A.N.: You thought the story was over? THINK AGAIN! I've thought about it and decided to do a two-part alternate ending to the story. This time, not all of the NWC condemn Ranma. And in traditional Snafu flair, the ending will shock you.
Chapter Six – Alternate Ending, Part One
Tendou Dojo, hours earlier.
"YOU LOST?!" Genma bellowed to his son, now daughter.
Apparently, the news of Ranma's rematch against Herb had became known to the Tendous, as well as Ranma's parents. What they didn't expect was the fact that Ranma had lost to Herb, thanks to outside interference from his two rivals, and ended up getting his curse locked.
Ranma was facing judgment from the senior members of the Nerima martial arts hierachy.
"It wasn't my fault!" Ranma had objected. "I had the entire match under control until Mousse and Ryouga showed up! They distracted me long enough for Herb to splash me with the ladle, and for those two idiots to jump me from behind."
"It doesn't matter!" Genma bellowed. "A true martial artist is aware of their surroundings! You are a disgrace!"
"Like I haven't heard that before, old man," Ranma muttered. She was already formulating a plan on how to track down Herb, beat the shit out of him and get his curse unlocked.
Unfortunately, that wasn't going to happen.
"Looks like the pledge to unite the schools is finished, Tendou," Genma said.
Soun Tendou nodded. "Indeed, Saotome. Ranma is of no use to us now."
"WHAT?! After all the times I've saved your hide, your family, and your home you dare call me useless!?" Ranma bellowed at the older man.
"Don't you dare talk to my father that way you pervert!" Akane shouted.
"Shut the fuck up, you tomboy," Ranma snapped, her patience wearing incredibly thin. "I wasn't talking to you."
Nabiki and Kasumi watched this exchange with worried expressions. Earlier in the week, Nabiki had found out the real fates regarding Tatewaki Kunou and his family. She had received a call from one of her underlings, whose cousin worked at the hospice where Kunou was living out the remainder of his days as a human vegetable.
Kodachi and Principal Kunou were not as fortunate. Kodachi had went insane and had poisoned herself, her brother and her father, upon finding out that their family wealth was gone, stripped from them in a blink of an eye.
Nabiki had her suspicions. They were then confirmed by a friend of hers who worked at the local bank. The person responsible for stripping the Kunou family of their wealth was Ranma himself.
Ever since the incidents with Saffron and the Phoenix tribe and the botched wedding, Ranma had become less forgiving towards his rivals. Nabiki saw the change and was wise enough to stop using Ranma as her favorite source of spending money.
Nabiki had pulled Kasumi to the side and explained how Ranma was responsible for robbing the Kunous blind. What Nabiki did not know until Kasumi had told her that Ranma had caught his father trying to weave another arranged marriage with the two siblings, complete with contracts to marry Ranma in the appropriate forms in exchange for a substantial amount of money.
Ranma had stopped the transaction and had beaten his greedy father within an inch of his life when he yelled at his son for not doing his duty in looking after his poor father. Genma was in bandages for two weeks.
"Everyone has a breaking point," Kasumi had said. "I fear that poor Ranma-kun may have reached his, given all that he has to deal with on a daily basis."
Nabiki and Kasumi looked at the two who had broken the news of Ranma losing to Herb and his curse getting locked in - Ryouga Hibiki and Mousse. Both Tendou girls knew that the two despised Ranma and would do anything to make his life a living hell.
But it was the third person that shocked even Kasumi and Nabiki.
As Ranma was getting chewed out by his parents and Soun, Akane watched the entire debacle with a evil smile on her face. Then both her and Ryouga exchanged a knowing smile, showing that they had something to hide.
Nabiki and Kasumi both knew that Akane was insanely jealous of Ranma's martial art abilities. Could she had known about Ranma's rematch against Herb and used Ryouga and Mousse to set him up?
"You are no son of mine!" Genma shouted once again. "I want you gone!"
Nodoka nodded. "I agree. As head of the Saotome clan, I hearby cast you from the clan. The Tendou-Saotome pact is hearby nullified."
Soun nodded again. "I also agree." He turned to Ranma. "Leave my home, you dishonorable ronin and never come back here again."
This wasn't looking good for Ranma. Hoping she still had some allies within the Tendous, she turned to Nabiki. "Nabiki?"
Nabiki kept her cool expression. After looking at the cursed martial artist for one moment, she turned to her father and the Saotomes. "Ranma is not at fault here," she said. Her Ice Queen mask fell upon the two who had interfered with Ranma's match - Ryouga and Mousse. "You two did not tell us the entire story. Now would be a good time to explain everything...now."
"Because of him, I've seen Hell!" Ryouga shouted. "Ranma got what he deserved!"
Nabiki frowned. "That's starting to get old, pig boy. Either come clean or else I'll truly show you hell."
Akane, in the meantime, was looking at this exchange with a worried expression on her face. Of course she knew about Ranma's rematch against Herb long before Ryouga and Mousse did. But she wasn't worried about Ranma.
"Nabiki!" Akane admonished. "Stop picking on Ryouga! Why are you defending that honorless bastard for? He got his curse locked in! He is of no use to the family or to the school!"
Nabiki slowly turned towards her younger sister. Normally, that line was reserved for Ranma. Akane never said that to her. Kasumi had also noticed how Akane had addressed Ranma and frowned.
Sure enough, Ryouga folded. After all, Nabiki knew about his curse and she would not think twice about exposing the pig to Akane.
"It's true," the Lost Boy confessed, which turned Nabiki away from her sister. "Mousse and I interfered in his match. When Ranma was distracted, Herb cursed him with the Ladle. Once Herb knocked Ranma out cold, we came here straightaway."
Cologne, who had planned on reinstating the Kiss of Death on Ranma, frowned at this confession. "Is this true, part-timer?" she asked Mousse.
"I did it for Shampoo," Mousse defended. "Saotome does not deserve her! If Ranma had his curse locked in, then Shampoo would be mine!"
That earned him a whack over the skull from Cologne.
"You fool!" the Joketsuzoku matriarch shouted. "You dare to interfere in a match of honor?! You almost made me pass judgment on an innocent man!"
Nodoka, in the meantime, had a look of genuine regret on her face. She turned to Ranma and bowed to her cursed son. "Ranma...forgive my lack in judgment. I did not know. This changes everything in regards to this matter. Because of this, I am reversing my judgment."
"It still doesn't change the fact that Ranma's curse is now locked in," Genma pointed out. "He is of no use to us if he is a girl for the rest of his life!"
"That is up for me to decide," Nodoka disagreed. "Remember that I am the head of the clan, not you. This confession puts a whole new perspective on this matter. Ranma is not at fault here. The blame lies with those two idiots," she finished, glaring at the Lost Boy and the myopic weaponsmaster. Nodoka turned towards the two rivals, her thumb on the katana's guard. She pushed it, exposing an inch of razor-sharp Japanese steel. "What I want to know is...why?" she demanded.
"Auntie Saotome!" Akane shouted, "stop picking on Ryouga! He's been through enough with Ranma picking on him most of the time. Why are you defending that honorless bastard for? He got his curse locked in! He is of no use to the family or to the school!"
Nodoka turned to Akane. "Remember that is my child you are insulting. If you know something about this, then you better confess."
Soun spoke in his daughter's defense. "Why are you harassing Akane? She is not the problem here! Leave her alone!"
"I agree," Genma concurred, sweating bullets. "The boy is the focal point of this conversation here."
"You're hiding something, imotou-chan," Nabiki deadpanned. "Since when did Ranma intentionally pick on Ryouga, hmm?"
"After all," Kasumi cut in, "it's always Ryouga screaming 'Ranma, prepare to die,' right? You know something we don't know, do you?"
Akane took a step back. "I...I don't know what you're talking about."
Cologne then stood beside Nabiki. "You're a lousy liar, Tendou. Explain yourself. Now."
Akane glared at the old woman. "I don't have to explain myself to you, old hag. You know how Ranma likes to pick on poor Ryouga! Ranma is a sex-changing freak!"
Before anyone could say anything, they caught the end conversation between Shampoo and Mousse.
"Stupid duck-boy! You dare interfere in Airen's fight with Musk prince?!" the Chinese Amazon shouted as she pummeled the myopic weaponsmaster with a bonborri.
"But Shampoo," Mousse whined, despite the pain. "I did it all for you! When Akane told me about Ranma's rematch against Herb and that she wanted him gone no matter what the cost, Ryouga and I decided to interfere! I did it for you, Shampoo!"
"You no better than...huh?!" Shampoo stopped in mid-swing, Mousse forgotten as she turned towards Akane, anger in her eyes. "Violent kitchen destroyer set Airen up?!"
Ranma looked at Akane, betrayal in her eyes. "Is this true, Akane? You set me up?!"
All eyes were on Akane at this moment, shocked at this new development.
Akane glared back at Ranma. "You're damn right I did!" she snarled, ignoring the looks from her family and Nodoka. "I wanted you gone! I never wanted the engagement to you! You think all those times I had gotten kidnapped, I wanted you to save me? I ALLOWED MYSELF TO BE TAKEN, BAKA! I was the best martial artist in Nerima! Everyone talked about me! Me! Then YOU showed up and I was nothing more than a footnote! I should be the heir to the full school of Anything Goes! I hate you, Ranma! I wish you were never born! I would rather marry that fat panda of a father before I would marry you!"
Ranma looked at Akane for one long moment. Then her look changed from that of betrayal to something similar to Nabiki when she knew something about someone that did not wished to be known by the public.
Cologne looked at Soun. "Your youngest daughter has brought great shame and dishonor to your home, Tendou."
"But...but..." Soun sputtered.
"No 'buts!'" Cologne snapped. "Your youngest has tried to ruin the life of Son-in...wait...Ranma so many times. You, as her father, cannot let this travesty go unpunished."
"She's right, Dad," Nabiki concurred. "You and Genma preach to Ranma about preserving the family honor, but do nothing when it comes to Akane. I can freely admit that I have made a lot of yen off of Ranma, including my role in the failed wedding. But this is going to far, even for my tastes. She tried to incapacitate Ranma, not by killing him but for a martial artist, but by giving him a fate worse than death."
Kasumi nodded. "Indeed, Father. I am ashamed to call you my sister, Akane."
"But...she is my heir to the Tendou school," Soun moaned. "The schools must be joined. The boy broke the curse once already. He can do it a second time."
Nodoka shook her head. "My previous decree still stands. The Saotome-Tendou agreement is now null and void. I will not allow Ranma to marry such a disrespectful and spiteful child."
"How dare you!" Soun shouted. "Apologize to Akane right now!"
"You support your own daughter, despite the fact that she nearly used us to destroy my son?" Nodoka asked, shocked. "Then you are no better than she is."
"At least Soun did not cheat on his wife," Ranma sniped. "Despite the fat panda's multiple engagement scam, I tried to uphold the family honor by accepting the engagement between the two schools. Akane, on the other hand, not only tried to eliminate me by any and all means, but she also spread her legs for pork-breath over here," she added, jerking a thumb to Ryouga. "Not only is Akane a liar and a cheat, you can also add 'whore' to the list. Why else would she use all of you to get rid of me? So she could get Ryouga installed as the heir to Anything Goes, eventhough he does not practice the style."
"SHUT UP!" Ryouga shouted, lunging for Ranma...
...only to be intercepted by Cologne, who incapacitated the charging fighter with a blow to the skull, knocking him out cold.
Nabiki, on the other hand, was in a state of shock. Here she prided herself in finding out everyone's dirty little secrets, but to have her sister sleep around with Ryouga behind her back without her knowing it, that was an insult to her pride and skills as a mercenary
Nabiki also knew that Ranma could never tell a lie to save his life. As many times he had stuck his foot in his mouth, Ranma could never lie with a straight face. Akane, on the other hand, she could have their father wrapped around her finger. It was a miracle that Akane did not accuse Ranma of rape.
But she could always get the info she needed out of Ryouga, if Akane didn't want to talk.
As Ryouga shook the cobwebs out of his head, he found himself face-to-face with Nabiki. "Ryouga..." the Ice Queen drew out his name. "Tell me the truth. You only get one chance at this. Did you sleep with Akane, knowing full well that she was engaged to Ranma?"
Ryouga noticed that she was holding a glass of ice-cold water in her hand, and caught the hidden meaning – lie to Nabiki and she will reveal the curse to Akane.
"Fuck off, Nabiki!" Akane shouted. "Mind your fucking business!" Turning to Ryouga, ignoring the shocked look of the others, she said, "Don't say anything, Ryo-chan!"
If Ranma was an expert of sticking his foot in his mouth, then Akane wasn't that far behind.
Ryouga sighed. Shoulders slumped, he confessed. "She came onto me. Akane would mallet Ranma out to Kami-knows-where and she would cook, driving the family out of the house, allowing us some time alone."
"How long has this been going on?" Nabiki demanded.
"It was after the old ghoul used the Cat's Tongue point on me," Ranma replied coldly. Reaching into subspace, she pulled out several photos and tossed them to the ground. "I wanted to see how far Akane would go. In effect, I gave her enough rope to hang herself."
Nabiki picked up the photos. Even she had to admit that Ranma had taken pretty decent pictures, despite the fact it was that of her traitorous sister doing the nasty with the pig while inside the public bathhouse late at night.
Akane, however, was pissed. Her perfect plan was coming apart at the seams. "YOU IDIOT!" she shouted at Ryouga. "I HAD EVERYTHING PLANNED DOWN TO THE LETTER! YOU HAD TO OPEN YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH AND RUIN EVERYTHING!"
Nabiki, in the meantime, was passing the photos around to Nodoka and the others. The temperature in the room fell several degrees as Akane's dishonor became more and more evident.
Akane turned towards the cause of her ire. "RANMA, YOU BASTARD!" She pulled out her mallet and charged...
...only to have Ranma backhand her to the floor, the mallet flying from her hands. Ryouga tried to attack Ranma, but was stopped by both Cologne and Nodoka.
"You just don't know when to shut up your mouth, Akane," Ranma snapped. "But I'll bet pig-boy here isn't complaining about how you use that filthy mouth of yours." Ranma turned to Ryouga, who stood petrified in place. "I haven't forgotten about you, Ryouga. I tried to give you the chance to break it off with Akane. But you refused. Now...I'm gonna destroy your happiness, as you tried to do to me."
The aqua-transsexual martial artist once again reached into her subspace and produced a manila folder. He handed it to Nabiki. "Out of curiosity, I did some research on Ryouga's family, to see where their directional curse came from. I stumbled onto this little damning piece of info by accident."
"No...NO!" Ryouga shouted, realizing what Ranma had planned. "You CAN'T!"
Too late. Nabiki had stumbled onto the once piece of info that Ryouga feared even more than revealing his curse to Akane.
"You son-of-a-bitch," the middle Tendou sister seethed between her teeth, glaring at Ryouga. "You...you...you GODDAMNED BURAKUMIN!"
This caught Genma and Soun's attention. "What...? You mean he is one of...them?" the Tendou patriarch asked.
Ranma nodded. "His family came from a long line of undertakers and leather tanners. I found out about this before Herb challenged me again. Government records doesn't lie. I even researched my own family tree. Fortunately, my family is not of untouchable status."
Kasumi looked at the photos and family records. "Oh, my. Akane, you have tarnished our family name by associating yourself with a burakumin. Ranma was trying to do the honorable thing by keeping you away from him, but instead, you did the opposite."
Nodoka nodded. "Indeed. My child was right in calling you a whore, Akane. And with an untouchable, of all people!" She looked at Soun. "Still think that Akane needs to be protected, Tendou? She has whored herself to a undesirable. Soon, everyone will find out what has happened here, and the stain of disgrace will be there to see."
Soun got what Nodoka was saying. "Unless...honor demands that the stain on the clan's honor is removed," he finished.
Akane did not like where this was going. "Dad...?"
Soun stood upright, jaw set. He looked like the man he once once a decade earlier before his wife's passing. Looking at Akane, he made his judgment. "You have brought dishonor on not only the Tendou name, but on the pride and honor of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts by flaunting yourself like a cheap slut to Ryouga." he pointed towards the door. "Get out of my house. I disown you. You are no longer my daughter."
Akane took a step back as if she was stung. She looked at her sisters, hoping that they would support her. "Kasumi...? Nabiki...? Please...don't let Daddy throw me out! Please!"
Nabiki's Ice Queen mask was back in place. "You made your bed, Akane. Now lie in it."
Kasumi shook her head. "I am sorry, Akane. But the others do have a point. You have to leave, or else the dishonor will tarnish our family name."
In an instant, Genma tossed a hastily packed suitcase at Akane's feet. "Get out!" he shouted. "You are no longer welcome here!"
Nodoka nodded. "You are nothing but a tramp. You are no longer welcome here. You show your face here, you will be forced to commit seppuku in order to preserve the Tendou clan's honor. Ryouga Hibiki will be killed outright should he ever show his face here again."
Ranma watched this with a smug grin. "The both of you deserve each other," she said. "Oh, and one more thing, Akane..."
Ranma snatched the glass of water from Nabiki's hand and tossed it onto Ryouga. Akane's eyes nearly bugged out of her sockets when she saw the miniature black piglet came squirming out of the soaked clothing.
Almost immediately, she knew. She knew why Ranma had snuck into her room with a kettle of hot water whenever P-chan showed up. She knew why Ranma addressed Ryouga as P-chan and vice versa. Ranma had been trying to protect her and she had abused him for trying to do the right thing.
Akane's screams were heard all throughout Nerima.
"YOU'RE P-CHAN?! YOU SLEPT WITH ME AS A PIG, YOU HENTAI! I'M GONNA KILL YOU, RYOUGA!"
That's when all hell broke loose.
Akane started to chase after Ryouga, only to get bushwhacked by Shampoo. Mousse had attacked Ranma from behind by using the White Swan Fist, only to have Cologne incapacitate him by tossing cold water on the duck and knocking him out cold.
Shampoo, in the meantime, was chasing after Akane. The now-disowned Tendou, seeing the buxom Chinese Amazon closing in on her, pulled out her trump card...
...as Shampoo found out as Akane sent her flying back with a foot to the face.
"Dammit," Ranma cursed, knowing what that meant. "She's got that battle doji on again!"
Akane then made a beeline towards Ranma, knowing full well that she was the stronger of the two with the doji on. What pissed Ranma off was the fact that Akane had knocked Nodoka to the side when she tried to stop the rampaging Tendou.
"Mom!" Ranma shouted as he rushed to her fallen mother.
But Akane stood in her way. Having no choice, Ranma had to fight Akane.
As the former couple fought, another person joined in the fray. Following a successful panty raid, Happousai arrived to see the Tendou Dojo in chaos.
"HOTCHA!" Happi shouted, leaping for Ranma's bosom...
...only to be intercepted by Cologne.
"You hentai," Cologne growled. "We got a serious problem here." Before Happi could say anything, Cologne gave him the story so far, telling him everything.
For once, the ancient hentai was serious. The Anything Goes School was in jeporady thanks to Akane's machinations. He had long seen that Akane was not worthy enough to carry on the school. Despte all of the hell that Happi had put Ranma through, from the gropings to the ultimate weakness moxibustion, Ranma had proven to be worthy to carry on the school's name.
Soon, Akane had broken through Ranma's defenses and sent the redhead towards the compound wall. As Akane moved in to finish off the cause of her hatred and jealousy once and for all, it was Happi and Cologne that intervened.
Happi had stopped Akane's fist with one finger, before using his pipe to toss Akane towards Cologne, who sent her flying out of the compound and into the wild blue younder with the Breaking Point.
"My poor, poor, Ranma-chan," Happi said after the threat was gone. Before he could glomp Ranma, the redhead punched him to the ground.
"I am not in the mood, letch," she growled as she rushed over to her mother. Nabiki and Kasumi were already tending to the Saotome matriarch while Soun and Genma helped Shampoo to her feet.
Cologne checked on both women. "They will be fine," she concluded. "Nothing permanent, thankfully."
Soun, for his credit, had not broken down in tears following Akane's confession and betrayal. Nabiki and Kasumi did have a point.
"Ranma...I'm sorry for all the trouble that Akane had caused you," Soun apologized, bowing deeply. "The blame also lies with me, seeing as how I had not taught her since the passing of my wife." He turned to Nodoka. "As head of the Tendou clan, I accept the Saotome clan's declaration that the engagment is now nullified."
"But...the schools!" Genma sputtered. "Our dreams..."
Soun looked at his longtime friend with a firm look on his face. "This incident has showed me just how blind I really was. It had taken Ranma nearly being disowned for me to look at my own flaws. I left my children to fend for themselves when Makoto passed. What we wanted, Saotome was to live off Ranma's success as a martial artist."
"But it's his duty to look after his father in his old age!" Genma pointed out. "All the trouble I went through training him, it's the least he can do."
Nabiki snorted. "Duty my ass. If I had a dictionary, your picture would be right next to 'freeload.' At least Ranma tries to help out around the house."
"Genma..." This time, it was Nodoka that had spoke. "We are going to have a long talk over duty and honor. Furthermore, there is the multiple engagements you made in Ranma's name, for starters."
"Then there is the fact you sold Ranma to feed your own fat belly...oh, and the Cat-fu training, and the trip to Jusenkyou, not to mention the bar tabs that you and Soun had ran up at several bars in Ranma's name," Nodoka finished.
Within seconds, Genma was in panda form, playing with a tire. 'Please don't kill the cute panda,' he signed. 'I can explain everything!'
"And depending on how you explain it to me," Nodoka hissed, "will determine whether or not I divorce you, strike your name from the clan roll, make panda steaks out of you and sell your hide to the Amazons. Maybe I'll do all of the above."
'But it's Be nice to pandas week!' Genma signed. 'This is animal cruelty!'
Soun cleared his throat. "So what do we do about Ranma?"
Nodoka looked at her pandafied husband, before looking at Soun. "As head of the Tokyo House of the Saotome Clan, I make the following decree: Ranma has one month to unlock his curse," she stated calmly. "If he fails to do so..." She decided to let that hang.
Cologne also put in her two cents. "If Ranma is successful in neutralizing Herb, then I will nullify the kisses of death and marriage and adopt him into the tribe."
Soun nodded. "That's fair enough." He sighed. "I will erase the stain of dishonor that Akane has brought onto the family. I will have her name stricken from the clan roll immediately."
Nabiki stood up. "I'll work on damage control. As long as Dad removes Akane from the clan roster, the damage will be minimal." she turned to Ranma. "Looks like you're off the hook, Saotome. But I would like to have a word with you before you leave for China."
Ranma shrugged her shoulders. "Fine. We'll talk after dinner."