Subject: [PMFFML] [FFML2] The Three Saotomes[Part 27][R.5]
From: Ryoga P Hibiki
Date: 3/11/2001, 9:59 PM
To: ffml2@listbot.com

FFML2 - http://ffml2.rcbooks.org

--------------------------- ListBot Sponsor --------------------------
Start Your Own FREE Email List at http://www.listbot.com/links/joinlb
----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Three Saotomes

    Part 27

    Aftermath

++++++++++

    Akane Tendo sat in the hospital waiting room, waiting with all the
participants of the tournament. They sat around her, a few of them
pacing nervously around the room. She looked up and saw Nabiki emerge
from his room, clutching herself with a disturbed look on her face.
"Well?"

    "No change, the doctors think he'll pull through," muttered Nabiki
quietly.

    "Oh," said Akane with an uncertain frown on her face.

    "My son will survive then?" said Nodoka with hope shining in her
eyes.

    "He's good at that," commented Taro with a slight smile on his
face.

    Ukyo looked at the boy for a moment and squeezed Genryu a little
tighter. Her husband was looking at the ground, not saying a word as
he rested in her arms.

    "What about Shampoo?" said Mousse from the corner. "Any word at
all?"

    "She's fine," said a doctor who walked into the group with a
friendly smile on his face. Tofu was standing next to him, with a
white coat on as well. "She received only a few minor burns. She's
very lucky to have escaped any serious injury."

    Cologne appeared behind him, with the young Amazon at her side.
Shampoo was silent, and had a tired look in her eyes.

    "I have a question. How did the young man come across a technique
like that? It was thought to have been lost, two thousand years ago,"
she said as she motioned for Shampoo to sit down.

    The girl did so, with a slightly pained look on her face. There
were a few bandages on her arms and legs, but nothing serious.

    "You'll have to ask him when he wakes up. He never told us how he
learned it," said Genryu quietly.

    "I see," said Cologne with a small nod.

    "It appears that my son is a mystery to more than myself," said
Nodoka as she mirrored the elder's gesture.

    "I almost lost him," said Genma. He had been sitting in silence
the whole time, with his face buried in his hands. He looked up at the
group with an expression of horror on his face. "It was all my fault.
I almost lost my son."

    "He seems to feel that way," said Matin coolly. Everyone turned to
look at him in shocked silence. "I've got my own score to settle with
him, but I'll deal with it on my own terms. I never intended for him
to die. When he's well again, I'll challenge him." He stood up and
walked out of the room.

    "What? You! Don't you have any respect at all?" snapped Akane as
she jumped up and glared at him. Tears began to form in her eyes. "I
thought you were an honorable man at least!"

    Matin paused and turned his head to look at her. "Do you really
think he'd forgive me, if I didn't challenge him again one day?"

    Akane paused and looked at him in shock. "What?"

    "There are some bonds, that are not spoken of. I will fight Ranma
Saotome again one day, it is a simple fact," he said as he walked out
of the room with a wistful smile on his face.

    Tofu frowned and looked at Matin's retreating form. "My god, he
knows."

    "Knows what?" said Genryu as he went pale and looked up at the
doctor.

    "Genryu, Ranma will never be the same. He'll...never fight again,"
said Tofu quietly.

    Everyone looked at the man in shocked silence.

++++++++++

    Xianghua stood on the rooftop of Nerima General, simply watching
the town below silently. The cold night air blew by, blowing her hair
around wildly. She said nothing, but simply watched the night.

    "That, is what killed your brother."

    The statement worked over and over in her mind. It was the truth,
and she knew it. Now she remembered, she remembered the pain that she
saw in his eyes every time they had fought together. She remembered
every detail; the look on his face when she'd first attacked him,
right up to the last moments of the tournament, when he'd almost died
in her arms.

    Tears flowed down her face freely as she stood in the moonlight,
with nothing but the wind to comfort her. She fell to her knees and
sobbed painfully, clutching at the gravel surface of the rooftop.
"What have I become? What have I done?" she asked herself over and
over.

    Her chest became tight; she clutched at her chest with one of her
hands. Still, she didn't care about the pain. The thing that had hurt
her the most was the look in his eyes at the last moment. She knew
that he still loved her, somehow, after all she had done, and he had
never hated her. The look was always the same, no matter what his face
told her, his eyes had never changed. Not even when they were full of
the strange energy that somehow powered him.

    The memory slammed into her with the force of a mach truck. She
reared her head back and screamed, the sound echoed throughout the
sky, drowning out the wind. Finally, she fell down, her eyes closing
as she passed into unconsciousness.

+++++++++++++++

    Taro chuckled to himself in the waiting room. Everyone present
turned to look at him in confusion; he ignored them and sighed for a
moment before he began to speak, uncertain of why he was suddenly
sharing this with them.

    "I remember when we were in Hong Kong. Me, Genryu, and Ranma, we
got together for a drink before he left for home."

    Genryu went white as a sheet, and looked towards his mother
nervously. "Um, Pantyhose..."

    "Shut up boy," muttered Genma, glad for the distraction.

    "We went into a bar, Persian Kitty or something like that. He
wanted Genryu to experience something like that at least once in his
life," continued the Chinese boy obliviously.

    "Is that what it sounds like?" muttered Ukyo as she dug her nails
into Genryu's shoulder for a moment.

    "Yup, live nude entertainment. Nothing too bad though," said Taro
wistfully. "You should have seen the kid, someone spilled beer on him
at the beginning of the night. He was still as red as a beet the whole
time. The women loved it, they were all over her."

    Genryu hung his head and began to turn green.

    "We didn't have too much trouble getting him to have a few drinks
with us after that," said Taro wistfully. "Poor kid, he was sloshed
after about a half hour."

    "Oh my!" muttered Nodoka.

    Taro chuckled again. "I think he made more money that night than
any of the girls working there."

    Ukyo was staring at Taro in shock. "You mean he..."

    "Yup, only took ten drinks for him to go all the way," said the
Chinese boy cheerfully.

    "Pantyhose..." growled Genryu bitterly.

    "You know, he was the first, and only real friend I've ever had,"
said Taro as his face suddenly fell. "We had quite an adventure in
China, kept running into each other. That night would have been the
perfect end, if she hadn't shown up. The pair started brawling in the
street; she almost got him, but threw him into a power transformer.
That's how she got that scar on her belly. Scared the hell out of all
of us too, us and half the population of Hong Kong as well. I hear it
started a new religion, some sort of cult."

    "Who?" said Nodoka as she looked at the sudden anger that had
flashed on Taro's face.

    "Mrs. Saotome," said Taro with a small chuckle.

    Genma and Soun went completely rigid.

    "I've never been to China..." Nodoka stopped suddenly and looked
at the boy. Her face became very stern. "Who do you mean? Ukyo
didn't..."

    "No, I'm talking about Ranma's wife," said Taro coolly. "That girl
he was fighting, when this thing showed up and sent everything to
hell."

    Nodoka turned towards her husband and frowned deeply. "What does
he mean, husband? Explain yourself."

    "I uhhh..." stammered Genma nervously. "The marriage was never
validated! I didn't have anything to do with it! The boy saw that he
had other obligations, and decided to marry Tendo's daughter, in order
to uphold our honor!" He was silenced by a hard right across his face;
Genryu stood over him, cracking his knuckles with a scowl on his face.

    "Shut the hell up old man! You want to know what happened? Fine,"
snarled the boy as he turned towards his mother. He began to recant
the tale of what happened in China to his mother.

+++++++++++++

    Ranma opened his eyes. A bright beam of light shone inside the
room from a space in the curtains. He shielded his face painfully and
attempted to sit up, only to fail miserably. Pain exploded across his
belly and he groaned as he fell back onto the sheets. Finally, he
blinked slowly and looked up at the fuzzy outline standing over him.

    "Am I dead?"

    His vision slowly cleared up, and he saw Kasumi Tendo staring down
at him. Strangely enough, she had a scowl on her face. He blinked for
a moment, and she slapped him.

    "Ouch! What the?"

    "Don't ever do that to me or my family again," said the girl
firmly. Her anger faded away into a gentle smile. "Welcome back Ranma.
You've been missed."

    The boy chuckled painfully and smirked. "Somehow I doubt that."

    Kasumi smiled again, and stood up from her seat.

    "Wait! How long have I been..."

    "A week," said the girl with relief flooding her face. "The others
will want to see you."

    "Wait! It can wait a few more minutes," said the boy as he laid
his head back. He looked down at his hand and held it up. The silver
cross hung from his grasp still. "I told you I'd give this back to
you."

    Kasumi smiled again, and walked over to accept it. "I knew you
would. They weren't able to pry it from your hand during the whole
surgery, or even the week you've been resting here."

    "I keep my promises," said the boy with a wry looking grin.

    "I can see that," said Kasumi as she placed the cross around her
neck again. It tingled against her skin for a moment as she gently
placed it inside her blouse. She looked at the door nervously, and
smiled back at him again.

    "Go on, go get em. I guess I ain't dead, so I might as well get
this over with," he said with a sigh.

    "Of course," said Kasumi as she walked out the door calmly.

+++++++++

    Ranma screamed in pain, as Nodoka crushed him in her grip. The
woman backed away, with a heavy blush on her face as he lay in the
bed, twitching in pain.

    After a moment, Ranma paused and looked at the crowd in his room.
"All of you?" he muttered.

    The group consisted of all of the Tendo's, his mother, his father,
Genryu and Ukyo, and Ryoga.

    "Well, we're all they would let in right now," said Genryu with a
slight blush.

    "Oro?" muttered Ranma in surprise.

    "The Kunos are both here, and those Chinese people as well," said
Ukyo nervously.

    "I didn't know you cared," said Ranma cheerfully. Both Nabiki and
Akane were doing their best to pretend they didn't care. They both had
the exact same scowl on their faces as the tried desperately not to
look at him.

    Tofu walked into the room and smiled gently at the group. "I'm
glad to see everyone is all right after that mess." He pulled out the
clipboard from the foot of Ranma's bed and looked at him
apologetically. "I'm afraid I must ask everyone to step outside for a
moment. You'll be allowed to see him in a short time. There are some
things he needs to know, and a few examinations as well."

    The group looked at Tofu for a moment, and shuffled away, leaving
the pair alone.

    "Hello Tofu," said Ranma with a neutral expression on his face.

    "Saotome," said the man with a small nod at the boy. "I think it
might be better if you hear this from someone else, considering our
past."

    "No. You tell me," said Ranma as calmly as ever. "I'm not angry
with you Tofu, just...disappointed."

    The doctor gave a weak smile at this. "It seems I'm not alone
then." He shuffled through the papers for a moment and coughed.
"Ranma, has anyone told you how serious your injuries are?"

    "No. I almost died though. I'm smart enough to realize that," said
the boy with a scowl forming on his face.

    "I'm afraid it's much worse than that Ranma. I'm sorry,
but...you'll never fight again," said the doctor calmly. "Your heart
can't take the stress anymore. If you push yourself too hard, it will
literally explode. I'm sorry. We have medications that will help, and
you won't be helpless, but you'll be weaker, and you'll grow tired
more easily as time goes on."

    Ranma kept a straight face, his fists clenched the sheets of his
bed and he simply glared at the wall. "I know. I knew this would
happen eventually if I kept using that technique." He hung his head
and sighed. "I'll still be able to teach at least?" Ranma's eyes were
almost pleading.

    Tofu had never seen such a look from anyone; it wasn't so much
pity, and hope, as determination. It was clear that Ranma was still
clinging to some aspect of his life. "That shouldn't be a problem,"
said Tofu with a small nod. "You're still quite fit, and should stay
that way. You just can't push your heart the way you have been
anymore. It can still last you a long time Ranma, but you have to be
more careful now." He stood up and turned towards the door. "I'll send
the others in, if you're feeling up to it."

    "Tofu, where is she? Is she all right?" said Ranma quietly.

    The doctor never turned to face him, but Ranma saw his knuckles go
white as he gripped the doorknob. "She's gone Ranma, she left for
home. It was right after we brought you here."

    Ranma nodded in silence. "Thank you doctor."

++++++++++

    Nodoka Saotome stood next to Genma; both hung their heads as the
stood at the foot of the bed. Ranma was simply glaring at them.

    "Forgive me," said Nodoka as she bowed to him.

    He turned his head away and looked out the window. "How could you
do it to your own son? You would have fulfilled that contract, if I
had not intervened when I did."

    "I would have," agreed Nodoka. "I was foolish, in the time I have
spent with my son, I see that I would have been wrong."

    "Good," said Ranma quietly. "I'm glad you think that." He smiled
at her and sighed. "You're just lucky I'm not the type to hold a
grudge."

    Nodoka's eyes went wide and she stared at the ground for a moment.
"What?"

    "If you ever do anything to threaten my family that way again, I
will not hesitate, understand?" he said firmly. His gaze was as cold
as ice as she looked at him in shock. "However, I will not deprive my
brother of a family, just because of one stupid mistake. I would have
killed this fat fool a long time ago if that was true."

    "Son..." muttered Genma in a warning tone.

    "You be silent!" snapped Nodoka as she gave him a gaze that
stopped him cold. "I almost lost my whole family, not once, but three
times because of your incompetence!"

    "Three?" muttered Genma in shocked horror.

    "You never had any intention of bringing him back to me!
Especially after you got yourselves cursed! You nearly got both of my
boys killed by some demonic monster because of your own stupid greed!
And that damn contract you suggested! I regretted that decision from
the day I made it! You preyed on my own youthful innocence!"

    Genma shrank back as if he had been struck. "But, dear!"

    "Shut up! I never loved you! I only upheld the honor of my clan,
and foolishly believed that I might grow to love you in time! Look
what you have done to me! All that I have had for almost ten years has
been my honor!" Tears ran down the woman's face as she finally gave in
and slapped him. "The divorce will go through husband, I cannot live
like this any longer."

    Nodoka turned and looked at her son, who was watching the events
calmly. "I...I..." she stammered, searching for an apology, or
explanation of some kind.

    "I understand," said the boy with a small nod. He turned away from
them and looked back out the window.

    "Son?" muttered Genma in shock. Ranma had looked neither
surprised, nor upset about the woman's announcement.

    Nodoka began to pull at his arm, dragging Genma out the room.

    "Mother, leave him here, and send Soun in," said Ranma calmly.

    The woman paused, and faced her son. She released Genma's arm and
left him standing dumbfounded.

    Within a few moments, both men sat next to the hospital bed,
watching him intently.

    Finally, he spoke. "It's over. I'm breaking the engagement to
Nabiki."

    "What? You can't!" gasped Soun.

    "He's right! We swore that the schools would be united by this
union! You must marry a Tendo!" agreed Genma forcefully.

    "Shut up!" snarled Ranma as he glared at them.

    "The family's honor must be upheld," insisted Genma. He seemed
completely fearless.

    "He is right Ranma, this is a matter of honor," said Soun with an
equal amount of anger in his voice.

    "We could bring my mother in here to discuss this, with her
katana," said Ranma. "If you two will remain silent, and listen, I
will explain."

    Genma and Soun seemed upset by this, but relented.

    "The agreement has already been honored," said Ranma as he looked
out the window.

    Soun's face went white with shock. "You mean you, and my little
Akane have eloped?"

    "Good job boy!" agreed Genma.

    "No one has married anyone," said Ranma coolly.

    "But you said..." muttered Soun.

    "I saw the contract, all that was stated, was that the schools
were to be united. It never even implied marriage," said Ranma. He had
yet to look back at them.

    "I don't understand what you mean boy," said Genma as he frowned.

    "Son, this is not acceptable," muttered Soun angrily.

    "What you wish it to imply is irrelevant. Akane Tendo has learned
both the Tendo and Saotome schools of Anything Goes Martial Arts,"
said Ranma with a wry looking smile. "You might say I obeyed the
letter of the law, if not the spirit. The schools have been united."

    "That's..." muttered Tendo as he sputtered incoherently.

    "Boy, this isn't acceptable! You must..."

    "I must nothing, the agreement has been honored. You can be
satisfied with that, or you can blow it out your ass. I've washed my
hands of the matter."

    "Boy, if you don't," growled Genma as he clutched his son's
collar.

    "You'll what? Kill me? Take everything I've ever loved away? Or
perhaps just take me on another road trip so you can torture me some
more?" He met the enraged Genma's gaze calmly and smirked. "What
haven't you already done old man? There's nothing you can do to me
anymore."

    "Boy..." warned Genma.

    "Heh, get out of my sight, or I'll have you removed," said Ranma
as he placed his finger on the call button beside his bed.

    Soun and Genma stood up and huffed away angrily. Ranma looked up
at them one last time.

    "Tell me how it feels to have your dreams crushed, old man."

++++++++++++++

    "Man, Pop was pissed," muttered Genryu as he looked at his brother
on the hospital bed. Ukyo was standing beside him, clutching his arm.

    "Yeah, kinda nice having him like that instead of us," said Ranma
lazily.

    "Yeah," agreed Genryu with a nervous laugh. "So, they told you?"

    "About my heart? Yeah, don't worry Genryu, it's not as bad as it
sounds. I just can't go around blasting things anymore, that's all."

    "You mean, you don't have to give up the art?" said the younger
boy hopefully.

    "I'll never be the same again, but yeah. I don't have to give it
up, not completely," said Ranma with a small nod.

    "Oh," muttered Genryu with obvious disappointment in his voice.

    "So, how long do I have to wait until I have a nephew?" said Ranma
cheerfully.

    Ukyo and  Genryu blushed heavily, neither saying a word.

    "Not as long as I'd thought apparently," said the older boy with a
slightly surprised chuckle.

    "Shut up you jackass!" squeaked Ukyo.

    "Come on, you don't really think something like almost dying is
going to stop me from teasing you do you?" said Genryu with a small
chuckle. "Good job little brother. So tell me, did you like it?"

    "Man, he's still a jerk," muttered Genryu as he walked away
towards the door.

    Ranma was chuckling to himself as he watched the pair leave the
room.

++++++++++

    The next to enter was the Amazons. Shampoo nodded to him, and he
returned the gesture.

    "What brings you to visit me?" said Ranma cautiously.

    "I have come to discuss the technique you used against the demon,"
said Cologne as she sat down next to him. "I wish to know how you
learned it."

    Ranma looked her dead in the eyes and smiled. "I wouldn't tell
you, even if I knew how. I almost died because of it. I'm lying here
now, not because of my injuries in battle, but because of what that
technique does to a human body."

    "I see, it does lose some of its appeal," agreed Cologne as she
looked him up and down. "I am more interested in who you learned it
from."

    "Oh, I get it. You're worried about Happosai getting his hands on
this little technique?"

    Cologne narrowed her eyes at the boy. "Among other things."

    "And you're hoping I'll give away the name of my master, so you
can send a few hapless girls to him."

    "Actually, I was hoping I could just send them to you," said
Cologne to the boy cheerfully.

    "I can't train someone in the technique. I don't know how," said
Ranma with a sigh.

    "Pardon?" said Cologne cautiously. "You did learn the technique
did you not?"

    "The man who taught me this technique, won't be found unless he
wants to be. He did something to my body in order to teach me to the
technique, and I'm still not certain what it was."

    "I see," said Cologne with a sigh. "I will leave you now. If you
learn anything more, please contact me. I will return to China once
again. I assume you know where to find us."

    Ranma chuckled at this. "Fat chance old lady. The technique dies
with me if I have any say in the matter. Unfortunately, I don't."

    "Shampoo...grateful," said the Amazon girl with a slight bow to
him. "She not destroy demon alone."

    Cologne narrowed her eyes at the scene, but continued to walk
away.

+++++++++++

    Akane and Nabiki stood in the room side by side, each looking at
one another in confusion. "You wanted to speak with us?"

    "Yes, the engagement is gone," said Ranma as he smiled at them.

    "Pardon?" muttered Nabiki in shock.

    "The engagement is over, done, finito!" said Ranma cheerfully.
"Aren't you happy?"

    "What do you mean?" said Nabiki cautiously.

    "I called the two of you in here together, because it involves
both of you. Akane is now versed in the techniques of both the Satome,
and Tendo schools. Therefore, the agreement has been fulfilled, thus,
no more engagement."

    "What?" stammered Akane in shock.

    "I told you I had a plan Nabiki," said Ranma as he winked at her.
"The old farts aren't happy about it, but there isn't much they can
do. Next time, they'll be more careful about how they word their
contracts."

    "Th-that's..." stammered Nabiki, uncertain about what to say or
do. "Good I guess," she managed after a while.

    "Yeah, you won't be seeing to much of me anymore. I'm probably
going to be moving back home, and I doubt if your father will want me
around much. Neither one of the idiots is happy with this."

    "Yes, but our family honor is intact," agreed Nabiki. "You don't
have to torture us anymore, and we can get on with our lives."

    "You catch on quick," said Ranma cheerfully.

    "But..." said Akane with her eyes growing wide with shock.

    "Huh?" said Ranma as he looked at her.

    "I haven't learned...everything yet! I..." she looked completely
shocked at what was coming out of her own mouth. "I still haven't beat
you damn it! I'm going to be better than you ever were!"

    Ranma smirked at her stumbling. "Good for you."

    "You're going to teach me how!" she snapped angrily as she grabbed
his collar.

    "Oh?" muttered Ranma as he arched his eyebrow slightly.

    "Damn you Saotome! I'm not going to back out now! I've still got a
score to settle with you, and it isn't going to end like this! I won't
let it!"

    Ranma returned her gaze confidently. "You still think you can keep
up with me?"

    "Of course! You're nothing but a bed-ridden cripple! I'll wipe the
floor with you! Just you wait!" Akane released him, and walked out of
the room slamming the door behind her.

    "You know, my sister was never this colorful before you came
along," commented Nabiki snidely.

    "We all change Nabiki," said Ranma calmly.

    "She does care you know, I've never seen her act this way with
anyone. I'm not sure if it's pure hate, or some sort of twisted love,"
said Nabiki as she followed after her sister. "You'd better not hurt
her."

    "That's up to her," said Ranma in reply.

    Nabiki merely shut the door behind her, not giving any indication
that she had heard him.

+++++++++++

    "Saotome, we have brought roses to speed your recovery," said Kuno
as he stood next to his sister. They both held him a bouquet of
flowers, one red, the other black.

    "Um, thanks...I think," muttered Ranma quietly.

    "Fear not, my sister has ensured me that there are no poisons
within these dark and morbid signs of her affections," commented Kuno
as he noted Ranma nervously eyeing the black roses.

    "Great. It's nice to see you're both not hurt too badly..." lied
Ranma.

    "It has come to my attention, that you can no longer carry on our
battle of honor, due to your condition. I shall quietly accept your
surrender, and carry on the battle no more," said the boy stoically.

    "Hey, look," said Ranma irritably.

    "I shall await your recovery Ranma! Unfortunately, this lowly
hospital would not allow me to personally nurse you back to health,"
said Kodachi as she blushed demurely.

    "Look, I appreciate you coming and all, but..." said Ranma as the
pair continued to ignore him.

    "The mighty Blue Thunder of Furinkan High is merciful indeed! Weep
for joy, for your life has been spared, by my most noble and righteous
heart!"

    "Please accept this kiss, until we can be reunited once again!"
said Kodachi as she leaned in to the prone boy's face.

    "Hey!" cried Ranma as he desperately pressed the call button over
and over.

+++++++++++++++

    Pantyhose Taro looked out over Nerima, a wistful smile on his face
as he watched the sun set in the horizon. "Only one name left,
Happosai. It seems I've found you at last old man, I hope you're
ready." He turned his head and looked back at the hospital in the
distance. "See you around Saotome."

    He jumped away, vanishing into the city.

+++++++++++

    TBC...

    Next Time: Home Sweet Home...

C&C to Carrotglace@juno.com

Previous parts can be found at Http://www.fanfiction.net and R&C Books
International Fanfic Company at Http://www.rcbooks.org

Ja!


______________________________________________________________________
To unsubscribe, write to FFML2-unsubscribe@listbot.com
-
.---       Patch Monkey's TEMP FFML                ---.
| Administrators - Majordomo-Owner@patchmonkey.net |
| Unsubscribing - majordomo@patchmonkey.net               |
| Put 'unsubscribe ffml' in the body of your e-mail.     |
--------http://www.patchmonkey.net------------