** In order for this to make sense, you should be familiar
with "Ranma nibun no ichi", all episodes. My thanks to Kunoichi
for her excellent stories and inspiration.
Please note!! This is a Parallel Universe to the one
represented in Kunoichi's series, and is in *NO* way intended to
be a continuation or addition to her storylines.
Since this is a first effort, I 'borrowed' from an
established line. If response is good, I'll go out on the limb with
my next effort.

As always, C&C is anticipated, accepted, and appreciated.
All original Ranma1/2 Characters and Backstory Copyright Rumiko
Takahashi, and are used without permission.

All of her characterizations, circumstances and backgrounds
used with **Kunoichi's** permission.**
====================================================================



Almost a Miracle Part 3 of 3
The Thunder of Change
------------------------------------------------------------------



As the ensuing weeks passed, the Saotome household
underwent some radical and startling changes. Ranma gradually
began to exhibit the effects of the injections, becoming more female
with each passing day.
Her voice softened, her temper relaxed, and she became more
polite and courteous than she had ever been. She also stopped her
personal training, afraid for her baby. As well, she would be in
the kitchen, doing laundry, cleaning the house, doing the shopping...
in short, driving Akane crazy. She also became very interested in
the gardens, turning them into a neighbourhood showpiece.
Genma tried his level best to get some sign of his son to
show through, but with little luck. About all he managed was to be
on the receiving end of the odd punch when he pushed her too far.
Another "side effect" manifested itself one morning when
Akane awoke to find onna-Ranma standing before the full-length
mirror in their room, totally naked, and examining herself carefully.
Akane noticed the expression on her face, and sighed quietly.
She knew what was coming next.
Ranma heard her sigh, and turned to face her.
"Akane... do I look fat?" she asked, worriedly.
"No, Ranma... you're pregnant. Your belly is going to get
bigger, no matter what," Akane replied with a groan.
"But I feel so fat and ugly... look at me. It's like I have
a big ball in there, and my boobs are sagging," she pouted, cupping
her breasts and bouncing them a few times. "And my butt is getting
wider, too," she continued, turning to regard the offending area.
"I know, Ranma... It happened to me too. You'll get it all
back, don't worry," Akane soothed, walking up behind Ranma and
wrapping a supporting arm over her shoulders.
"I hope so... I always want to be pretty for you,"
onna-Ranma responded, snuggling into Akane's chest.
"Trust me, Ranma... you're very 'pretty' to me," Akane
replied, biting back what she suddenly felt like saying. "I have an
idea, Ranma... let's go shopping for some new clothes for you
today... it's about time to get you some maternity wear anyway,
since you don't fit mine," Akane suggested, trying to change the
subject.
"I know... I'm getting as big as a house," Ranma pouted,
glancing at herself in the mirror again. "Lets go soon, okay?"
"Right after I get the kids looked after, we can go."
"Thanks, Akane... I love you." Ranma replied, kissing
Akane's cheek.
As Ranma headed down the stairs humming happily, Akane stood
alone in their room, looking at herself in the mirror. She couldn't
believe the feeling that went through her when onna-Ranma kissed
her. It was like... revulsion. She was stunned to think that she
was repulsed by the affections of the man she loved, and it troubled
her deeply. As she thought it over however, it eventually occurred
to her why. In the past, Ranma had always been Ranma, even when in
female form. Now, Ranma had become very feminine, and Akane was no
lesbian.
"Now what am I going to do?" she sighed at the woman in
the mirror, her eyes getting moist.



By the time Akane made it downstairs, Ranma had already made
breakfast, and was getting Miyabi dressed for school. Akane smiled
at them, and quickly slipped into the bathroom. As she finished her
bath, it dawned on her how to deal with her new difficulty... all
she had to do was be male, and the problem would be solved.
Smiling, she rose from the bath, and promptly dumped cold water over
herself.
Ranma was still waving Miyabi off when Akane-Kun walked up
behind her. "Good morning, gorgeous," he greeted, his voice low
and seductive.
Onna-Ranma erked, and turned slowly to face Akane. Her jaw
dropped briefly, then she smiled brightly.
"Akane-Kun!" onna-Ranma exclaimed, jumping into his arms
and hugging him tightly. Akane could feel that even onna-Ranma
was impressed with her idea.



Arriving in the mall about an hour later, the two of them
walked arm-in-arm, chattering like a couple of school kids, having
not a care in the world. From store to store they went, onna-Ranma
trying on dozens of different outfits, till finally they had to
take a break.
Finding themselves a foodcourt caf?, they indulged in ice
cream and sundaes, onna-Ranma as usual never able to get enough.
Akane-kun had to laugh at his spouses face full of chocolate syrup,
and bent down to get her a handkerchief from the bags beside them.
As he came back up, onna-Ranma was in mid air, shouting at
him to get down. Before he could react, Ranma had landed on him,
toppling his chair and both of them backwards to the floor.
Onna-Ranma, her timing off on the landing, hit the floor hard,
rolled and ended up crumpled up against the outside half-wall of
the caf?.
Stunned, Akane-kun went to stand up and go to Ranma, but
stopped short when he caught sight of the large dagger embedded
in the column behind his seat. His hand involuntarily went to
his chest, about where the dagger would have hit him, had he been
there.
"Kuso... " he breathed, still staring at the large weapon.
It was then he noticed the red streak along the edge of the blade.
A crowd had gathered around Ranma, who lay dazed and
bleeding from a large gash in her arm. Akane-kun, upon regaining
his senses, was at her side in an instant.
"Ranma... are you okay?" he blurted, gasping at the ugly
wound.
"Akane-kun... I'm okay... Sorry about the push..."
onna-Ranma whispered, hoarsely.
"You idiot! You could have just told me to duck... now
look at you. That arm is bad!" he responded, ripping his shirt
to create a quick tourniquet.
"No time... you okay?"
"I'm fine, but we have to get you to a doctor... you've
already lost a lot of blood," Akane-kun stated, fighting back
tears.
"Good... I was afraid I wouldn't get to you in time,"
she whispered, smiling weakly. Raising her arm, she looked over
at the wound, her face changing to a grimace. "It's torn... and
I'll never get that blood out... Sorry I ruined your top, Akane..."
she continued, apologetically.
"Kuso, Ranma... don't worry about it... Let's get you to
Dr. Tofu."
"Okay..." Ranma replied, trying to stand. As she tried to
put weight on her left leg, though, she yelped and collapsed back
to the floor. Grimacing again, she looked imploringly at Akane-kun.
"Lean over on me, Ranma... " Akane directed, putting Ranma's
good arm around his shoulders, and lifting her into his arms.
Onna-Ranma tucked herself in tight, and closed her eyes.
Later, at Dr. Tofu's office, Tofu took Akane, now back in
her female form, aside to talk to her. The look on his face told
Akane that the news was not going to be good.
"Well, Doctor, how is she?" Akane asked, fearful of the
answer.
"She's lost a lot of blood, and that banging around didn't
help... she's going to be sore. Also, she'll have to watch that
knee for a few days... she managed to pop it pretty good, and it
will be delicate. Luckily, she's in excellent health otherwise."
Tofu-Sensei explained, gently. "So, tell me what happened to her."
"Someone threw a dagger at us in the mall... I think it was
intended for me," Akane began, a chill running down her back as she
recalled the scene. "Ranma dove across the table to knock me out
of the way and got hit by it, then landed hard on the floor."
"I see... that explains the damage to her knee."
"Now that I think about it, something else *must* have
happened... Ranma would never let herself get hurt like that... I
must have missed it."
"Hm... she is pregnant, Akane... that's enough to throw
anyone off. And with the hormone therapy she's on, her timing and
balance are severely affected."
"I guess they would be... is the baby okay?"
"The baby seems to be all right, but it's heartbeat is a
bit irregular and it's riding very low... Ranma had best not do
any more fighting, or there's a chance she could injure or even
lose it," Tofu replied, looking sternly at Akane.
Akane returned his look, unable to comment further. Just
then, Kasumi wandered in, carrying several cloths and a small basin.
"Akane, Ranma is awake now.. you can see her if you like."
"Thanks, Kasumi," she responded, rising quickly.
Going quietly to Ranma's side, Akane had to bite her lip to
keep from crying. The small Chinese girl lay flat on her back, a
large dressing covering the top of her arm, and her face marred by
bruises and scrapes.
The blanket covering her somewhat enhanced the protrusion
of her abdomen, making her seem even more pregnant than she was.
Akane felt a surge of guilt for Ranma's condition, upset with
herself for causing Ranma to get hurt.
As Akane stood a few feet back from the table on which
Ranma lay, she was startled by a soft moan from her husband.
"Ranma... can you talk?" Akane asked, quietly moving to
her side.
"I'm... okay... are you safe?" Ranma asked, turning to
face Akane and grimacing as she tried to reach for her.
"Don't worry about me, I'm just fine. Ranma, you scared
me... Dr. Tofu says you're going to be okay, but you have to take
it easy. No more stunts like that," Akane scolded, gently touching
Ranma's forehead.
Ranma looked away sheepishly. "I know, Akane... It just
happened... I saw the dagger coming, and reacted before I could
think. I'm sorry I scared you," she responded, quietly.
"It's... okay, Ranma... if you hadn't, I might have been
hurt."
"It's more than that, Akane... That throw was meant to
kill you. Someone wants you dead pretty badly to attack you in
broad daylight..." asserted a voice from behind them.
"Uukyou!" Akane exclaimed, upon turning to face the voice.
"Yeah... it was a final, all right. I saw it from behind
the kiosk near you two. I was just on my way over to say 'Hi'
when Ranchan here jumped. You're timing's way off, honey," she
continued, pointing at Ranma.
"I know... " Ranma replied, sadly. "I almost didn't get
Akane down in time."
"And that's not all, judging by this," Uukyou stated,
moving beside the bed and looking intently at Ranma's large
dressing. "You better leave the rough stuff to others, and take
care of that little package you're carrying," she followed,
smiling sweetly.
"I couldn't help it... I just reacted..." she replied,
her voice breaking as she reached down and gently placed a hand
on her tummy. "I know I'm not supposed to do that stuff anymore,
but I couldn't help it... You were in danger Akane... I had to
protect you," she continued, searching Akane's eyes for
understanding.
"I know, Ranma... but it's time to forget the "Code" and
start thinking about the baby... After all, you're not the man you
used to be," Akane admonished gently, a wry smile crossing her
face.
"I... guess you're right. It's hard though... I've been
trained to think like a warrior not like a... mother to be,"
onna-Ranma stated, resignedly. As she spoke, she began to gently
caress her protruding tummy. Akane placed her hand on top of
Ranma's, meshing their fingers. Looking into onna-Ranma's sad
eyes, she winked and smiled, then quietly spoke.
"You once told me I'd make a great dad... I think you'll
make a wonderful Mommy, Ranma," she assured, smiling happily.
Ranma smiled back through moistening eyes, and reached up
painfully for Akane. They hugged gently, then Akane carefully
helped Ranma lay back down.
"You rest now, Ranma... Uukyou and I will leave you
alone for a little while so you can get some sleep before we go
home."
"Okay..." Ranma agreed, weakly. "But, Akane..."
"Yes, Ranma?"
"Don't go to far... I need you to be close."
Smiling happily, Akane leaned in and kissed Ranma's
forehead. "I'll be right outside the door. You rest now."
"I will. Suki da yo, Akane-chan."
"I love you, Ranma. See you in a while," Akane responded
softly, pulling the blanket up to Ranma's shoulders and tucking it
in. She then waved her goodbyes and headed out the door, bringing
Uukyou with her.
Once outside the room, Uukyou could contain herself no
longer.
"Akane... Wow! I can't believe the difference in Ranchan!
What happened to him?" she asked, totally astonished.
"He's been on hormones for the baby," Akane replied, dryly.
"Why?"
"Oh, nothing... I just hope it's not permanent... it would
be such a waste," Uukyou observed, wistfully.
Akane bit her tongue, knowing Uukyou was probably as
worried about Ranma as she was, which might account for her
comments. So, at least for the time being, she was willing to give
her the benefit of the doubt.
"Yeah... Anyway, did you see who attacked us?"
"Nope. Just saw the flash and the flip. I get the idea
that we're looking at someone who knows, or maybe is Ninja. They
disappeared into thin air," Uukyou replied, shrugging.
"That says a lot, actually..." Akane noted, thoughtfully.
"Yeah... not too many around here who have that
background... I think you had better talk to Nabiki, kiddo... she
may have some answers for you," Uukyou stated, winking.
"Oh, don't worry... I plan on it," Akane answered, her
eyes narrowing.



Later, onna-Ranma lay quietly on a futon set up in the
dining room as Miyabi 'read' to her from one of her storybooks.
Akane couldn't help but smile at them, noting how Miyabi would make
a point of showing every picture to Ranma, knowing she couldn't
easily lean up to see them. Akane also noticed that onna-Ranma
treated Miyabi a bit differently, occasionally straightening her
clothes or fixing her hair, and even at one point tying her hair
in a pigtail. Miyabi loved it, running around the house saying
she was just like her Papa now.
All these things made Akane wonder if she hadn't been too
hard on Ranma in Tofu-Sensei's office... she sure didn't seem like
the warrior now as she played happily with Miyabi. However, Akane
knew that if she snapped once, she could do it again, and next time
could be far worse. Sighing quietly, she hoped they would never
have occasion to find out.
As Akane laid out some tea for her and Ranma, she heard
the back door slide open. Rising quickly, she darted to the hall
to see who it was.
Rounding the far end of the hall, Kuno Nabiki stepped into
view, a somewhat sheepish look on her face.
"Just the person I was looking for," Akane stated, eyeing
her sister levelly. "Come on in... I want to talk to you."
"I know what it's about, Akane... That's why I'm here. I
just came from Uuchan's, and she brought me up to speed. Is Ranma
okay?"
"Yes, but she got hurt pretty bad. So, tell me... is there
anything I should know?"
Nabiki sighed, then turned away from Akane's angry glare.
She began to fidget with her watch, then finally, she turned to face
Akane again.
"Okay. Here's the score. Kuno has been at a monastic
retreat for the last six months, and hadn't heard about the baby,
or about you, Akane. He got back yesterday, and of course, hears
on the street that onna-Ranma is knocked up. Well, you know how he
feels about his 'Pig-Tailed Goddess'... he blew a nut, and has
sworn to *kill* the "foul and contemptible swine that would defile
the pure innocence of such a wondrous beauty," end quote. In plain
Japanese, he doesn't know that the man he saw with Ranma today is
actually you, Akane."
"You mean... it's Kuno that's trying to kill me??" Akane
gasped, eyes wide. All along, she had thought it was Sasuke.
"'Fraid so, sis... He's really lost it this time, too...
neither Kodachi or I could talk any sense into him."
"You talked to him? Where is he now?" Akane asked,
becoming very concerned.
"Don't ask me... He had a fit, and took off about an hour
or two ago... haven't seen him since. You better stay female till
he calms down and we can get him cooled off, or who knows what
he'll try next."
"Kuso... this is all we needed. Nabiki, don't say a word
to Ranma... she'll likely go after him, and in her condition..."
"Sis, *I* wouldn't even give you odds on that one."
"Yeah... Well, Ranma heard you arrive, so let's go say
hi... remember, you know nothing," Akane ordered, pointing a
finger at Nabiki's nose.
"Just the way I like to be thought of..." Nabiki droned,
following Akane to the dining room.



Ranma healed in her usual rapid manner, and by the time a
week had passed, she was back to annoying Akane again. Akane
tried to be patient with her, but even an extreme effort couldn't
prevent her from telling Ranma off occasionally, which usually
resulted in onna-Ranma running off crying to her room. One such
day, Akane walked slowly around the dojo, needing to get a break
from the madness.
"I feel so bad for yelling at her... But she drives me
nuts! Always has a better way for me to do things, picking on my
cleaning, my cooking... and even how I handle my kids! Like she
knows! RRRhhh! She better settle down soon or I'll tie her to
the nearest tree!" Akane thought, walking toward the practice
dummy she used to clobber under these types of circumstances.
As she regarded it, almost involuntarily, her arm drew back
and her hand clenched into a fist.
"Ranma No Bakaaaa!" she yelled, driving her fist into the
dummy as hard as she could. She smiled with great satisfaction as
she heard the dry crack of shattered wood echo around the yard.
As quickly as it came though, the satisfaction evaporated, leaving
her realizing that it was not Ranma, her 'husband' that she was
dealing with, but a pregnant, hormone-crazed female version of
him... and that she should try to be more understanding of what
he was going through.
Sighing, Akane let her arm fall to her side, suddenly
feeling very guilty about getting so angry. She thought for a
moment about going to comfort onna-Ranma, but decided that she
was the last person Ranma would want to see... at least for a
little while.
Shoving her hands into her large floppy pockets, she
walked slowly back toward the house, eyes downcast. As she
stepped in, she noticed Miyabi and Masao playing happily in the
dining area. She smiled happily as she did every time she saw
them, and headed over to see if she could join their little game.
This, at least, would keep her mind off of her troubles
for a little while, she reasoned, and hopefully let things calm
down.



Up in their room meantime, onna-Ranma had rolled off the
futon and stood once again before the mirror, wiping the last of her
tears away. In her mind, she realized that maybe Akane was right,
and she should stay out of her way. After all, it was Akane's house,
and hers to run as she saw fit. Sighing, she resolved to apologise
to Akane for being such a pain, even though she was only trying to
help.
That decided, she turned to the side and looked over her
very pregnant body, noting how in just a week, she felt as though
she had doubled in size. Her belly stuck out almost as much again
now as it did a week ago, and she noticed that it was having an
effect on her posture... her shoulders were back and her hips jutted
forward, trying to counter the weight of the baby. She sneered at
that discovery, thinking it was going to take weeks of training to
get back into shape.
Abruptly, she felt an itch on the side of her tummy and
scratched it absently. As she did, her eyes widened as she thought
of what could be causing it. Ripping her top off, she stared
open-mouthed at the angry red line snaking it's way across her skin.
Akane jumped at the scream that echoed through the building,
then two seconds later burst through the bedroom door to see a
horrified onna-Ranma standing topless before the mirror.
"What happened?" Akane blurted, breathless.
"Akane..." Ranma began, slowly. "I have... STRETCH MARKS!!"
Ranma wailed, diving into Akane's arms.
Akane, too stunned to react at first, stood holding the
sobbing onna-Ranma, then started to laugh hysterically. "Stretch
Marks?? That's why you screamed?" she finally responded between
laughs.
"Akane... It's not funny! I'm ugly, fat, and now I have
these... 'things' all over my tummy and boobs... I'm not pretty
anymore!" she cried, again burying her head in Akane's chest.
Akane felt her heart go out to Ranma, as she remembered how
she felt when all of this happened to her. She wouldn't even let
Ranma see her nude at first, thinking she was too ugly for him. Now,
when it was happening to onna-Ranma, she had laughed. Suddenly, she
felt very small.
"I'm sorry, Ranma... I know exactly how you feel. You don't
need to get upset. All of it will go away, and you'll be right back
to where you were in no time," she soothed, gently rubbing the red
head still buried in her chest.
"But... I'm not pretty... I want to always be pretty for you.
I don't want you to be seen with someone as ugly as me."
Akane could hear her own words echoing back to her from six
years ago, and felt her heart twinge slightly. Before now, the
novelty of Ranma's pregnancy had outweighed the more serious side of
things... It had never occurred to Akane that because of the
hormones, the pregnancy and all the other circumstances, Ranma's
emotions might also be out of whack. Biting her lip, she tried to
remember what Ranma had said to her back then, hoping it would have
the same effect.
"Ranma... you are the most beautiful thing in the world to
me. Remember... you told me that I was never as pretty as when I
was pregnant for our children. It's the same for you... you're
absolutely glowing from carrying this baby... and I love you for it.
Don't ever forget that," Akane insisted, gently.
Ranma sobbed quietly for a few more seconds, and then lifted
her reddened eyes to Akane. "Do you really mean it? You don't
think I'm ugly?" she sniffed, wiping her cheeks.
"I mean it. I think you're beautiful," Akane stated,
smiling.
"I love you, Akane," Ranma responded, hugging her again.
"Akane... I'm sorry about all the trouble I've been lately... I
just... can't help myself," Ranma continued, stepping back from
Akane and looking her in the eyes. "I didn't mean to be a problem,
I just wanted to help."
"That's okay, Ranma... I shouldn't have yelled at you like
I did... I was just having a bad day, and I took it out on you.
Can you forgive me?" Akane admitted, bowing slightly.
"Akane... I could never be mad at you," Ranma stated,
smiling and sheepishly turning her foot on the floor.
"Oh... I have some creme that will help with stretch marks
around here somewhere... do you want to try it?"
"Yeah! Where is it?"
"Just a minute.. I'll look." Inwardly, Akane sighed with
relief.


Later, the two of them found their way outside, enjoying
a lazy wander in the late afternoon sun. Ranma grinned from ear
to ear, happy that Akane wasn't upset anymore, and that she loved
her even though she looked like a kettle with legs. Akane also
smiled, happy that Ranma was so content.
Eventually, they sat beside the pond on adjacent rocks,
watching the children playing happily in the water. Ranma
noticed that Miyabi still sported the pig-tail and grinned
happily, feeling a bit flattered by it.
"This feels nice, Akane... just our little family
together out here... I hope it's always like this," Ranma
observed, wistfully.
"I know... our lives seem to be so crazy all the time,"
Akane responded, apparently following Ranma's line of thought.
"Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to live somewhere
else..." she continued, her words trailing off.
"Akane? You too?" Ranma replied, wide-eyed.
"Sometimes... I don't think I could ever do it, but I
have wondered... You know... what it would be like to live a
normal, quiet life...?"
"Heh... We'd probably go crazy with boredom," Ranma
quipped, grinning. "Maybe, after I have the baby, we'll take a
vacation... Just the five of us. It would be nice to have some
'together time' without any interference. What do you think?"
"I think it sounds fabulous. As long as *I* get to pick
the destination," she replied, smirking.
"Deal. As soon as we can."
Akane opened her mouth to reply, but instead shrieked in
shock as Miyabi doused her with a bucket of water.
"Miyabi! What are you doing?" Akane-kun snarled,
shaking the water off of himself.
"I got you! I got you!" Miyabi taunted, giggling.
Ranma had to snicker at it too, thinking that now Akane
knew how it felt.
"Oh yeah? Well, now I'm going to get you!" Akane-kun
threatened, stepping toward Miaybi, who promptly squealed and
ran laughing out of the pond.
Onna-Ranma burst out laughing at the two of them racing
around the yard, and ended up sliding off the rock she had been
perched on. Masao meantime, clapped and laughed excitedly from
his vantage point in the pond.
As Onna-Ranma picked herself up off the ground, she
noticed that the squealing and laughing had stopped suddenly.
Her warrior instincts took over, and she peered cautiously over
the top of the rock to see what had happened. The sight before
her froze her blood in it's veins.
Akane-kun stood near the corner of the house, and before
him stood Tatewake Kuno, katana drawn and bloodlust in his eyes.
Miyabi had fled back to the pool, and was protecting her little
brother. As Ranma watched, Kuno and Akane-kun circled each other
slowly, each sizing up the other. As expected, Kuno spoke first.
"Thou doest either posses the bravery of the gods, or you
have taken great leave of the little sense you may have had,
knave. To wantonly flaunt your desecration of the Pig-Tailed
Goddess in such a shameless manner *begs* for retribution!
Better for you to have stayed in hiding like the cur you are,
than to suffer the fate of so many others that have stood before
me," he said angrily, his eyes flashing with the glare of a man
possessed.
Ranma took advantage of Kuno's pontificating to move
around behind him and Akane, using the bushes and rocks for cover.
Ranma knew Akane-kun would be keeping eye contact with Kuno, so he
would not notice her moving to a strike position.
At that moment, Kuno raised his katana and set himself for
a strike.
"Know this, base defiler of women; I am Tatewake Kuno,
Blue Thunder of Nerima, and I mean to see you pay for this travesty
with your life!"
Before anyone could react, Kuno's blade sliced the air,
narrowly missing Akane-kun's head. Akane-kun dove forward, using
Kuno's shoulders as a pommel horse to launch himself over his
opponent's back. Kuno spun around, again arcing the katana through
the air, it's whistle audible to all. Again, the two circled one
another, Akane-kun looking desperately for a weapon of any sort.
Kuno lunged, feinting a swing to the left, then crossing himself
under the swing, brought the weapon back to the right. Caught out
by the fake, Akane-kun felt the bite of cold steel across his arm
and chest, and his arm immediately went numb. Reeling back from
the pain and shock, Akane-kun staggered and fell against the
outside wall of the dojo, streaking it with a trail of red. Kuno,
smelling blood, raised his weapon for a final attack.
"Die, worthless scum!" he shouted, rearing back for a
death-blow.
Ranma launched herself from her hiding spot, catching
Kuno square in the back and wrapping her arm around his neck.
Suddenly, she realized that she was out of position to finish the
attack, and Kuno reacted predictably.
His katana dropped to the ground as he reached over,
grabbed onna-Ranma's blouse and flipped her over his head, throwing
her hard against the dojo wall. Her back slammed flat into the
wall, sending paralysing pain racing through her head and neck.
Stunned, she was unable to right herself, and landed face down on
the ground from a height of almost five feet.
Kuno meantime, quickly recovered his weapon, and turned to
face his attacker. When he discovered who was laying face-down and
unmoving in the dirt before him, his face drained and the katana
clattered to the ground once again.
"By all that's holy... what have I done?" he whispered,
reaching for onna-Ranma gently.
"KUNO!" shouted a voice from beside him. "You stupid
Son-of-A-*". He never heard the rest of the epithet as Akane-kun's
foot connected solidly with his temple. After Kuno landed,
Akane-kun stood unsteadily for a few seconds, watching for him to
move. When he didn't, Akane-kun staggered painfully over to
onna-Ranma who lay deathly still, exactly where she had fallen.
Her skin had a grayish cast, and around her mouth and ears,
Akane-kun could see fresh blood, which sent a wave of panic
through him.
"Miyabi! Miyabi!" he yelled, hoping she was still within
earshot.
"Hai, Okaasan!" answered the voice of a tiny angel.
Akane-kun turned to see her running toward him, and couldn't help
but feel relieved. "Quick, Mi-chan... call Aunt Kasumi and tell
her Papa is hurt bad... she has to come now!"
"Okay! I will, I will!" the little one responded, racing
for the house.
Akane-kun turned back to onna-Ranma's crumpled body, and
knelt beside it. He felt a chill run his spine as he vainly
searched for some sign of life... but there was none. He could
feel the tears coming, and made no effort to hold them back.
"Ranma... No Baka..." he whispered, collapsing in a crying
heap across the stilled form of the one he loved.



Several hours later, Akane woke up in Dr. Tofu's office,
feeling very groggy and dry-mouthed.
"Oh, look everyone! Akane is awake!" Kasumi announced
from her seat beside Akane's bed. Everyone that had gathered poured
through the doors, and swarmed over the barely-conscious young
woman, expressing their happiness that she was awake, and more or
less all right. Akane greeted the crowd and tried to sit up,
earning herself a painful reminder of her shoulder wound.
"Oww... that hurts... Kasumi? What happened to me?" she
croaked, accepting gratefully the glass of water offered her by
her sister.
"By the time we arrived at the house, you had already
lost a lot of blood and were unconscious, Akane. We brought you
and Ranma here, and Tofu-Sensei operated on your shoulder. You'll
be just fine," Kasumi replied, smiling sweetly.
"What about Ranma?" she asked, nervously.
The room went silent suddenly, and everyone looked at the
floor.
"Hey... She's all right, isn't she?" Akane asked,
hesitantly.
From the door behind the crowd, Dr. Tofu's voice rang out
through the silence. "I just came from her room. Could we have a
moment alone, everyone?" he asked, his face grim.
After the last guest had filed out, Dr. Tofu walked over to
Akane, and wordlessly sat on the chair at the foot of her bed.
Akane's chest tightened with fear as she anticipated what he was
about to say.
Tofu-sensei looked into Akane's apprehensive eyes, and
cleared his throat nervously.
"Akane... about Ranma..."



The office waiting room was full to capacity with guests,
and they all jostled noisily for a comfortable place to stand.
Instantly, they all froze in their spots at the agonized scream
that reverberated through the small building.
"NOOOOOO!!!!"


Epilogue


Akane recovered well from her wound, and it was not long
before she had complete use of her arm again. Tofu-Sensei had been
concerned about nerve damage, but thankfully, his concerns proved
unfounded. Kuno, meanwhile, had almost committed seppuku, but
Nabiki and Kodachi managed, with great difficulty and several
chains, to talk him out of it.
Ranma, however, did not fare so well. When she hit the
ground, the impact caused her some serious damage and severely
injured the baby. Despite the best efforts of all involved, the
child died in utero later that night. Akane had the grisly task
of authorizing Tofu to remove the tiny body, and spent several days
in shock afterward.
When the time came, Akane insisted on a proper funeral for
the baby, which as it turned out, had been a girl. As she and Ranma
had earlier decided, and as Akane felt was right, the tiny girl was
given the name Miyuki.
A small ceremony was held privately in the Dojo, Akane not
wanting to entertain any well wishers. She also insisted on formal
interment in the family plots, very near where her mother rested.
Throughout the entire ordeal, Akane had managed to keep a brave face,
but everyone knew that she had suffered a blow from which she would
never fully recover.
Miyabi was deeply affected by her Papa's injuries, although
she was unaware that Ranma had been pregnant. Thankfully, Ranma and
Akane had decided that just in case, they would not tell her
anything about it until the baby was actually born. That only
spared little Miyabi from some sorrow, however, especially since she
had seen onna-Ranma laying on the ground after the fight. She
became sad, sullen and moody, all trace of the once loving, happy
child having vanished beneath a wall of anger.
Two weeks passed, and Akane maintained her bedside vigil
over Ranma, who had since been moved to their home. She had
remained in a coma-like state since the fight, and because of her
head injuries, everyone was worried that she may not ever come out
of it. Each night, Akane still cried herself to sleep, and every
morning, Miyabi was in bed with her when she awoke.
One particularly beautiful afternoon, Akane knelt beside
Ranma as was her ritual, carefully washing down her face. Abruptly,
she heard a long, soft moan emanate from Ranma's body. Immediately,
she called out to Miyabi to come, and watched carefully for more
signs of life. Gradually, Ranma began to wake up, and to Akane's
great joy, recognized her immediately.
Miyabi was so excited that she jumped squealing up onto the
futon, and hugged her Papa tightly. As soon as Ranma said her name,
Miyabi returned to being the happy little girl she had always been.
Akane hugged Ranma tightly as well, bursting out in tears of
joy, so relieved that Ranma was going to be okay. Dr. Tofu confirmed
that fact later that day, having been summoned as soon as Ranma had
awakened. In fact, the Doctor was surprised at the degree of healing
that had actually taken place. He finally passed Ranma with a
clean bill of health, and left the family to their business.
To Akane's surprise, Ranma knew she had lost the baby before
anyone mentioned it. She explained sadly that she knew before she
passed out that something was seriously wrong. It wasn't until she
regained consciousness that she knew what had happened for certain.
Once the reality of her unborn daughter's death sank in, however,
Ranma went into a serious depression, spending many days crying
privately and praying for forgiveness. She too would bear the scars
of this battle for life.
Eventually, Shampoo came by and used the Kaisuifuu on Ranma,
who was now very weary of being female. Akane was glad to have her
husband back to more or less normal, and Miyabi was so excited she
almost bowled him over. She liked onna-Ranma, but had dearly missed
her Papa.
As soon as Ranma was recovered enough to get out, he
insisted on visiting the graveside of their deceased daughter. His
heart broke again as he approached the ornate headstone, and with
trembling hands placed a cluster of flowers at the base of the
shrine. Akane moved in beside him, and the two of them offered
silent prayer for the little girl's soul.
Rising, they stood quietly hand in hand, their hearts heavy,
eyes full of tears, and minds awash in thoughts of what might have
been. After a few minutes, Ranma cleared his throat, and turned
slowly to Akane.
"Akane... I think it is time for a change," he stated,
emotion cracking his voice.


======================================================================
End (?) - Almost a Miracle Part 3 of 3 A Ranma? FanFic by Coutuva


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coutuva@vecdev.com