Nerima No More

                    C&A Productions Presents:

                   Ranma: The Kyoto Chronicles
       A new fanfic series by Chris McNeil and Aaron Peori

                  Mega-chapter 1: Nerima No More

Let's skip all the preamble and cut straight to the chase...

(Scene: The outskirts of the Nerima district of Tokyo.  It is a beautiful
day, with birds singing in the trees while fluffy white clouds drift
lazily across the sky. [Note: Takahashi's First Law of Plots: any day
that starts out beautiful inevitably ends in disaster.] A lone figure
exits from a train at a small station.  It is a woman in a brown travelling
outfit.  On her back is a carefully wrapped bundle which forces her
reddish-brown hair to the side.  She brings up a delicate hand to shield
her eyes from the blinding glare of the sun.  This casts shadows across
her face, etching her beautiful features in soft contours of darkness.
The woman smiles whimsically-almost eagerly-and picks up her green-brown
duffle.  With a confident stride she steps off the platform.  All of the
people can't seem to help but smile and wave at her as she passes.)

Woman:[Soon, Ranma.  Very, very soon...]
(With a determined cast to her face she walks down the street. Unseen by
her is a shadowy figure on a nearby rooftop.  We see a glint of white as
the figure smiles evilly, then it leaps from the roof to the next one...
but doesn't _quite_ make it.  Instead, the small man in ninja garb
smashes his chin off the siding and falls into a dumpster with a splat.)


(Scene: An elegant, posh Japanese mansion.  More specifically, the dining
room.  A tall, handsome boy in blue and black samurai robes sits at one
end of the table before a...somewhat unappealing breakfast.  He is
turning several interesting colours while sprinkling said breakfast with
powdery condiments.  Across the table, wearing an elaborate kimono, is
a lovely woman with raven-black hair tied to the side in a long ponytail.
She smiles maliciously at the boy as he gingerly lifts an unusually
coloured vegetable with his chopsticks.)

Girl: Feeling all right, _dear_ brother?

Boy: Though I be subject to many a disheartening malady all upon the many
years of culinary misadventures concocted by malicious siblings, I must
state that the selection of nutrients set before me this day doth merely
make my flesh crawl, when others have caused all from seizures to cold
sweats.  Nay Kodachi, I shall not fall from this.

Kodachi: (sighs) Oh well.  (brightens) There's always tomorrow.  
(She laughs megalomaniacally.)

Voice: Master Kunou, master Kunou!
(Kunou drops the vegetable with obvious relief.)

Kunou: Ah, brave Sasuke, my diligent servant.  Come forth, my loyal
underling, so that you may present me with the news I know doth burn
thy tongue (Kodachi calmly steps away from the table) and quiver in
thy soul to tell me.
(Just then, the table flips into the air and onto Kunou, crushing him
like a bug as the small ninja from before steps out of a trapdoor that
had been positioned underneath it.  Kodachi laughs uproariously as
Sasuke looks about in confusion.)

Sasuke: Master Kunou?  That's odd, I could have sworn he was here... 
(As if on cue-and since this is fiction, that's exactly what it was-a
wooden sword cleaves the table and a Raging Kunou(tm) emerges, covered
in his breakfast.  He waves his bokken around like a man who's had a
few too many cups of coffee while glaring daggers at Sasuke.)

Kunou(enraged): For the _last_ time, you blithering idiot, USE THE DOOR!!!

Sasuke(backing away fearfully): Oh!  I'm sorry, master!  (obsequious as
all hell) I promise, no I swear, to never not use the door never again never!

Kunou(getting a hold of himself): Yes....of course....well, deliver your
report.  And pray your tongue be fleet or I will remove it so you may find
a more suitable organ.

Sasuke(sweating):Uh...hai, master.  IcametoreportthatthefoulSaotome'smother
hasarrivedthisdayin thecityofTokyoandyoucanusethistoeliminatehim!
(He takes a series of deep breaths, as Kunou blinks in confusion.)

Kunou: Huh?  What did you say?

Sasuke: I said... (deep breath) Icametoreporttha...

Kunou: At a speed which my mind can grasp, my dear Sasuke.

Sasuke: Okay.

Kunou: Doth thou belittle mine intelligence?!?

Kodachi(laughs): How can one belittle what does not exist, brother dear?
(Kunou stares at her for a moment, a big sweat drop on his head.  After a
moment, he calms down and turns back to Sasuke.)

Kunou: Very well, Sasuke, tell of your a normal tone.

Kodachi: Farewell brother, I must be off.  I have a competition to "prepare"
for.  Would you believe that this rival school dared to enter some green-
haired alien wench in the tournament?  Such cheaters!  I shall deal with
this insolent alien shortly!  Ohohohohohoho!
(Laughing megalomaniacally, she bounces out, flinging her kimono off to
reveal a leotard.)

Sasuke: Master, it has come to my attention that Saotome's mother has arrived
in Nerima.

Kunou: (shudders) Why would I care for this?  (looks skyward) Truly I would
fear the horror that bore such a demon.
(We see a vision of a hunched over hag with stringy black hair and dark eyes.
She is covered with warts and boils, and green pus oozes from her pores; she
also has a sharply cut black garment on.)

Kunou: Truly, she must be a monster.

Sasuke: Uh...not exactly, master.  In fact, I heard she was a decent sort,
and actually quite lovely.

Kunou: Eh? (the vision breaks up) A normal woman, you say?  (pauses) Indeed,
so Saotome became corrupted in his later years.  Perhaps she has come to
attempt to cleanse his soul of the evil he is accursed with.  (sighs) If
so, her folly shall be her undoing, for his heart is too black to be cleansed.

Sasuke: Master Kunou...I believe, according to my sources...that she has not
met her son in over ten years.  Apparently he hides from her, as she seeks to
determine his manliness.

Kunou: Indeed? (Kunou leans back against the wall for a moment, and then
smiles evilly)  Then let us proceed post-haste to warn yonder damsel of her
peril!  (strikes a dramatic pose) For soon let the snowdrops pass through
the safe of eternity!  (laughs)


(Scene: a street in Nerima.  The woman from the train station earlier walks
along the sidewalk, smiling cheerfully.  She turns a corner onto a relatively
deserted side street and begins to walk down it.  As she does [strike
dramatic entrance music], Kunou steps out in front of her, garbed in his
customary samurai robes.  Sasuke remains near the alley which both of them
emerged from.  The woman stops and looks curiously at Kunou, who seem to be
waiting for something.)

Woman: May I help you?

Kunou: Am I correct in assuming that you are the matriarch of one Saotome

Woman: If you just asked if I was Ranma's mother, than hai, I am Saotome

Kunou: (smiles) Excellent.

Nodoka: Why do you care?  And who are you?

Kunou(pleased): Who am I?  Who am _I_?  Why, I am the greatest warrior
in all of history!  The rising new star of the high school kendo world!
The vigilant lord of honour!  I am he whom men call the BLUE...(stops
ranting as he notices that Nodoka is leaving) Hey!  Wait!

Nodoka: (turns back) Yes, you were saying something?

Kunou(clears throat): I am he who they call the BLUE THUN...(Nodoka starts
to leave again) Hey!  I was orating and expounding upon my... (Nodoka
continues to move away; desperately) I am Kunou Tatewaki!

Nodoka: (turns back) Have you decided to talk like a normal human being?

Kunou: I doth speak in a manner suitable to my divine emin...

Nodoka: (sighs) See you later.  (turns to leave)

Kunou: No!  Wait!  I shall speak as you would wish, as I have news of...
(she continues to move away. Kunou runs after her.)  Wait!  Mrs. Saotome!
(Sasuke snickers and follows.  After a second, Nodoka stops and faces
the frazzled Kunou.)

Kunou: Mrs. Saotome, I must doth...(stops, an expression of pure
determination crossing his face) Do you plan on heading to the Tendo Dojo?

Nodoka: Of course.  I want to visit my son.

Kunou(sweating): I must warn you away from there.

Nodoka(concerned): Oh, has there been an accident?  Is Ranma okay?

Kunou: No, no accident, merely that (grimaces) it is a place of evil
and darkness, where no woman can be safe.

Nodoka: Are you referring to Happousai?  If so, I can assure you that
I don't need to worry about him.

Kunou(growls): No!  I refer to the most foul, evil, despicable cad the
world has ever seen!  I speak of...

Sasuke(worried): Master, perhaps some tact...

Kunou: ...that accursed Saotome Ranma!
(Nodoka bops Kunou on the head and he staggers back.)

Nodoka: Did you just insult my son?

Kunou: (blinks) can one insult him?  In order to insult, one must
disparage on another's good qualities (Nodoka frowns and Sasuke sighs) and
I can assure you that Ranma _has_ no good qualities!  (Nodoka hits him
again) Hey!

Nodoka(irritated): Why are you insulting him like this?

Kunou: I told you... (looks at her fist) ...uh...that is...

Sasuke: Perhaps you should tell her of your problems with Saotome.

Kunou(sighs): Hai, mayhaps then she will understand.

Nodoka: Problems?

Kunou: Indeed.  Saotome is the root of all pain in my life, for he hath
enslaved both my true loves.  (sighs)

Nodoka(shocked): ENSLAVED?!?

Kunou: Hai, he doth keep them from the embrace of this noble warrior, and
hold them in a most foul way...

Nodoka(determined): Who are these girls?

Kunou: One Akane Tendo, and the fair, but nameless, pig-tailed goddess.

Nodoka(incredulously): Akane?  And...a "pig-tailed goddess"?

Kunou: Ah, you have not beheld her magnificence.  She is fair of skin, with
hair like summer flames (Nodoka frowns) cut short and laid back in a bobbed
pigtail.  She is as graceful as the lark and as powerful as a tigress, yet
retaining the beauty of the fleeting doe.

Nodoka: (after a moment) Do you mean Ranko?

Kunou: Ranko?

Nodoka(nods): Red hair and pig-tail like you said, usually wears a red
tunic and blue pants.  (puts her hand about level with her mouth) About
so tall, doesn't like hot water or cats very much...

Kunou(stunned): Why, thou hast described my fair one to perfection!

Nodoka: That's Ranko. She lives at the Tendo Dojo.  (frowns) I find it
hard to believe that either Ranko or Akane would be... (looks down)

Kunou: I, too, found it hard to believe, but Saotome hath used foul
sorcery to hold them.  For he is no man...
(Nodoka looks up sharply.)

Nodoka: Not a man?  (grabs Kunou by his collar) Are you saying that
Ranma isn't manly?  (the bundle has disappeared, and a large, _sharp_
katana has appeared in her free hand.)  Is that what you're saying?

Kunou(sweats): H-h-hai, he is indeed...very unmanly...
(Nodoka's eyes narrow.)

Nodoka: Tell me, do you know where Ranma is now?

Kunou: Hai, he is at the home of fair Akane...

Nodoka: I want you to lead me there, and for you to fetch Ranma.

Kunou: (smiles cockily) That shall be easy!  I shall simply call him
forth for his daily thrashing at my hands!  (Nodoka puts him down) Pray
tell, why art thou so concerned with Saotome's manliness?

Nodoka(grimly): Because if he is not manly....then he must commit
(Kunou's eyes light up.)

Kunou: [So, Saotome, at last I have found a way to destroy you forever!
When your own mother beholds your foulness, then shall you DIE!!!] (Kunou
laughs megalomaniacally; Sasuke and Nodoka exchange worried glances.
After a moment, Kunou calms down.)  Come, madam, let us anon to yonder
dojo, where both our problems shall be solved.

Nodoka:(as they begin to leave) You said thrashing, didn't you?

Kunou(snickering): Hai, that I did.  For Saotome doth taste my blade
(whips out his bokken) regularly...but it is not enough to free Akane
and the pig-tailed goddess.

Nodoka(absently): Ranko.  (thoughtful pause) Try not to hurt Ranma
too badly, okay?

Kunou: For you, my lady, I shall restrain myself from pounding him
into insensibility.


(Scene: the outside of a dojo/home, somewhere in Nerima.  A sign
proclaims it to be the "Tendo Dojo of Anything-Goes Martial Arts".  Kunou
stands in front of the main doorway, while Sasuke and a depressed-looking
Nodoka are hiding in an alley not far away.)

Sasuke: Do not fear, Lady Saotome.  Master Kunou will present your son
to you.

Nodoka: (sighs) I don't doubt it, it's just...I can't help feeling...
unloved, when I am forced to resort to subterfuge to see my own son.
(pauses) I only wish they had never gone on that training trip.

Sasuke: Master Kunou appears ready to begin.
(They watch in silence as Kunou strides boldly to the door.  He draws
his bokken and bangs it soundly against the door twice.)

Kunou(shouts): Foul one!  Come forth, Saotome, and face the fate you
so richly deserve!.  (long pause) Is your soul so full of cowardice
that you hide behind walls of stone?  If so, know that they shall not

Voice: Actually, I was getting dressed.
(All three look up to see a boy perched on the top of the dojo's main
entrance.  He is of medium stature, with a slim, agile build and a
bored, handsome face.  His hair is black, cut short and tied back
in a bobbed ponytail.  He has a loose red silk tunic on with the
sleeves rolled up, and a pair of blue pants.  Kunou smiles evilly.)

Boy: Unlike you, some of us sleep in on the weekend.

Kunou: So you come from the sky, much like the vulture.  How prosaic
of you, Saotome, to act so like the creature whose soul you imitate.
(Nodoka is smiling mysteriously while Sasuke watches in apprehension.
The boy sighs in resignation.)

Kunou: Come forth, Ranma!  Let us do battle for the love of Akane and
the pig-tailed goddess!
(Ranma leaps to the ground.)

Ranma: You are sooooo dense, Kunou.

Kunou: Enough prattle, Saotome.  It is time to DIE!!!
(Kunou cries out and thrusts repeatedly with his bokken.  Ranma dances
to the side and catches the bokken with his hand, then yanks on it and
spins Kunou away.  Kunou manages to stay on his feet and faces Ranma.)

Ranma: I don't have time for you now, Kunou.
(He rushes in and ducks a high swing from the bokken)

(Ranma's fists suddenly fly into Kunou's chest repeatedly, too fast for
the eye to follow.  Kunou staggers back and falls without a sound.
Ranma stands up and turns away from Kunou with a sneer while patting
his hands together..)

Ranma: You're hardly even worth the... (stops as he hears somebody
coming up behind him, and begins to turn around) You're still
conscious?  I underestimated you, Ku...
(He comes about and sees a smiling Nodoka standing there.  His jaw

Nodoka(suddenly apprehensive): Ranma...?

Ranma(shocked): M-m-m-m-m-MOM!!!
(He faints.)

Nodoka(concerned): Ranma!


(Everything is a blur.  The world roils and boils like soup,
distortions ripple and sway.  Then, slowly, everything comes together
and the world recollects itself into recognizable shapes and images.
The first is the sky, blue and beautiful.  The second is the edge of
a roof.  The final image is a face, the face of a concerned mother
leaning over her child.)

Nodoka: Ranma?  Are you okay?  
(Ranma-who was lying on his back-pushes himself into a sitting position
with his arms.)

Ranma: (blinks) I'm fine.

Nodoka(relieved but still apprehensive): Are you sure that boy didn't
hurt you?

Ranma: Huh?  (turns to look at Kunou, spread-eagled on the ground) You
mean Kunou?  (sniggers) Don't make me _laugh_, M...(realization strikes)
MOM!  (he grabs Nodoka by the shoulders and forces her to look him in
the face) MOM! MOM! MOM!

Nodoka: Hai, Ranma.  (cutsie smile) It's me, all right!  I'm so glad
to finally see you! 
(She hugs him.  A wild look enters Ranma's eyes.)

Ranma: MOM!  MOM!  MOM!

Nodoka: I'm surprised you recognized me so easily, since we haven't
seen each other in so many years. (pulls away)

Ranma: MOM! MOM! MOM!

Nodoka: (smiles again) I'm glad you're so excited.  We have so much
to catch up on.

Ranma: MOM! MOM! MOM!

Nodoka(concerned): Ranma, did you hit your head?

Ranma: MO-
(He is quieted when Nodoka gently holds his mouth closed with a finger.)

Nodoka: I know you're excited, Ranma.  So am I.  But we won't be able
to catch up on much if you insist on yelling "mom" over and over.

Ranma: Huh?  (grins thinly) see you, Mom.  I really
missed you...

Nodoka: I missed you, too.  (she stands and Ranma follows suit) Where's
your father?

Ranma: Pop?
(Nodoka puts an arm around his neck.)

Nodoka: Come on.  Let's go inside and find him, shall we?
(Ranma looks _very_ uncomfortable to have Nodoka's arm around his neck.)

Ranma: Uh...sure...right away...
(They move in.  The scene remains outside, focusing on the unconscious
Kunou.  Sasuke leaps down next to him, a look of profound disappointment
on his face.)

Sasuke: (sighs) Master Kunou, why must you always do this to yourself?
My back is killing me from always having to lug you around.

Kunou: Well, we all must endure hardships in our life, Sasuke.  (sits up)
And consider my divine presence an honour, not a burden.

Sasuke(surprised): You're awake!

Kunou: Didst thou think that one as noble in spirit as the great Kunou
Tatewaki, whom men call Blue Thunder, could be felled by a mere worm
such as he?  Nay I say, and nay again!  For the vengeance of heaven
is slow but sure, and only I can lift it's divine majesty (leaps to
his feet) to new heights of grandeur and success against the minions
of the nine hells!

Sasuke: Good to see you're feeling well, Master... 

Kunou: Indeed.  Come, I must anon to yonder dojo, for the stench of
foulest trickery emanates in grand profusion.
(He stalks toward the dojo.)


(Meanwhile, Ranma and Nodoka are walking down a hall in a traditional
Japanese home.  Ranma is talking.)

Ranma: So, where have you been, _MOM_?  I haven't seen you in a while,

Nodoka(perplexed): I've been travelling, _RANMA_...
(There is a strangled gasp from up ahead, followed by a few thumps and
a splash.  Nodoka blinks.)

Nodoka: What was that?

Ranma: (thin smile) Somebody must have spilled their tea. Heh heh...
Yeah, that was it...
(They turn the corner and enter a room.  It is a combination living/
dining room, with a porch-like opening into the backyard.  In the
room are three figures.  One is a tall man in a brown gi with shoulder-
length black hair and a moustache.  He is sitting at the table, smiling
nervously and sweating.  Next to him sits a girl with short black hair
and a cute, if somewhat average, face.  She is dressed in a pullover
and loose pants, and is carrying a kawaii little black piglet who has
a bandanna around its neck.  Both look curious, but the pig is amused,
while the girl is more worried.  The third figure is a tall girl with
long hair, who has a beatific-and completely without thought-look about
her.  In the back yard are several trees and a medium-sized pond
surrounded by rocks.  In the centre of the pond is a half-submerged
panda.  It holds up a hastily written sign.)     

Panda: {Hi!}

Nodoka: Hello, Mr. Panda.  (waves)

Black-haired girl: Auntie Saotome?!?  (she drops the pig) H-how nice
to see you again...  (the pig wanders away)

Nodoka: Good morning, Akane.  (turns to the brown-haired girl) Good
morning, Kasumi.

Kasumi: So good of you to come visit.  (cutsie smile) Why don't you
sit down?  We were just about to start breakfast.
(Nodoka-with her arm still around an uncomfortable Ranma-walks over
and kneels by the table.  The panda hesitates for a moment, then joins
them.  Everyone-except Kasumi-looks uncomfortable.)

Nodoka: Where's Genma, Ranko(Ranma winces), and Nabiki?

Man: Uh...uh...

Nodoka: Oh, I'm sorry, Soun.  I never said hello.

Soun: That's okay, Nodoka...

Nodoka: I'm just so happy that I finally got to see my son!
(She squeezes Ranma tightly.  He almost swoons, and Nodoka starts
with surprise and worry.)

Nodoka: Ranma?  Do you feel all right?

Ranma:'s just...I don't feel very...comfortable...
(Nodoka looks sad and pulls her arms away; instant relief for Ranma.)

Nodoka: I understand.  (sighs) All those years of separation have
made your mother a stranger.  I can understand if you need time to
be comfortable around me.

Ranma: (sweating) No, it's not that!  It's just... (desperate)
..that (wimps out) that's it, alright...

Soun: Well...Nodoka...Nabiki's out with friends, and Genma and
Ran...ko are...are...

Ranma(blurts): Training!  They're on a training trip!

Nodoka: (blinks) Training Genma always training?
(Ranma nods vigorously.)

Ranma: Hai! He's always training!  Twenty-four hours a day!  Seven
days a week!  Training! Training! Training!  That's my pop!  Never
lets _anything_ interfere with the training!

Nodoka: Nothing?

Ranma(firmly): Nothing.

Nodoka(dangerously): So he only trains, and doesn't take the proper
time to care for his _son_!
(Ranma blinks, and the panda frantically holds up a sign.)

Panda: {Of course not!} (flips sign) {Genma loves his son and cares
for him deeply!} (new sign) {He would never hurt Ranma!}

Ranma(sarcastically): Sure, Mr. Panda, sure.

Panda: {I mean it!}

Nodoka: (blinks) Why do you care, Mr. Panda?

Panda: (long pause) {I don't.  Ignore me.}  (flips sign) {I'm just
a cute panda!}

Nodoka(to Kasumi): What's for breakfast, dear?

Kasumi: How do eggs sound?

Nodoka: Fine.
(Kasumi leaves and Nodoka turns back to Ranma. However, before she
can say anything Kunou bursts in from the front.)

Ranma(groans): Go away, Kunou.

Kunou: Never, Ranma Saotome!  I shall free my Akane...

Akane: I am _not_ your Akane!

Kunou(continues): ...and my pig-tailed goddess...

Nodoka(absently): Ranko.

Kunou(unimpeded): ...from your vile clutches!  Ranma, admit your unma...
(At this point, somebody jumps on Kunou from behind.  He collapses
under the weight of a lovely Chinese girl, who sports long purple
hair and a pink silk jumpsuit.  She leaps off Kunou and towards Ranma.)

Girl: Niiihaoooo!  (glomp-or tackle, it's hard to tell) Morning, Ranma!
(Akane looks as if she is about to attack Ranma, but there is suddenly
no need as Nodoka plucks the Chinese girl off him.)

Nodoka: Just what do you think you're doing?

Girl: Shampoo greet husband!

Nodoka: I'm not interested in hair-care products.  I want to know what
you're doing with Ranma.

Girl: Who you to order Shampoo?

Nodoka: (blinks) Listen, I'm Ranma's mother!  Now answer me!
(The girl gasps slightly and blanches.)

Girl: Shampoo sorry.  She no know.

Nodoka: Why do you keep talking about shampoo? 
Girl: Shampoo name Shampoo, course.

Nodoka: (understanding) Ahhh!  Your _name_ is Shampoo.  But that
doesn't answer my question.  (drops Shampoo) What were you doing
with my son?

Shampoo: Shampoo say, "Shampoo greet husband."

Nodoka(stunned): H-h-husband?!?
(Ranma looks frantic.  The panda tries to sneak away, but Soun stops
him.  Nodoka turns to Ranma in shock.)

Nodoka: Ranma!  You're married!  And I (tears) wasn't even invited
to the wedding...

Ranma: No! No! No!

Shampoo: No have wedding yet.  (sympathetic smile)

Nodoka: (sighs in relief) Then you two are only engaged?  Thank the
makers!  (sternly) Ranma, you're too young to be engaged.  You should
date other girls first...
(Kunou has risen up onto his hands and knees, and glares at Ranma.)

Kunou: I know not how you did that, but I will force you, Ranma, to
admit your unma...
(Somebody walks in and stands on Kunou, driving him to the ground
once again.  This somebody is another girl, tall and extremely cute,
with long brown hair that has a ribbon in it.  She is wearing a white
cardigan and brown slacks, and there is a large object on her back.
After a moment, you should realize that it is a large metal spatula.
She is smiling and carrying a plate upon which rests several steaming,
pancake-like objects.)

Girl: Ranchan!  (waves) I've brought you some breakfast!  (she walks
in and looks around; spots Shampoo and growls) What's _she_ doing here?

Shampoo(defiant): Shampoo visit husband!

Nodoka: Fiancee, dear.  He is not your husband yet.
(The girl looks curiously at Nodoka.)

Girl: Oh, hello.  I don't believe we've met.  (cutsie smile)
(Nodoka stands and bows.)

Nodoka: I'm Saotome Nodoka, Ranma's mother.
(The girl is obviously surprised, but bows with extreme respect.)

Girl: P-pleased to meet you...Mrs. Saotome.

Nodoka: Nodoka will do, dear, and who are you?

Girl: Kuonji Ukyou, Ranma's fiancee.

Nodoka(starts): But that's not possible!  Ranma is already engaged,
to this Shampoo person...

Shampoo: That right!  (grabs Ranma's arm) Ranma Shampoo's fi-fi-
fiancee, not stupid cook's!

Ukyou:(grabbing Ranma's other arm) Ranchan will marry me!  He's not
marrying some stupid amazon!
(They begin to pull Ranma between them, each alternately yelling
"Mine!" and gaining minimal advantage.  Nodoka plucks Ranma from
their grasp and pulls him behind her.)

Nodoka(dangerously): Ranma won't marry either of you unless _I_ find
out why he has two fiancees.  (turns away from the stunned duo and
looks sternly at Ranma) Ranma, why do you have two fiancees?  I
certainly hope you're not simply stringing these girls along...

Ranma: (sweating big time; waves arms frantically) NO!  It's not's just...I...I...No!  I'm not...
(At this point Kunou begins to raise himself up again.  He manages
to attain a leaning position in the doorway.)

Kunou: Ranma Saotome!  Admit your unma...
(Another figure bounces off his head-sending him to the floor again-
and leaps at Ranma.  It is Kodachi, in a green leotard.)

Kodachi: RANMA-SAMA!  (glomp)

Nodoka: (plucking Kodachi off) Ranma....sama?
(Ranma laughs with extremely forced humour.)

Kodachi: And who are you to keep me, the rising star of St. Hebereke,
the flower of martial arts rhythmic gymnastics, the one known as
Kodachi the Black Rose, from her beloved?

Nodoka: Beloved?  (frowns) I'm his mother.

Kodachi(surprised): You are?  Well well well...I'm sooooo glad to
finally meet you.  Ohohohohohoho!

Nodoka(to Ranma): Is she related to that Kunou person?
(Speaking of "that Kunou person", he has again risen to his feet,
and stands in the doorway.)

Kunou(breathing deeply): Ranma...admit your...unma...
(At this point he is bowled over by a boy.  This boy is tall, wearing
a loose white robe and blue pants.  He has long black hair and a
pair of pop-bottle glasses nestled snugly on his forehead.)

Boy: Saotome Ranma!  Prepare to...

Nodoka: Who are you?

(Suddenly, claws, swords, maces, butter knives, plastic toys, a
carved yak and a game of snakes n' ladders pop out of every
conceivable hiding place on his person.  Nodoka jumps back, eyes
wide, as the boy leaps into the room and descends like the angel 
of death on...the television.  And he proceeds to tear it apart,
screaming "Die, Saotome!"  Nodoka blinks, but no one else reacts
in any special way.)

Nodoka: Ranma, who is that boy?  Why is he after you?  And what does
he have against your TV?

Shampoo: He Mousse, he nuts, and blind as bat.

Ukyou(sarcastic): You noticed?  How perceptive of you!  (Shampoo
glares at her.)

Shampoo: No worry, Ranma.  Shampoo deal with pest.

Mousse: Shampoo?
(Shampoo pulls a bucket of water out of nowhere and cocks it.  Ranma
frantically waves his hands, but it is too late as Shampoo tosses the
water on Mousse...and the still plugged-in television.  The duck does
a jittery little dance, outlined in a glowing aura, then falls down,

Nodoka(gaping) Wh-wh-wh-wh-wh...
(Ranma and the panda both blanch.  Interesting sight on a panda.)

Ukyou: (blinks) What's their problem?
(Akane whispers something in Ukyou's ear.  As she does, Ukyou's
expression changes from slight puzzlement, to shocked surprise, to
concerned worry, and finally to outright horror.  Meanwhile, Kunou
rises to his feet, and deciding not to be near a opening-even Kunou
can learn, given _many_ object lessons-he stumbles up against the

Kunou: RANMA!  Admit your unma...

Voice(from behind the wall): BAKUSAI TEN KETSU!
(The wall explodes inward, sending Kunou flying across the room to
land in a heap.  A boy steps out of the circular opening that just
appeared.  He is of medium height, with a muscular build and a
shock of short black hair.  The hair is kept off his face by a yellow
and black bandanna.  He has a yellowish, belted tunic and loose pants,
and carries a red bamboo umbrella.  He growls, baring evidence of
either really bad dental work or vampire in his ancestry.)

Boy: Ranma!  Prepare to die!
(He rushes at Ranma with his umbrella extended, but is brought up
short when a katana deflects his weapon and he is grabbed from behind
by a forceful hand.  He glares at Nodoka, who is holding him)

Nodoka: And what do you think _you're_ doing?

Boy: Killing this...this SLIME!

Ranma(groans): Go away, Ryouga.  I don't need this at the moment.
Nodoka(yells): You are _not_ killing my son!

Ryouga: (flinches) don't understand what he's done to

Ranma: I didn't do anything!  It was all Pop's fault!
(The panda hits him with a sign, then displays it.)

Panda: {It was not!} (flips sign) {It couldn't be (word scratched
out) his fault!}

Nodoka: How would you know, panda-chan?

Panda(frantically): {I wouldn't!} (flips sign) {I'm just a cute

Nodoka: Uh-huh...(to Ryouga) Now what happened to make you so mad
at Ranma?

Ryouga: Well, he's responsible for...uh...(looks at Akane, who
blinks)...that is...uh...he...well...its just...
(At this point, Kunou raises his head from the floor.)

Kunou(croaks): Ranma...admit your unma...
(The kitchen door opens, and Kasumi steps out.  And, of course, she
steps on Kunou's head and drives it to the floor again.  She is
carrying a tray, upon which rests six plates of food.  She places
the tray on the table and looks around.)

Kasumi: Oh!  We have more guests?  (cutsie smile) Don't worry, I'll
make some more.

Nodoka: Arigato, Kasumi.  (remarkably similar cutsie smile) That
is very kind of you.
(The panda begins to pig out, which causes Ranma, Akane, and especially
Ukyou to glare at it in disgust.  It looks up in surprise.)

Panda: {What?}

Kunou: (having rolled onto his back)
u-u-unma...(Kasumi steps on his face on her way back to the kitchen.)

Nodoka: (to Ryouga) Well, what is it?

Ukyou: Yeah Ryouga, whatever could have made you so mad at Ranchan?

Ryouga:(barks-no, not literally-at Ukyou) Shut up, you!

Ranma: Come on, Ryouga, tell us!  We're all dying to know!
(Ryouga growls at Ranma.)

Nodoka: Stop teasing the boy, dear.  You're not being very nice.

Ranma: (blanches) H-hai, mom...

Nodoka: (to Ryouga) Now, why don't you sit down and we'll discuss
this rationally.  (Ryouga glares at Ranma, but does so) See?  We
don't have to use violence to sort out all of our problems.  (sits
down) Now before I can begin to sort out this situation I need some
information.  First, (points a slightly shaking finger at the fried
duck) why is that duck where a boy used to be?

Shampoo: Oh that easy, he...
(Ukyou clamps a hand over her mouth.)

Ukyou: (smiling thinly) a magician!  He likes to play tricks like
this all the time!  Heh heh heh...
(At this point, Shampoo grabs Ukyou's arm and flips her onto her back.)

Shampoo: That no what Shampoo...

Ukyou(growls): Why you...
(Ukyou leaps to her feet and snaps out her giant spatula.  Shampoo
smirks and pulls a pair of pink and yellow mace-like weapons out of

Shampoo: We fight?

Ukyou: Whenever you're ready!
(She leaps and slashes down with her spatula, but Shampoo catches it
on her bonbori(maces) and Ukyou flips behind her.  She spins, swinging
low, but Shampoo has already launched herself skyward.  With a cry,
Shampoo snapkicks at Ukyou, but the other girl rolls aside and brings
her weapon around in a sweeping upward arc that would have caught
Shampoo in the chest had not Nodoka's katana blocked it.  Shampoo
"aiyas" and thrusts at Ukyou, but her attack is halted when Nodoka
grabs her arm.)

Nodoka: No fighting!
(She pushes the two startled girls apart.  Ukyou ends up with her
back to the kitchen and Shampoo with her back to the unconscious duck.
Nodoka stands between them.)

Shampoo: What you think you do?

Nodoka: There will be no violence.  You are in another's home, and
you will not destroy it in the course of your petty bickering.
(Both girls back down.  In the meantime, Kunou has risen to his feet-
what a glutton for punishment-and is leaning against the kitchen door.)

Kunou: Ranma Saotome...admit...(deep breath)...your...unma...

Door: Ukyou-sama!  
(Suddenly the door leaps from the doorframe-bowling over Kunou in the
process-grows arms, and glomps Ukyou.  Kunou finally, mercifully,
falls unconscious.  The door grows a head, the head of a cute,
brown haired girl, which smiles engagingly at the steaming Ukyou.
Nodoka is backing away, her eyes wide.)

Girl in door: Oh, I'm sooooo glad to see you again, Ukyou-sama!

Ukyou(pissed): Why youuuuuu...
(Suddenly the door-girl is lying in front of Ukyou, pinned by her

Ukyou: Tsubasa, you jerk!  What do you think you're doing?

Tsubasa: Just expressing my love.  (doffs disguise, revealing a girl
in a pretty brown dress) Aren't you pleased to see me, Ukyou-sama?
(Ukyou expresses how displeased she is, with her spatula, at some
length.  Nodoka points a shaking finger at the battered Tsubasa.)

Nodoka: G-g-g-girl...d-d-door....g-g-girl...s-s-s-sama...

Shampoo: Guy.

Nodoka: Guy?
(Shampoo points at the now-unconscious Tsubasa.)

Shampoo: Is guy.

Nodoka: (slowly nods) Guy... (she faints)

Ranma: MOM!


(Scene: A deserted street in some city.  A lone figure in an long
trenchcoat, form-fitting tunic, and blue pants is walking down it.
He is tall, with demure, aristocratic features and short, wind-swept
brown hair-strange, since the air is dead calm.  He stops and looks at
a sign, which points to several different streets.  After a moment, he
frowns and glances around.)

Boy: [I _will_ find you, Saotome Ranma.  I _will_ have my REVENGE!]


(Scene: the Tendo household.  All the "guests" have developed a general
party atmosphere, save Kunou and Tsubasa, who are missing.  Mousse-human
once more-is wandering about calling out Shampoo's name.  Said amazon
stands at a buffet-set by Kasumi, no doubt-talking to Sasuke.  Kodachi
is at the far end by the punch bowl, drinking some punch and smiling
evilly at anyone who approaches.  Needless to say, nobody else has any
punch.  Ryouga sits by himself in the corner, muttering something under
his breath.  Ranma, Akane, the panda and Soun all sit around the table.
Soun is nervously twiddling a cigarette between his fingers.  The panda
is eating like there's no tomorrow-which is quite possibly true.  Akane
looks mildly sick, while Ranma looks depressed, desperate, and despondent.
At that moment, Ukyou walks in from outside.  She goes over to the table
and sits down with a discouraged sigh.)

Soun: Well?

Ukyou: It's no use.  I can't find her anywhere.  She must have gone
downtown or something...

Akane: Well, it looks like you can't buy your way out of this one,

Ranma: Great...just great...

Panda: {Come on, boy.  We still have time} (flips sign) {to run.}

Ranma(angry): I'm _not_ running away from Mom!

Panda: {Your funeral.  I'm leaving.}
(Soun grabs the panda before it can get anywhere.)

Soun: You weren't thinking of leaving us in our hour of need,

Panda: {No!  Of course not!} (flips sign) {I just need some fresh air...}
(At that moment, Kasumi walks downstairs.  Ranma looks at her with a
worried expression.)

Ranma: Well?  How is she?

Kasumi: (cutsie smile) Your mother's just fine, Ranma.  She should be
awake in a few minutes.
Ranma: (sits back) I don't know whether to be relieved...or frightened.

Panda: {Be afraid.  Be VERY afraid.}

Ranma: Be quiet, pop.

Panda: {Did I _say_ anything?}
(Ranma grabs the sign and bangs him with it.  The panda backpeddles.)

Ranma(grumbling): Stupid baka father...all his fault, anyway...

Ukyou: (nods) Of course it is, Ranchan.
(The panda protests, but Ukyou silences him by chopping the sign in half.
The panda does not comment after that.)

Ranma: I just wish I knew what to do...

Akane: Cheer up, Ranma, everything will turn out for the best.
(*crack*boom*ominous roll of thunder*)

Ukyou: I hate it when that happens...
(Presently, Nodoka appears at the top of the stairs.  The room falls
silent as she mechanically walks to them and looms over Ranma with a
stoic expression.  She starts to fiddle with the carefully wrapped
bundle on her back.)

Ranma(tightly): H-hi do you feel?

Nodoka(absently): Much better, thanks...I think I'll be fine now.

Ranma: That's nice to hear. 
Panda: {I'm so glad.}
(Nodoka looks curiously at the panda.)

Nodoka: That's very considerate, Mr. Panda.

Panda: {I'm just a cute panda.} (flips sign) {Don't mind me.}

Nodoka: Uh-huh...(to Ranma) I think it's about time I had an

Ranma: (sweating) Well, you see...uh...that is...

Nodoka: (shakes head) No, I don't want it from you.

Ranma: Huh?

Nodoka: Not yet, at least.  First I want some explanations from
everyone else.  (everyone looks at each other.  Nodoka turns to Ukyou)
You first, dear.  How did you come to call my son your fiancee?
(Ukyou casts an _evil_ look the panda's way.)

Ukyou: Welllllll, as far as I know, it went something like this...
(Flashback: the street outside the village where Ukyou and Ranma
first met.  On it are two figures.  One is a child-like SD version
of Ranma, who looks dejected and dirty.  The other is a man who is
built like a sack of potatoes.  He has dark skin, a bald head
covered with a bandanna, a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and a white
gi covered with food stains.  He holds a side of beef, which he is
finishing off while the boy looks on with pitiful puppy-dog eyes.)

Ukyou(voiceover): As was usual, Genma had squandered all the food
on himself and Ranma was forced to go hungry...
(A panda appears in the flashback and holds up a sign.)

Panda: (first word is scratched out) {He did not!}

Nodoka(voiceover): How would you know?

Panda(hastily): {I wouldn't!} (flips sign) {I'm just a cute panda!}

(The panda drifts from view, and the scene refocuses on the two figures.)

FB-Genma: (finishes eating) Mmmm!  I'm hungry, boy!

SD-Ranma(pitiful tone): Oh, so am I, father.  I'm so hungry, could I
please have a morsel this week?

FB-Genma: (laughs) I'll consider it, boy.  If I'm feeling generous,
maybe you can eat.

SD-Ranma: Arigato, father.
(They walk into the town, and pass the panda, who is holding up a new

Panda: {Genma isn't like that at all!}

Ukyou-voiceover: Oh?  And what makes you the expert?

Panda: {Nothing.} (flips sign) {I'm just a cute panda!}
(The view follows the two actual characters from the flashback as they
walk into the village and round a corner.  Now we see a SD Ukyou-dressed
rather boyishly-and an older man with a beard working at a yatai.)

FB-Genma: Ahhh, food!  Quick boy, fetch us some.

SD-Ranma: But I have no money, father.  You squandered it all on ice
cream in the last town.

FB-Genma: Just go and take it, boy.

SD-Ranma(shocked): But that's stealing!

FB-Genma: So?  Go get it.  Do what your father tells you!

SD-Ranma(despondent): Whatever you say, father.
(Ranma runs out and charges the yatai, and before anyone can react
he bounces off Ukyou, grabs a half-dozen okonomiyaki and disappears
around the corner.  The view goes up to the top of the building SD-
Ranma went around, to where the panda is standing.)

Panda(defiantly): {That's not how it happened at all!} (flips sign)
{Genma is a good and decent man!}

Nodoka(voiceover): How do you know what happened?  You weren't
there...were you?

Panda(horrified): {Of course not!} (flips sign) {I'm just a cute panda!}
(The scene fades out...)

Ukyou(voiceover): It happened day after day... (we see Ranma-crying
slightly-stealing more food from the yatai) ...for many weeks... (we
see Genma wolfing down all the food and leaving Ranma hungry)
..despite all my efforts to stop him. (we see Ranma defeating a
spatula-equipped Ukyou) Somehow, Ranma and I became fast friends...
(We see Ukyou drawing pictures on the okonomiyaki for Ranma, then
Genma eating it, and Ranma stealing more food while Genma-with some
new fashion accessories: horns, tail, pitchfork, fiery aura-laughs
in the background.  The panda appears.)

Panda: {A trifle overdone, perhaps?}
(The scene fades away-with the panda-and is replaced by one of Ukyou's
dad holding SD-Ranma and turning him away from the yatai.)

Ukyou(voice-over): Finally, my dad interfered and Ranma was forced to
leave empty-handed...
(The scene shifts to a view of an alley, where Ranma has just offered
up the news to Genma.  Genma explodes-no, not into little disgusting
red bits-and grabs Ranma by the collar.)

FB-Genma: You didn't bring any _food_!?

SD-Ranma(apologetic): I'm sorry...

FB-Genma: I haven't eaten for FIVE MINUTES!!!!!  Do you want your
father to STARVE?!?

SD-Ranma: No...but I can't get past Mr. Kuonji.  I can defeat Ucchan,

FB-Genma: Ucchan?

SD-Ranma: Ukyou.  The little boy I beat up for the okonomiyaki every

Genma: Little...boy... (smiles) He doesn't know...

SD-Ranma: Don't know what?

Genma: (smiling evilly) Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

Ukyou(voiceover): The next day, he put his fiendish...
(The panda appears.)

Panda: {Fiendish?!? FIENDISH?!?!?  Genma is _not_ fiendish!!!}

Ukyou(voiceover; sarcastic}: Oh?  And I suppose you have special
insight into his mind?

Panda: {Of course not!} (flips sign) {I'm just a cute panda!}
(The scene now shows Genma talking to Mr. Kuonji.)
FB-Genma: Come now, it's a marvellous plan.

Mr. Kuonji: I don't know...they really seem to like each other, but

FB-Genma: What better way to insure your family business continues
on?  And with a strong boy like Ranma married to your daughter,
nobody would ever steal from you again!

Mr. Kuonji: Hai, it might be a good idea at that. (pauses) Very well,
it's a deal-and I'll give you the yatai for a dowry.

FB-Genma: Excellent, excellent.

Mr. Kuonji: I can trust you to look after Ukyou until the marriage,

FB-Genma: (smiles) I'm a man of my word, Kuonji-kun.

Ukyou(voiceover): He most certainly is...
(The scene shows Genma pulling the yatai as fast as possible away
from the village.  He is laughing megalomaniacally, while Ranma sits
on the yatai, reaching a hand imploringly towards a sobbing Ukyou who
is running after them.)

FB-Genma: Ha ha ha!  SUCKERS!!!
(End flashback.  Nodoka is staring at Ukyou, who has a single tear
rolling down her cheek;it is impossible to tell whether this is real
or faked.)

Ukyou(steady tone): From that point on, because of the supreme
embarrassment and pain, I renounced my femininity and became in all
ways but biologically a boy.  I dressed like one, talked like one,
acted like one.  I became obsessed with revenge, and sought out
Ranma in order to get my revenge.  But, (sighs happily) I learned
that he had nothing to do with it, and we (dreamy tone) fell madly
in love and decided...

Ranma: We?

Ukyou: proceed with the engagement.
(Nodoka is dumbfounded.  Shampoo blinks and stares at Ukyou.)

Shampoo: Aiya.  Is sad story, stupid cook.   Shampoo almost care.

Nodoka: (to Ranma) Is all this true?

Panda: {No it isn't!  It is not true!} (flips sign) {It's as far
from the truth as possible!  Actually, what happened was} (runs out
of room)

Nodoka(mildly irritated): I asked Ranma.  Besides, what would you know?

Panda: {NOTHING!!!  Not a thing!} (flips the sign-say it with me,
folks) {I'm just a cute panda!}

Nodoka: Uh-huh...well, Ranma?

Ranma: Well...uh...sort of...y'know...uh...

Nodoka: I understand, son.  Your loyalty to your father is admirable,
but it remains to be seen whether it is misplaced.
(The panda nearly faints and Soun supports it while sobbing softly.)

Soun: Oh!  To think of the injustice!  How could you do that to this
girl, Saotome-kun?

Panda: (first word scratched out) {He didn't!}

Soun: And what of your son?  Has he inherited this cruelty?  Can
Akane *sob* marry such a monster? (sob, sob, wail)

Nodoka: Akane?  Marry Ranma?  (eyes narrow) I had almost forgotten
about that... (Ranma falls back in disgust; Nodoka turns to Akane)
Dear, could you tell me how exactly this happened with you two?
(As Akane starts to talk, Ukyou sidles over to Shampoo.)

Shampoo: What you want?

Ukyou(whispers): Keep your voice down.  I have something to tell
(She whispers for a moment in Shampoo's ear.)

Shampoo(terrified): AIYA!  Is true?
(Ukyou rolls her eyes and nods.)

Nodoka: Is what true, dear?

Shampoo: That you...n-nothing.  (thin smile) 

Nodoka: (to Kasumi) Is that smile fashionable around here or something,

Kasumi: It appears so. (cutsie smile)
(Akane finishes her explanation, which doesn't take long-"Those two
bakas Dad and Genma engaged us without telling us.", how long can
that take?-and Nodoka nods.)

Nodoka: (deep breath) Okay... (turns to Shampoo, her katana is now
in her lap) Now it's your turn, dear.

Shampoo: Uh...well...see, is like this...

Ukyou: Do you want me to tell it?

Shampoo(relieved): Go  head.

Panda(frantic): {Oh no!  She is _not_ telling this one!} (flips
sign) {Have somebody else do it!}

Nodoka: Why would you care who tells the story?

Panda(resigned): {I wouldn't.} (flips sign) {I'm just a cute panda...}
(Nodoka arches an eyebrow.)

Nodoka: Go ahead, Ukyou.  Tell me _everything_.
(Ukyou smiles evilly.  We see a leaf fluttering in the breeze
outside.  When we return, Nodoka is looking at Ukyou while sucking
on her lower lip.)

Nodoka: So, what you're saying is that Genma dragged Ranko to China,
and then to a village of Chinese amazons...

Ukyou: Hai.

Nodoka: Where he knowingly ate the first prize in the annual
tournament, and then forced Ranko to fight the winner-Shampoo-for it...

Ukyou: Right.

Panda: {Wrong!} (Nodoka looks at him, and he hastily flips the sign)
{Ignore me.}

Nodoka: And when Ranko won, according to tribal law, Shampoo tried
to hunt her down and kill her.

Ukyou: Hai.

Nodoka: (nods) So they returned to Japan, and while defending Ranko,
Ranma defeated Shampoo and now she must marry him?

Shampoo(gleefully): Aiya!  Is true.  Shampoo happy to have such strong

Nodoka: And what about Ranko?

Shampoo: (hesitates) Shampoo no kill Ran...ko, make husband...

Nodoka: Fiancee...

Shampoo: ...Ranma unhappy.

Ranma: You have no idea how bad that would make me feel.

Nodoka: Ranma, is all _this_ true?

Ranma(falters): Well...kinda...uh...

Nodoka: I understand, dear.  (begins to polish her katana.)

Ukyou(after a moment): Aren't you going to talk to anyone else?

Nodoka: (shakes head) No.  I've already learned all I need to know
from all of you.

Ranma: (gulps) And...

Nodoka: I've learned the Genma is responsible for making not only
my son's, but several other people's lives miserable.

Panda: {But he DIDN'T!}
(Nodoka's eyes narrow, and she strokes the katana.)

Nodoka: Genma has a _lot_ to answer for.

Panda: {He's on a training trip!}

Nodoka: That's okay.  (holds up the gleaming katana; deathly quiet)
I'll wait.

Panda: {This should be a _loooooong_ wait.}


(Scene: Akane's room.  Kunou and Tsubasa lie on two folded out mattresses,
covered in bandages.  Slowly, Kunou raises himself up on his arms and
blinks.  He looks around with a sneer.)

Kunou: So Saotome, though wood is the would-be pursuer of the hidden
love.  Your forest is not trees, but weeds of deceit and trickery.  Fear
not, Lady Saotome. I shall reveal fool Ranma's unmanliness!


(Scene: The Tendo kitchen.  Shampoo, Ukyou and Ranma are all sitting
at-or on, in Ranma's case-the counter.  Akane comes through the door,
and we see some new people have showed up outside-Ranma's two normal-
looking friends, a skinny boy with dark circles under his eyes and
burning candles strapped to his head, a kawaii brown-haired girl who
is chasing around a tiny old man while shouting "Marcel!" and dragging
a handsome boy around by the neck, and several others-and the party is
in full swing.  The door closes behind Akane.)

Akane: Well, Ranma, it appears everybody is having a great time.

Ranma(groans): I'm not.  This is hell, pure _hell_.  (looks at her
imploringly) Did you manage to reach her?
(Akane shakes her head.)

Akane: No, but I found this.  (hands a note to Ranma)

Ranma(reading): I'm going on a short business trip to Hiroshima for
the weekend.  Sorry, but everybody will have to fend for themselves
until Monday. Nabiki.  (he groans again and crumples up the note)
Monday!  I can't believe this!  Just when we could use her...

Ukyou: It's not like you have any hold on her, Ranchan.  Actually,
the opposite is probably more true.

Ranma: Well, we have to get rid of my mother somehow!  We gotta
convince her to leave.

Akane: Ranma, that's not very nice.  "Get rid of my mother", you
sound like a criminal.

Ranma: I'm fighting for my _life_ here, Akane!  You could show a
little compassion.

Akane(snaps): Sympathy is only for people who deserve it.  

Ranma: (glaring at Akane) That's what I get for thinking a tomboy
like you could ever feel any human emotion.

Akane(growls): Why yoooooouuuu...

Ukyou: Ranchan, Akane, could you keep the violence to a minimum?
We have more important things to worry about.
(Akane snorts but restrains herself from attacking Ranma, while he
looks away in disgust.)

Shampoo: Maybe need wisdom.

Ranma: What was that?

Shampoo: Ranma need wise person tell what do.

Ranma: (sighs) You're right.  Where's Cologne?

Ukyou: Ranma!  You can't!

Ranma: I'm going to have to...

Shampoo: Sorry, great grandma at village.

Ranma: Huh?

Shampoo: She go back for visit and supplies.  Say (impersonating
Cologne's tone) "Great granddaughter, nothing go wrong while I gone."
(reverts to normal speech-or her version of it, at least)
clouds that day, but hear thunder.

Ranma: Great.  Just great.
(At this point, the little old man appears on Ranma's shoulder.)

Old man: Ranma m'boy, did I hear you need wisdom?

Ranma(growls): Not from you, you old lech.

Akane: Get lost, Happousai.

Happy: Am not _I_ a wise and ancient martial artist?

Ranma: Ancient, yes (makes a grab at Happousai) but not wise!
(Happousai easily dodges Ranma's attempt and bops him on the head
with his pipe.)

Happy: Is this how you treat your master, boy?  I see I'll have to
teach you some respect!
(He pulls out a small fuse bomb from his shirt.)

Ranma: Yaaaa!
(He swats at it and-miraculously-manages to knock it from Happousai's
hand.  Unfortunately, it-disastrously-lands in the sink...and promptly
explodes, sending a curtain of water into the kitchen.  When it stops,
Ranma has been replaces by a cute, well-built red-haired girl.)

Ranma-chan: You old LECH!
(Shampoo has disappeared, replaced by a pink cat.  Ranma-chan notices

Ranma-chan(absolute horror): C-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-CAT!  AAAAAAAHHHHHH!
(She charges out the wall with the cat and Happousai in close pursuit.
Which is fortunate, because just then Nodoka bursts in.  She ogles at
the damage.)

Nodoka: I heard an explosion...what happened in here?

Akane: Uh...that is...

Ukyou: (putting a kettle on the stove) Um...somebody came after
Ranma again and chased him out...

Nodoka: Then this is no time to make tea, dear.  (looks out the
hole Ranma-chan made in her abrupt departure) We should be helping
Ranma!  (runs out)

Ukyou: I have a _bad_ feeling about this...

Akane: (running out) RANMA!  Come back here!
(Outside, Ranma-chan is charging around the corner of the house
with Shampoo-neko and the old lech in hot pursuit.)
Happy: Ranma!  Slow down, m'boy!

Ranma-chan: Go AWAY!

Nodoka(from around the corner): Ranko?

Ranma-chan: ACK!  Mom!
(She jumps to the Tendo roof and the cat follows.  Happousai is just
finishing his jump as Akane and Nodoka come around the corner.)

Akane: Ranma!
(She begins to climb up to the roof.)

Nodoka: Happousai?  (frowns) Don't worry son, I'll save you!
(She runs back around the house.  Meanwhile, Ryouga has wandered
out of the living room and is now in the back yard, looking around
in confusion.)

Ryouga: Akane?  Are you out here?
(Ranma-chan drops from the roof and lands on Ryouga's head, nearly
driving the boy to the ground.  Ryouga cries out in surprise and
pain as the girl bounces away.  Then the cat lands on Ryouga's face
and springs after Ranma-chan.  This doesn't affect him much, but then
Happousai uses his skull as a springboard and this forces Ryouga to
the ground with a cry.)  

Ryouga(growls): Why you...
(Just then, Akane falls from the roof onto his chest, causing Ryouga
to fold up like an accordion.  She runs after the group, but looks
back for a moment.)

Akane: Gomen ne, Ryouga-kun!
(Ryouga leaps to his feet, his eyes blazing.)

Ryouga: That's _IT_!!!  Raaaanmaaa!  You will be punished!
(He takes off after the group, waving his umbrella.  Ranma-chan,
meanwhile, is heading for another corner when she hears Nodoka's
voice from around it.)

Nodoka: Ranma?

Ranma-chan: AIEEEE!
(She leaps back and flips over the cat, then runs for the patio
doors as fast as her legs can carry her.   The cat pulls to a stop,
turns, and begins to give chase.  Happy, who is now running directly
at Ranma-chan, leers.)

Happy: RANMA-CHAN!  (glomp)

Ranma-chan: Get _off_ of me!

Akane: (also running at Ranma) Ranma!  Stop!

Ryouga: (behind Akane) DIE, SAOTOME!!!
(Ranma-chan groans in anguish and flips, somehow managing to grab
Happousai and toss him away.  The old lech strikes Akane's back,
decides he likes this and proceeds to molest her.  Akane screeches
as Ranma-chan sets down and races for the living room.)

Ryouga(growls): How _dare_ you do that to Akane, Ranma, you...
(enraged) (supreme anger) _HENTAI_!!!  Now I really
_will_ kill you!
(Ranma-chan pumps frantically as Ryouga and the cat give chase, then
brightens as she sees Ukyou in the doorway, holding a kettle.   The
panda is standing beside her.)

Panda: {Hurry, boy!  Take this!} (an arrow points to the kettle)

Ukyou: Ranchan!  Quick!

Ranma-chan: (reaching towards it) Alright!  Maybe my luck is finally
(Just then, a bandanna flies over her head and knocks the kettle from
Ukyou's hands.  Of course, the kettle splashes all over the panda,
replacing it with a man much like the one from the flashback.)

(Nodoka rounds the corner, but can't see Ranma-chan or Genma from her
vantage point.  However, she can see Akane chasing Happousai with her
mallet and Ryouga charging the house.)

Nodoka: RANMA!
(Ranma-chan's shocked face takes on a desperate quality as she rushes
past the equally desperate Genma and startled Ukyou.  She runs into
the group of party guests-accidentally knocking the dark, skinny one
unconscious-and makes for the far door.  Ukyou sighs and heads for
the kitchen again.  Just then, one of Ryouga's bandannas flies in,
barely missing Ranma but nicking Mousse.  Mousse glares at Soun.)

Mousse: How dare you attack me without warning!  DIE, RANMA!
(Soun "gaahs" and dodges the sudden plethora of chains and ropes that
Mousse produces from his sleeves.  The ropes wrap around the punch
bowl, which Mousse launches into the crowd.  Miraculously, no one is
struck by the lethal liquid, but Kodachi is angry.  With a cry she
snaps her ribbon at Mousse, but he dodges and it instead hits Mikado
in the back.  He turns around in anger, and the general melee erupts
shortly after.  Ryouga finds himself in the thick of it, but ignores
everyone in his single-minded quest for revenge on Ranma.  Akane
chases Happousai into the melee, and he joins in with glee.  Soun
bawls his head off, Genma stands stock-still, and Kasumi offers the
playing-card king some tea as he flies past her to collide with the
wall.  Nodoka runs toward the patio, but can't see anything yet.
Ranma-chan, meanwhile, avoids a wild chain and is almost to the door
when Kunou glomps her from behind and pulls her to the ground.)

Kunou: Pig-tailed girl!

Ranma-chan: Get off me!   

Nodoka(from out of sight): Ranma!
(Genma "eeps" and dives behind a cupboard, Ranma-chan "gaas" and jumps

Ranma-chan: Why me?
(Without time to dislodge Kunou, she leaps out the window just as Nodoka
runs into the room.  She skids to a halt and stares in amazement at the
melee as it slowly reduces the living room to rubble.  Nodoka blinks and
looks for a way to circumvent it, but its erratic movement makes this
difficult.  Just then, Ryouga bursts from the melee and rushes at the
window where Ranma disappeared-yes, I'm defying a few natural laws here,
but it advances the plot-and with a cry, pulls back his arm.)

(He pushes his finger forward and the window is suddenly several times
larger.  He rushes out it to the backyard, and sees Ranma-chan tossing
Kunou into the pool, where he lies facedown.  Ryouga takes up an
offensive stance and points accusingly at Ranma-chan.)

Ryouga: Now, Ranma! DIE!!!
(Nodoka is now carefully circumventing the living room melee.  Back

Ranma-chan: I don't have time for this, Ryouga...
(At this point, Ukyou runs around the corner with a kettle.)

Ukyou: Ranchan!  Catch!
(She tosses it end over end at her.  In the living room, Nodoka
approaches the new hole.  Outside, the kettle spins towards Ranma-chan.
The scene is now split, showing both in Dramatic Slow-Mo(tm).  Then
Ranma-chan leaps, her hand achingly slowly reaching for the kettle as
Nodoka comes up to the hole but still can't see what's happening.  Then
just as Nodoka starts to climb through, Ranma-chan's hand latches onto
the kettle, and with a cry of triumph she smashes her fist into it,
smashing it to pieces and releasing a tiny shower of boiling water.)

Ranma-chan: ALL RIGHT!
(She is obscured momentarily, the lands as a male once more.  Nodoka
emerges from the window and watches her son land in a puddle.  Ryouga
stalks forward.  Others join Nodoka in watching the coming spectacle
from both the hole and the patio.)

Ryouga: It is well past time you owed up for all your transgressions,

Ranma: (defensive pose) Ryouga.  I keep telling you it isn't my fault...

Ryouga: Not your fault?  (bares fangs) NOT YOUR FAULT?!?  You have
the gall, the _nerve_ to say that?  I can't believe how callous you
really are, Ranma!  Well you'll pay, you can just _bet_ that you'll

Ranma: Fine!  Let's do it!  (Ranma cups his hands)

Ryouga: Now, you'll die... (Ryouga cups his hands)

Nodoka(worried): Ranma...
(Just the, Mousse lands halfway between the two combatants and points
accusingly at Ranma.)

Mousse: For the love of Sha...

Ryouga: SHISHI HOKODAN!       Ranma(simultaneous): MOKO TAKABISHA!
(A green sphere of energy expands from Ryouga's palms as a yellow one
emanates from Ranma's.  They collide halfway-right where Mousse is
standing-and erupt in a storm of multi-coloured light that expands
as neither boy stops pumping power into the attack.  Mousse dances
around like an insane marionette on acid as the power tears the ground
in a fifteen foot radius to shreds.  Shampoo, back to normal-no
explanations, no apologies-cheers wildly as both boys cease and the
energy disperses.  Mousse collapses, thoroughly fried-again-without
a sound.  Ranma and Ryouga are both sweating as they stand opposite
each other in the crater they just created, but neither appears

Nodoka(stunned): My goodness...

Ryouga: Your luck won't last forever!

Ranma: Oh shut up!
(They leap at each other and collide in mid-air, exchange a flurry
of hyper-fast moves, then land on opposite sides of the crater.
They spin around, rush each other, and come to blows in the centre
of the crater for several seconds of uninterrupted fisticuffs-stepping
on Mousse several times in the process.  Then they back off, only
mildly injured.  They both prepare to attack again, but are stopped
when a large mallet descends on Ranma's head.  Akane-who used the
mallet-begins to thrash Ranma.) 

Akane: Ranma!  You insensitive hentai _jerk_!  How dare you drop
Happousai on me!

Ranma: I didn't *ow* It was *yeouch* not my *ugh*
(Ryouga laughs and cheers Akane on while Nodoka watches, wide-eyed.
Everyone else goes back inside, except for the dark, skinny kid, who
is dragged upstairs to join Tsubasa.  Soun stands beside Nodoka, and
Genma sneaks away while her back is turned.)

Nodoka: Shouldn't somebody stop her?

Akane: Baka! (crunch) Baka! (whack) Baka!  Baka! Baka!  BAKA! (smash,
thrash, crush, pulverize)

Ryouga: That's it, Akane!  (standing behind her) Show him he can't
treat you like that!  You deserve someone who'll care for you, not
this pathetic wretch!  (Akane continues)

Soun: No, this happens all the time!  Hah hah hah!

Nodoka(shocked): All...the time...?

Soun: Truly it is pure love, ne?

Nodoka: Uh huh...Well, I won't stand here while they put my son in
the hospital.  (walking forward) I think that's _just_ about enough
of that!
(Akane stops in surprise.  Ryouga-who is dancing around with his eyes
closed, cheering Akane on-doesn't seem to notice.  Ranma's battered
body rolls over.)

Akane: Huh?

Nodoka: I think you've just about proven how displeased you are,
Akane.  Which, by the way, is misplaced, since if I know Ranma,
it was probably an accident.

Akane: Huh?  But you haven't seen Ranma in ten years!

Nodoka: Haven't you ever heard of mother's intuition, dear?

Akane: But...

Nodoka: Now please step away so I can see if you've done any permanent
damage to him.
(Akane complies; the mallet has vanished.)

Akane: Sure, Auntie Nodoka, but it's just that this baka's so...(growls)
(Nodoka leans down and examines Ranma.)

Nodoka(patiently): Akane, have you ever tried seeing things from his side?

Akane: HIS side?!?  Don't make me laugh!

Nodoka: (nods) Nothing serious...(looks at Akane) Don't let anger and
jealousy cloud your thinking, Akane, because before you realize it,
what you care for could be gone.

Akane: (long pause) I am _not_ jealous!

Nodoka: (sighs) Hai.  If you say so.
(Ryouga has stopped cheering, apparently having noticed what's going
on.  He steps up to Akane.)

Ryouga: C'mon Akane, you shouldn't stand so close to this loser.
Allow me to escort you back inside the house and away from...that.

Akane: Sure.  Arigato, Ryouga.

Ryouga: (stupid smile) Heh heh, no problem, Akane.  Heh heh heh...
(Rubs the back of his head and walks towards the pond.)

Akane: This way, Ryouga-kun.

Ryouga: Oh...right.  Heh heh...
(He grins idiotically and follows Akane into the dojo.)

Ukyou: (walks over) Is Ranchan really all right?

Nodoka: (nods) Most of it's just superficial...
(Ranma groans and sits up.)

Ranma: Kawaiikune tomboy...
(He shakes his head and stands.  Other than a few purpling bruises he
appears uninjured.)

Ukyou: Glad to see you're okay, Ranchan.

Ranma: Arigato Ucchan, I owe you one.

Ukyou: (smiles) I know _just_ how you can repay me.
(Ranma's smile cracks, while Nodoka looks up sharply.)

Nodoka: And how is that, dear?  I certainly hope you don't plan on
tricking Ranma onto a date or anything like that, because if you do,
you are only working against yourself.

Ukyou: Uhhhhh...(looks confused) What do you mean?

Nodoka: By forcing Ranma's hand, you show that you don't really care
about how he feels.  Only by allowing _him_ to make _his_ decisions
you show true love for him.
(Ukyou stares at Nodoka in complete shock.)

Ranma: Uh mom... (looks uncomfortable) ...could we, maybe, not talk
about this right now?

Nodoka: (thoughtful pause) No dear, I think now is the best time to
talk about this.  I've decided to solve all this engagement business
once and for all.

Ukyou: [I don't like the finality I hear here...]
(Nodoka stands and looks at Ranma.)

Nodoka: I've had time to think, and I've come to a decision regarding
your tri-engagement.

Ranma: Great, now you're gonna force me to marry one of  em...

Nodoka: No, I am not.  (Ranma looks surprised) I have
officially nullify them all.
(This takes a moment to sink in.)

Ranma: Druh...

Ukyou: _WHAT_!?  You can't!

Nodoka(firmly): I am his mother.  Since Genma arranged the marriage
without my consent, I have the right to veto it.

Ukyou: I won't let you!  Ranma _is_ my fiancee!

Nodoka: Not anymore.  If you truly want Ranma to marry-and respect-
you, then propose.

Ukyou(stunned): Propose...

Nodoka: Hai, propose marriage to him and if he accepts I will support
the marriage fully.
(Ukyou stands stock-still, staring at Nodoka.)

Ranma: Druh...

Shampoo: (walks up) What you talk about?

Nodoka: I have just dissolved your engagement to Ranma, dear.

Shampoo: (surprise, then anger) No can do that!

Nodoka: (sighs) I'm his mother, dear.  I _can_ do that.

Shampoo: No matter, is law of tribe and village.  Ranma must marry

Nodoka: This is Japan, dear.  Your tribal law doesn't apply here.
(patience waning)

Shampoo: Amazons carry law with them where go!

Nodoka: (towers over Shampoo in a Sounesque fashion) Very well,
then! _Ranma_ carries the law of _his_ tribe wherever _he_ goes!
And that law states that _I_ have the right to dissolve any and
all engagements that he did not choose willingly!

Shampoo(slightly frightened; backing away): You make that up...

Nodoka: Hai, I created it just now.  But since I presume your tribe
did not pass this law into Chinese, Japanese, or any other legislature,
then _my_ law is just as valid as yours!  And to ignore one means you
must ignore the other as well!

Shampoo: (backing away further) Shampoo confused...

Nodoka(resumes patient expression): That's understandable, dear.  It
will come to you in time.
(Shampoo backs off and flees.  Nodoka sighs and begins walking towards
the dojo.)

Ranma: Druh...

Ukyou(quietly): Ranchan?

Ranma(snapping out of it): Huh?  Wha?  Ucchan...what...?

Ukyou: Ranma, will

Ranma: (realization strikes) AH!  Uh...wait here, Ucchan, I have to go
talk with Mom!
(He hastily runs after his mother.  Ukyou frowns.)

Ukyou(determined expression; whispers): Oh no you don't, Saotome Ranma.
I'm going to get an answer out of you.
(She follows Ranma at a steady pace.)


(Scene: Inside the Tendo Dojo.  The party has died down, and most of
the guests have drifted out.  The panda is playing go with Soun, while
Ryouga tries to strike up a conversation with a worried-looking Akane.
Kasumi, in overalls and hard hat, is clearing out the rubble from the

Ryouga: So Akane...uh...what do you think of Ranma's mother?
(Akane, who was looking under a table, turns to him.)

Akane(absently): She's nice...Ryouga?

Ryouga: Y-yes, Akane?

Akane: Could you...

Ryouga(hope-filled): Could I...

Akane: me find P-chan?  He's missing.
(Ryouga facefaults and falls onto his back. Akane blinks.  Just then,
Nodoka walks calmly in through the patio.  Ranma swiftly follows,
looking unsure whether he's running towards or from the devil incarnate.
After a moment, a calm-if determined-Ukyou also enters.  Soun looks up.)

Soun: Hello, Nodoka.
(Nodoka steps over and nods to him and the panda.)

Nodoka: Soun.  I have something I'm going to tell you.  Not discuss, but

Soun(nervously): Uhh...go ahead...

Nodoka: I have dissolved Ranma and Akane's engagement.
(Crickets, crickets....the room is stunned into complete silence.  This
continues for several seconds, then is broken when Soun leaps to his
feet and practically into Nodoka's face.)

Nodoka(cutting him off): You can't do this.

Soun: (blinks) Wha?
(Nodoka steps closer to Soun.)

Nodoka: You and my husband engaged two perfectly innocent children who
had never met, and you expected to get _away_ with it?  (shakes her
head) I'm only sorry I didn't null it before that training trip, but
I figured I'd wait a few years to see how it worked out.

Soun: Well...I...

Nodoka: Well, you made one mistake.  Ranma is _my_ (pokes Soun in the
chest with her finger) son and _I_ (poke) have at least half control
over him.  So _I_ (poke) decided _their_ (poke) engagement was made
_falsely_ (poke) and _haphazardly_ (poke) so _I_ (poke) am telling
_you_ (poke) that this..._joke_ (poke) of an engagement is _over_!
(Soun stumbles back, wide-eyed and blubbering like a baby.  The panda
is still stunned.  Akane blinks and _stares_ at Nodoka.  Ryouga also
blinks and stares, but then, slowly, a stupid grin mounts his face.)

Ryouga(quietly): heh heh... [AT
LAST!!!  This is my chance!]  
(Ryouga walks over to Akane and clasps her by the shoulders.)

Ryouga: Akane!  I...I...I've never...

Akane: (far-away look) Ryouga?
(Soun suddenly expands to godesque proportions and looms over the

Soun: SAOTOME!!!!!  What is the meaning of this?!?!?!?
(The panda starts waving two signs around frantically.)

Panda: (sign 1) {What are you yelling at _me_ for?} (sign 2) {I'm
just a cute panda!}

Nodoka: Stop picking on that poor defenceless animal, Soun.

Soun: But!  But!

Nodoka(stern): Now!
(Soun reverts to normal and starts wailing again.)

Nodoka(irritated): Oh, be quiet.

Soun: Huh?

Nodoka: Stop being such a crybaby.  It's not the end of the world.

Soun: (stops) Wha?

Nodoka(soothing): Just because Ranma and Akane are not engaged
anymore doesn't mean life suddenly has no meaning.

Soun: But the shadows...

Nodoka: Anyway, it doesn't really matter what you say, because I
have made my decision.  And seeing as how we can't impose on you
after I've done this, I've decided to... (she is cut off as one of
the walls is shredded open; sighs) Not again...
(Kunou steps through the hole he just created.)

Kunou: Saotome Ranma!   I have come this day to force, in truth, the
truth of truth's divine whispers from the untruthful lips of a truthless
one truly!  (Did _you_ understand that?)

Ranma: Huh? (guess he didn't either) Man, can't you speak Japanese?

Kunou: (dramatic pose) Saotome, my divine personage does not need your
approval upon an oration of profound inspiration.  (points bokken
accusingly at Ranma) Saotome!  Admit your unmanliness!  (He got it out!
Yahoo!  Yippee!  Who cares!)

Ranma: (leaps up) Hey!  No one calls me unmanly!

Kunou: Oh indeed?  Dost thou fear the shining light of truth?  Or
art thou strong enough to bring forth thine own inadequacies?

Ranma(growls): Listen man, I've had just about all I can take of you.
Why don't you just leave me alone?

Kunou: Never!  I shall not rest until Akane and the pig-tailed girl...

Nodoka: Ranko.

Kunou: ...are free of your evil clutches!

Ranma: (taking a threatening step forward) We'll see about... (Ukyou
places a hand on his shoulder) Huh?

Ukyou: (winks) Allow me.  (To Kunou) Kunou?

Kunou: Hai, what is it that thou desireth from the great Kunou Tatewaki?

Ukyou: I want to make you a deal.

Kunou(sceptical): A deal?

Ukyou: Hai, a deal.  It goes like this: You and Ranma fight.  If you
win, Ranma will gladly absolve any relationship he has with Akane or

Kunou(intrigued): And if, by some freak of chance, I were to not claim

Ukyou: Then you leave Ranma alone for the next week.

Kunou: Indeed, this is a most enticing offer...with so little for me to
lose and so much to gain...but nay, I cannot.  For Ranma, in his dark 
, would conspire with foul sorcery to rob me of my victory.  That is
hardly fair.

Ranma: How many times do I have to tell you?  I _DON'T_ USE MAGIC!!!

Ukyou(nudges him; whispers): Quiet... (louder) How about this, Kunou?
 We will find an impartial judge, and if Ranma uses magic he automatically

Kunou: (blinks) Automatically... (sneers) Heh heh...Very well!
(dramatically steps forward, bringing his bokken to bear) I accept
your challenge.

Ranma: (cracks knuckles) Come on, let's finish this.

Ukyou: (sighs) First we have to decide on a judge, Ranchan.

Ranma: Huh?  Oh yeah... (looks around) But who...

Ukyou: How about you, Mrs. Saotome?

Nodoka: Me? (looks between Ranma and Kunou) I don't like violence,
but... (nods) I will be the judge.  (turns to Kunou) If he agrees.
(Kunou bows cordially.)

Kunou: I would be honoured to have as fair a lady as yourself decide
on the outcome of our coming combat.

Nodoka(absently): You could learn some manners from this boy, Ranma...


(Scene: The Tendo's back yard.  The two combatants stand across from
each other, with Ranma looking bored, and Kunou looking stately.  Soun,
the panda, Ukyou, Ryouga, Akane, and Nodoka watch from the porch.
Ranma cracks his knuckles.)

Nodoka: (clears her throat) Here are the rules: No killing, no using
"magic", and no turning down a surrender.  Whoever breaks these rules
or falls unconscious first is the loser.  You may begin when ready.

Kunou: Long have I looked forward with jubilation upon this day,
Saotome.  Now shall I prove my superiority.  (gets in en guarde)
Prepare yourself!

Ranma: (yawns) Sure.

Kunou: You dare mock the great Kunou Tatewaki?  DIE!  (Rushes at
Ranma, making lightning fast strikes with his bokken)
(Ranma easily dances between the blows with a bored expression.
This goes on for a few seconds, then Ranma uses his forearm to knock
the sword to the side.  Simultaneously, he thrusts his hand forward
and clutches Kunou's robes.  Then, in one fluid motion, he leans back,
brings his other hand to Kunou's shoulder, rolls on his back and uses
a foot to kick/flip Kunou into the air.  Kunou lands head-first in the
pond and Ranma gets up.  He blinks as he sees that Kunou is still
conscious, and is in fact rising to his feet.)

Ranma: Wow, Kunou, you'd usually be drowning by now.

Nodoka: Don't tease the boy, dear.

Ranma: Hai. (looks down)

Kunou: Do not defend me, my lady.  I can handle this whelp.
(pulls his bokken around like a tennis racket) Now I have you where
I want you, Saotome.  Prepare to face my newest technique!  And to
think I learned it from you!  Oh, the bittersweet irony of it all!
(He swings his bokken.  Ranma looks puzzled, then Kunou changes the
arc of his swing and hits the water.  Then he pulls his bokken up,
sending a lightning-fast sheet of water at Ranma.)

Soun, panda, Akane, Ukyou, Ranma: GAAAAAH!
(Ranma leaps and-barely-over the sheet of water, landing closer
to Kunou.)

Ranma: What do you think you're doing?!?

Kunou: (laughs) Scared, cur?  I know that sorcerers cannot abide the
touch of water!  BWAHAHAHA!  (sends another sheet at Ranma, who rolls
out of the way) You can't run forever!
(Kunou laughs megalomaniacally and sends sheet after sheet at Ranma,
who dodges them all frantically.)

Ranma: [I've got to get close enough to hit him!  Only one blow,
that's all I need!] (dodges another sheet) [But how...] (he nearly
trips over a rock) Huh?  That's it!  (he pulls the rock from the
ground and snaps it back like a baseball) Take this!
(He tosses it just as Kunou sends another sheet.  The rock smashes
through the sheet and connects solidly with Kunou's forehead,
instantly knocking him unconscious.  However, Ranma is too overbalanced
to dodge, and the sheet slams fully into his face.  Ranma-chan gasps,
_everything_ goes completely still(can't you hear the music now?).
It remains like that for about ten seconds.  Then Nodoka's hand lashes
out like an adder and snaps onto the panda's shoulder in a vice-like

Nodoka(steely): Hello, husband.  I think I have a few questions...


(Scene: the Tendo living room.  Ranma and Genma-uncursed-are sitting
crosslegged before Nodoka, who is leaning forward on her unsheathed
sword.  Everyone else-except Kunou-is sitting in a horseshoe behind
Ranma and Genma.)

Nodoka: So you expect me to accept that Genma took my son to this
cursed training ground in China, when you didn't speak the language
and didn't have any information!?
(Genma's eyes seem fascinated by the play of light on the katana's
blade.  He gulps and nods.)

Nodoka: And now cold water turns you into a girl (points her katana
at Ranma), you into a panda (points it at Genma, letting the sharp
blade drift uncomfortably close to his neck), and hot water reverses
the process.

Ranma(small voice): Hai.
(Nodoka nods and turns her back to them.)

Nodoka: I'm _very_ disappointed in you, Genma.
(Her dress is lifted by a sudden breeze.  She turns to see Genma
gone.  Ranma is staring the way he went, which is obvious due to
the fact that he knocked Ukyou and Akane down and made a large
Genma-shaped hole in the wall.  Leaves swirl across his path

Nodoka: He'll be back.

Ukyou: (getting to her feet) Not in this lifetime.

Nodoka(smiles): No dear, he'll be back soon.  I know Genma.

Ukyou: If you say so.  (looks at Nodoka pleadingly) Please don't
kill Ranma...

Nodoka: (frowns) That isn't up to me, dear.  Ranma must decide
his own fate.

Ranma(confused): I do?

Nodoka: (nods) The curse itself changes nothing...
(Ranma blinks, his face beginning to show hope.)

Nodoka: ..._but_...the fact that you willingly chose to deceive me
and exploit the curse throws your character into question.
(Ranma's face falls.  Everyone looks worried...)

Nodoka: You see, Ranma, being manly has nothing to do with machoism.
A manly man is a gentleman, a person who is honest, caring,
chivalrous to women, who tries to solve arguments without violence,
and who helps those in need.
(Ukyou looks up.  Ranma looks downcast.)

Nodoka: Therefore, I give you one (holds up a single finger) week.
A week to either prove or disprove your manliness.  One week to
decide your fate, starting tomorrow.
(Ranma leaps up.)

Ranma: Don't worry, mom!  I will prove to you how manly I am!  No
matter the cost!

Ukyou: I have a baaaad feeling about this...


(Day 1: Ranma is sitting at the breakfast table across from Nodoka.
The rest of the Tendo clan are in various positions in the room.
Ranma has a scroll in front of him.)

Ranma(voiceover): Saotome School of Manliness Chapter 1: In order
to prove you are a man, you must prove how strong, quick, agile,
and powerful...

Ranma: (looks up) That's it!
(We see Ranma having his hand raised in a ring by a man in a referee's

Announcer: And the Martial Arts Tournament is won by Saotome Ranma!
(We see Ranma strike a bases-loaded home run in a baseball field.
He does a pose.)

P.A. System: And the MVP award goes to Saotome Ranma!
(We see Ranma spiking a football and doing a victory dance.)

P.A. System: And the most points..._ever_ award goes to Saotome Ranma!
(We see Ranma standing in a victory circle, spraying champagne around
in front of a stock car.)

P.A. System: And the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in the fastest
time ever, Saotome Ranma!
(Ranma runs over to Nodoka.)

Ranma: (pant) How's (wheeze) that, (pant) mom?

Nodoka(calmly): What if you were an invalid, Ranma?  Unable to run, or
jump, or drive?  What then?  Could you not be manly?
(We see Ranma throwing a basketball through a hoop while sitting in a

P.A. System: And the winner of the wheelchair basketball tournament...
Saotome Ranma!
(He wheels up to Nodoka, who is sitting on the sidelines with her arms
crossed and a stern expression.)

Ranma: (pant, wheeze) Well?

Nodoka(level tone): Not manly.
(Ranma falls out of the wheelchair and onto his face.)


(Day 2: Again we see the Tendo living room.  This time, the background
is literally clogged with trophies, awards, plaques and medals of every
size and description.  At that point, a slim girl with short brown hair
walks in and looks around.)

Girl: Redecorating, are we?

Ranma: Nabiki!  You gotta help me!

Nodoka: Uh uh uh, Ranma.  This is your test of manliness, not Nabiki's.

Nabiki: Test of manliness?  I guess things didn't go too well this weekend.

Ranma: You could say that.

Nabiki: Uh huh.  Well, it's almost time for school.  I'm going to go get

Ranma: School?  (blinks) Oh yeah, school.  Great.

Nodoka: You must go to school, dear.  Education is more important then

Akane: Confucius?

Nodoka: No, Nodoka.
(Ranma pulls out the scroll and begins to read.)

Ranma(voiceover): Chapter 2: All manly men are irresistible to women.
Therefore, make yourself a babe magnet and manliness is within youreach.

Ranma: (grins evilly)
(The scene shifts to that afternoon.  Nodoka is waiting by the door,
sipping tea.  Akane and Nabiki-in school uniforms-walk in.)

Nodoka: Hello, dears.

Akane: Hello, Auntie Saotome.

Nodoka: Where's Ranma?  Isn't he coming?

Nabiki: (trying hard not to laugh) Oh, Ranma's coming all right...
(snicker) He should be here in a minute...
(Nabiki walks quickly around the corner, holding a hand to her mouth.
A moment later, peals of laughter come from around it.  Nodoka arches
an eyebrow.)

Akane: (sighs) You'll see.
(A moment later, we hear several dozen female voices.  They grow
louder, and we hear that they are all shouting Ranma's name.
Nodoka blinks as Ranma comes up the street, running as fast as his
legs can carry him.  Why he's doing this become clear as we see a
Raging Mob of Pissed-Off Girls(tm) chasing him. Ranma reaches the
house and leaps up to the roof.  The girls, unable to reach him,
cluster around the house.  Ranma waves cheerfully at Nodoka.)

Ranma: Hi, mom!

Nodoka: (sips her tea) Hello, dear.

Ranma: (big smile) I got a date, mom.

Nodoka: Really?  (nods toward the mob) With who?

Ranma(proudly): All of  em.

Nodoka: All of them?

Ranma: All of them!

Nodoka: Not manly.
(Ranma facefaults and topples off the roof, right into the
seething pack below.)


(Day 3: The Tendo living room at breakfast.  The trophies in the
background have been meticulously polished and artfully arranged-
by Kasumi, no doubt.  Ranma, covered in bandages, sits at the
breakfast table.)

Nabiki: Things aren't going well, are they, Ranma?
(Ranma grunts noncommittally and leans over the scroll.)

Ranma(voiceover): Chapter 3: Women are always saying that heroes
and rescuers are in order to be manly you must save
women from danger.

Ranma: [I can handle that!  I do it all the time!]
(The scene switches to a holding cell in a police station.  Ranma
is inside, looking out at an implacable Nodoka, a steaming Akane,
and an openly grinning Nabiki.  Soun is sitting in the corner,
blubbering like a baby.)

Soun: Waaah!  My son-in-law-to-be is a psycho!  Waaah!

Nodoka: Explain again what happened, Ranma.

Ranma(pleadingly): How was I supposed to know he was her boyfriend?

Nabiki: Ever think of asking?

Ranma: I only did what I thought was right!

Akane: (waves her fist threateningly at Ranma) You put that poor
man in the hospital, you BAKA!

Nodoka: Not manly.
(She turns and starts to leave, the others following.)

Ranma: (when she's halfway to the door) Mom, you forgot my bail...
mom?  (Nodoka opens the door; concerned) Mom?  (Nodoka and the
others step through; very concerned) Mom?!?  (Nodoka closes the
door; desperate) _MOM_?!?
(The scene shows Nerima at night.  We see Nodoka and company leaving
the police station.)

Ranma(echoing/pleading/sobbing): MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!


(Day 4: Ranma is out of prison and sitting at the breakfast table.
The first tinges of desperation are entering his eyes, and he's
smiling a lot.  Kasumi approaches, carrying the scroll.)

Kasumi: Here's that scroll you wanted, Ranma.
(Nabiki arches an eyebrow.)

Ranma(calmly): Arigato, Kasumi.
(Ranma calmly takes the scroll, calmly holds it, calmly strikes
a match, calmly lights the scroll on fire, calmly waits for it to
begin burning nicely while everyone else calmly begins to panic,
then calmly tosses it away.  He pats his hands together.)

Ranma: That's the last time I use one of pop's scrolls.

Nabiki: (backing away from the table) Uh...Ranma...

Ranma: Hai, Nabiki?

Nabiki: (pointing behind him) The floor...

Ranma: What about it?  (suddenly, a seven-foot wall of fire leaps
up behind Ranma) Oh.
(The scene changes, it's the same room at night.  We can tell this
because of the charred hole in one wall.  A soot-covered Ranma-
chan is standing, panting, holding a bucket of water.  She looks
around at the scorched room, and sighs in relief to see that no
fire is left.  Nodoka walks in.)

Ranma-chan: (big smile) I put out the fire...

Nodoka(calm): Hai, you did.  However, (holds up one finger) you
also started it, (second finger) needlessly risked your life,
(third finger) didn't call the fire department, (fourth finger)
missed school, (fifth finger) and destroyed several priceless
family heirlooms.  Not manly.
(She turns to leave.  Ranma-chan's eyes roll up in the back of
her head and she collapses, sending up a puff of ash.)


(Day 5: The breakfast is being held in the living room today.  Ranma
is making a staccato beat with his chopsticks, his face has a huge
grin planted firmly on it, and his eyes are glazed.)

Kasumi: Oh my, Ranma, you look like you could use some rest.

Ranma(insanely happy): Rest?  Hai, rest...heh heh heh heh, eternal
rest...heh heh heh heh....
(Everyone backs away from the table, leaving the chuckling Ranma.)

Nabiki: Looks like poor Ranma's snapped.  Guess it had to happen
sooner or later.

Ranma: Reeeesssstttt...hah hah hah hah hah....
(Akane stomps over to the table and slaps Ranma solidly across the

Akane: Snap _out_ of it, Ranma!  You still have three days left!

Ranma(blinks; normal tone): Ow!  What'd you go and do that for, you
kaw...uh...nice girl, you... (thin smile)

Akane: Ranma, you can't give up!  You've got to continue fighting!
I don't want to lose you like this...(pained expression; sadly) Not
like this...
(Ranma gets a determined look on his face, and grips Akane by the

Ranma: Arigato, Akane!  I will , I will prove that I'm manly!
(stands up, surrounded by a glowing blue aura) I will prove
exactly how manly I am!

Nabiki: Do you want a Christian or Shinto funeral, Ranma?


(Same day: that night.  In the kitchen, Kasumi and Nodoka are
doing the dishes.  Kasumi puts down her drying cloth.)

Kasumi: How is Ranma doing, Mrs. Saotome?

Nodoka: (sighs) I'm really beginning to worry about him, Kasumi.
He's already forced me to penalize him four times.  I really doubt
Genma raised him even somewhat properly.

Kasumi; He's just trying too hard to prove himself.  (smiles) He
really is a nice boy once you get past all that machismo he uses
to protect himself.

Nodoka: (long pause) Arigato, Kasumi.  Do you mind finishing up

Kasumi: Not at all.
(Nodoka unstraps her apron and lays it on the table.  She then
heads through the partially-restored living room.  She heads to
the stairs, and is just starting up when two familiar voices drift

Ranma: Great, what do you want?

Ryouga: (snorts) It almost makes me want to gloat, you know.
(Nodoka starts quietly up the stairs, a curious expression on her

Ranma: Gloat all you want, Ryouga, I'll prove to mom that I'm manly.

Ryouga: Sure you will.  I heard she already downed you four times...
and _what_ was it you tried today?

Ranma: Uhh...I'd rather not say...

Ryouga: (laughs heartily) You're pathetic, Ranma.  _I_ could prove
I'm manly in a minute, you've had five days so far!
(Nodoka comes up to Ranma's room and stands at the door, which is
open slightly.)

Ryouga: But that isn't the point.  (pauses) I admit that sometimes
I wish you _were_ gone.  I'd have my revenge, and nothing would stand
between me and Akane.
(Nodoka raises an eyebrow.)

Ranma: Hey!  (sarcasm) You're a real nice guy, Ryouga.  Don't you
think Akane would be the least bit sad about it?

Ryouga(irritated): Unfortunately, yes.  For that, I'll wish you
luck...and that not even _you_ should have to die like that, I
guess.  But I still don't see much hope for you, I'm afraid.

Ranma: (sighs) Fine, man.  Just promise me one thing.

Ryouga(suspicious): I don't have to promise you anything, Ranma.

Ranma: I'm serious, Ryouga.  I'm not asking this of you as Ranma,
but as a man whose l-l...last request is about to be given...
(Nodoka looks curious.)

Ryouga: Fine. I'm listening.

Ranma: If I...die...take care of her, would you...

Ryouga: Huh?

Ranma: Keep her safe, stand beside her when she's sad, hold her
hand when she needs it...and don't keep living a lie...

Ryouga: Ranma...I....don't know what to...

Akane(from down the hall): P-chan!  P-chan!  Come here, P-chan!

Ryouga(stupid voice): Ah, Akane calls!

Ranma(angry): Hey!  You're not sleeping in her bed again, you pig!

Ryouga(also angered): What happened to (mocking Ranma's voice) "protect

Ranma: And "stop living a lie"!
(Sounds of combat.  Nodoka pushes open the door, a big smile on her face.)

Nodoka: Ranma!
(Ranma and Ryouga freeze in position.  Ranma is precariously balanced
atop his futon on one leg, obviously about to dodge the now motionless
umbrella that is an inch or two from his chest.  Ryouga is dangerously
overextended.  Both are looking at Nodoka in shock.)

Nodoka: Congratulations, Ranma, you've redeemed yourself for one of
your blunders.  Manly.  (She turns and leaves.)

Ranma: Manllllllllllllaaaugh!  (He topples over onto Ryouga and they
both go down in a tangle of limbs; calls after Nodoka) _What_ was


(Day 6: the breakfast has moved back into the almost totally
restored living room.  A slightly bruised Ranma is poring over a
large green school book.  P-chan is in Akane's arms glaring at
Ranma; he has a bandage over one ear.)

Nabiki: More literary advice on how to be manly, Ranma?

Ranma: Nope. (shakes head) This time _I_ got the good idea. (smiles;
to Nodoka) Manly men should be smart, right?

Nodoka: (hesitates) It would be preferable...

Ranma: So I'm gonna prove I'm smart.  I've got a big test today,
and I'm gonna ace it!

Nabiki: And where will you be hiding your cheat sheets?

Ranma(irritated): For your information, I'm going to pass this
on my brainpower alone.

Nabiki: What brainpower?  This is the first I've heard of it.
(Ranma glares at Nabiki. The scene shifts to later.  Nodoka is
again drinking tea by the door.  Nabiki and Akane walk in.)

Nodoka: Where's Ranma?

Akane: He should be along any second.  He wanted to stay until 
is test was graded.

Nodoka: (nods) Ah, here he come now.
(Ranma walks mechanically down the street.  He turns mechanically
into the yard and stops mechanically in front of Nodoka with a
large-oh what's that word, starts with "m", means like a robot-
grin on his face.)

Nabiki: How'd the test go?

Ranma(mechanically): I passed.

Nabiki: Did you make honours?

Ranma: I passed.

Nabiki: Hai, but by how _much_ did you pass?

Ranma: I passed.

Nabiki: (nods knowingly) I see...

Ranma: (sighs) Listen mom, I'm going out tonight.

Nodoka: (arches an eyebrow) Where, dear?

Ranma: Just out...I need to think by myself for a little while.

Nodoka: Okay, dear.

Nabiki: Just try not to end up in jail again.

Ranma(irritated): Nabiki, the one good thing about dying is that
I won't have to listen to your cute little comments again.

Nabiki(mock pain): Oh, I'm crushed!
(Ranma shakes his head and walks into the house.)

Nodoka: (sipping her tea) You're not helping, dear.

Nabiki: Ranma needs someone around to deflate him, or he'd float
off with that ego of his.

Nodoka: If you say so.


(Same day; that evening.  Ranma is sitting on a hill with his back
to a tree.  Nodoka hides in the bushes, just out of sight.)

Nodoka: [I don't like this, but after last night, maybe it's best
if I do it this way.] (she frowns) [He's been here almost half an
hour.  What's he waiting for?]
(The answer appears at the opposite side of the hill.  It's Ukyou,
and she walks up to Ranma, her hands clasped behind her back.)

Ukyou: Ranchan?  You wanted to see me?

Ranma: (looks up at her but doesn't rise) Hai.  I needed to get
some stuff off my chest, and wanted someone I'd feel comfortable
talking to.

Ukyou(pleased): And you chose _me_?  (giggles and swirls around,
then sits next to him) That's so sweet.
(Ranma gets up and walks a few feet away.  Ukyou frowns.)

Ranma: Ucchan...I...needed to say...say goodbye...

Ukyou: Goodbye?  What are you talking about, Ranchan?  (she stands

Ranma: It's just that I may not see you again...

Ukyou: Stop talking nonsense, Ranma.  (approaches him) Of course
I'll see you again.

Ranma: But I can't do it, Ukyou!  (grits his teeth) I can't prove
I'm manly..._I'm_ not even sure I am anymore...

Ukyou: (puts her hand on his shoulder) Ranma, you _are_ manly.
(softly) I wouldn't love you if you weren't.

Ranma: (turns to face her) But you can't be _sure_! (gently removes
her hand and holds it between his) Even if I am, I can't prove it.
I've tried, and I've only dug myself deeper.

Ukyou: But didn't you manage to prove it last night, even if it
was only just for a while?

Ranma: Hai... (turns away violently, clenching his fists) But I don't
know _how_!  I wasn't even thinking about it...I could never do it

Ukyou: Ranchan?  Didn't your mother give you guidelines on how to be

Ranma: (frowns) I think so...but I can't remember them...

Ukyou: I could tell you them.

Ranma: (sighs) No, Ucchan, you can't do that.  This is _my_ test. _I_ 
ave to pass it.

Ukyou: Then you only have one choice...

Ranma: (turns to her) What?
(Ukyou runs up and drapes her arms around his shoulders; we see tears
running down her cheeks.)

Ukyou(softly): Say you'll marry me.

Ranma: U-Ukyou...I...

Ukyou: Don't you see?  If you promise to marry me, and admit your
love...then _nothing_ can ever separate us!  Since you'll be responsible
for me, at least partially, your mother won't be able to take you away!

Ranma: Ukyou...I...I can't. (turns his head away)

Ukyou: (takes a few steps back) It's Akane, isn't it...

Ranma: No...yes... (frustrated) I don't know!  I'm just too confused!

Ukyou(looks away; tear-choked): Ranma,'s...

Ranma: (takes hold of her arm) It's not that I don't love you, Ucchan.
I do, but not in _that_ way.  You're...well, you're Ucchan.  My pal,
someone who'll always be there, someone I can trust and talk to like
I can't anybody else...but it's not _that_ love, not the kind you seem
to want.

Ukyou(softly): Is there really a difference, Ranma?  Really?  (Ranma
is silent, unable to answer)  And even if there is, couldn't you...
change?  Can't your love become that love?

Ranma: I...I don't know...

Ukyou(looks deeply into his eyes; whispers almost too low to hear):
Then just say it, Ranma...say you'll marry me.  (normal audibility)
For me?  If what you say is true and you do die tomorrow, then at
least give me this to take away from it.  Don't make me hurt too much...

Ranma: Ukyou...I can't say I'll marry you...but I can't say no either...
not to you.  If it means that much to you, will you accept a maybe?
(There is a long silence as they both stare at each other, then Ukyou
backs away, her face determined.)

Ukyou: If that's all you can give me right now, then it will have to do.
(smiles wanly) But I warn you, Saotome, I'm not going to let anything
as small as death keep me from getting a decent answer out of you.

Ranma: (smiles) I'll remember that.  Come on, I'll take you home.
(Nodoka smiles to herself and slips soundlessly away.)


(Day 7: the final day.  The Tendo clan is clustered around the breakfast
table.  Ranma is absently moving his food around on his plate with a
chopstick.  Nodoka looks at him with shadowed eyes.)

Nodoka: Son?

Ranma: (sighs) Hai, mom?

Nodoka: (puts down her chopsticks) Because of what you did, I've
decided to remove all penalties.  You have this day to prove you
are manly just once.

Ranma: (his chopsticks clatter) Huh?!?!?  Wha...(blinks) Wait.
What'd I do?  What'd I do?

Nodoka: (resumes eating) What you were supposed to do.

Ranma: What?  Wake up?  Study?  Beat up Kunou?  What?

Nodoka: (takes a sip of her ever-present tea) You know, dear.

Ranma: (slumps) Great.  I do it again, and _again_ I don't know how.

Kasumi: Just believe in yourself, Ranma.

Nabiki: Hai.  Maybe you can pull this off, Saotome.  I certainly hope
so.  Do you know how much a funeral would cut into my budget?

Ranma(sarcastically): I'm glad you care so much, Nabiki.

Nabiki: Someone has to think about the _important_ things in life,

Akane: What are you going to do today?  (her expression looks as if
it's chiselled in stone)

Ranma: I don't know.  I'm sure something will come to me.
(Suddenly, Happousai appears on Ranma's shoulder.)

Happy: Hiya, Ranma m'boy!

Ranma(growls): I'm not in the mood for you, you old lech.

Happy: That's a horrible thing to say.  After all, with this being your
last day on Earth, the least you could do is be civil.

Ranma(angry): Civil?  You give me a reason to be and I will.

Happy: (dodges a punch from Ranma) Come, boy.  You know I could get you
out of this, and all it would take is a little fashion show...

Ranma: Shut up!  (kicks at Happousai, but the old lech dodges)

Happy: Just think about it, Ranma.  (bounces from the room)

Nodoka: (arches an eyebrow) What was that all about?

Nabiki: It seems that Happousai has become...somewhat attached to Ranma's
more...feminine aspects, and...

Nodoka: (raises a palm) I think I can guess the rest.  (to Ranma) You
don' it, do you, dear?

Ranma(genuinely shocked): Of _course_ not!  I would never, not even
conceive, of doing that!

Nodoka: Good.  (sips her tea) Because that wouldn't be very manly.

Nabiki: Even Ranma knows that.


(Afternoon: the same day.  Ranma is sitting in his room, staring at the
wall with a look of supreme concentration.  A knock on the door distracts
him and he slumps back on his futon.)

Ranma: Who is it?

Ukyou: It's me, Ranchan.

Ranma: (sighs) Come on in, Ukyou.
(The door opens and Ukyou stands uncertainly in the doorway.)

Ukyou: I'm sorry, I know you didn't want me to come but... (pleading)
..I just couldn't stand it!  I couldn't stand not being here for you!

Ranma: No, it's okay.  To tell you the truth, I could use some cheering

Ukyou: Things aren't going well?

Ranma: (sighs) I just don't know what to do.  I don't have a single
idea, my mind's a blank.

Ukyou: Run.

Ranma: What?

Ukyou: You could run, we could run, get away from all this...

Ranma: (shakes his head) No.  I'm through running, I'm through hiding.
I'm not leaving mom like that.

Ukyou(desperate): But Ranma, you hardly know her!  Why should you care
so much about her?

Ranma: It's not her, it's me...I've never had a mother before.  Not
really, and I don't want to lose this chance.

Ukyou: Believe me, Ranchan, mothers are overrated.

Ranma: No, Ucchan.  I'm going to stay, for better or for worse.

Voice(from downstairs, accompanied by a crash): Happousai!  Prepare
to die!

Ranma: (blinks) Pantyhose...? (excited) That's it!  (running out of
the room) I got it!

Ukyou: Got what, Ranchan?
(She follows at a safer pace.)


(Same house, same day, downstairs: Kasumi is calmly mending a hole in
the wall which an angry boy in the middle of the room has obviously
created.  He is handsome, in an effeminate way, and is wearing a blue
vest and baggy white pants.  There are tight metal bracers on his forearms,
and he appears to be using a pair of...pantyhose as a sash.  He is
growling menacingly.)

Boy: Happousai!  I want a new name!
(Ranma appears at the head of the stairs.)

Ranma: Tarou Pantyhose! (leaps down to the boy)

Tarou: Don't call me that!  (swipes at Ranma with his fist) You won't
stop me this time!
(Ranma backs away and frantically waves his hands.)

Ranma: No, no!  You got it all wrong!  I'm here to help you!

Tarou: (stops and blinks) Help? _You_!?

Ranma: Hai, I'm going to help you get your new name!

Nodoka: (walking in) What's this?

Ranma(excited): I remember you told me that manly men help others...

Nodoka: Hai...

Ranma: So I'm going to help Pantyhose (Tarou glares at him) here get
a new name!

Nodoka: (hesitates) That _could_ be manly...

Ranma: (turns to Tarou) Come on, the old lech is in the dojo!

Tarou: (shrugs) Okay, just stay out of my way.
(They both run off towards the dojo.)

Ranma and Tarou: Happouuusaiii!

Nabiki: This should be fun.
(A few seconds later, Ranma and Tarou come crashing through the wall and
land in a heap.  Ranma jumps to his feet, followed by Tarou.)

Ranma: Come on, we can take that old man!

Tarou: Hai!
(They rush into the dojo again.  The scene switches, and a view of the
outside shows that it is night.  As the view scrolls along the Tendo's
property, it comes to the dojo wall.  Suddenly Tarou flies through the
wall and lands out in the yard, followed by Ranma.  Tarou regains his
feet, and Ranma follows a bit more slowly.)

Tarou: (frowns) That's the fiftieth time he's done that.

Ranma: (swaying unsteadily) He can't keep up this pace forever...
(almost collapses)

Tarou: You know, I appreciate the thought, but you really aren't helping
me all that much.

Ranma: (grits his teeth) NO!  I have to.  My life depends on it.

Tarou: (blinks) Well, if I _do_ get a new name, hopefully I'll never see
you again, but I wouldn't say your life...

Ranma: No, you don't understand.  (stumbles over to the pond) I've got to
get you a new name.  (insane look) It's my only hope.

Tarou: (backing away) Uh...yeah...whatever you say, fem-boy...
(Ranma sticks his hand in the pond, instant girl.)

Ranma-chan: (chuckles insanely) I'll get you a new name, Pantyhose.
You can count on that.
(She gets up and slowly walks to the door of the dojo.  Tarou shakes
his head and shrugs.)


(Same day, later that evening: Tarou is dancing around, holding a
contract in his hand.  Everyone else (Nodoka, Ukyou, Akane, Kasumi, Soun,
Ryouga, Nabiki) is sitting at the table.  Ranma-chan is kneeling in the
corner, her hair messed, her eye wide and her pupils and irises tiny.)

Tarou: Hah hah hah!  A new name!  Any name I want!  Yehahahahahahah!
(runs out) Arigato, fem-boy!  WHOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Ranma-chan(disbelief): What...have I done...

Nabiki: I think it involved dancing around in the black thing for an hour.

Akane(raging): Ranma no BAKA!  You jerk!  You can't die!  I...(sits back)
I...(tears)I'll kill you if you die on me...
(Ukyou is weeping, her face in her hands.  Soun is doing his latest
impression of Niagara Falls. Ryouga looks solenmn, though his face
twitches when he looks at Akane.  Nodoka is staring expressionlessly
at Ranma.)

Nodoka: Ranma, you just put on show for Happousai, ne?

Ranma-chan(mechanically): Hai.

Nodoka: And you hated it, ne?

Ranma-chan(mechanically): Hai.

Nodoka: And you did it to help that boy, ne?
(Ukyou looks up sharply, wiping her eyes.)

Ranma-chan(mechanically): Hai.
(A desperate hope blooms on Ukyou's face; Akane's eyes also widen.)

Nodoka: So you went through your own personal hell in order to insure the
happiness of another. Is this true?

Ranma-chan(looks up; curiously): Hai.

Nodoka: (smiles) Well, I can hardly think of anything more manly, Ranma.
(There is a stunned silence, and then everybody reacts at once.  Ryouga
looks stoic, Nabiki yawns as if she knew this was going to happen all along,
Ukyou runs over and hugs Ranma-chan, Akane sits, a look of stunned pleasure
on her face, Soun is jumping around warbling into a microphone, Kasumi
smiles airheadedly.)

Ranma-chan: S-so...I'm manly?

Nodoka: Manly enough for now.  I'll see to your further education myself.

Genma: (sticks his head around the corner) I told you he was manly!
(Nodoka doesn't start, doesn't gasp, doesn't even stare.  Instead, she is
up and running in one fluid motion, her katana held high and her expression
hard.  Genma "eeps" and flees, Nodoka a step behind.)

Ukyou: (blinks) She was right...he _did_ come back.

Ranma-chan: (leaping up) YESSSSSS!!!


(Scene: The next morning.  Ranma and the Tendo clan are at the breakfast
table.  Ranma has a huge smile on his face, which he is displaying to an
irritated P-chan.  Nodoka is sitting next to a large Genma-shaped pile
of bandages, and is using a carefully prepared stare to keep it from
reaching for any of the food.)

Nabiki: He's still alive?

Nodoka: Hai.  Despite obvious effort to the contrary, Ranma actually is
manly, so I can't force Genma to commit seppuku.  This does not mean I
am pleased with him, however. (the bundle whimpers)

Soun: And now that you've proven that, I suppose we shall have to make
room for you here.

Nodoka: Actually, that's something we need to talk about.

Soun: Oh?

Nodoka: (nods) We will not be staying.
(Stunned silence. _Long_ stunned silence.)

Soun: (dropping his bowl) Y-y-you're what?!?

Nodoka: I can't really impose on you now that Ranma and Akane are no
longer engaged.  Besides, I wish for Ranma to come with me for a while.

Akane: W-why?

Nodoka: I caught Ranma just in time.  Without positive reinforcement,
he might lose what little human decency Genma hasn't managed to pound
out of him yet.

Ranma(flabbergasted): But can't we stay here?

Nodoka: No Ranma, I don't think Nerima is the right environment for you.
Besides, the Saotome's rarely settle down for long.

Ranma: But mom!  I can't leave!  I-I-I have too much...too much...stuff...

Akane: (sits back in shock and disbelief) Leaving...

Nodoka: (holds up a finger) My decision, Ranma.  I'm sorry, but we simply
can't stay in Tokyo.  We have to worry about your...condition.  It's not
just going to solve itself.

Ranma: Then we're going to China?

Nodoka: That remains to be seen.  All I know is that we can't sit in
Nerima, waiting for our problems to be magically solved. 
(P-chan bwees excitedly and with extreme pleasure.)

Akane: Ranma...gone...

Soun: But...(chin quivers)...but...(eyes fill)...but...w-w-w-W-WAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

Nodoka(stern): Oh, do be quiet Soun.  You didn't really expect Ranma and
Akane to get married, did you?
(Soun manages to hold back further tears, however, he doesn't speak and
merely nods.)

Nodoka: (sighs) Soun, do you know the number of high school sweethearts
that actually get married?

Ranma: Sweethearts?

Nodoka: Ranma and Akane would have to go to college soon, Soun (groan) and
there is no way I am going to let my son marry before he's at least twenty.

Ranma: Could we get back to the sweetheart thing?

Nodoka: And I find it very unlikely that Ranma and Akane will go to the
same college.  Their interests are too dissimilar.

Ranma: What _exactly_ do you mean by sweetheart?

Nodoka: Not to mention the fact that most people who marry young often
end up divorcing later in life.

Ranma: Hello? (waves) Can you explain this sweetheart deal?  I'd really
like to meet my sweetheart, since nobody's told me I have one.

Nabiki: Will you give it up with the sweetheart bit already, Saotome?

Ranma: I'd just like to point out that Akane and I are not "sweethearts".

Akane: Leaving...Ranma...

Kasumi: I'll go pack your things, Auntie Saotome.

Nodoka: (nods) Arigato, dear.  We'll be leaving in the morning.

Ranma: The morning? (stands up) The morning!?  You can't be serious mom!
I can't leave that early!

Nodoka: (sighs) Ranma, if we stay two days it will become a week, then
two, then a month, and sooner or later we'll never leave.  We Saotome's
have learned to pack up at a moment's notice.

Ranma: But I have friends, and...people, and...responsibilities...

Nodoka: You have all night to say goodbye, Ranma.  As for responsibilities,
I've already contacted the school and taken you out of classes.  (frowns)
Your principal is a very annoying little man, do you know that?

Ranma: (small grin) Vaguely.

Akane: Gone...forever...

Nodoka: (takes a sip of her tea) I suggest you start making phone calls,

Ranma: (looks at Akane; pauses for a moment) Hai.


(Scene: Ranma's room.  He's talking on the phone.)

Ranma: Yeah man, it's harsh but my mom says I gotta move, so... (pause)
Sure I'll write, as often as possible... (pause) Goodbye too, man.
(pause) I don't know who's gonna beat up Kunou now...Ryouga, I guess...
(pause) See you. 
(He hangs up and sighs.  There is a knock at the door.  Ranma gets up,
walks over and opens it.  Akane stands just outside.)

Ranma: Akane?

Akane: Can I come in?

Ranma: Uh...sure, Akane...come on in.
(She enters, and Ranma closes the door behind her.  Akane sits on the

Akane: Have you said goodbye to everyone?

Ranma: Just about.  I haven't called the Kunou's or Shampoo...but then
again, I don't intend to.

Akane: (frowns) And what about Ukyou?

Ranma: (nods) She was the first one I called.

Akane(low, flat tone): And how'd she take it?

Ranma: Surprisingly well, actually.  I think her exact words were "Oh,

Akane: (sighs) Ranma...I don't know how to say this...

Ranma: (kneels in front of her) You don't have to say anything, Akane.
I'll miss you too... (grins) ...even if you are a kawaiikune tomboy.
(Akane smiles and mock-punches him.)

Akane: Ranma no baka...(looks down) No, Ranma, I do need to say this.
I really think I do.  (she looks into his eyes) Ranma...I...I....lo...
(Ranma places a finger on her lips, silencing her.)

Ranma: Hush, don't bother.  Don't dredge up feelings better left least for now.  (smiles)  Who knows?  One day I'll be back.
Now go, get some sleep.  We're leaving early tomorrow, and you don't
want to sleep through it, do you?
(Akane wordlessly gets up and moves to the door.  She opens it, hesitates,
and looks back at Ranma, uncertainty in her eyes.  Ranma's face is cool
and calm, and he smiles reassuringly.  She walks out and allows the door
to slide shut.  The smile falls off Ranma's face, and a single tear moves
slowly down his cheek.)


(Scene: Outside the Tendo household at sunrise.  The Saotome and Tendo
clans are all gathered, with a pleased Ryouga leaning against the wall.
The Saotome's all have large hiking backpacks on.  Akane is openly crying,
Soun is rocking on his heels singing a circus tune, Nabiki and Kasumi
look unconcerned.  Ranma looks outwardly cheerful, but there's something
in his eyes...Nodoka is standing next to a bandage-free Genma, giving the
striking impression of guard and prisoner.)

Ranma: Well, I guess this is it.
(Ryouga looks up from the ground.)

Ryouga: Hey Ranma.

Ranma: (frowns) What?

Ryouga: I'll do my best to follow your request.

Ranma: What requ...oh, that.  (pauses for a moment, then nods) Good
luck, man.  It's real hard.

Ryouga: Maybe for some people.  (pauses; then smiles slightly) It's
been interesting, Saotome.  I wish you luck. (Ranma and Ryouga exchange
a nod)

Akane(sobs): Ranma, I'll miss you...

Ranma: Cheer up, Akane.  I'll write you as soon as possible, okay?

Akane(sniffs): okay...
(Ranma begins to turn away.)

Voice: Wait!
(Ranma-and everyone else, incidentally-turn to look at the figure rushing
up the street.  It is Ukyou, and she has a backpack similar to the Saotomes'

Ranma: Ukyou?

Ukyou(comes up; statement of fact): I'm coming with you.

Ranma: Huh?  But what about Ucchan's?

Ukyou: I wasn't particularly attached to it.

Ranma: How'd you...

Nabiki: Let's just say I can make a tidy profit off that place.
(Ukyou looks Nodoka straight in the eye.)

Ukyou: Don't try to stop me, Mrs. Saotome.  I've got enough money to buy
train tickets, plane tickets, or anything else I need to follow him.

Nodoka: (after a short pause) Very well, Ukyou.  You may come, but (holds
up a finger) _I'm_ in charge here.

Ukyou: (smiles) If you say so.

Nodoka: (looks at the sun) It's time to go.
(All four turn and begin down the street.  Akane turns away, and Ryouga
moves over to hold her comfortingly.  The Saotome's and Kuonji are soon
silhouetted by the sun, and then walk into it and are gone...)

                      THIS IS NOT THE END...
                 (Apologies to Winston Churchill)


(Epilogue 1: The Tendo living room.  Everything appears relatively normal.
Nabiki is talking on the phone, Soun is statue-like, and Kasumi is cleaning.)

Nabiki: This is prime, centrally located real estate here!  When you're
ready to make me an offer that a chimp would look at, I'll talk to you
again. (hangs up) Honestly...
(At that moment, someone bursts through the wall and lands on the table.
It is the same nameless boy from the previous cutaway.)

Boy: Saotome Ranma! (gets into offensive position) I will destroy you!

Nabiki: Ranma doesn't live here anymore.

Boy: (blinks) He doesn't?

Nabiki: No.  (jerks a thumb over her shoulder) He went that-a-way.
(The boy steps down, and delicately kisses Nabiki's hand.)

Boy: Arigato, my lady.  (runs out) I will find you, Saotome Ranma!

Kasumi: Oh my.  What was all that about?
(Nabiki shrugs and wipes her hand on Soun's shoulder.)


(Epilogue 2: This is brief.  We see the outside of a restaurant.  A
sign proclaims it to be the Nekohanten.  Suddenly we hear a voice that
rocks the restaurant, and quite possibly all of Nerima.)

Voice: He did _WHAT_?!?!?!?!?


Author's afterword: Thus ends the first chapter of Ranma: The Kyoto
Chronicles.  This was considerably longer than most of the other chapters
will be, due to the gravity of the situations addressed.  Comparing it to
a new Ranma 1/2 anime, we could classify this chapter (and all other ones
it's length) as a movie or OAV, and the regular episodes as TV episodes.
And speaking of regular episodes, watch out for part two of R: TKC;
"Arrival; the Revenge of Chagi!"  in which a new chapter will begin in
Ranma's life and some new characters will be introduced.  All commentary
can be directed to, and remember, this and all of our
other current fanfics are eligible for Fanfic of The Year <shameless plug>!  
                                                         Blade and Epsilon

Author's afterward circa 2003: Don't send mail there, it doesn't exist.  Boy,
we sucked back then, didn't we?  We did!  We sucked up, too!  Whee!
All content unless stated otherwise is ©2021 Chris McNeil. He can be contacted here. The banner picture is courtesy of Jason Heavensrun. You can find more of his stuff at Checkmate Studios.