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A Ranma ½ story
by Brian Randall

Disclaimer: All hail Takahashi-sama, for creating the fine works she has. In that vein of thought, I am using her creations without permission from her, Viz, or anyone else who actually does own the rights to Ranma.

Durandall: A continuation fic, my second one. Heh. Is this a spamfic? I'm not sure. Probably yes. Anyway, it's probably not what you expect.

Kuno grinned widely as he answered the phone. "Tatewaki."

The voice on the other end seemed hesitant, "Ah… Kuno-san. We've finished the investigation you requested, and we have found evidence to show that your theory was correct, however-"

Kuno's maniacal laugh cut the man off, "Say no more! I want you to print it, and have four thousand leaflets delivered to my door no later than noon tomorrow!"

"Kuno-san… very well. We will do as you wish. It will be added to your bill."

Akane swallowed nervously. <Another wedding attempt. This time, this time, everything should work. There shouldn't be any problems, and I should be able to marry Ranma…> She smiled, joy briefly overpowering her nervousness.

As there was a knock on the door to the dressing room, it returned full force, "C-c-c-come in?"

Kasumi entered, smiling brightly, "Akane! You look so lovely! Are you nervous?"

Akane nodded, "Yeah… I wonder what Ranma's doing right now?"

As it just so happened, Ranma was wrestling with the monstrosity that was a bow tie. "Damn… beat… Saffron… gonna beat you…" He gritted his teeth and tried again, "Come on, you bastard…"

He sighed in resignation. <I wanted this to be perfect for Akane… Maybe Mr. Tendo can help…> A knock at the door interrupted his reverie. "Come in."

Ukyou entered, looking somewhat uncomfortable in the bridesmaid dress that Akane had picked out for her. "Hey, Ranchan. Someone mentioned that you might be having trouble with that…" She rolled hey eyes, seeing the tangle Ranma made of his bow tie. "Jeez… Okay, let me handle this."

Ranma froze, while Ukyou stepped behind him and reached over his shoulders, quickly untangling, then tying the bow. Once it was done he admired his reflection for a moment, then turned to face Ukyou. "Ucchan… Thanks. You're a great friend."

She managed a weak smile, "Don't mention it, Ranchan. I have to go now… I'll see you during the ceremony, okay?"

Ranma grinned widely, "Thanks, Ucchan."

She nodded, and closed the door behind her. <Damn. Damn, damn, damn. Why did I have to let him go? Why? I lost him to her.> She sighed, and turned away, walking towards the other women. <At least I still have him as a friend.>

By the time Akane and Ranma were both fully aware of what had transpired, they were standing together, in the center of the cathedral. Ranma glanced behind him, looking at the assembled malice-wishers. He smiled at Akane, who returned it nervously.

The priest's voice pulled them back from falling into each other's eyes. "Do you, Saotome Ranma take Tendo Akane-"

The priest stopped suddenly, staring at the roof of the cathedral in shock. Leaflets were raining down from the highest corners of the room, and the attendants of the wedding turned pale after reading them.

Ranma blinked a few times, unsure of what was happening. He turned to Akane, and found Nodoka's hand clamped on his arm, as she hissed at him, "S… Ranma. I am greatly disappointed in your father. I'll not sully my honor any further by destroying a proud family. Come with me."

Shocked, Ranma complied, even as Mr. Tendo marched towards Akane, pausing to shoot Ranma a glance covering too many emotions for Ranma to define.

Akane sank to her knees, stunned. <What… what's going on?> Soun showed her a leaflet angrily, then hauled her out the door. In the distance, she could hear Ranma's cry of rage as he tried to deny the accusation, and then a muffled explosion as he released his anger against a hapless building.

Akane blinked a few times, feeling tears welling up in her eyes. "No… No… Why, Daddy, why?"

Soun's expression turned even further unreadable. "I'm sorry that this happened, Akane… If your mother…" He sighed, shaking his head, "No matter. We'll get back to the house and prepare to remove the Saotomes from our home."

Genma and Ranma walked with Nodoka to the Tendo home. Ranma's head hung dejectedly, "Mom, I-"

She cut him off, one hand on her katana, "No more, Ranma. I will not speak of this any further." She sighed, "I have tried and tried, and wished beyond anything that your father could raise you to be honorable. But… No. I will not allow any more dishonor to be inflicted."

He sighed, saying nothing, and glanced at Genma. Genma studiously looked away, knowing he was in for a very prolonged 'conversation' later in the evening. Probably the kind involving the katana and a lot of angry shouting.

Their possessions were on the front doorstep, along with a kind note from Kasumi apologizing for the situation. It took all of Ranma's willpower not to charge in and talk to Akane. He turned to Nodoka, and opened his mouth, but she instantly silenced him with a glare.

Genma rubbed his head, a mournful expression on his face, "I… I'm sorry… I should have… I'm sorry."

Ranma just shook his head and followed his parents, not wishing to speak to either of them.

Akane sat in her bedroom, staring out at the window without seeing it. A knock at the door distracted her, and she sighed with resignation. "Come in…"

Kasumi swept into the room, wearing her mildly-concerned/ it's-for-the-best expression, variant three. "Akane… don't worry about it. Everything will work out just fine, you'll see."

Something in Akane broke at that moment, letting her release the few tears she had left to shed. "I… I almost… we were…. that close…"

Kasumi made soothing noises and held her while she calmed down. "It's okay, Akane. It'll all be okay in the end."

In the hotel his mother had but the family up in for the night, Ranma tossed uncomfortably. A sigh escaped his lips, as he remembered all of the pain, all of the trouble, all of the effort he had gone through to make sure everything would work this time.

It wasn't easy, but he finally convinced Ukyou that he didn't want to marry her. She wasn't pleased, but finally relented and agreed to be friends anyway.

Cologne was surprisingly easy to deal with, saying she had expected as much. Ranma was shocked at first, until Cologne pointed out that someone like Ranma was a good ally, and not a good enemy. Shampoo was not pleased, but listened to reason once she was compared to Mousse. Of course, she still didn't care for Mousse, but she had a lot more sympathy for him after that.

Nabiki promised to take care of Kuno, and Kuno in turn took care of Kodachi. Ranma wasn't clear on the details, and considering that family, wasn't sure he wanted to.

Ryouga was off, hopefully with Akari, and it has seemed that everything was more-or-less taken care of. Certainly, there were people who still didn't want the pair married, but none that would actually interfere. Or so Ranma had hoped. But someone had gone and pulled up that one, stupid trace, and now ancestry and family honor were on the line.

Ranma considered to himself. <I can't accept this. I can't just never see Akane again. We were so close to getting married, and now…> He punched his pillow, unaware of the fine cracks forming in the floor beneath him. <I have to talk to Akane again. Screw honor at this point. I can't believe that she doesn't love me enough to accept me after everything we've been through…>

He sat up, nodding to himself. <And if… if she truly, honestly doesn't want to be with me… then I'll leave her alone.>

After dressing silently, he paused. <If I am not going to have any honor anyway…> He smiled a lopsided grin, and embraced the Umisen-ken. <It will be easier to see her this way.>

As Ranma slipped out the door, Genma opened one eye slightly, and smiled. He then quickly schooled his expression and resumed snoring.

Akane sat at her desk, wedding dress removed. Her normal house clothing would do now. Despite the late hour, she was still unable to sleep. She stared into the darkness outside her window, not knowing what else to do. Heaving a sigh, she slid her window open, and began climbing up onto the roof.

Once on the roof, she mulled things over in her head. <It's… not right. It's good that it was interrupted. I can't let anyone's family honor be destroyed for my own feelings. At least, that's what Kasumi says. But…> She hung her head, <I don't know what to do. We were so close to being married, and then…>

She whimpered slightly, "We never even told each other that we were in love."

Ranma, perched near her, smiled slightly, and released his cloak of invisibility. "Do you mean it?"

Akane, startled, lost her footing, and slipped off of the roof. Ranma dashed forward, and caught her in the air. She had only enough time to blink before Ranma rebounded off of the ground and brought the pair into her room though the open window.

Ranma smiled at her, looking almost the same as he always had, and set her down on her bed. Akane shied away nervously, "R… Ranma… san…"

The pigtailed martial artist winced, "Ah… don't… Look. Akane, I have to ask you this. Do you love me?"

Akane stared at the floor, "I… I…" <I can't do this! I want to, but it's not right!>

Ranma frowned, "Akane, the reason I'm asking is… I love you. I know I never really told you…" He flushed slightly, "Except that time at Jusendo, when I thought you were dead… But… I do love you, Akane. With all my heart."

Akane covered her face with her hands, "R-Ranma… d-d-don't you know what you're doing?"

He shrugged, a slightly crestfallen expression on his face, "I… I do. But I need to know. Do you love me?"

Sobbing quietly, Akane nodded, and lowered her hands, "I… I do love you, Ranma, but-"

Ranma interrupted her with a kiss, "That's what matters, isn't it? That we love each other? Does ancestry mean that much to you?"

Akane nodded, "I'm sorry, Ranma… it does. I… can't."

Growling, Ranma shook his head and took Akane's hands in his own, "Then why did you kiss back when I kissed you? Admit it, Akane, you still want to marry me, don't you?"

The youngest Tendo daughter broke down and clung to Ranma, "I do… I do… I wish… I'm sorry Ranma. I want to, but I can't, it's not right!"

Ranma shushed her, sparing a glance towards the closed door, "Calm down. Akane, we love each other. We want to be married… what more is there?"

Akane shook her head, "But… what will… what would people think, if we married? We'd be treated poorly in public, we're going to have trouble in school, I mean…" Flustered, she broke off, "If we were to marry, we would have trouble in school…" Ranma interrupted her with another kiss, and she realized that she was responding to him enthusiastically.

Fortunately, Ranma broke off the kiss, smiling brightly, "Look… I'm willing to try and make this work. Akane, I've fought a god for you. I've given up my cure, I've done an awful lot… Is this really that much to ask after all that? I don't think so."

Bowing her head, Akane agreed, "I… I do. I still want to marry you Ranma."

Ranma grinned, "Great! I think we should tell your family, first."

Akane nodded, "I… I thought you'd reject me when you found out we were burakumin…"

Ranma smiled again, and gave Akane another kiss, "Nah. Mom's gonna give me all sorts of crap for this, but I don't care. I love you, and that's what matters."

Across town, Kuno was staring at the leaflets, frothing at the mouth. "You FOOLS! You investigated the wrong family! NOOOOOOOOO!"

Nodoka glared at Genma, "How dare you engage our son to a burakumin?

A few weeks later found Ukyou and Kodachi together in the back of the Ucchan, sharpening their weapons. They ranted together, "And to think, he chose that unclean bimbo over me… revenge will be ours, Saotome Ranma!"


Author's notes: I don't know… just came to me. I thought it was amusing.

November 16, 2000

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