The characters of the Nerima gang are the products of Rumiko
Takahashi. All other anime personalities belong to their respective
creators. Dual Destinies is written purely for entertainment.
Genma Saotome had been on the run for over six days now. He had
managed to elude his former best friend Soun Tendo four days earlier,
but since his only home was the Tendo dojo, he had no where to go. As
a result, he had been living in an abandoned building that was one block
west of Furinkan High, with nothing but the gi on his back. For the first
time in his life, all of the Saotome patriarch's crimes had resulted in
serious repercussions for the father of the Ranma twins.
Genma sat contemplating in a room that hadn't been inhabited in
several years. The fat martial artist's stomach rumbled with its usual
insistence to be fed. However, with not a single yen to his name,
Genma found himself going on an involuntary diet. He had considered
getting a job, but after that short period of working for Dr. Tofu, Genma
had found that he really didn't have much talent for earning income. As
a result, he was now forced to fast for a while, until he could think up a
way to get back into Soun's good graces.
The Saotome Patriarch sighed as he remembered the times he had at
the dojo. He had eaten very well at the dojo, and no one could compare
to Kasumi's fine cooking. He had spent long and lazy hours with Soun,
playing (or rather cheating) at shogi. He had considered going to his
wife's house, but remembering that promise of seppeku, not to mention
that she was royally displeased with his past actions, had made him
dismiss the idea.
<It's all the fault of that ungrateful son of mine! Genma thought
darkly. I thought I had it made when he became twins! And after all I've
done for him, he should thank me! I taught him everything he knows
about the arts! I took him to great training grounds! I looked out for his
welfare by getting him engaged! All I've done in the last ten years was
for his benefit!>
The former husband of Nodoka, (although he doesn't know that yet)
then began to rethink things. <Okay, so maybe the Cat Fist didn't turn
out the way I expected. And I suppose Jusenkyo wasn't a good idea. But
the engagement was the best thing for him, right? And if that meant I
could retire with Soun and take it easy for the rest of my life, then all
the better! After what I had to go through with that lecher Happosai, I
think I deserve to be taken care of!>
Genma fumed some more about his recent misfortunes and then
came to a conclusion. The only way for him to get back to the way
things were, was to somehow get one or both of engaged to Soun's
daughters. With that in mind, he decided to confront his progeny at the
The two Ranmas and Ukyo, were walking together with Nabiki and
Akane towards Furinkan. After the events of yesterday, Akane insisted
that she had fully recovered from her ordeal and was ready to return to
school. The others were doubtful, but the determination in her eyes told
them that Akane intended to get on with her life, despite the shambles it
had become. The twins had decided to keep an eye on her, just in case
she needed support or comfort. As they approached the school gates,
Akane turned to the twins.
"Ranma… both of you. Can you do me a favor?"
Ranma Blue and his twin looked at Akane with concern. "What kind
"You know that those boys are going to come out and fight me for a
"Sure. Now that we're not engaged, you've got to expect that." Ranma
Akane winced a bit at the reminder, but then quickly composed
herself. "Well, when they do appear, could you… stop them? I've been
out of practice for over a week and I think it's time I put an end to all
this nonsense. I should have done this when it first started."
"What are you going to do?" Ranma Blue asked.
"You'll see. All I want you to do is to stop those boys. Don't hurt
them too much. I just want you to make them stop long enough for
them to listen! Okay?"
The twins looked at each other, then shrugged as Ranma Red
"What are you planning sis?" Nabiki asked in a concerned tone.
Ukyo was also mystified. In the past, Akane almost never asked
Ranma for help. She was either too proud to admit that she needed
assistance or was too mad to ask for it. She was always quick to jump to
a conclusion and use her fists to solve a problem. Now, she was
actually going to talk it out? <Has her experience in the Kami Plane
made her change?>
As soon as they came to within ten feet of the school gates, the
hordes of the FAD, (Fight Akane for a Date) came charging out of the
main building with various sports equipment and other blunt objects. As
usual, they were screaming out their… challenges of love.
"Akane! I love you!"
"Please date with me!"
"Go out with me!"
Needless to say, they were going to be no more successful today,
than any other time. In any case, both Ranmas couldn't stand to see how
pathetic they were and went into action.
Ranma Blue stepped forward and began focusing his ki. His brother
knew his intentions and told the sisters and Ukyo to step back.
Just as the crowd of hormone-driven boys came within fifty feet of
the gate, Ranma Blue made a circular motion with an arm and released
"HIRYU SHOTEN HA REVISED! CYCLONE SCATTER!"
Unlike the original technique, Ranma Blue did not have to draw his
opponents into a spiral. Focusing his cool chi against the hot chi of all
those present, he had created enough of the temperature imbalance to
cause several smaller whirlwinds to appear. Each mini-cyclone sucked
up five to six of the boys and tossed them about with the same force as
the one single whirlwind would have. This improved version was very
effective against multiple targets, as it did not have to rely on drawing
all of his adversaries into the same spiral.
When the technique ended, nearly half the would-be suitors for
Akane's affection were sprawled out on the ground. The other half of
the group took one look into Ranma Blue's irritated expression and
backed away slowly. It was then that Akane stepped forward.
"WILL YOU ALL KNOCK IT OFF!!! I am sick and tired of this
happening every morning! I didn't like it the first time around! If you
wanted to take me out on a date then JUST ASK ME!"
There was a collective blink among everyone as they tried to make
sense as to what Akane had meant by that statement.
Akane looked at the confused expressions and nodded. "You heard
me right. If you want a date, just ask me for it. I may say yes."
The twins let off a sigh of disgust the moment they heard Kuno's
voice. They looked to the side and sure enough, the poetry-spouting
kendoist was strutting toward them with bokken held at the ready.
"I, the Great Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan have
already dictated the terms that no one may date with…"
"SHUT UP KUNO!" Akane roared in a tone that made even the
normally dense Kuno take notice. She then stomped toward him and
grabbed his wooden sword out of his hand. Breaking the blade over her
knee, she tossed the pieces at the feet of the older boy. Her face took a
terrifying expression as she said in a deadly tone, "It's your fault that
this happened in the first place! Who are you to decide who I'm
supposed to date?"
"But my love! I only wish to look out for your best interests!"
Akane reared back and slapped him on the cheek. Since she had put
in the same force as she used to do when she knocked Ranma into orbit,
the blow staggered the kendoist. Kuno had taken punches in the face by
Ranma-chan before, but had shrugged them off as 'love-taps' from his
pigtailed goddess. At first he assumed that the same thing was
happening with his Tendo tigress, but the look on her face seemed to
indicate otherwise. As his cheek reddened from the slap, Kuno listened
in disbelief as Akane vented her frustrations over the past year.
"It wasn't in my interests that you made up that stupid rule! Heck, I
don't think my opinion even mattered! You have got to be the most
irritating, insufferable, arrogant and egotistical BASTARD THAT I
HAVE EVER MET! I HATE YOU!"
The crowd gasped as they listened to Akane's description of
upperclassman Kuno. They remembered back to the times when she had
been bickering with Ranma. They had always known that she really
didn't mean any of her harsh remarks. This was different though. For
some reason, they could tell that she meant every word.
"My love! You don't know what you're saying! I know! You must still
be under the spell of those foul demons…"
"SHUT UP!" Akane roared as she delivered another slap to Kuno's
other cheek! "Don't start making up excuses or blaming someone else
for something that you can't or WON'T understand! I'm going to tell it
to you straight! I DON'T LOVE YOU! After all this time, I've decided
that I DON'T EVEN LIKE YOU! I WOULD RATHER DIE THAN GO
OUT WITH YOU!"
The Ranma brothers and Ukyo winced at that statement.
Akane continued with her denouncement of Kuno. "You have been
after me since I enrolled here and so far, I've had to endure your
stupidity and high-and-mighty-ways! Since when do I have to be beaten
by someone in order to have a date?"
"But my love!" Kuno protested. "How else would one prove himself
worthy? I had to make certain that you remained pure and unsullied by
"YOU JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT I STAYED
SINGLE!" Akane cocked her arm back and let loose with a haymaker
that sent Kuno back ten feet. The kendoist was taken by surprise by the
amount of force put into the blow as he found himself flat on his back
and looking up at Akane's enraged face.
<No! this cannot be! The foul sorcerer twins must have placed her
under a spell, which makes her not recognize her one true love! I must
He never got to finish that thought as Akane kicked him in the face.
Apparently, she recognized the look on Kuno's face, which made her
even more disgusted. "I assure you Kuno! I'm thinking very clearly! In
fact, I've been thinking clearly for the first time in a long time! All
that's happened to me has made me realize that I need to take control of
my life! So far, everyone else has been making decisions for me! My
father arranged a marriage that I had no say in! You had every boy in
school fighting me for dates! I had been letting these things happen
because I hoped that things would get better! But now I realized that
nothing is going to change until I do something about it!"
Akane paused for a moment before adding, "The last couple of weeks
has also made me realize what I wanted out of life! I want to be able to
make my own choices and live my life the way I want to! I want to find
out my potential and see what I can really do! But most importantly, I
want to find SOMEONE TO LOVE!"
Kuno's expression brightened at those words, "Does that mean…?"
"NO KUNO!!!" Akane screamed as she stomped her foot. "Whoever
that person will be, it will not be YOU!!! You're nothing but a pompous
and self-absorbed jerk! You can't even decide on one girl! You've been
after me, the pigtailed girl, Nabiki, Ukyo and Kami-sama only knows
how many more! Why would I want a fickle jackass like you?"
Ukyo couldn't help but smile at the 'jackass' reference.
Akane continued on. "I want someone who loves me for what I am,
and not because he beat me in combat or was engaged to me before I
was born! I want someone who understands me and wants to be with me
because he truly cares about me! I'll admit that I'm far from perfect, but
if that person really loves me, then it wouldn't matter!"
It was then that a lot of the tension from Akane's face melted away as
she recalled her past relationship with Ranma. She turned toward the
crowds, who hadn't taken their attention off her since she started her
introspection. "By the time I realized what I wanted… it was too late for
me to see that I had that with Ranma. I'll admit it now. I loved him. I
know he loved me too at one time. Despite the fact that we argued a lot,
he was still there for me. I hit him a lot, but he still stayed with me. I
would tell him to go off and die. He still stayed around. I told him that I
didn't need him to protect my honor, but he did anyway. I would feed
him my bad cooking and … he still hung around."
Akane lets off another tired sigh as she said tiredly, "At times, I
would ask myself why we even put up with each other. Now I know that
it was that we really did love each other deep down. I don't have anyone
to blame, but myself that the twins aren't engaged to me anymore. I
really screwed up because I didn't realize that for a relationship to work,
both people have to give as well as take. Ranma had been giving, and all I
had been doing was taking. I took him for granted. I blamed him for all
my problems, even if he had nothing to do with it! I assumed that he was
a conceited jerk, and I never even thought that he may be hurting inside
With another long sigh, Akane came to the point. "I know that I've
missed my chance with Ranma. I can't change that. They're in love with
Ukyo and Shampoo. I want them to know that I'm happy that they've got
a shot to getting what I wanted all along. But that doesn't mean that I
can't try to find my own way to happiness! To that end, I'm telling you
all!" Akane's expression brightened a bit. " The rule to beat me for a date
is hereby NULL AND VOID! I couldn't care less if you didn't know the
first thing about martial arts! You want to date me? Just come up to me
with flowers and say, 'Akane, will you go out with me?' This applies to
everyone! I want you all to know the REAL ME!"
With these words, there was a resounding cheer among the male
student population of the school as they gave her hoots and applause.
There was also a standing ovation among the female students as well.
"You go girl!"
"Tell it like it is sister!"
"About time someone put their foot down!"
"You are woman! We hear you roar!"
"Way to go Akane!"
"AKANE! AKANE! AKANE!"
Of course, Kuno openly protested at this development. He got up
and screamed, "I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS!!! I, THE GREAT
TATEWAKI KUNO WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS…"
As soon as he started his tirade, he was surrounded by a huge mass
of very annoyed adolescents. Kuno suddenly saw that he was being
given not-so-friendly-looks. He then realized that the reason that his
rule had been followed before, was because they had feared and
respected him. Kuno had beaten up several boys in the beginning to
enforce his edict. Since Saotome was the only one who could beat
Kuno, the other boys had given up their pursuit of Akane. But now, with
the dissolution of the rule and Akane's whole-hearted encouragement to
the others, Kuno found himself in a dangerous situation. For one thing,
he was outnumbered a hundred to one and Akane had broken his sword.
He barely had time to say 'uh-oh' as the mob descended on him like a
school of sharks in a feeding frenzy.
The screams of pain echoed throughout the schoolyard as the Kuno
was pounded on repeatedly by the groups of angered male students.
Akane couldn't help but feel that justice was being done. <Serves that
jerk right! I don't belong to him or anyone else!> With a satisfied smile
and new confidence, the youngest daughter of Soun Tendo strolled into
the school building.
Still standing at the gate, the two Ranmas and Ukyo were in awe.
They never thought that they'd see the day that Akane had started to
grow up. They were very impressed. Smiling to one another that Akane
was indeed on the road to recovery, the trio followed her into the
By the end of the school day, Akane had been approached by no less
than two dozen different boys, who wanted to go out with her. She had
received flowers, candy and many other tokens of appreciation. She
took this new change in stride and she found this new attention toward
her to be… unnerving, but somehow satisfactory. Gently telling them
that she would consider going out with each of them, she took their
gifts and had them put in her locker.
She had also become the role model for just about every girl in the
school. She was no longer seen as the temperamental and violent
Akane, but rather the strong and 'take-charge' Akane. The youngest
sister was the recipient of countless compliments, praises and phrases
of encouragement. Every female student and even some of the teachers
admired her for taking a stand.
Nabiki was also proud of her sister's new attitude. Of course, the
middle sister was still doing her usual mercenary business. After all,
she and her siblings have to support themselves now, despite the fact
that Nodoka insisted on caring for them. Since their father had
disowned them, Akane's older sibling did not feel that it was right for
them to be living off someone else's house. That reminded her of
Genma Saotome. She shuddered at the thought and was secretly glad
that his sons had decided not to follow in their father's footsteps. To
that end, she had decided to follow her baby sister's example of taking
control, and had considered searching for a part-time job.
Akane could no longer be counted as a stable income generator,
since all the boys now had equal opportunities to woo her. However,
Nabiki wasn't concerned about that. After watching Akane go through a
wild roller coaster of hard emotions and experience death twice, she
was glad that her sister was finally beginning to look ahead, instead of
dwelling on the past and lamenting over things that could not be changed.
There was only time that day that Nabiki saw Akane sad. It was during
the lunch hour when she spied her sister gazing wistfully at Ukyo and
Ranma Blue. The couple had been engaging in an intimate conversation
as they ate lunch. When Shampoo had arrived with her fiancée, Akane's
mood became a little sadder. The middle sibling had approached her in
an attempt to console her, but Akane bravely wiped away her tears and
said that she was okay. Although Nabiki didn't believe her, she respected
Akane's wish to be given some space.
Of course, Kuno still could not believe that the other boys were now
getting closer to her than he ever did. He had tried many times during
that day to stake his claim on Akane, but this proved to be extremely
painful. The Ranma brothers would pound on him and warn the kendoist
to leave her alone, or the other boys in the school would gang up and
stomp him into the ground. In any case, Kuno had gotten beaten up
more times in that one day than he had in a month. However, he
maintained that this was only a minor setback and was still confident
that he would eventually win Akane's heart. (And you thought it wasn't
possible that Kuno couldn't get any dumber).
Akane was whistling a happy tune as she entered Nodoka's home and
went to room that she shared with her sisters. Nodoka and Kasumi were
sitting on one of the beds and were engaged in quiet conversation as
they folded the laundry.
"Why hello Akane! Welcome back! Did anything happen at school
today?" Kasumi asked pleasantly. Her eyes then widened as she saw the
armloads of bouquets, candy boxes and other trinkets.
Akane blushed a bit as she replied. "You might say that Kasumi."
Ranma Red and Ranma Blue were pleasantly walking toward the
outer school gates with Shampoo and Ukyo. They had been delayed for
a little while, as they had to haul Kuno's burned body to the nurse's
office. Apparently, he had the misfortune of stating his intent to beat up
all rivals to his beloved Akane's heart, in front of the Chemistry Club.
They weren't fighters, but they did carry a torch for Akane. Furthermore,
they did know their high explosives! Kuno had been on the receiving end
of five beakers full of tri-nitro-toluene (TNT), two pounds of C4
plastique, and some homemade gunpowder!
As they approached the exit to the school, the twins suddenly
stopped as they sensed the presence of someone familiar. The two
Ranmas frowned as the determined who it was.
"What is it Ran-chan?" Ukyo asked.
"I was hoping that we'd never see HIM again." Ranma Red sighed as
he took a stance.
"Damn." Ranma Blue agreed.
Genma Saotome stepped out from behind the tree that was near the
front gate. He had a bucket of water in one hand and a devious
expression on his face.
"What do you want old man?" Ranma Red said in a neutral tone.
"Boys, it's time that the two of you came to your senses! You were
promised to marry a Tendo before you were born and the two of you
will follow through!"
"And who's going to make us? You?" Ranma Blue scoffed.
"Show some respect to your father!" Genma said as he slowly began
to advance toward the twins. "That engagement was for the sake of
Both twins snorted as Ranma Blue said, "That engagement was made
for the sake of your stomach! Come to think of it, all of those
engagements that you made was for your fat belly! In fact, everything
that you did since we were born was for your appetite! The Daikokus,
the Kuonjis, those three other families AND the Joketsuzoku!"
"In a way, " Ranma Red continued. "We have to thank you for a
couple of things."
"That's right." Ranma Blue nodded in agreement. "If you hadn't taken
that yattai, I never would have eventually fallen in love with Ukyo."
"And if we hadn't eaten that first prize at the Amazon village, then I
guess I never would have met Shampoo."
"Funny how that works out!"
"Yeah! I guess that's destiny!"
Both Ranmas shared a hearty laugh, which only made their father
steamed. "Stop it! I've had enough of your silly notions and I think it's
time I taught the both of you the error of your ways!" Genma reared
back with the bucket of water and then launched it.
Both of the former Saotomes easily dodged the water, but they were
not Genma's intended target. The contents of the water splashed both
Ukyo and Shampoo. It was then that both twins became horrified at what
They had expected Ukyo to be sopping wet and Shampoo to become
a cat. What they did not expect was to see two boys wearing Ukyo and
Shampoo's clothing. Both of the former girls sputtered from the
sudden bath and then looked at themselves and each other in shock.
Shampoo had gained an extra two inches in height and her hair had
changed from purple to black. Ukyo looked like herself, and saw that
although she looked pretty much the same, her bust was gone and she
noticed a certain… addition in her anatomy. Shampoo also noticed her
change in bust size and she was suddenly uncomfortable in her pelvis.
Both Ranmas turned on Genma with rage. Grabbing the fat martial
artists by the front of his gi, they both screamed, "WHAT DID YOU
Genma had a smug look on his face as he replied, "A day after I got
away from Soun, I met a wandering Chinese monk who happened to be
carrying some magical water. This wasn't Jusenkyo water, but rather
water that came from a floating island called Togenkyo. It seems to turn
any living thing to permanently become a man. At first I thought to use
it to cure my own curse, so I stole it from him, but that wouldn't have
solved all my problems. I then decided to use it to get the two of you to
come to my way of thinking!"
"YOU BASTARD!" Both Ranmas yelled as they cocked back their
fists and prepared to pound their father into a coma.
"Go ahead boys! Bash me up if you want, but you do know that you
can't marry those girls…boys now!"
Ukyo and Shampoo were still in shock over what had happened as
they watched their fiancées prepare to knock Genma into the next
millennium. It was then that a bright flash of light behind the twins.
Soren and Taron approached their champions with silent steps. The
two Ranmas were so intent on delivering massive punishment to Genma
that they didn't even notice their approach. They stopped within three
feet of their pupils and waited.
Ranma Blue and Ranma Red decided that energy blasts were not as
satisfying as physical blows so they each launched a very hard uppercut
to the father's chin. Genma went into orbit.
It was then that Soren placed a hand on the shoulder of each twin and
Both Ranmas lost all tension as their feelings of hatred for their
father faded away to serenity. They turned to face their mentors and
Ranma Red said, "Why didn't you stop him?" His voice was tinged with
Soren nodded as he said, "There's no need to be upset!"
"Why shouldn't we be upset!?" Ranma Blue snapped. "That bastard
turned our fiancées into guys! Permanently!"
"It's time for the next phase in your training." Taron stated.
"WHAT?!" Both Ranmas shouted.
"Oh, we think you'll like this part of the training." Soren said with a
smile. Taron nodded.
"Huh?" Both Ranmas said.
Both immortals raised and arm toward the towards Shampoo and
Ukyo and fired off a white blast of energy. The two were enveloped in
the blinding flash. When the light faded away, the two looked down at
each other and themselves. They used their hands to feel their chests
and squeezed their legs together. Finally, they looked at their
respective Ranma to confirm their discoveries.
Each Ranma glomped onto his fiancée and held her tight. They could
feel the soft, supple bodies of their FEMALE, future wives again. Not
caring that it was improper, they each reached out with an open hand
and… made certain. The two girl gasped at their forwardness.
"Ran-chan! Can't you wait until after we're married?!"
"Aiya! Is okay for fiancée to touch Shampoo's chest, but not in
Both twins became very embarrassed and quickly apologized to their
intended spouses. Turning their attention to the immortals, both
pigtailed martial artists gazed at the Soren and Taron with unspoken
Soren's smile became more pronounced as he answered their gaze.
"The next step in your training. Curse Removal."
Ten minutes later…
"So what you're saying is that the effects of Togenkyo water can be
reversed? It's not permanent?" Ranma Red said after a short explanation.
"That's right." Taron replied. "Now, by normal standards, the waters
of Togenkyo is considered irreversible. Luckily for you two, Shampoo
was already cursed by Jusenkyo. Her Curse of the Drowned Cat had
weakened the effect of the Togenkyo water.
"But what about Ucchan? She wasn't cursed by Jusenkyo." Ranma
"True." Soren agreed. "However, we needed her to be female as well.
We also detected traces of cat magic from another source inside
Shampoo. I suppose that was leftover from the time Ranma saved her
from that Ghost Cat."
The Amazon shuddered a bit at the memory.
"Thus, it was a simple matter to transfer those traces to Ukyo to
weaken Togenkyo's hold on her." Taron finished. "As of now, your
fiancées are 100% female. And when we say one hundred percent, we
mean it." With these words, Taron waved his hand and a small cloud
formation formed overhead. It then began to rain.
Shampoo instinctively looked for cover as she knew she would
become a cat. Then the surprise came. She had taken no more than a
dozen steps when she noticed that she was still human. Looking down at
herself, her eyes widened as she saw no traces of fur, whiskers or a tail.
She then began to jump for joy.
"Aiya! Shampoo is cured! No more cat!"
She then ran back to Ranma Red and leapt into his open arms. The
red-shirted Ranma spun her around as they celebrated their freedom
from Jusenkyo. Ranma Blue and Ukyo held each other as they watched
the two cavort in the rain. Life was good. When the two settled down,
the immortals finished with their explanations.
"While we were fixing the damage that Genma caused, we decided to
exorcise the effects of Jusenkyo as well." Soren explained. "Curses can
come in one of three forms. Magical, elemental or a combination of
both. Jusenkyo and Togenkyo are examples of the third type. In this
case, it took the both of us to remove it."
"So that explains how you two were able to separate us!" Ranma Blue
"You got it!" Taron said. "I worked on the physical aspect, while my
brother took care of the mystical part."
"What about the Cat Fist?" Ranma Red inquired.
"As we said before, the Cat Fist is really an arcane ritual. Since it had
a magical foundation, I was the one to exorcise it from you." Soren
"Cool!" Ranma Blue said.
"Hey!" Ranma Red said as he realized something. "Does this mean…
we could learn to remove Jusenkyo curses too?"
"You catch on quick!"
Five hours later…
At the house of Nodoka, Kasumi was feeling quite light-hearted. Her
sister Akane seemed to be taking control of her life, and Nabiki had
discussed with the eldest sister about getting an honest job to help
support the three of them. Although she was still saddened at the fact
that their father had not contacted them, the changes that her two
siblings were undergoing had been encouraging. All things did not seem
as bleak as before.
Kasumi watched her sister Akane practice the back yard. She had
gone into her training with new enthusiasm since she had returned from
the Kami Plane. In the past, Akane would only train to keep fit. She
never really had a reason to improve unless one of her former rivals
goaded her into it, or Ranma would tease her. Now she was training not
only to better herself, but also to find inner control. Her movements
weren't as choppy and random. Instead, they flowed together smoothly
and with good force. Her expression was also one discipline and
determination, not anger.
The older sister was so engrossed in watching her younger sibling
that she did not notice Ranma Red and Ranma Blue come up to her.
With a startled gasp, she turned to the twins. "Oh my! When did you two
"Just a few minutes ago." Ranma Blue replied. "We wanted to check
up on how Akane was doing. Shampoo and Ukyo are in the kitchen with
Mom. So how is she?"
Kasumi turned her attention back to the girl practicing. "She seems
to be getting better now. By the way, she told me what happened today
The twins smiled at the memory as Ranma Red happily said, "Yeah.
We couldn't believe how she told Kuno off like that. Not that he didn't
have it coming for a long time."
"It was about time that Kuno was told that Akane doesn't belong to
anybody. Especially him!" Ranma Blue agreed.
The three watched Akane for a time, admiring her perseverance and
discipline. Akane had not noticed that she had an audience as she went
through the more difficult katas. For a full ten minutes, no one spoke.
Finally, Akane had finished her routines and stood in a ready stance.
Her eyes were closed and her breathing was steady.
"Not bad Akane. You're getting better." Ranma Blue commented.
The former daughter of the Tendo clan quickly turned to the sound
of the voice. Her eyes softened as she saw the twins. Taking a deep
breath, she quietly asked, "How long have you been standing there?"
Ranma Red shrugged as he replied, "Long enough to see that you're
taking your martial arts more seriously now? You want to spar?"
Akane blinked. This was the first time ever, that Ranma had asked
HER if she wanted to spar. Then again, with all the changes that had
taken place, she should have been expecting some surprises.
"Y-you really want to spar?"
Ranma Red nodded as he stepped into the yard and took a stance.
"Let's see what you've got!"
Akane stared at Ranma Red for a long time, trying to figure out his
motives. At first, she lapsed into suspicion, thinking that he would only
dodge her attacks and tease her. Then she remembered Nabiki saying
that both Ranmas were different from the one she had known for nearly
a year. Nodding slightly, she also took a stance. Ranma Blue and
Kasumi watched in silence as they waited for one of the combatants to
make the first move.
Akane charged in and threw a hard right. Ducking under the blow,
Ranma Red used a sweep of his left leg to knock her off her feet. Akane
tumbled to the ground, but then rolled away to get some distance.
Getting back up, she tried a series of short jabs at his face. Ranma Red
easily blocked each blow and then grabbed one of her wrists. Before
Akane knew it, she was tossed over his shoulder. She landed on her rear
with a thump, which hurt her pride more than her posterior.
Silently swearing, she got up and tried a few roundhouse kicks.
These also did not connect, as her opponent evaded each attack, then
got inside her defense and struck with an open palm to her stomach. He
did not put any considerable force in the blow, but since she was off
balance from her last kick, it was enough to knock her to the ground
"Ooof!" Akane was once again on her bottom. Before she had time to
react, Ranma Red grabbed one arm, rolled her onto her stomach and
twisted her arm behind her back. The other arm was also pinned down
and she felt his knee pressed against her back. She then found herself in
the same position as Shampoo had been in when Ranma Red challenged
"You give?" Ranma Red asked quietly.
After a minute of futile struggling, she sighed and responded, "I…
At the dinner table, the group became involved in several discussions
over the past day. Shampoo and Ukyo told Nodoka of their run-in with
Genma, which alarmed her as she could not imagine Genma to be so
cruel. She then swore that Genma will commit seppeku if he should
cross her path. Kasumi and Nabiki were in quiet discussion as to what
to do about their situation, while the Ranma twins were talking to Akane
about improving her fighting skills.
"Akane, you really should concentrate more on defense and speed,
instead of relying on just power." Ranma Blue stated.
"I… know." Akane admitted. "I guess I've always relied on punching
first. No wonder Shampoo and Ukyo could beat me. I just never stop to
think about the fight. I would always get angry and… "
"It's not so much that you can't fight. You do have some great
potential." Ranma Red declared.
"Sure!" Ranma Blue said as his brother nodded. "It's just that you've
never been given much of a chance to develop it." He then took on a
sheepish smile. "I guess we didn't help things when we teased you and
kept on dodging."
"It's all right. I know that you two didn't mean it! It's just that, I've
lost so much time and I improved so little over the past year! With all
the craziness that's happened, I was too busy either fighting with you,
fighting with the other girls or some other trouble would pop up. Dad
wouldn't train me much, since he was so wrapped up in uniting the
schools and…" Akane's mood became sad as she thought about her
Both twins became sympathetic as they understood what Akane was
feeling. They then made a decision.
"Hey Akane! We still got about three days or so. If you want, we
could help train you every morning before we go to school!" Ranma
"You'd do that?" Akane asked in surprise.
"Sure!" Ranma Red said with enthusiasm. "We may not be engaged
anymore, but that don't mean that we can't be friends! Besides, I don't
think Kuno is going to give up on you and we can't be there all the time
to keep him in line!"
"So how about it?" Ranma Blue asked.
Akane thought for a moment at their offer before nodding.
"May I have your attention please?" Nodoka said as she used a spoon
to tap the side of a water glass. As soon as all those present settled
down, the mother of the Masaki twins spoke. "It has come to my
attention that Soun Tendo still has not contacted his daughters yet. It is
with great sadness that we must all assume that he has truly disowned
Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane. To that end, I wish to offer my condolences
to his children."
All three sisters bowed their heads as they too had come to the same
conclusion. Tears began welling up in their eyes as they continued to
listen to Nodoka Masaki. Ukyo and Shampoo also had tears of
sympathy for the sisters.
"I also wish to speak to all of you on some other important matters."
Nodoka continued. "Since Soun Tendo has left his children to fend for
themselves, I have taken it upon myself to draw up the necessary papers
and they are now ready. With their consent, I will adopt Soun's children
as my own. They shall bear the name of Masaki and shall become the
sisters of my sons."
Everyone in the room did a collective blink as the news sunk in. In a
way, it was ironic. The children of the Tendos and the Saotomes would
be united, but not in the way that Soun and Genma had intended.
Turning her attention back to the three sisters, she spoke to them in
a motherly tone. "It shall be your decision whether or not to accept my
offer. I will not hold anything against you, should you decline.
However, I feel that all of you have been put through enough hardships.
These last few days have made me consider the three of you like
family. I would be honored to have you as my daughters."
Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane had been rendered speechless. They had
been presented with a chance for a new life. A chance to live normally.
In essence, a chance to start over. Each girl considered the offer
Kasumi thought about the last few days. Being with Nodoka and not
having the burden to care for an entire family had been a welcome
change. For the first time since her mother died, the eldest daughter
was free of the overwhelming responsibility. She could now associate
with others her own age. She no longer had to worry about the welfare
of her sisters, as Nodoka had already started to take up the burden.
Nodoka had in fact, become the mother figure for them all. It would be
wonderful to truly call her… mother.
Nabiki found herself seeing it from a businessman's point of view.
Nodoka was very wealthy. The middle daughter would not have to
engage in her mercenary ways. She could be free to make… friends,
perhaps even start a relationship with someone. She would no longer be
known as Nabiki the ice-princess, but Nabiki Masaki, the person.
Looking into Nodoka's warm expression, she silently cursed herself
for thinking in terms of financial gain. Here was one of the nicest
people in the world, willing to adopt a disowned child and her sisters
with no thought about getting anything in return. How could Nabiki
saddle her with the burden? Yet… with Akane taking control of her life
and Kasumi seemingly free from her isolation, why shouldn't she try to
make something of her life too?
Akane was the most dumbstruck of all. The thought of becoming part
of the same family as the twins sent her for an emotional loop. She had
loved Ranma and was just getting over the fact that he was marrying
someone else. Two other people in fact. Not only would she be close
to them, but she would also have to associate with Ukyo and Shampoo.
Her former rivals. She was still uneasy about them and had only begun
to tolerate them.
Despite the fact that neither Ranma would be her husband, she knew
that they would always be there for her. Their rescue of her from those
demons were proof enough. They had supported her through her trials
and tribulations. They would always defend her and consider her as their
closest friend. Akane could smile at that. Furthermore, the events of
today had also shown her that she could move on. She could have a
chance to be happy. What did it matter that she would no longer a
Tendo? She was still Akane! That was what was important.
The twins, their fiancées and their mother waited in silence for the
former Tendo girls' responses. After a long moment that seemed to be
an eternity, the three sisters looked at each other and gave one another
a knowing smile. Turning to Nodoka, Kasumi decided to speak for the
three of them.
"My sisters and I have come to a decision… Mother."
To be continued…
Yes, I know I promised that this chapter would deal with the other
characters, but I just couldn't get the ending of Chapter 19 out of my
head. It's true. The Saotome and Tendo lines have ended. Next chapter, I
promise that the other characters will be described in detail. I'm sure a
lot of you are wondering where Ryoga and Mousse are and what they
have been doing. And I'm sure the big question is WHERE IS SOUN???
The scene with Genma was a drastic attempt to break up the
engagements. We'll be seeing more of Genma as well.
For those of you who think that Genma was acting out of character,
just remember, things have gotten desperate for him, now that he's been
rendered homeless, divorced and alone. Also take into account, he's
done a lot of bad things in the past, without regarding the feelings of
others or the consequences of his actions. I feel that what has happened
to him so far was only the start of his well-deserved punishment. If I
was Ranma, I would have renounced the Saotome name a long time ago
with a father like that!
As for Akane, what do you think? Is she finally taking control of her
life? Has she truly recovered from her experience in the Kami Plane?
Is she finally GROWING UP? The reason I did that scene with Kuno
was to show people that she doesn't have to take the crud that life
throws at her. She can also show that she's strong both in character and
convictions. In the beginning, I often wondered why she never put a stop
to it sooner!