Dual Destinies
<>: Thoughts
                                  Chapter 18
                                Final Decisions
     "Renounce our name?" Both Ranmas said simultaneously.
     Nodoka nodded as she explained, "Even though I do not approve of 
your father's past actions, he is still the head of the family. You two are 
still bound by the vow, since you are both Saotomes. If the Saotome 
line were to end with you two, then there would be no reason for Soun 
Tendo to force the issue. Furthermore, I too will no longer be 
associated with that idiot Genma!"
     "W-What do you mean?" Ranma Red asked.
     "I will be filing for divorce. I will no longer share his name. I shall 
resume my maiden name of Masaki. My parents were quite against my 
marriage to that fool and I see now that they were right. In fact, the only 
good thing that ever came from him were the two of you. He has used 
you for his own ends with no regards for your opinions, feelings or 
welfare. I rather suspect that he arranged the marriage with the Tendos, 
so that he could live off the dojo. With your curse and the threat of 
seppeku, I feel that he had no intention of ever contacting me. I thank 
Soren and Taron for allowing me to meet my sons and showing me how 
big a fool that man truly is. If he had wanted all those arranged 
engagements, he should have come home to make certain there were 
children to uphold them!"
     Both Ranmas nodded as they too had come to that conclusion 
before. Genma had never worked for anything in his life. Not if he 
could use them to get something for free. The multiple engagements 
were proof of that. Although they were not totally uncomfortable with 
losing the Saotome name, they had always prided themselves of being 
Ranma Saotome. Of course, that was when they were a single being. 
Added to the fact that their mother was also giving up the name. 
     "Mom, we…" Ranma Blue started.
     Nodoka held up a hand and motioned for him and his brother to 
listen. "Do not worry about my well-being. I am quite well off. The 
Masaki family is very wealthy, as it is descended from a noble samurai 
line. That is one of the reasons that I think Genma married me. My 
parents opposed the match, but I assured them that I would not let 
Genma get his hands on any of my fortune. That is why I chose to live 
simply. Furthermore, during the time you were in the Kami Plane, I had 
contacted my parents and told them of what had happened and my plans. 
They have agreed to let me take up the Masaki name again and are even 
more than willing to name the two of you as heirs. You will no longer 
be Ranma Blue and Ranma Red Saotome. Your new names will be 
Ranma Masaki, respectively. However, I will not force the two of you 
to do this. Your lives have been controlled by others long enough. I will 
let you make your own decisions."
     Both Ranmas looked at their mother for a long time as they 
considered their options. They then looked at their fiancées and Akane, 
hoping that they would give them a hint as to what to do.
     Ukyo sighed and then gave Ranma Blue a smile. "Ran-chan, I never 
wanted you for your name. Even if you didn't have any name to give me, 
I'd still marry you. I love you!"
     Shampoo nodded as she agreed. "Shampoo no care if Ranma not 
Saotome! Is still Ranma! Shampoo will marry Ranma! Wo ai ni!"
     Akane was a bit shocked at the whole discussion and didn't know how 
to respond to this development. She had thought that her renouncement 
of the engagement would be enough, but now the twins are being asked 
to give up their very identities. She then shuddered as she recalled how 
close she had come to losing her own.
     The twins then gave each other a small smile as Ranma Red said 
thoughtfully, "Ranma Masaki. You know, I like the sound of that."
     Ranma Blue shrugged as he replied, "It doesn't sound too bad."
The next day at the Tendo dojo…
     Soun had been pacing the house and bawling his head off for several 
hours since Akane had disappeared. Kasumi had done her best to try to 
calm her father down, but he had proven to be inconsolable. Genma had 
tried in the beginning to get his old friend to stop, but after being 
reminded that Akane had left because of the twins, he later decided that 
it would be better to let Soun get it all out of his system. In any case, he 
did not want the Tendo patriarch to go into that demon-head again, if he 
was reminded that was Genma's fault that the twins had left the dojo in 
the first place.
     By the time Nabiki had gotten home from school, Soun was still 
doing his impression of Niagara Falls. Shaking her head in frustration 
and worry, not only for her father, but also for her missing sibling, she 
decided that it was time to discuss an important matter with her older 
sister. Since Akane, Ukyo and the Ranma twins had not shown that day 
in class, she knew that something was up. Furthermore, on her way 
home, she had noticed that the Nekohanten had closed early, with a note 
that announced a massive going-out-of-business sale in a few days.
     <Something big must be happening!> Nabiki thought. <If it is what I 
think it is, then it's time I had a long talk with Kasumi! She's the only 
one who'll listen and besides… this'll concern her as much as it does 
for Akane and me! Wherever she is, I hope she's okay!>
     Nabiki found her sister in the usual place, in the kitchen preparing 
the evening meal. She saw that Kasumi had prepared her delicious 
Sukiyaki for tonight. Sukiyaki was her father and Genma's favorite dish. 
Sighing to herself, Nabiki approached her sibling and said, "Kasumi? 
Can you spare a few minutes? I need to talk to you about some really 
important things."
     "It's about Akane, the engagement and the Nekohanten being closed, 
isn't it?" Kasumi said without turning to face her.
     Nabiki was taken aback. "H-how did you know?"
     Kasumi turned to face her sibling and gave her a wan smile. "Nabiki, 
I may act as if I'm oblivious to the outside world, but I am far from 
unaware about things that happen around me. I noticed the sign on the 
Nekohanten when I came home from shopping. And, it doesn't take a 
genius to figure out that you're worried about Akane and the engagement. 
I was worried as well, but a few minutes ago, I received a call from Mrs. 
Saotome. She informed me that she and her family are coming in an hour 
to speak with her husband and our father. She also told me that Akane is 
with them."
     "She is?!" Nabiki blurted out. "Why didn't she tell us sooner?!"
     "She didn't say, but she assures us that Akane is fine and will be back 
home by tonight. She also told me that the vow between our families 
will finally be settled."
     Nabiki let out a sigh of relief. Then she decided to get to the heart of 
the discussion. "Well I'm glad that Akane is all right. Now I have to talk 
to you about those other things."
     "Yes. The closing of the Nekohanten and the vow to unite the schools."
     "Well, I can probably guess why they're closing the Cat Café. I mean, 
they got what they wanted. Ranma Red is going to marry Shampoo. 
What I really wanted to talk to you about, is what are we going to do 
about Akane! She was really choked up the last time I saw her and I 
doubt that either Ranma will break off their new engagement and come 
back to her!"
     "Yes, it is a very difficult situation. However, you must admit, 
Ranma and Akane have had a rough time of it these past few months. 
Also, this is the first time I have ever seen Ranma eager to be engaged 
to ANYONE, never mind it's not Akane. I believe that they are serious 
and Akane is going to be the most hurt!"
     Nabiki cocked her head in thought and let the wheels of her razor-
sharp mind turn, in her attempt to try and salvage the situation. She 
frowned as she considered all the evidence. If what her spies were 
telling her was accurate, the two Ranmas were head-over-heels in love 
with Akane's former rivals. That fact did not sit well with the middle 
Tendo daughter. She also recalled that it took an event such as this to 
finally force Akane to admit her true feelings to the son of Genma 
Saotome. She also remembered the desperation in her younger sister 
eyes as she almost begged her to think up of a way for Ranma to return 
to the dojo. However, Nabiki knew that it would have been a doomed 
plan. She had noticed that the personalities of both twins had been 
dramatically changed from the self-centered, arrogant and chauvinistic 
Ranma that they had lived with for nearly a year.
     The twins were far less egotistical than the original. They acted with 
more maturity and were showing better manners. They didn't shoot off 
their mouths and were polite. They didn't boast about their new abilities 
and seemed to have learned humility. They were thoughtful and 
extremely affectionate toward Shampoo and Ukyo. They were more 
aware of what was happening around them, instead of showing 
indifference. Most of all, they seemed to be in better control of their 
lives. It was if Kami-sama himself had stripped Ranma to the soul, 
corrected the mistakes that were made the first time around and then 
duplicated him. The result was Ranma done right and doubled.
     Nabiki let out a loud sigh as she said tiredly, "You're right Kasumi. 
Akane doesn't stand a chance!"
     Kasumi nodded as she prepared the Sukiyaki. "When you think about 
it, you have to wonder how those two ever got this far in their relationship."
     "I'll say! With all those boys fighting her at school and Kuno chasing 
her all the time, I guess we shouldn't have been surprised to see her 
ticked off when Daddy announced that one of us has to marry a total 
     "I will admit, Father does not have much when it comes to subtlety."
     "Hey Kasumi! When Ranma came in that day, why did you agree with 
me to have Akane engaged to him? I mean, no offense but I always 
thought you were the dutiful daughter. As the oldest, shouldn't you have 
accepted the engagement?"
     Kasumi became silent for a long moment, and Nabiki began to fear 
that she might have offended her. The eldest daughter of the Tendo clan 
then nodded slightly as she replied, "You're right Nabiki. I should have 
accepted the engagement. When I saw Ranma's curse… I panicked."
     "You?!" Nabiki could scarcely believe it. She always thought that her 
older sister was the icon of control.
     Kasumi nodded again and said in a quiet voice, "Remember what I 
said that day before Ranma arrived? That I hoped that he was older than 
me?" Nabiki nodded as Kasumi continued. "When Ranma first came in 
that door, I decided that it didn't matter that if he was younger than me. 
He seemed nice enough and I realized that I was just having a case of 
nerves. After all, we had just met him, even though one of us was 
supposed to marry him. But… when I saw Ranma turn into a girl with 
cold water, I got scared because I just couldn't handle things like that 
the way you and Akane could."
     "What do you mean?"
     "Think about it. Even though I seem to always be in control, deep 
inside me, I'm just as human as you are. I do get scared! Every day in 
     "Yes. When Mother died, I took it upon myself to take her place! 
Every day I worry about what to feed the family, how to get all the 
chores done on time and how to make sure that the family doesn't fall 
apart! Father had never been the same since Mother died. The one time 
he was truly happy was the day when the Saotomes arrived at the dojo!"
     "Well yeah, but what's that got to do with your handing Ranma over 
to Akane?"
     "When Ranma showed me his curse, it was so strange that it scared 
me! Instead of being strong like our mother used to, I acted like a 
terrified deer caught in front of the headlights of a speeding car! I just 
couldn't imagine myself married to such a person. I found it far easier 
to move him toward Akane and treat him as just another family member 
to take care of. I didn't have your business-savvy or Akane's martial arts 
training to deal with the shock. All I knew how to do was run a household."
     "Kasumi… I didn't know."
     "Now that I think back on it, I realize that I have been making a lot of 
mistakes. Not just with that first day, but also with what happened 
afterward. I was always trying to push Akane into becoming the perfect 
wife for Ranma, but I didn't realize just how badly things were between 
them. I had always assumed, just like our father, that every fight they 
had was just another phase they were going through. I always maintain 
that things would turn out all right in the end. I never truly stopped and 
considered the possibility that Akane and Ranma were really having 
     "Come to think of it," Nabiki agreed slowly, "those two did get a 
little more violent before Ranma became twins. At least Akane did."
     "Exactly. We had gotten so used to their constant fighting that we 
didn't see that Ranma was starting to drift from Akane. You must admit, 
Akane was never any good at showing her feelings to anyone outside of 
the family. Having Ranma's father and our father badger them all the 
time about honor, upholding the vow and joining the schools, without 
acknowledging their feelings did not help matters. In fact, I think that 
their constant attempts to push them together actually did the opposite."
     "Well you know Daddy. Considering other people's feelings was 
never one of his virtues. I admit, I was more than a little ticked off when 
he tried to get us engaged to a total stranger. He expects everything to 
go the way he wants it and… well, I really didn't like it when he started 
to treat Ranma like a piece of property. Not that I'm defending that jerk, 
but Daddy always thought of him as just the future of the School of the 
Anything Goes. He never considered any of his opinions as important, 
and he would go into that demon-head whenever Ranma objected to 
     "Father certainly has a one-track mind. I'm afraid that Ranma's father 
is no better."
     "I can't believe that Daddy still thinks of him as his best friend! After 
engaging Ranma to all those girls, you'd think that Daddy would have 
dissolved the engagement on the spot! But no! He still wants to force 
Akane and Ranma into that stupid arrangement! All for the sake of that 
stupid school!"
     "Father never realized how much the engagement was hurting the 
both of them! Both were being forced into a marriage, in which they 
barely tolerated each other. Neither one was willing to swallow their 
pride and let the other get close. The insults, fighting, misunderstandings 
and rivalries were too much for them. There were so many missed 
opportunities, botched matchmaking schemes and too much pressure on 
them to get married when they were clearly not ready at the time. I'm 
afraid that we're just as much to blame for this as well. We were just 
adding fuel to the fire by telling Akane that her behavior was unladylike 
or Ranma's treatment of her was inappropriate. We never really 
discussed with them as to why they were always fighting. We pointed out 
their mistakes, but instead of correcting them, we chided them and made 
the situation worse! It's so sad that Akane has finally come to love 
Ranma, but he no longer wants her."
     Nabiki nodded in agreement as she recalled all the times that she had 
called Akane's food as toxic and saying that she was weird by her 
tomboyish ways. She also remembered her many comments towards 
Ranma's problems, especially when it came to his Jusenkyo curse. <I 
guess I should have realized that he was having it bad! Hell! I added to 
his problems when I sold those pictures of him as a girl to Kuno!> It 
was then that another thought hit her. "By the way, Kasumi. Aren't you 
worried that Daddy might see this as a way to get us engaged to both of 
them? I mean, it's obvious that neither one wants to marry Akane."
     "I have considered it. However, I will not do it."
     Nabiki stared at her older sibling in shock. She had never before 
seen Kasumi even think about going against her father's wishes. 
     "You needn't look so surprised, sister. I consider Ranma as a good 
person. He may have his faults, but he is a good catch. Any girl who 
gets him would be very lucky. However, I am not the one for him. He 
needs someone who not only loves him, but understands him. His 
martial arts are his life, and the only one of us who was familiar with 
that aspect was Akane. However, she and Ranma couldn't come to a 
consensus. They couldn't stop fighting long enough to agree on anything. 
That fact, plus other things is what caused their relationship to self-
destruct. Furthermore, my becoming the new fiancée would only lessen 
the problem, not solve it. Granted, I will not have the same arguments, 
but I would still be subjected to some of the troubles as Akane had. Ukyo 
or Shampoo would resent me, and so would Kodachi. Also, you do 
remember that Mr. Saotome had arranged other marriages for Ranma 
that we did not know about. How long do you think it would be, before 
those girls come to collect? Lastly, I don't love Ranma as a wife should. 
I believe that was Father's biggest mistake. He did not take into account 
Akane's feelings on the matter. He believed that she should marry Ranma 
and that love would come later. When love finally came to her, it was too 
late. I don't think I could handle that kind of heartbreak."
     Nabiki nodded as she listened to her sister's reasons. As of late, she 
had been considering what it would be like to be engaged to one of the 
twins, if it came to that. Naturally of course, her father would insist, no 
demand that she accept it, if Akane could not get either Ranma as a 
fiancée. Since it was certain that Akane would not succeed, Nabiki had 
started to consider it. She and Ranma had never gotten along very well. 
In her schemes, Ranma was seen as nothing more than a terribly 
convenient source of income. She had studied him, learned all of his 
quirks and habits. She had prided herself on knowing Ranma better than 
he knew himself. It was this advantage that she had over him, which kept 
him under her thumb all this time.
     Now Ranma had completely changed, both in personality and form. 
He was an unknown. What Nabiki did not understand, she could not 
control. If there was one thing that Nabiki hated, it was not knowing 
anything about something or someone. More to the point, Nabiki now 
found herself in a difficult situation. Considering how much they loved 
Ukyo and Shampoo, the twins would undoubtedly become resentful at 
being forced from them and engaged to another against their wills. They 
might even take out their frustrations on her. Although she knew that 
both Ranmas would never harm a girl, Nabiki remembered all the 
heated arguments and bouts of insults between Akane and the single 
Saotome. She decided that she did not want to be in that position.
     As Nabiki considered what might very well be her future, she 
became resentful toward her father. He had never considered once, 
about how much Akane had suffered in her tumultuous relationship with 
Ranma. He had always tried to push them together, when in fact, the 
attempts only sent them further apart. He had maintained that every 
fight they had were mere phases in their path to true love, despite 
overwhelming evidence to the contrary. He never discussed with Akane 
as to how she felt about the whole arrangement. All he went on about 
was the future of the school! The thought of uniting the families was 
what drove him. It had become an obsession. That was when Nabiki 
thought about how that notion had affected the family.
     He didn't support the family with their financial troubles. He didn't 
have a job! How was the family going to survive when Nabiki finally 
went off to college? This is supposed to be a training dojo. So where 
are the students? All she ever saw her father do was play shogi with 
Genma all day, and read the newspaper. Aside from groveling in front 
of Happosai and perhaps sweep around the yard, he didn't do very much. 
Nabiki had to deal with the family's money worries! And quite frankly, 
she was getting tired of her mercenary life. It was a lonely life and she 
had begun to realize of late that money wasn't going to cure her of 
being alone. When all is said and done, money was just scraps of paper 
and pieces of metal. They didn't compare to the warm, loving touch of 
another. The feelings of togetherness. The joys of intimacy. Nabiki 
couldn't even remember the last time she was with someone for 
something that wasn't business related. It was hard to start a relationship, 
when every boy who met her thought she was an cold-hearted bitch. 
     It was then that she realized a shocking fact. This was what made 
Ranma resent her! She had placed the value of the yen over his feelings 
and Akane's. She had both used them in various schemes to make enough 
money to support the family. Although she had maintained that it was a 
good cause, she could now understand as to how they viewed her. 
     <I guess they did see me as an ice princess! A greedy, money-hungry 
bitch! No wonder they always looked down at me! I shouldn't be 
surprised that no boy in school would want to ask me out. They probably 
expect that I'll charge them by the hour! They'd rather get pounded by 
Akane while trying to win a date than associate with me. Kami-sama! Has 
my life really gotten so low? Do I really appear that way? If I get engaged 
to one of the Ranmas, then he'll see this as another one of my get-rich 
plans! Damn it! I don't want that anymore! It's not my fault that I have to 
resort to blackmail and extortion! I have to keep our heads above water! 
Why can't Daddy see that his family needs him? Why can't he get a job 
or start teaching? Why can't he listen to what we have to say? Can't he 
see that we're all suffering? Kasumi is stuck with taking care of us! 
Akane has all of her problems! I have a reputation of being a mercenary! 
He never talks to us about anything other than the engagement! All he 
cares about is the stupid future of the schools! He never gave Akane a 
choice and he's not going to give me or Kasumi a choice either! I hate 
that promise! I hate it! I HATE IT!!!>
     Kasumi's voice shook her back to reality. As Nabiki looked up at her 
sister, she had what appeared to be tears that were starting to form in 
her eyes.
     "Nabiki… what's wrong?" Kasumi asked in a motherly tone.
     Nabiki took her sibling in a hug and said in a quiet voice while tears 
began to stream down her cheeks. "Kasumi! I'm not going to marry 
Ranma either! It's time we faced Daddy and tell him that there are more 
important things than uniting the Schools of the Anything Goes!"
     It was Kasumi's turn to be surprised. The last time that Nabiki had 
shed tears was when their mother had passed away. Since then, she had 
become hardened and hid most of her pain behind a cool exterior. Of 
course, she knew that Nabiki was really hurting inside. She wrapped her 
arms around her younger sibling and let her cry for the first time in years. 
For once, she was not even concerned that dinner was becoming burned.
     One hour later, the twins, Shampoo, Ukyo, Cologne, Nodoka and 
Akane arrived at the dojo. Soun brightened up as he saw his youngest 
daughter walk through the door. He quickly rushed to the front and had 
his child up in a hug before she could get out a 'Hi dad.' Genma was 
right behind him and when he saw that the twins had returned to the 
dojo, he immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion.
     "Ranma my boys! I'm glad that the two of you have finally come to 
your senses! After we have chosen a fiancée for the other boy, let's 
hold the weddings tonight!"
     "Stuff it old man! That's not the reason why we're here!" Ranma Blue 
     "We haven't changed our minds! And don't think that old lecher is 
going to help! Last time we saw him, he couldn't beat a four-year old!" 
Ranma Red agreed.
     "W-what?!" Both Genma and Soun stammered as they heard this.
     "That's right!" The blue-shirted Ranma said smugly. "We did Nerima 
a favor! They don't have to worry about their underwear or food being 
stolen for the next six months or so!"
     Both men paled a bit when they realized what had happened.
     "Y-Y-You beat... THE MASTER?!" Soun stammered.
     "Quite handily too." Cologne replied as she smiled. "I was fortunate 
to have been there to finally witness the downfall of that pervert! 
Although I would like nothing better than to talk about Happi's defeat, 
we have more important matters to discuss."
     "Yes, well there is the matter of the engagements... " Genma began.
     "Genma...." Nodoka slowly growled as she began unsheathing her 
     As soon as Ranma's father caught sight of his wife, he went into a 
state of shock. Briefly he thought about hiding in the koi pond, but then 
remembered that she knew about his curse. Gulping loudly, he backed 
away to where Nabiki and Kasumi were standing.
     Kasumi knew that things were starting to get tense, so she decided to 
take control. "Why don't we all go inside and discuss this over a cup of 
     A few minutes later, there was much shouting as Soun was informed 
that Akane had renounced her claim and that the twins were still not 
going to uphold the vow!
     "Akane! You will marry a Saotome! I will brook no disobedience! It 
is a matter of honor that the Schools of the Anything Goes Martial Arts 
be united!"
     "And what's wrong with me being able to carry on the school on my 
own?" Akane shot back. "I'm a martial artist too!"
     "It was intended that you and Ranma wed and carry on the Tendo line, 
as well as the school! You were to sire enough children to ensure that 
our legacy would continue!"
     "Is that all? Is that what I am to you? Just a brood cow? I'm your 
     "Akane! You will not speak to me in that tone! I am only doing what 
is best for you and the school! Furthermore, it is a matter of honor?"
     "Don't give me that! You have just about as much honor as Ranma's 
father! When Kaori Daikoku and Ukyo showed up with valid claims, 
you should have dissolved the vow right there, since Mr. Saotome had 
broken his promise to you! And if you really did have my best interests 
at heart, then WHY didn't you tell me that Ryoga was P-chan!?"
     Kasumi and Nabiki let off startled gasps as they heard of this 
     "W-what? How did you know?" Soun stammered out.
     "Never mind how I know! What I want to know is why you let me 
sleep with him? If I was supposed to be marrying someone else, then 
you should have put a stop to it! Kami-sama knows that Ranma tried!"
     "Well, it was a difficult situation. You had obviously taken a liking to 
your new pet and I thought that Ranma would get jealous. Then there 
was the matter of his oath to him."
     "I don't want to hear any more of it! What you have told me now only 
proves that this whole engagement wasn't for my sake or Ranma's! It's 
for your own! You never asked me whether or not I wanted this 
arrangement in the first place! You always kept on saying that things 
will work out, even though Ranma and I were constantly at each other's 
throats! You never even discussed with me about other things. When 
those boys started attacking me, you didn't do a thing to help! I told you 
that I needed to improve my martial arts, but you didn't take me 
seriously! When Ranma arrived, you just focused on him and the stupid 
engagement! You never listened to what he or I wanted to say! Our 
opinions didn't matter! Well I'm through with being ignored! Just like 
the twins, I'm going to take control of my life! I hereby restate that my 
claim to either Saotome is renounced!"
     Soun was about to let off another tirade but he then saw tears were 
forming in her eyes. Sighing to himself, his expression became 
saddened as he said, "Very well Akane. I had hoped that you would be 
the one to carry on our legacy, but since you are against it, I will not 
force you to marry them. Your sisters..."
     "No Father."
     Soun was surprised to hear those words. He even more amazed that 
Kasumi had said those words. Turning to face his other daughters, he 
slowly asked, "What... did... you...say?"
     "I said no." Kasumi responded. "Nabiki and I have been discussing 
this and we have decided that too many problems, hurt feelings and 
sacrifices have been made because of the vow. We will not add to it by 
getting involved. We will not marry the twins either. It's about time that 
we began living as a family, and put a stop to these troubles."
     "That's right Daddy!" Nabiki agreed. "You and Mr. Saotome had been 
so caught up on the idea to unite the schools that you didn't realize how 
much that promise was hurting both families! Ranma and his father 
were eating us out of house and home! Their constant fights were 
putting a strain on the repair bills! Happosai was getting us into deeper 
debt and trouble with his panty and food raids! Just how long do you 
think I could pay for that? All you have been doing is staying at home 
and play shogi with Mr. Saotome all the time!"
     Kasumi nodded as she continued, "You two were always pushing 
Ranma and Akane together., despite the fact that they weren't ready yet! 
You had so many silly notions that they would grow to love each other, 
after they had gotten married! Love takes time, and you were rushing it! 
Also, you were never there for Akane when she was hurting! I can't 
count how many times I had seen her cry herself to sleep whenever 
Ranma had hurt her feelings! You always assumed that their fights were 
just phases they were going though! Nabiki and I were the ones to 
console her. You couldn't be bothered because you were too caught up 
in that vow!"
     Nabiki gave Genma a withering glare. "And you, Mr. Saotome are the 
worst excuse for a father that I have ever seen! Ranma is not a bargaining 
chip that you can use to fill your fat belly! He's got rights and feelings 
too! All you see him as is a way to get something for nothing! I'm not 
proud of what I did to him over the last few months, but I don't do it out 
of greed! I have to support this family and Kasumi has to keep it 
together! Akane and Ranma has suffered through a lot since this whole 
thing started and we don't want them to suffer any more. Nor do we want 
to suffer through it either! We're not marrying anyone either!"
     Now by this time, Soun would have been bawling his head off. This 
time however, he didn't. Instead he had taken on a raging expression that 
scared Genma even more than his usual demon-head. He simply could 
not believe that his daughters were turning against him, even Kasumi. 
Something inside him snapped. It began to build like a raging volcano. 
Finally, after a full minute of silence, he erupted.
OF YOU!!!" 
     Everyone in the room were struck dumb with shock. Never had they 
seen Soun explode with such rage. They had seen him in severe 
emotional distress before, but this went beyond anything they had 
witnessed before. Genma was the most affected. He couldn't believe 
that his long-time friend was capable of such an outburst. It scared him 
far more than Nodoka's threat of seppeku.
     Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane could only stare at their father with mixed 
expressions of shock, sympathy, sadness and resignation. They had not 
expected the situation to go these extremes. For many minutes, nothing 
was said. Finally, Kasumi broke the silence with a tearful voice as she 
     "Goodbye... Soun Tendo."
     Nabiki unsuccessfully held back her tears and said, "If...that's what you want."
     "I love you... Dad, but I can't live with you any more." Akane sniffled. 
     The three sisters wept as they all ran up to their rooms and slammed 
their doors. A minute later, the people downstairs could hear the rustle 
of clothes. It was obvious that they had begun packing. Soun's expression 
changed to one of regret as he realized what he had done. He had just lost 
his family. If there was anything that hurt him as much as the time he lost 
his wife, it was this moment. He tried to take a step forward toward the 
stairs, but he found that he had no strength in his legs. His entire body 
shuddered as he fell to his knees. Finally he gave in to his feelings and 
began weeping quietly with his face in his eyes. It wasn't the same 
waterfall of tears. It was the sobbing of a man who had been totally 
broken. A man who had lost everything.
     Genma started to walk over to his friend and placed his hand on 
Soun's shoulder. "Tendo?"
     "Get out!" Soun growled without looking up.
     "What?" Genma said fearfully.
     "I SAID GET OUT!!!" Soun sprang to his feet and backhanded his 
former friend in the chin. Genma went flying to the floor of the dojo. 
He found himself sprawled on his back with his chin throbbing in pain. 
He could feel the trickle of blood forming on his lower lip as he 
looked up at Soun's newly enraged face. 
     "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!!!" Soun raged as he tried to kick 
Genma in the ribs. Genma barely managed to dodge the blow as he 
scrambled to his feet and backed away.
     "N-Now take it easy Tendo!" Genma said nervously as he scanned a 
room, looking for the nearest exit.
     "I've just lost my family and YOU WANT ME TO TAKE IT EASY?!"
     "Tendo, please..."
     Tendo reached behind his back and pulled out a really, really BIG 
mallet and started swing at Genma's head, intent on knocking it into 
orbit. As his battle aura flared and his demon-head took on gigantic 
proportions, Genma knew that now was the best time to make a fast 
exit. He ran toward the nearest wall and crashed through it effortlessly 
(ah, the wonders of adrenaline). He then invoked the Saotome Anything 
Goes Martial Arts Final Technique. He ran. Unfortunately, Soun also 
knew of this maneuver and countered it with the Tendo Anything Goes 
Martial Arts Final Technique. He chased him while swinging that big 
mallet. Sound familiar?
     As the two disappeared over the horizon, the twins and their party 
could only stare at the hole in the wall.
     "I always wondered where Akane had gotten that mallet." Ranma Blue 
     "I guess it runs in the family." Ranma Red said.
     "It seems that the vow to unite the families has been rectified." 
Cologne said simply.
     "Yeah, well it wasn't exactly how we wanted it to end." Ukyo 
     "Shampoo feel sorry for Akane and sisters. They have no place to go 
     "I can give them a place to stay until they're ready to talk with their 
father." Nodoka said as she turned to her sons. "As for the two of you. It 
seems you have a choice. Since it's apparent that Soun no longer wishes 
to uphold the vow, there is no need for the two of you to renounce your 
family names."
     "What about you Mom?" Ranma Red inquired.
     "I am still intent on divorcing with Genma." She took a glance at the 
hole, then added, "Provided that Soun does not make me into a widow 
before then. Not that Genma did not have this coming to him for a long 
     "Well that's it then. We're still going to renounce our names!" Ranma 
Blue declared.
     "Yeah! We don't to be associated with Genma either. Besides, we'd 
like to meet your family too!"
     "We can discuss more on this later." Cologne said. "Right now, we 
have three very lost and sad girls to comfort."
     They all nodded as they headed up the stairs.
To be continued...
Author's Notes
     Well now. Have I solved the honor issue with what you expected? 
Does this mean the end of the Tendos as well as the Saotomes? Have I 
given everyone a satisfactory end to the chaos?
     Probably not! But I did want to explore what would happen if Kasumi 
and Nabiki were to join Akane in defying their father's wishes. Kasumi 
being disobedient and Nabiki regretting her mercenary life does sound 
out of character, but as I said before, Rumiko Takahashi didn't really 
expand on the other sisters as much as Akane so I decided to go into 
their minds and make them seem more than they appeared to be. After 
all, they are human.
     For those of you who think I'm going off the main focus of the story, 
don't worry. We'll soon be seeing more of the training, the Dark World 
and the Contract Renewal soon enough. I just wanted to satisfy some of 
my readers suggestions to end the honor issue. Chapter 19 will be 
concerned with the aftermath of these events and a few more surprises.