It's obvious to 
everyone that Ranma and his brother are in love with Shampoo and Ukyo."
     "No they're not!" Akane denied. "They're just marrying those girls 
because of that yattai and that stupid Amazon Law!"
     Nabiki shook her head. "Akane! You can't be this blind to the truth! 
Look at them!" Nabiki gestured to the happy expressions of the twins. 
"Before they got split, Ranma had been loud, rude, obnoxious and just 
too egotistical for his own good! He always put his foot in his mouth 
whenever you were around and he never, ever, showed anything that was 
remotely romantic in public! I've had my contacts watch them in 
school, ever since they appeared! They tell me that both of them have 
been getting very close to Ukyo and Shampoo! They don't shoot off 
their mouths! They don't brag! What's more, they LIKE playing kissy-
face in front of people. From what I've gathered, Ranma Blue kisses 
Ukyo every FIVE MINUTES! Ranma Red would be doodling pictures of 
Shampoo in his notebook! They're not as shy and they're positively 
enthusiastic about their engagements! The Ranma we knew would have 
said that guys don't do mushy stuff! Face it Akane! Ranma changed 
when he became twins! Apparently, getting separated had given each of 
them a total makeover in their personalities! And after seeing what they 
did to Kuno and Mousse, I'm pretty sure that they won't leave Shampoo 
and Ukyo for anyone! Not even for you!"
     Akane simply believe that she was hearing this. <No! It can't be! 
Ranma loves me! Not them! I know he does! I love him! He wouldn't 
have stayed with us for so long if he didn't have some feelings for me. 
Every time Kuno or some other guy tried to hit on me, he'd get jealous! 
He'd always deny it, but I could tell! What about that time we went up 
against the Golden Pair? Or how about when Ukyo set me up with 
Ryoga? No! I know that Ranma loves me! All I have to do is remind 
     Nabiki frowned when she looked at her sister's countenance. She 
wasn't getting though to her. It seems that nothing would make her get 
rid of the notion that one of the twins would forsake his current 
engagement. She could feel nothing but pity for her younger sister. 
Finally, she sighed and said, "Akane, I don't think you understand that it's 
over. Ranma's not going to marry you. You should get over him and get 
on with your life!"
     Akane felt her tears come to her eyes. She couldn't believe what she 
was being told. It was unthinkable! Then she looked at Ranma Blue. 
When he gave Ukyo another passionate kiss, she realized that Nabiki 
was right. She had been fooling herself. She had been holding onto a 
dream. A dream that would never come true. The thought of her life 
without Ranma in it was just too much for her to bear. Breaking down, 
she got up and ran off with her face in her hands. Nabiki began to run 
after her sister.
     Unknown to both Tendo sisters, the very same people they had been 
discussing had observed their conversation. Both Saotome brothers and 
Ukyo had noticed Akane speaking with her sister and had seen Akane 
run off crying. 
     "I think it's about time that we had that long talk with Akane." Ranma 
Red remarked.
     "Yeah." Ranma Blue said. "Should we visit her after school?"
     "That'll be okay. Everything should be finished before our training 
session with Soren and Taron."
     Ukyo became a bit apprehensive when she heard this. "I don't know 
Ran-chan. I mean, your father and her father still want you two to carry 
out that promise to unite the schools. They might not let you go once 
you get to the dojo!"
     Ranma Blue smiled as he gave her a reassuring kiss. "Don't worry 
about it Ucchan! There's nothing they can do about it! Pop is still scared 
of Mom and there's no way that he or Akane's dad could keep us there. 
Trust me!"
     It was around five o'clock when the twins arrived at the Tendo dojo. 
As they stood outside the gates of the compound, they looked at the 
place in which they had called home for many months. They began 
reminiscing all the time that they had living there and were none too 
happy with most of their memories. So many fights, misunderstandings 
and arguments had occurred at the Tendo home. They frowned as they 
looked over the roof of the training hall. There were several patches 
scattered across its surface. Reminders of when Akane had lost her 
temper or Happosai getting the drop on them. That usually resulted in 
Ranma being launched though the roof and into the wild blue yonder.
     The walls had also seen better days. There was not one side, which 
did not have less than three holes boarded up or hastily filled in with 
plaster. The constant fights with Ryoga, Mousse, Kuno and others had 
taken their toll. Shaking their heads sadly at the chaos that they had 
inadvertently caused to this family, the twins each took a deep breath 
and headed toward the front door.
     Kasumi was there to greet them when the door opened. As always, 
she seemed her usual serene self. 
     "Why hello Ranma Red! You too Ranma Blue! Welcome back! What 
brings you two here?"
     "Hey Kasumi! Good to see you again!" Ranma Red replied. "Is Akane 
home? We need to talk to her."
     "Well, no she hasn't come home yet. Why do you ask?"
     "We need to speak to her in private."
     "I'm sorry, but I haven't seen her since this morning. It's getting late 
and I'm becoming a little worried."
     "You want us to go look for her?" Ranma Blue asked.
     "Oh would you please? Akane has not been the same since you two 
left the dojo. Nabiki told me that she was very upset today and that she 
couldn't find her any where."
     Both brothers thought back to when Akane had run from the school 
in tears. It was then that they felt a chill come over them. The twins 
shuddered as they felt a feeling of dread wash over them.
     Kasumi noticed this and asked, "What's wrong?"
     "I don't know…" Ranma Red began. "For a minute, I could swear that 
I just sensed…"
     "Yeah…" Ranma Blue said. "I felt it too. It was almost as if…"
     Both twins looked at each other, then remembered that Soren had 
told them that their auras had very strong bonds to people who were 
close to them. Closing their eyes, they began focusing their ki energies 
on the disturbance. Combining their auras, they were able to probe 
much further than either could do alone. An image began to form in 
their minds. At first, it was a blurry scene of dark shadows and shapes. 
It then became clearer as lines and colors came into focus. Finally, the 
image became crystal clear. What the siblings saw made their blood run 
cold. Their snapped open and they each had a look of horror on their 
     Kasumi had become even more concerned. She had never seen 
Ranma that way before, not even when he was in the grip of terror when 
facing a cat. It made her shiver. "What is it?"
     Both Ranmas gave her a panicked look and then bolted from the 
dojo. Before Kasumi say anything else, the twin Saotomes were gone 
from sight.
In an deserted construction site…
     Akane was feeling miserable. More miserable than she ever felt. 
Ryoga's famed depression would seem like a jump for joy compared to 
what she was feeling. After running from the school in tears, the 
youngest Tendo daughter had wandered the streets, not knowing or 
caring as to where she was headed. She eventually had come to this 
construction site where the workers had gone home for the day. Finding 
an unlocked gate, she had entered the site and had started climbing the 
girders of the unfinished building on a whim.
     By the time she had reached the seventh floor, the sun was just 
starting to make its daily journey toward the horizon. She decided to sit 
down near the edge to look at the cityscape below and contemplate 
what do with her life, now that Ranma Saotome would no longer be a 
part of it.
     As she looked down at the buildings and streets, she let out a long 
and listless sigh. Her life had been irrevocably changed. There would be 
no more arguments or insults. There would be no more fighting, save 
for those boys who wished to date her at school. She was no longer 
being forced to marry someone against her will. The dojo would no 
longer suffer any further damage since Ranma was not living there any 
more. Her life would revert back to what it was before Ranma had 
entered her life. It would be as if she and Ranma had never met.
     <It's ironic.> Akane thought. <For so long, I've been saying that I 
didn't want to marry him. Then when I finally get my wish, I do 
something stupid like fall in love with him! It's just so unfair. Why did I 
have to fall for him now? Why did I even fall for him in the first place? 
He was nothing more than an obnoxious, selfish, arrogant and self-
centered jerk! I should have bashed him when I first met him! But 
noooo, I had to become a lovesick schoolgirl!>
     Akane let out another tired sigh as she stared at the bright, majestic 
colors that the sun had produced as it neared the horizon. <Now that 
both Ranmas are engaged to Ukyo and Shampoo, they haven't even 
noticed me! It's just so unfair! I had to put up with the insults, the 
fights, those other girls and Ranma's ego! And what happens? I fall in 
love with the dope and he becomes twins and gets engaged to those 
bimbos! I've been suffering for almost a year and I get nothing in the 
end! Why did I even bother?>
     Akane could feel her tears well up again, and angrily wiped them 
away. <No! I'm not going to cry again! Nabiki was right! I've been living 
in a fantasy world! I've been fooling myself! I'll never be able to get 
Ranma back! He loves Ukyo and Shampoo, not me! If only I had been 
able to tell him sooner about how I felt about him! Ukyo and Shampoo 
told him up front and now they're going to marry him. Both of him!>
     Akane stood up and walked toward a girder that was jutting out of the 
side of the building like a diving board. She walked down its length until 
she was standing near the end. The winds blew around her gently, 
cooling her face and the redness that her tears had wrought. Looking 
down at the streets below, Akane saw that several buildings had begun 
to turn on their night lights. The street lamps were also turning on as 
their bright tops began dispelling the many shadows of the darkening 
night. The colors and patterns of luminescence spread out like a giant 
kaleidoscope. In the distance, she saw Tokyo Tower light up like a giant 
Christmas tree, adding its brightness to the city. 
     For one brief moment, all seemed right with the world. Then Akane's 
depression sunk to its lowest depths. Her heart began beating a painful 
rhythm as she felt the awful heartache of unrequited love. Terrifying in 
its newness and unbearable as it was realized far too late. The promise of 
a joyous future with Ranma Saotome had forever been dashed.
     <Nabiki told me that I should forget about him and get on with my 
life. I have two problems with that. I can't forget him and without him, I 
can't see any reason to get on with my life. My life has just been a total 
waste. Far be it from me to live a waste.>
     With a single step forward, Akane was as free as the wind. However, 
her freedom was destined to be short-lived. Akane felt no fear as the 
shadows on the ground seemed open up their arms and prepared to 
welcome her with a dark embrace that would last for eternity.
     Above her, streaking toward her falling form at unbelievable speeds, 
two flashes of light blazed across the sky. One glowed with an intense 
red light, while the one beside it burned with a blue fire. If one could 
see inside the two bursts of brilliance, one could make out a distinctive 
pigtail trailing behind each one.
To be continued…
Author's Notes
     I'm probably going to get the most controversy with this chapter than 
any other to date. Ever since I started watching Ranma ½, I've often 
wondered why Ranma always acted the way he did when it came to girls. 
He seemed to be very immature. He'd always tease Akane and treat Ukyo 
as 'one of the guys.' Considering that he's in his mid-teens , you'd think 
that he'd act like any other boy his age. After all, puberty had already hit 
him and I'd say that his hormones would be acting at full blast. Then I 
remembered that he has had very little experience with dealing with 
members of the opposite sex. Genma was not exactly a great teacher 
either. The decade of isolation had made Ranma Saotome inhibited and 
shy toward girls and I suppose that his Jusenkyo curse had added to the 
problem. Furthermore, he has restrained himself from discussing this 
delicate matter with his peers and his family. Instead, he would hide 
behind a macho mask of indifference and would change the subject.
     Another controversy that I know I'm going to be buzzed on is the 
subject of suicide. Just so you'd know, I do not advocate it. Let's face 
it, it's not a pretty sight. Even though Rumiko Takahashi used the 
ritualistic ceremony of seppeku as a humorous plot device, we really 
shouldn't joke about it in reality. Throughout our lives, we come across 
situations in which we cannot handle. It seems at these times, the easiest 
way to end the problem is to end our lives. Akane is now dealing with the 
pain of losing Ranma to her biggest rivals. Now I do not want to give 
away the outcome of whether or not the Saotome twins will save her in 
time. If she dies, then Akane lovers everywhere will flame me. If she 
doesn't die, then Akane haters will flame me. Can't please everyone!
     I wrote this chapter, not only to give the story a more of a serious 
quality, but also to show that although we see that sex and suicide as 
points of humor in the Ranma ½ series, we really should be aware that 
they are not points to be taken lightly.