This is my first (two, concatenated together, to be exact) actually posted story ^_^
Tell me what you think (verbose is prefered in this ^_-)

Commitment part One:
Why

A fanfic by Suika Roberts, based on the Takahashi Rumiko Manga _Ranma 1/2_.
Of course, this is unauthorized and not-for-profit. Anyone who sells this for more than the cost of media should be flogged.

``Ranma, why don't we call you Mother and Father like all of the other kids?'' Miyuki asked as she shed her shoes in the genkan.

``Would you like the long version or the short one?''

``The short one, please.''

``When your elder sister was really small we decided it would look funny.''

``Tell me the long version.''

``OK. You know about the training trip we were on when Rei was born, right?''

``Un, I've heard the story about how when Akane annouced that she was in labor Ryouga fainted into a stream and Auntie Akari had to pull him out before he drowned.''

``And then Akane started giggling at the thought of what would have happened if she hadn't already known about his curse.''

``Ouch.''

``Lucky him that she knew. As you know Rei's birth was very easy, by the time we got back to Tokyo and the dojo she was a couple weeks old and looked like a human baby instead of a pink monkey...''

``Hey! That's rude!''

``It's true. When you were first born you looked like a pink monkey too. A very cute pink monkey, quite worth the effort of carrying for nine and a half months, but still a pink monkey.

``Your grandmother just sort of fainted as we walked in, Akane was holding Rei and promising to feed her as soon as she found a spot to sit down. When she came to Akane had Rei to her breast, Rei was quite happily ignoring everything else, and Akane and the rest of us were wondering what was wrong. She all but dragged the two of them to the hospital to get checked. They were fine, but the doctors took some of Akane's blood, she wouldn't let them have any of Rei's, and said to call back in a week.

``We called back and they asked us what my blood type was, and when I said that it was A they said that we needed to come in. When whe got there they said that Akane had antibodies for type A blood in her system, and the doctors were concerned, or, more accurately, certain, that we would not be able to have more children together.''

``Why? Antibodies just protect against germs that have been encountered before . . . Oh! Both Rei's and my blood type are the same as yours.''

``Pin pon. So we plotted as we came home, thinking about what we could do about it, whether we wanted any more children, that sort of thing. Akane came up with the idea we eventually used. `You always brag about how you look so much better as a girl than I do, you carry the next one.' I think she meant it as a joke, but after we thought about it we decided to ask for second and third oppinions. Kodachi and Ukyou thought it was a decent idea, so long as we could set things up so that I wouldn't end up the topic of someone's research. Tofu pointed out that we would need to keep me from changing, and trying to avoid hot water just would not do.''

``Understatement. Whenever you try to stay one gender or another you always end up soaking wet. Remember that parent-teacher conference last year?''

``How could I forget it? `Could you please have your father come to the meeting?' `Sure.' `Who's this?' `My father.' poke poke.'' Ranma scowls at the memory.

``Hey! it was funny.'' Miyuki giggles.

``You obviously think it still is.''

``Of course it is. That is why we don't call you tou-chan, ne? I admit it would have been rather hillarious to have Rei calling you tou-chan while I was nursing.''

``It's not quite as funny as how you called me `Tittie' no matter what form I was in until you were four.'' Ranma pokes back.

``I did what?!''

``What, you didn't know? I copied the habit off of Akane, I don't know where she picked it up, who knows, maybe she just thought it up on her own, of asking you if you wanted some tittie whenever you looked hungry or I felt you needed to be fed.''

``Felt I needed to be fed?''

``Un, When you're breastfeeding you produce enough milk to feed whoever you're feeding. If you wait too long the milk accumulates and is rather obnoxious.''

``From your tone you are understating again, birth-mother.''

``I'm not sure that's the right word.''

``Understatement? Or birth-mother.''

``The second. It doesn't sound right.''

``Oh well. Find me the proper one and I'll call you by it.'' (I admit the last bit of dialog loses something in translation. :/ )

``Don't bother. Enough chatter, you are not going to get out of today's practice session. Your elder sister is off learning from obaba, so you get do do a bit of one on one practice today.''

``Hai, hai. Iku ze!'' Miyuki shifts tone from absolute boredom to enthusiastic yell in an instant, slamming her right heel into the side of Ranma's face, flinging him into the pond. *Worked. That aerial spin kick shouldn't have, though.* >Thump! In the end the score was about even, old age, skill and treachery only slightly overpowering youth, skill, and treachery.

``If we want to wash off before Akane gets here we should go in now.'' Ranma states, heading into the house, only dripping slightly from her last dip in the pond.

``You're washing my back.'' she continued, stripping off her shirt and dropping it on the floor.

``Don't I end up doing that most of the time anyway, kaa-chan?'' Miyuki asks, adding her own clothing to the untidy pile that Ranma would have to wash later.

``Kyaaa! Tsumette!''

``If you didn't insist on using ice water you wouldn't scream so loud.''

``Then what fun is there in it? And I've still washed your back far more times than you've washed mine.''

``I must admit that I'm not sure. And that is only becouse you have twenty years on me.'' Miyuki replies as she soaps Ranma's back. She finishes in silence and Ranma scrubs her back before entering the tub.

``I still have to cook dinner. Fugh. You did a number on my face with that kick earlier. I'm going to have a nice purple bruise to explain to my students tomorrow.''

``Just one? I can see a good five from here.''

``Hey! Don't look!'' Ranma pulls himself into a tighter ball, eyes closed to better enjoy the hot bath.

``I meant ones that would show up when you have clothes on! Che, you are so etchi.''

``I am not, I just think about the kind of person I was at 11 and act accordingly.''

``See! Etchi!''

``What, are you saying you aren't?''

``Why would I say that. You've seen some of the things I read.''

``Tadaima!'' Akane's voice rings from the genkan.

``Okaerinasai!'' The two in the bathtub call.

``I suppose you are going to make me cook dinner tonight, even though it isn't my turn, right?''

``No, I'll be getting out in a moment to cook it. If you want one of us could wash your back for you.''

``OK! I'll be up in a moment.'' The sounds of groceries getting put away waft up from the kitchen.

``Yet another question, why do you two always argue about who is going to cook?''

``Akane couldn't cook until she was almost twenty five. It was the contest that finally convinced her to learn. She'd been trying before, but she never made the leap that separates awful from decent.''

``Contest?''

``Yeah, Kodachi challenged her to a contest to see which of them could poison the most people. Non-fatally. Kodachi got something like the entire male population of Fuurinkan High and a few of the female students as well. Akane poured twelve grams of LSD into the Nerima water supply.''

``Twelve grams!?''

``Yep. The really scary part was that it took the athorities in other parts over a week to realize that there was anything wrong. Most of Nerima still doesn't trust the water supply. Kodachi was at Ukyou's when they both started tripping. Ukyou had enough presence of mind to tell everyone to go home and lock the doors, but assumed that when Kodachi didn't leave she was just one of the hallucinations. Kodachi has said that she originally was going to sit out the trip somewhere quiet and go home, for she thought that someone at her house had spiked something she ate or drank. By the time she realized that Ukyou was losing it she tripping pretty heavily, and so appointed herself to keep Ukyou from damaging herself during her bad trip. By the time the LSD was flushed from the water supply and the after affects had begun to wear off. . .'' Ranma's story was interupted by Akane's entrance, a quick janken to determine who got to wash her back (which made Akane break out laughing) and the loser, Miyuki, washing Akane's back before they both got into the tub. ``Ukyou and Kodachi were a set. LSD makes you really open to suggestion for a few days after you do it, and they spent almost two weeks recovering together. They went from being just shy of mortal enemies to friends and lovers by the time the LSD in the water supply had been dealt with, about a month and a half later.''

``How?''

``If you spend a lot of time talking with someone, each of you letting out secrets that you wouldn't tell others that you don't trust implicitly, holding each other when things get really bad, dropping the facades that you keep up when others are around, you first begin to trust, then it can go further, especially if there is no one around who wants to stop it. Kodachi wasn't totally sane before that happened. She had no one she could trust, no one she could count on to take care of her or help her take care of herself, no one that she didn't feel the need to pretend around. Ukyou was trying to deal with the fact that Akane and I had finally stopped fighting and were together. They both needed someone really badly, and they volunteered each other. I admit it was a shock when I first saw them walk in together, Ukyou's arm about Kodachi's waist, and her head on Ukyou's shoulder. Neither of them had parents, so they felt pretty safe about being open with the fact that they were more than just `romantic freinds.' Even so there were a couple attempts made by official types to split them up.''

``What? Why would they do that?''

``It was almost fifteen years ago. Before they got over most of that gender discrimination crap, dear.'' Akane answered, ``They did that to anyone who was involved in an openly physical lesbian relationship. They make the parents move one of the girls and the parents forbid contact between them. Mean, huh?''

``Yep. Very. I'll go cook dinner since I lost today, and you look tired Akane.''

``Just so long as it isn't avacado and mozerella on microwaved french bread anything is OK.'' Akane tells her daughter as she dries off, before dunking her own face in the bathwater.

``Aw. That is my favorite kind of sandwich. I'll make something interesting, then.'' Miyuki replies in an agreived, then threatening tone.

``At least your `interesting' isn't as bad as what Akane used to cook. Ite! Hey! Your cooking is a lot better than it used to be! Really! I even look forward to eating it!'' Miyuki heard the sounds of Ranma being dunked into the tub by main force, shook her head, and went to the kitchen to find things to add to the the avacado.

-*- ``So, what is for dinner, Miyuki?'' Miyuki looks up at her older sister, who showed signs that she would soon learn the bakusaitenketsu, mainly through not being as bruised as she had been the day before.

``California roll, sliced avocado, and miso ramen.'' She answers the question.

``Every time you cook we have avocado, why?''

``Because I like it, no one else in the house cooks with it, and it's in season right now.'' There is a loud knocking at the door. ``That must be Kodachi, Ukyou and Rie-chan. Go let them in, please.''

``Ryoukai!'' She snapped her heels together and slapped her fist against her chest.

``You've been watching too much anime recently, haven't you?''

``No, but I think that one we watched a week or two ago was cool.'' Rei did not smile as she made the comment, for that would spoil the effect.

``Why do I even bother showing them to you if you don't care enough to remember them?'' Miyuki's annoyance with her sister is plain.

``Because I like them, even the strange ones like Iczer 1.'' Rei says, walking to the door. There is a thunk as the designated throwing-pot hits the door frame behind her.

``Konbanwa, Rei-chan.''

``Konbanwa. Come in, please, Miyuki is almost done with dinner.'' She leads the way to the dining room.

``Ucchan! To what do we owe your presence tonight?''

``Miyuki called and said that I was invited over for dinner. I guess she neglected to tell you that, ne.''

``Yep. Least she was cooking, so I don't have to apologize for not having cooked enough.''

``Once was enough, wasn't it Ran-chan?''

``More than. `I don't mind if you invite people over and forget to tell me''

``But don't just expect me to cook for the lot of them' '' Akane and Ranma finish in unison. Ukyou and Kodachi giggle at their aggrieved tone, and Miyuki walks in with the first load of food.

``Rei, Rie-chan, could you help please?'' Miyuki says her manner making it plain that she could handle it fine herself, but remembered how Rie-chan enjoyed to help out.

``Hai!'' Rie practically flies across the room and through the door to the kitchen, being careful not to hit anyone or anything as she went over the table.

``Your daughter is getting good.'' Akane complements Ukyou, thinking about the leap Rie had just made, over the table and Ranma's head.

``Place that there, Rie-chan.''

``Itadakimasu!''

As usual Kodachi and Ukyou are extremely sappy, feeding each other and generally acting like the doting couple that they are. Rie ignores them.

A short while later every one makes a point of complementing the cook for the food. Miyuki and Ranma are staring at each other over the last slice of avocado when the younger one finds the way to get it. ``You didn't finish the story, you know, kaa-chama.'' Ranma shifts his gaze off of the avocado slice, and she snags it.

``Which story?''

``The one about how you ended up bearing me.''

``Oh, yeah,'' He looks for the avocado slice, then continues, ``Well after Tofu-sensei pointed out that we would need to keep me female for the nine months or so that the pregnancy would take there was a quick brainstorming session where we went over known methods to keep me female. The only one that I judged trustworthy enough to attempt was the chiisui-ton, which was a bit of a problem, as it had gotten lost during the fight with Herb. So had the kaisui-huu, but that was only necessary to reverse the first after you were born.

``We made the arrangements like we were a normal couple who were going to go in for in-vitro fertilization, and I presented myself in female form as the surrogate mother. The doctors thought I was a fine candidate, and preparations went on as we made plans for an expedition to find the two magic items.

``We both made the appropriate donations, and I was really glad that I wasn't donating the ovum. That was a really uncomfortable process. Luckily better ways have been invented since, but to say it wasn't a fun process would be like saying swimming to China was a nice weekend's trip.

``Rei was about two by the time we got the trip underway.''

``The whole gang, just about, was involved in the search, and we found the kaisui-huu pretty quickly. Ko-chan found the chiisui-ton in a large tree a kilometer or so from where everyone else was looking.''

``You helped a great deal, Ucchan. I couldn't have found it if you hadn't suggested that we get out of camp if we were going to be making out. And you were the one who said that that tree looked nice.'' Kodachi's voice is quite calm, very different from what it had been before she got involved with Ukyou.

``Anyway, the search took nearly two months to complete, and we got home just in time for the Sakura to bloom. I had been female for a couple of weeks, and the lot of us did hanami. I got totally drunk for the first and last time in my life, and Akane had to shut me up.''

``I remember that. I thought she just enjoyed sucking face with you.'' Ukyou giggles as her comment turns both Akane and Ranma a bright red.

``We set up the appointment to go to the doctor and get an embryo implanted, and it, in due time, turned into you.''

``So that's why you have the bucket and the tea kettle in the safe.'' Miyuki's voice shows the sudden comprehension.

``Un. I don't want to get stuck by accident, but it is occasionally nice to take a hot bath as a female.''

``You picked up a lot of habits after being female for four and a half years.'' Ukyou needles lightly.

``Four and a half years?'' Miyuki directs the question at Ranma.

``Un. Two and a half months before the embryo was implanted, nine and a half months where it was growing into the baby that would become you, three years nursing, and six months trying to figure out where I lost the kaisui-huu.''

``Oh, and you were to embarrassed to ask? I thought you had just forgotten.'' Akane's voice shows that she really doesn't know the answer.

``No, I just didn't think it was all that important. You didn't mind, my students didn't mind, nobody who I couldn't just tell `I'm married' and have them back off was flirting, chasing, harassing me, so I figured I'd just change back when I found the thing.''

``Ah. The possibility of my having hid it never occurred to you?'' Akane's question makes Ranma rock back a little, as if from a blow.

``You did?''

``The possibility never occurred to me either.'' She sticks her tounge out at him. Everybody giggles at it.

``Oops! I need to clear the table. Rie-chan, want to help?'' The five year old nods eagerly, and they quickly have the table clear.

``Ano, Kodachi-bachan, why did you challenge Akane to a poisoning contest?'' Miyuki asks, after everyone had settled down again.

``I don't know if you know this, but I wasn't very stable then. My family was more than a little odd, and I had no one to trust except me and Midorigame from the time I was very small. I got into poisons when I was younger than you are, about seven, and started experimenting with hallucinogens and other `recreational' drugs when I was about 11. I don't remember why, but it might have just been that I was curious and didn't have anyone to tell me how dumb of an idea it was. They were easy enough to get, and nobody noticed the difference, so I thought it was OK. I got tired of the needle marks and stopped when I was fourteen, I wrote a diary of that experience. Heroin isn't a fun habit to kick cold turkey, but, as all the actual documentation on it said, totally survivable and the only way to do it. I am still amazed that nobody except Sasuke knew about it. My father just said that I was skipping school and they should just deal with it. My brother didn't appear to care that I felt like Zandru's ninth hell warmed over, and said that I should just go to school anyway. I am really glad I didn't dabble in harder drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, speed, coke. I had done some LSD, some pot, some other things, but not much. I got into a rather nihilistic mood, and didn't begin to get out of it until I started obsessing over your parent. I have a bad feeling that if anyone had dared to inquire I would have ended up in a mental hospital for the rest of my life.

``Anyway, I was really upset that Ranma had actually said that he wanted to be with Akane for the rest of his life, and so I challenged Akane to a contest I was sure she couldn't win. When I won I was to get to keep Ranma for six months, an amount of time I felt more than adequate to the task of making him mine. Using my superior knowledge of poisons I got maybe 540 people. I still don't know where she got all of that LSD, but she got all of Nerima with it. I was at Ucchan's to try and convince Ukyou to honor the deal after I won when the LSD started to kick in. I assumed that someone had gotten into my poisons and added a hit or two to my food. I hadn't done anything other than order and drink a cup of tea when Ukyou ordered every one out, locked the door, and started to lose it. I'd had bad trips and knew what one was like. I also knew that it was a really bad thing to go through alone, and not much better with just an alligator for company. So I dragged her outside, locked the door behind me, and took her to a park and held her until she started to calm down, at which time I realized that it wasn't just me who was tripping, but everyone around me. I took Ukyou to my house, made sure the filter on Midorigame's tank was working, snagged a couple thousand yen, and led Ukyou back to her shop, pausing to buy some bottled water along the way.

``I still don't know why I did that. It was totally out of character for who I was. Maybe I was thinking back to when I had wished for someone to hold me during a bad trip, maybe I just thought it would be fun, maybe I just wanted someone to hold me and I didn't care who, I don't know. I just know I am really glad I did it. I sat and talked to her, telling her that it was OK, that it was just a hallucination, that she could tell that it was just a hallucination. I ended up holding her until we both fell asleep. After we woke up I just sort of dumped on her, telling her a lot of the things that had been bothering me. She ended up holding me, telling me it was all right as I cried on her shoulder. I hadn't cried in years. We spent the next few days talking to each other, telling secrets, becoming more and more attracted to each other. I don't know how that happened, I still don't find many females attractive, and Ukyou is only a little broader in her definition of an attractive female. By the time we ran out of bottled water I had worked up the courage to risk kissing her. I am still glad I did. Very glad.'' Ukyou blushes at the fervent manner this is said in. ``I didn't even think about my family until after school started again. That afternoon I asked Ukyou to come with me to check on Midorigame, who was fine. My father and brother were not. Apparently they had kept drinking the water as it came from the tap until the rescue teams showed up and started distributing uncontaminated water. They were malnourished, sleep-deprived, and heavily scrambled by the time the rescue teams found them, and my brother never did recover. He went and became a monk somewhere far away, and my father went back to scaring people in Hawaii. As long as Tatewaki isn't too heavily stressed he is fine. I showed Ukyou where Midorigame liked to be scratched and sat for a long while just holding her.'' Kodachi curls her fingers, her elbow on the table, curls of white light extending like claws from her finger tips, blue flames flowing off of them.

``How do you do that!?'' Miyuki is instantly transfixed by the sight.

``I don't know. It isn't very useful, at least not to the person I have become. They are made of a sort of ki-field which rips molecules apart. They don't affect salts, and are only really useful for sculpting and killing people, one of which I can't do and the other of which I won't.''

``Could you teach me? The flames of the air recombining are really neat.''

``Nope. That is the other thing that makes it useless. I have this bad feeling that the only reason I can do it is because I altered my brain far more than is good for me.

``On the other hand I do have some things that I might be able to teach you if you want to learn. You know that trick Happosai has? The one where he hits you with a pipe and knocks you across the room?''

``Un.''

``Have you ever thought about how he does that? If he hit you with the pipe hard enough to do that...''

``He'd be much more likely to just tear through at the point where he hit.''

``Exactly. What I guessed was happening was that the ambient kinetic energy was being drawn off and then applied to a target. I was wrong, but it worked.'' She looks around for something sturdy to demonstrate on, then asks, ``Rie-chan, could you go get me a rock from outside?'' Rie pops up smiling, and comes back nigh instantly with a rock, which she hands to her mother.

Kodachi closes her eyes for an instant, then, holding the rock on the palm of her left hand with a clear shot out the door, brings up her right index finger, mist dropping towards the floor from around her hand. She waits like that for an instant, then lightly taps the rock with her finger-tip. There is a sudden `Krack!' as the rock leaps from her hand and blows most of the way through the wall around the garden. ``Oops, sorry. I send a crew by to fix it tomorrow, I really didn't want to do that.'' Turning back to Miyuki she asks, ``You can see how that might be useful, can't you? It doesn't take much energy from the user, for most of what is used comes from the environment one is in, and it can also be used for putting large holes in things.''

``Oshiete kureru, Kodachi-sensei!'' Ranma and Kodachi are a bit taken aback by Kodachi's sudden promotion, and everyone else just giggles.

``Sure. You have to teach me how to make those sandwiches that my daughter adores in return, though.''

``Deal!'' Miyuki's face clouds for a moment, then brightens, ``Oh, and one last slightly rude question. Which one of you two . . .'' she can't quite finish the question, her eyes on Rie.

``Oh! That question. I thought Ranma or Akane would have told you. I bore her, and geneticly she's both of ours. Basicly the doctors took an ovum from each of us and fused them together, then implanted the embryo like what happened with you.'' Kodachi answers. Rie looks bored, like she's heard this explanation far too many times before.