Like Son, Like Mother
                                Part 1
                             Shaule Sachs

 Version 0.2

 This is a Ranma 1/2 alternate universe.

 Ranma 1/2 is owned by Rumiko Takahashi,Shogakukan Inc. and Viz
 Communications Inc. -- I'm just playing through with an idea of my
 own... :)


	Nodoka Saotome's life for the past four years had revolved around
the mailbox. Five years ago, she had made the sacrifice of allowing
her husband and her son, her only son, the son she loved more than
life itself, to go on an extended training trip without her. Although
she had taken some precautions, she had greatly worried about whether
or not she had done the correct thing. Then about a year to the day
that she had abandoned Ranma to Genma's care, she received her first
letter from him.
	The letter was simple. It talked about how Ranma and his father
had stayed at a Temple long enough for Ranma to learn how to read and
write and to learn some of the martial art style of that Temple. It
also expressed Ranma's joy as he learned to cook, since Genma was such a
terrible cook. The fact that Nodoka was a terrific cook was one of the
reasons why Genma married her. And his happiness at being trusted by
Genma to handle the various expenses the training trip. She knew
wasn't so much trust on Genma's part, but his laziness. Still, she
could hear the joy and laughter of her child through the letter and
knew she had done the right thing.
	The next letter, which arrived a month later, talked about how
Ranma had made friends with a boy named 'Ukyou Kuonji'. The following
letter told of their 'break-up' the details of which disturbed her.
	Within a week's time, she found the Kuonjis and discovered two
things. One, that the 'boy' Ukyou was in fact a girl -- although, she
couldn't fault Ranma for thinking that such a tomboy could be anything
but a boy since she surely acted like one -- and, two, that Genma had
taken the Kuonji okonomiyaki cart as a 'dowry.' She replaced the cart
with a new one and through some of her companies, helped them to set
up their own restaurant business, as compensation for annulling the
engagement. She also tried to give young Ukyou some lessons in proper
girl behavior but Ukyou more interested in proving her 'femininity'
than in learning about manners or expected behavior. She was afraid
that young Ukyou would grow up to be a prostitute, based on her style
of dress, or lack of dress, when she left.
	The following letters were filled with Ranma and Genma's
adventures. Some she could easily picture, while others... others
would be hard to believe if she hadn't led the life she had lived.
Besides, she knew her son was honest -- it was a strong characteristic
in her family -- from the time they were together and through his
letters. It seemed that the chaos that used to follow her now
followed her son.
	She had tried to send replies to her son on a number of
occasions, but they had all been returned, which worried her. She was
half afraid that Genma was somehow keeping her letters from her son,
but if that was the case, then why let Ranma write to her?
	Still the letters came. Sometimes, she would get one letter per
day. Other times, a bunch of letters which were clearly written on
different occasions would arrive at the same time. It all depended
upon Ranma's proximity to the nearest letter drop box and how often
something major had happened that Ranma felt he had to tell his mother
	Then, about three years to the day since Genma took Ranma away
from her, the letters started to come only once a month. These letters
truly worried her. First, and foremost, Ranma began to doubt her love
for him since she never replied back to him. And secondly, he told her
that she was the reason why he went on. He hoped that tomorrow they
could come home and be with her.
	Nodoka could also tell from Ranma's letters that Genma was
becoming even more obsessive with martial arts and trying to make
Ranma the best martial artist ever to live. Genma had originally set
out to make Ranma the best martial artist of his generation, as Genma
thought of himself, on a training trip that would only last three or
four years. The trip was already running into five years. Now, it
looked like a good possibility that Genma would never bring Ranma
home. A feeling of dread settled over her.
	Each letter after that listed in detail the training techniques
Genma had put Ranma through. Each one was more difficult than the previous
one... and more dangerous.
	And finally, five years since Genma abandoned her and kidnapped
her son, the letters stopped.

	Nodoka was in a panic... Her nights were filled with
nightmares... Nightmares of Genma putting her Ranma through bizarre,
impossible to survive martial arts training techniques and other
gruesome things....
	And then, after a seven months' absence of letters, a new letter
had arrived. As she greedily read it, she knew with a dreaded
certainty that Genma had done something horrible to her son, her only
son, who she'd loved more than anything else in the whole world. With
this letter, she was determined get her Ranma back. No matter what the
cost. She no longer cared if Genma learned the truth or not about her
fortunes or family.
	To this end, she hired private investigators and contacted a
number of her family friends, who held positions that might be of
help to her. And she began tracking down one 'Soun Tendo'... an old
'friend' of Genma's, who they had trained under the same mysterious
'master' that Genma wouldn't talk about. She knew that Genma didn't
have that many friends, so she hoped that he wouldn't betray that
friendship like he did their marriage.

	Nodoka's first visit to the Tendo household was interesting, to
say the least. At first glance, Soun Tendo and Genma had nothing in
common. But as the meeting went on, she saw what they did in deed
have in common... a love of the Art and a need to be the best. Soun's
wife, Kimiko, was a delight to meet. The two women could and did talk
for hours on end. And meeting Kimiko's daughters where a joy that
almost replaced the heartache that the separation from Ranma had
caused her.
	While she didn't trust Soun Tendo, she did trust Kimiko. It was
during her second visit that Soun let slip the fact that he and Genma
had some kind of agreement between the two of them; although, neither
she nor Kimiko could get the details. She learned that Genma had kept
some line of communication with Soun. He had sent Soun a number of
postcards over the years, while he hadn't sent her anything, ever.
	So for the next four years, she consoled herself with Ranma's
monthly letters and her visits to the Tendo household. When she found
out that her friend, Kimiko, had cancer, she secretly paid for her
hospital stay and treatments. She had a number of doctors from various
medical universities flown in to help Kimiko. But the kami were
against her. 
	Just as she couldn't stop Genma from taking her child, she
couldn't stop the kami from taking Kimiko. She was able to arrange for
Soun to 'win' some scholarships, which sent up trust funds for each of
Kimiko's children so that they, at least, would be cared for and
receive a weekly 'allowance.' 
	After that, she fell to pieces. Fortunately for her sanity, she
found an old friend/rival of hers, Sakura Shinobu, who she hadn't seen
in years, which wasn't surprising given who her friend was. She
learned that Sakura had married around the same time as she did, that
she went by her husband's family name, Hibiki, and she, too, had a son
whom she hadn't seen in years. In her case that was due to
her son inheriting her poor sense of direction than her husband
betraying her. Her depression got to the point where Sakura hid her
family sword from her least she dishonor it or attempt to fight the
kami themselves like her ancestor was said to have done.
	It took awhile, but Nodoka, with Sakura's help, got over her
depression. Once more determined to get her son back, she started to
personally follow up the sightings from the private investigators she
had hired so long ago.
	Apparently, Genma had discovered her search for him and decided
to leave Japan. Where he went, no one seemed to know. There were a few
sightings in China, some in Korea, and a few in Tibet. But none of
them panned out. Worse, Ranma's letters had stopped when they left
Japan. In his last letter, Ranma told her that Genma had decided to go
visit the legendary training grounds of China, Korea, and Tibet since
Japan no longer had any challenge for them.

	Then three years since the last time she received a letter from
Ranma, another letter arrived. This one talked about Jusenkyo and the
Joketsuzoku Amazons. She knew she was damned and that, although he
hadn't told Ranma, Genma never planned to come back to her. It was
obvious to her than Genma never told Ranma about the pledge she
had forced him to make when she knew that he would go on his extended
training trip.  He had gone, regardless of what she thought or
approved of, and he obviously still remembered the pledge, and was
using it to keep Ranma with him. That Genma thought that she would
abide by that damnable, meaningless pledge... She would never, ever
hurt her son. What true mother would? That Genma thought she would...
Panda steaks sounded like a great idea.
	But as good as Panda steaks sounded... that wouldn't be as
important as getting her son away from Genma. The question, of course,
was how. The odds were in Genma's favor... Ranma had spent the last
ten years with him, training... There would be a very good
chance that Ranma wouldn't remember her at all, despite all the
letters he sent home. So the big question was, would Ranma go with her
willingly or would she need a more elaborate plan.
	While pondering this, Nodoka got a phone call from one of the
private investigators telling her that Soun Tendo received a postcard
today stating that Genma was coming to visit on that very day and,
more importantly, he was bringing Ranma with him.
	As soon as she set the phone down, she ran upstairs to her
closet, changed into her 'fighting clothes,' and headed to the Tendo

	It was a dark and stormy night. Nodoka thought the weather
perfectly reflected her own inner conflict. Here she was right
outside the Tendo household watching the gate and looking for Genma
and her son.
	She had yet to decide what she was going to do... confront Genma
about the past ten years or simply rescue Ranma and take him home,
where he belonged.
	She was still debating with herself when she heard a growl out in
the street. Walking down the street was a panda. A panda that was
carrying a something over its shoulder. Closer inspection showed that
the something over the panda's shoulder was a girl. When She looked at
the girl, it was like looking into a mirror... a mirror into the past,
because the girl looked almost exactly like she did when she was a
teenager.  Right down to the red hair, which she started to dye black
after graduating from High School.
	Realizing that her thoughts were drifting, she took in the area
again. Her rage had been kindled at seeing how her husband was
treating her son... like some kind of sack of potatoes....
	She leapt at the panda from behind, delivered a blow with her
sword's hilt to her husband's head, grabbed Ranma's limp body and his
backpack, and ran off. As satisfying as it would be confront Genma, it
was more important to get Ranma out of harm's way and out of Genma's
	As she ran, she knew that what she had done wasn't very honorable,
but she didn't wish to give Genma any hints as to her identity and she
didn't wish Ranma to stay with him any longer than necessary.

	Nodoka knew she had run home faster than she had ever done before;
and she was glad since as she sat Ranma on his bed, he began to stir.
	As Ranma came to, he rubbed his head, and looked around with a
puzzled expression. Ranma's emotions were easily seen on his face.
Confusion and pain were his leading emotions, followed by wonderment
and a touch of hope. After examining the room, he turned to Nodoka and
his eyes grew wide as he saw the face that had comforted his dreams and
had for the last month haunted his days. He remembered asking his
father if his 'girl-side' looked anything like his mom, but Genma
never answered him, which wasn't surprising since for the past nine
years since Ranma had been asking about his mother, Genma had refused
to answer any of his questions. But now... Now, he was looking upon
the vintage of his mother... Of that, he greatly hoped.
	With a slight worrisome expression on her face, onna-Ranma asked,
"Who are you?"
	With tearing in her eyes, she answered, "I'm your mother, Ranma."
	"Nani?" was onna-Ranma's only reply.
	It took a mirror, showing the similarities between his
'girl-side' and her reflection, the letters he had sent, apparently
without Genma's approval or knowledge, his birth certificate, and
the fact that they were in his old room to convince him that she was
in fact his mother.
	After being convinced, onna-Ranma whispered, "Mom?"
	With that one syllable, Nodoka knew that things were going to be
all right. With tears in her eyes, she engulfed him in a mother's hug
and said, "Oh, my baby... How I've missed you!"
	Ranma could feel the tears in his... her... eyes and could see
the same tears in his mother's eyes too. Ten years' worth of tears
began to fall as he finally realized that he was home.
	They settled into the kitchen and boiled some water for Ranma and
tea. Once the water was ready, Ranma took great delight in changing
back. They sat down and talked about the last month. Simply being
together began the healing process for both of them. During their
talks neither brought up the subject of Genma nor Ranma's
curse. They continued to talk until Ranma's yawns got to be too much.
	At which point, Nodoka helped Ranma, over his protests, to bed.
Once in bed, Nodoka tucked Ranma in and kissed him good night. While
feeling silly, she retrieved her sword from its resting place
downstairs and sat guard over her child for the rest of the night. She
periodically checked to make sure that she wasn't dreaming and that
Ranma was okay.

	At the crack of dawn, Ranma woke up due more to habit than any
other reason. For a moment, he was disoriented until he remembered
that he was finally home and back with his mother.
	After getting out of bed, Ranma saw that his mother had already
unpacked his stuff, laid out his toiletries, and his only clothes,
which was a Chinese outfit of silk pants and a silk sleeveless
shirt . With a lot of luck and a dim memory, he found the bathroom,
washed up, and soaked for a little while in the bath. Once cleaned,
male after the cool bath water, and ready, Ranma went looking for his
	He found her in the backyard performing a kata. After watching it
a bit, he realized that the kata was a combination of Musabetsu Kakuto
Ryuu and Kendo. He lost himself in the details and complexity of his
mother's movements. Unconsciously, his feet and hands mimicked the
	When Nodoka finished, she turned to Ranma and saw the fascination
that filled his face. Smiling, she motioned him to join her and began
to show him the kata she had made up to pass the time after Genma had
taken him away from her.
	Nodoka watched in amazement as Ranma picked the kata up on his
first try to the point that he might master it within a month's time
even though it had taken her a year to do so and she was the one who
made it up.
	After a few runs through the kata, Nodoka called it quits and
said, "Good morning, Ranma... Are you hungry?"
	Before he could answer verbally, his stomach answered for him.
Ranma just smiled, embarrassed, as he nodded his head.
	They headed into the house and into the kitchen. There Nodoka
motioned Ranma to sit at the table while she cooked breakfast, but he
refused and insisted that he help her with breakfast, or that Seeing the
determined look of her son's face, she relented and they began to make
breakfast together. As they worked, she remarked that Ranma's
cooking skills were good, and he reminded her he had a lot of
practice, since Genma's cooking skills were lousy and that he had been in a
martial arts cooking contest.
	Once finished cooking, they brought everything out and sat down
to eat. As he went to reach for the rice he noticed some papers laying
on the table. He reached over and read then. As he read the papers,
his eyes grew wide. After finishing, he looked questioningly at his
	Nodoka saw his look and said, "Yes, those are divorce papers...
I've been thinking about... and what he's done to you..."
	At the last part, a tear appeared in Nodoka's right eye.
	Ranma tried to convince her that it wasn't that bad, but he
stopped when she mentioned the mere word 'cat' to him. Afterwards,
they talked about what they were going to do for the rest of the
month... practice, go clothes shopping for Ranma, practice and simply
being together.

	The next day, they went clothes shopping at the Mall. It was an
interesting experience for Ranma, especially since they had to avoid
activating his curse. They spent the day going shop to shop looking
for various clothes that Ranma could wear, and yet, wouldn't draw too
much attention to himself if his curse activated.
	Once they left the Mall, Ranma had more clothes than he knew what
to do with. And he didn't even want to think of how much everything cost.
If it had a label, didn't matter what the label said, it was ten times
the amount than the same item without a label. He had tried to keep
track of how much they spent since he kept the finances during the
training trip with Genma, but he gave up when Nodoka told him not to
worry, they had more than enough to cover everything.
	During the rest of the week, Nodoka spent the mornings trying to
teach onna-Ranma how to act, or rather be able to pass, as a girl since
cold water existed in greater quantities than hot-water did and in the
afternoon, she would teach Ranma the basics of her family's Ryuu.
	"Ranma," Nodoka began. "You must understand that the basic tenet
of Musabetsu Kakuto Ryuu is survival, at any cost, while the basic
tenet of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu is simply killing, quickly and
effortlessly. It is a very powerful and dangerous bushido. You should
only use it in a 'kill or be killed' situation."
	She then proceeded to teach him her family's history: How even
from the start, her family had also helped the Government to better
itself and more importantly helped the common people, who couldn't
help themselves.
	Ranma absorbed everything Nodoka taught him like a sponge. After
a month's time, he had the equivalent of a black belt in kendo but it
would be another week or so, before he could start to learn the more
advanced forms and techniques of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu.
	It was also at this time that Nodoka took a nervous onna-Ranma
back to the Mall to go clothes shopping for his other side. Onna-Ranma
ended up buying more than five times what he bought for his normal
self. By the end of the day, Ranma had a greater appreciation of what
women went through when they got dressed every day.
	After being home for two months, Nodoka suggested that Ranma
should go to school.
	"School?" Ranma sputtered.
	"Yes, you need an education," Nodoka replied.
	"But Oyaji didn't..." Ranma began but stopped.
	"You're worried that you won't measure up to your classmates?"
Nodoka guessed.
	In a small voice, Ranma admitted, "Yes..."
	Nodoka smiled and said, "Think of it as another challenge..."
	Ranma smiled at that.

[=== End of Part 1 ===]

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