Notes: The Characters and Places within this story are not mine, and remain the property of their respected owners. As such, I do not own them, nor am I making any money off them. So sad, honored reader, this very tragic tale of penniless author that fell into the spring of drowned … penniless author, oh the cruel irony.
Ranma seemed to drift for a time, going through what were the most disturbing and lucid dreams that she had ever had. Sure, they seemed normal enough if you were an infant girl, but Ranma was a grown man. Well technically, he was both a grown man and woman, but he saw himself as a man, and real men do not have dreams where they find themselves as a baby girl. If his mother even thought he was having dreams like this, him and his Pop would both be meeting his ancestors before the day was out, and not in the washing the family gravestone during Bon kind of way. She just wished that she could wake-up, have breakfast, and hell she would even be glad to go to school. This was just boring and frankly disturbing at times, she sure hoped that she would not be remembering any of this when she woke-up, if she did she would never be able to look at her mother again.
Nodoka was frantic, where had Ranko got off to this time. She could almost swear her daughter was trying to hide from her. However, that could not be true, because every time she found the girl, she would do every thing she asked her to do. It was the oddest thing, little Ranko could be the sweetest girl any mother could ever want to have and then she would catch her with her younger brother Ranma, being the toughest tomboy ever. It was almost as if the girl was living two lives.
"Ranko-chan, where are you? We have to get you and your brother ready, or we will be late to the temple," Nodoka yelled out. Getting no answer, she moved on to her secret weapon with the two siblings, for if you found Ranma, you found Ranko watching over the boy. "Ranma, where are you hiring? If we don't leave soon, we won't have time afterwards to get ice-cream on the way back."
Almost instantly, Nodoka could feel a breeze off the displaced air as her children almost appeared out of thin air in front of her. She knew that both of them had been practicing the Art again from the blush of their faces. Nevertheless, they were still clean enough that it did not take more than a few more minutes to get the two out of their house clothes. The challenge would be keeping them still enough to get Ranko and Ranma into their kimonos. It would not take long to get Ranma ready, but Ranko's kimono was much more traditional, being the same one, she herself had worn when her mother had taken her to the Shichi-Go-San festival (1) when she was three. She still remembered how heavy and hot the one she had worn when she was seven had been. So, she would need to remind them that if they behaved they would stopping on the way home for a special treat.
"Now, I want the two of you to be extra careful today and not get into any trouble. Do I make myself clear?" Nodoka said, while looking at her daughter, know that by making this a request that Ranko would keep Ranma in line, until they got home and could change back again.
Almost as if they had practiced just for this moment, the two twins spoke at the same time saying, "Yes, mother!" Both Ranko and Ranma looked up at her with those cute little faces that said that as long as they received their bribe at the end they would do what she wanted without complaint, well not too much at least.
Pulling out her camera Nodoka snapped a few pictures of her special angels. She just wished that her husband had not disappeared earlier, so that they could have had a family photo taken while they were out. As she, lead her children towards the shrine that she was taking them to she began to think. She was beginning to wonder what she had seen in him that had her to agree to marry him; it was as if the man had changed as soon as they had the children. It almost seemed as if that was the whole reason that he had approached her father about marring her to begin with.
Now, Genma would disappear with Soun, leaving her and Kimiko, Soun's wife, alone to watch their children until they got back from where ever Genma dragged the two off to. The only time the children got to see Genma was when he would take little Ranma out back to train in the little training area they had, saying that it was time that the boy began to learn the Saotome branch of Any Thing Goes. Leaving little Ranko with her saying that it was too rough for a girl, but Ranko would still go sneak off and watch and practice with her little brother when Genma was not around. As much as Nodoka loved to be with her little girl, she could tell that Ranko seemed to love the Art. So, she had planned to ask her friend Kimiko for ways that she could share that experience with her own daughter. She knew that Kimiko still practiced and both Soun and she trained their own children. She was sure that Kimiko would be able to help her with this and it would give her daughter a chance to spend more time with Akane, another young girl Ranko's age. It was as Nodoka finished with that thought that they reached the shrine where she was meeting Kimiko and her daughters.
I am having Nodoka trying to be a little less traditional here in my story. I believe that part of her problem in cannon was that she did not have anyone to focus on when Genma took Ranma with him and that lead to her becoming more obsessed. I don't really know if her and Soun's wife knew each other very well, but it seems reasonable to assume that that did and with both having children it would help having someone that you knew to watch them needed to be out or to share experiences with.
Shichi-Go-San festival – a coming of age festival in Japan, girls celebrate it during their 3rd and 7th year of age and boys celebrate it during their 3rd and 5th year of age. And while the kimokos that the young girls wear are beautiful, they get hot and heavy after awhile.
I will be posting a new chapter on "Reflections" soon, I sent it to a proofreader a few days ago. I should probably do that with every story I write, but I have not done that with this story. I guess that I just have a hard time waiting and not putting something up when I get bored. My next story after that will likely be a new chapter for "Hitotsu ni suru", my Ranma/Naruto story.