Dragonball R:  Birthday Bash

 

By: James Thomas

 

Disclaimer: This story is brought to you by the letters N and M, which can be used in the sentence:  These characters are NOT MINE!

 

What went on before:  A lot of stuff.  Read DBR, DBR:  Wedding Daze, and DBR:  Juuban Saga to catch up <yet, another shameless plug…brought to you by the number 7>.

 

Birthday Bash

 

            Akane was walking home from the train station.  It was her first time back home since the hardest day of her life:  The day that her fiancé had died.  She hadn’t felt like staying in Juuban that night.  She had preferred the company of her family to the dojo where she had been staying.  She wanted to stay home until a year had passed, but trouble in Juuban still went on and Sailor Earth was needed.  She had left again, the memory of the shocked looks on everyone’s faces when she had told them all that Ranma was dead and all his obligations with him.

 

            Although she could fly, Akane still opted to take the train.  She was trying to hold onto some normalcy in her life.  Her life had been anything but normal since Ranma came into it over a year ago.  Now that he’s gone, the madness still remains, almost as if whatever he comes into contact with catches the curse of an interesting life.

 

            She let out a deep sigh.  Now she was coming home after six months of fighting Cardians, aliens, and other such nonsense.  She was really getting tired of all the people trying to drain the world of its energy or steal its heart crystals.  This is just going to be a nice day away from all the lunacy.  This was her day.  This was her birthday!

 

            “Hey!  Akane!”

 

            Akane looked up as Pan dropped out of the sky and landed in front of her.  Akane took a quick look around.  “Careful!  Someone could have seen you!”

 

            Pan shrugged.  “Like anyone would notice.  With all the craziness that happens around this place, I’d be surprised if anyone took a second look.”

 

            “So why didn’t you just take the train with me?  It’s not like you’re strapped for cash.”

 

            Pan smirked.  “I wanted to fly!  Why trap yourself in a little box, when you can fly like the birds?”

 

            “Because it draws attention to yourself.”

 

            “Well, that depends on the environment, now doesn’t it?”  Pan smile widened as she and Akane walked toward the Tendo Dojo.  “When you’re hanging in a place where demons and other stuff are coming out of the woodwork, flying girls aren’t so unusual.  By the way, the girls have been doing a lot better since you’ve been training them.”

 

            Akane smiled back.  “Thanks.  I guess I could be a decent teacher.”

 

            “I’m amazed you have the patience for it, especially with Usagi.  Doesn’t her ‘natural grace’ get on your nerves?”

 

            Akane chuckled at the joke.  “You’d think so, wouldn’t you?  But it doesn’t really bother me.  Nothing can make me mad like I was at…” Her expression fell as her words trailed off.

 

            Pan turned to check on Akane.   “You okay?”  She saw the look on her face.  “Now don’t start that again!  How many times have I told you, he’s coming back?”

 

            Akane sighed again.  “I know, but I miss him.  He would have been seventeen too.  His birthday was last month.  He should have been here for his and mine.”

 

            Pan put a hand on Akane’s shoulder.  “It’s okay!  We’ll all have a big party to make up for it when he comes back.  Look at the bright side; you’re halfway there.  Only six more months and the Dragonballs will be restored and we can make our wishes.”

 

            “Yes, but I still miss him.”

 

            “I miss him too, but you have to be patient for a little while longer.”

 

            “But what if his feelings have changed for me?”

 

            Pan slapped the youngest Tendo on the back.  “Don’t worry about it!  I doubt he found some dead chick he likes better than you.  Last I checked, his tastes didn’t include necrophilia.”

 

            Akane shook her head.  “I guess you’re right.  ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’.”

 

            Pan started walking again.  “Come on!  I’m dying for some more of Kasumi’s cooking.”

 

            Akane nodded her head.  “Race you there!”

 

            The two girls laughed as they ran the rest of the way to the dojo.  Pan stayed just slow enough for Akane to catch up.  She was much stronger and faster than she was when she had first met her and her fiancé, but she was still no match for a Super Saiya-Jin.

 

            They arrived at the front gates to find Trunks driving up in his new sports car.  He waved at the girls.  “Hey, Akane!  Hey, Pan-Chan!  How are you guys doing?”

 

            Akane and Pan were still laughing a little as they arrived.  They weren’t short of breath because of their intense training.  They were just enjoying a little fun on Akane’s birthday.  “We’re doing great!”  Pan answered.  “What are you doing here?”

 

            “Nabiki told me that it was someone’s birthday around here, now who could that be? Hmm?”

 

            Akane put her hands on her hips.  “I’m WAY too old for that game.”

 

            “How about this game?”  Trunks produced a gift-wrapped package.  “FETCH!”  He hauled back his arm to throw it.  But before his arm could complete the motion, Pan was standing on the other side of him with the package in her hand.

 

            “You’re getting slow in your old age, Trunks.  Besides, it wouldn’t be good for your health to compare Akane to a dog.”

 

            Trunks tensed up.  “THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT!!!”  He went on to stammer a few more things as Akane got the look of death in her eyes.  Trunks kept stammering as he backed away from her.

 

            Akane clenched her hand into a fist, drew it back, and then fell on the ground laughing.  “You should see the look on your face!”

 

            Pan joined her.   “What would your father think?  Backing down to a girl!”

 

            Trunks cocked his eyebrow.  “That’s no problem.  I only have to remind him what mom does if he stays out late.”

 

            “You’ve got a point there.”

 

            They walked in to find most of the participants were already present.  Soun and Genma were playing go on the porch.  Kasumi was handing out refreshments.  Nabiki lit up when Trunks came in.  A few of Akane’s friends from Furinkan were already seated.  Akane glanced around and noticed another guest.  “Akari?  Where’s Ryoga?”

 

            The cute black haired girl looked up to Akane.  “I don’t know.  He told me to meet him here, because he was going to take a shortcut.”

 

            Akane slapped her forehead.  “He’ll never make it.”

 

            Akari looked a little sad.  “I hope he does.  I see so little of him as it is.”

 

            “We never should have taught him how to fly.” Pan whispered to Akane.

 

            “Oh well.  At least you made it, Akari.  It’s nice to see you again.”

 

            Akari smiled.

 

            Pan looked around.  “Well, who else are we waiting for?”

 

            “Hello?  Anybody home?”  Splat!

 

            “Get up, Meatball-head!”  Came Rei’s voice.  “You’re going to embarrass us!”

 

            “Rei, don’t pick on Usagi.”  Mamoru’s voice chided her.

 

            The Sailor Senshi and Mamoru came around the house.  They all carried small gifts for their newest member.  Minako looked around.  “Uub was supposed to be here!”

 

            Right on cue, Uub dropped from the sky and landed right beside Minako.  “I didn’t want to get here before you.”

 

            Minako glomped onto him.

 

            Usagi looked up at Mamoru.  Mamoru narrowed his eyes.  “Don’t even think about it.”

 

            “I guess that’s everyone.”  Akane said.

 

            “Not quite, Sugar.”

 

            “Nihao!”

 

            “NABIKI!!!”  Akane spun around on her sister.  “I TOLD YOU NOT TO INVITE THEM!!!”

 

            Ukyou stepped up with a box full of deluxe okonomiyaki.  “Hey! Don’t worry.  We’re not here to trash the place.  Nabiki hired us to cater.  Besides we have to be on our best behavior.

 

            Akane raised an eyebrow.  “Why is that?”

 

            Ukyou turned to the lavender haired Amazon.  “Shampoo explains it best.”

 

            Akane gave Shampoo a questioning look.  Shampoo just smiled as she sat down the boxes of Ramen she brought.  “Since we no have claim on Airen, is no longer fight with fists.  Must try win Ranma old fashion way.  Must make nice nice.”

 

            Pan was surprised.  “Despite the poor grammar, that actually made sense.”

 

            Akane was slightly relieved, but not much.

 

But, the day wasn’t over yet.  “Tendo Akane!  Thy beauty is likened to a rose!  Now that the vile wizard Saotome is vanquished I would date with thee!”  Kunou Tatewaki stepped into the yard with a large bundle of roses in his arms.

 

“NABIKI!!!”

“Hey, it wasn’t me.  He came on his own.”

 

“Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho!”  Kodachi’s shrill laugh grated on everyone’s nerves.  “I’ve come to deal my vengeance on the violent girl who took my beloved Ranma-Sama from me.”

 

“I’m on it.”  Akane turned to see Pan step out into the yard.

 

“The beauteous Pan!”  Tatewaki charged forward.  Pan dodged at the last minute like a bullfighter and grabbed Kunou by the shoulder.  She spun and flung him into the air.

 

“You can’t do that to my brother.  Only I can do that for my brother!”  Kodachi flicked her ribbon in Pan’s direction.  Pan grabbed the ribbon and yanked the gymnast off her feet and started spinning like a top.  Pan let go and sent Kodachi flying after her brother.

 

“Wasn’t that a little much?”  Usagi asked Akane.

 

“Don’t worry.  I’m sure Pan aimed them at something soft.”

 

The party kicked off after that.  Everyone had their refreshments, meals, and cake.  The gifts came next.  Akane opened each one and thanked the giver in kind.  She looked at the gift that Trunks had given her with a little confusion.  It looked like a pocket watch with a big grid on it.  “It’s very…nice.”

 

“It’s a dragon radar.  I figured you’d need it when the dragonballs regenerate.”

 

Pan looked at Trunks and held up her wrist.  “Why didn’t you give her a smaller one like Bulma gave me?”

 

Trunks shrugged.  “Mom said it was a collector’s item.”

 

Pan’s face lit in understanding.  “Of course!  This must be the one that grandpa always used!”

 

Akane smiled.  “Thank you.”

 

The party went on.  After five Dr. Tofu came by to wish Akane a happy birthday.  “You’re looking well, Akane.”

 

“Is that Tofu?”  Kasumi’s voice came from the kitchen.

 

Tofu’s glasses fogged over.   “Ka-Ka-Kasumi!”

 

Akane snatched the glasses off his face before he tripped over the table.  He stopped and looked around and saw Kasumi as she stepped out.  “H-H-Hello, Kasumi.”

 

Kasumi smiled at him.  “It’s nice to see you, Dr. Tofu.  You look very handsome without your glasses.”

 

Dr. Tofu scratched the back of his head and smiled nervously.

 

Akane looked at the glasses in her hand.  “I should have thought about doing this earlier.  He can’t see when they’re fogged over like that.  He’s only slightly nearsighted so he can still see well enough without them.”

 

Tofu and Kasumi settled into a nervous conversation, nervous for Tofu anyway; and the party went on.  Time passed and everyone settled in for munchies and party games. 

 

Pan looked around and noticed the guest of honor absent.  She went out to the dojo and found Akane sitting on the floor staring at the dojo shrine.  “What’s the matter?”

 

Akane looked to the floor.  “It’s best birthday I ever had, but I only wish…”

 

“That Ranma was here with us.”

 

“Even if all he did was insult me, I’d still want him here.”

 

Pan sat down beside her.  “Akane, he’ll be here for your next birthday. “  She smiled.  “At the rate you’re making friends, you’ll need to rent a gymnasium for your next one.”

 

Akane smiled.  “I know, but I still want him here so bad.  It’s almost like I can hear his voice.”

 

“AKANE, GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!”

 

Pan’s eyes went wide.  “I must miss him too.  He’s shouting at me.”

 

Akane’s eyes went wide.  “You heard that too?  Good, I thought I was going crazy.”  She looked around.  “Ranma!  Where are you?”

 

The scene switched to the world of Dan-Kaiou.  Ranma had King Kaiou pinned to the ground with the king’s arm bent back behind his back.  Ranma had one hand holding the arm bar and the other open-palmed on the Kaiou of the North’s back.  “I’m still on Dan Kaiou’s world!  You’ve got to get me out of here!”

 

Back at the dojo, Akane was still looking to the ceiling trying to find where the voice was coming from.  “How can we do that?  The Dragonballs won’t be ready for another six months!”

 

“Use the Namek Dragonballs!”  A muffled, “Stop squirming!” was heard.  “I finally beat that out of Kaiou!  Just get Goku to get them for you!  Hurry!!!”

 

Akane had tears running down her face.  “Is it really you, Ranma?”

 

“YES IT’S ME, YOU STUPID TOMBOY!!! GET THE FRIGGIN’ BALLS!!!”

 

“Hey!” Akane shouted.

 

Pan smiled.  “It’s definitely him.  Let’s go!  I can feel grandpa’s Ki on Kami’s lookout.”

 

            “What about the other guests?”

 

            “They’ll be fine!  Let’s go!”

 

            They ran out of the dojo and took to the air, flying as fast as they could toward to the home of the Kami of the Earth.  They arrived to see a smiling Goku and Dende waiting for them.  Goku waved.  “I wondered when somebody would remember the Namek balls.”

 

            Pan crossed her arms.  “Why didn’t you tell us Ranma could be brought back at anytime?”

 

            Goku shrugged.  “You never asked, and Ranma deserved some time for some good training with King Kaiou.”

 

            “Well, he’s not enjoying it!”  Pan pushed her chin out.

 

            Goku laughed.  “I know.  I heard him from here!”

 

            Akane stamped her foot.  “What are we waiting for?  Let’s get them!”

 

            Goku nodded.  “Then come here and we’ll be on our way.”

 

            Akane and Pan put a hand on Goku’s shoulders and he put his index and middle finger to his forehead.  In a flash, they were standing on an odd planet with odd trees and even odder houses.

 

            Akane looked around.  “What?”

 

            Goku smiled.  “Not what, where.  This is the new planet Namek.”  He turned to the house in front of him.  “Elder!  Is anybody home?”

 

            Out of the doorway stepped an older, fatter version of Piccolo.  “Hello, Goku.  Good to see you again old friend.  I’ve looked forward to your next visit.”

 

            “Hello again, Elder.  I’ve come for the Dragonballs.”

 

            The elder smiled.  “Of course, but we’re not as prepared as we were the last time you asked for them.  You’ll need to collect them yourself.”

 

            Akane smiled and pulled out her Dragonradar.  “No problem.”  She clicked the button on top and seven dots came up.

 

            Goku saw what she had in her hand.  “Where’d you get that?  That looks just like the one I used!”

 

            Akane laughed.  “It is the one you used to use.  Trunks gave it to me for my birthday.  Come on Pan!  Let’s get those balls!”

 

            They charged off after the closest ball.  Luckily each of the balls were held by an elder of a village.  They gladly gave up their prize when Akane told them they were going to wish back her fiancé.  The two girls gathered the balls back at the first elder’s home.  Pan put down the last of the balls.  “All right, now what?”

 

            The elder stepped forward.  “Now it’s my turn.”  He stepped up and spoke in an alien tongue and the balls began to glow.  The sky darkened and a light shot out from the balls.  The light transformed into Parunga, the Namekian dragon.  “Tell Me What You Desire!  I’ll Grant Three Wishes, No Matter What They May Be!”

 

            The elder turned to the girls.  “What is your first wish?”

 

            Akane beamed.  “I wish Saotome Ranma to be brought back to life!”

 

            The elder turned to the dragon and relayed the wish in Namekian.  “You’re Wish, Is Granted!”  His eye’s flashed a bright ruby red.

 

            In front of the balls, a figure appeared.  The shadow passed and a familiar pigtail came into view.  “Ranma!!!”  Akane tackled him to the ground.  “I’ve missed you!”

 

            Ranma hugged her back.  “You have NO idea how much I’ve missed you!”

 

            “You Still Have Two Wishes.”  The dragon reminded them.

 

            Pan looked up from the happy couple, Akane and her had already thought about the three wishes.  “Next we want Ranma’s curse to be removed.”

 

            Ranma stood up quickly.  “NO!”

 

            Akane, Pan, and Goku all double blinked.  “WHAT?!”

 

            “Don’t do it!”

 

            Akane, Pan, and Goku double blinked again.

 

            Akane looked up at Ranma.  “Heh, heh…Ranma…It sounded like you said you didn’t want us to wish away your curse.”

 

            Ranma looked her in the eye.  “That’s what I said.”

 

            Akane, Pan, and Goku facefaulted.

 

            Pan stood back up.  “Okay, let me get this straight…you actually WANT to change into a girl every time you get splashed with cold water for the rest of your life?”

 

            Ranma looked at her like she was an idiot.  “Of course I don’t!  It’s just that…”

 

            Akane looked at him.  “That what?”

 

            Ranma mumbled something under his breath.

 

            Akane stood back up and looked him in the eye.  “What was that?”

 

            “I said, ‘I’d lose you if I did.’”

 

            “What, how?”

 

            “Now that you’re a Sailor Senshi your immortal.”

 

            “So?”

 

            “I’d grow old and die and you’d still be going on in the living world.  I’d be back on Dan-Kaiou’s world forever and you’d be here.  I’d never see you again.”

 

            Pan crossed her arms.  “Why don’t you just wish for immortality from the dragon?”

 

            Ranma turned his gaze to her.  “The immortality from the dragon is unconditional.  As long as a piece of me exists, I’ll regenerate and live.  Akane can still be killed in battle.  If she dies, I want to as well.”

 

            “So how does your curse make you immortal?” Goku asked.

 

            “I fell into the spring of drowned girl, not drowned woman.  My cursed form will always be young and it will make my body drastically slower to age.  For all intents and purposes I’ll be immortal, but I’d still be able to die.”

 

            Akane blinked.  “You figured all of that out on your own?”

 

            Ranma scratched the back of his head.  “Not really.  Some guy name Pikkan explained it to me.  Seems he was some high muck-a-muck with the Moon kingdom.  He knows a lot about it.  He told me that people went to Jusenkyo when they fell in love with a member of the moon kingdom so they could be together forever.  Although most of the guys usually used the spring of drowned boy.”

 

            Goku laughed.  “So how is Pikkan?”

 

            Ranma turned to him and smiled.  “He’s been training hard.  He can’t wait for your next rematch.”

 

            Pan stepped up toward Ranma.  “So what was so urgent about getting out of there?”

 

            Ranma’s face twisted in a mask of anger.  He turned to Goku.  “When you were there, how many women did you notice there, Goku?”

 

            Goku thought a second.  “Well, there was the Kaiou of the East, and some old ladies that looked like raisins.”  He scratched his chin.  “You know, I don’t remember any others there.”

 

            Ranma bristled.  “THAT’S BECAUSE THERE WASN’T ANY!!!  It was a planet full of old martial arts guys who haven’t seen a young woman in centuries!  I show up and everything is great until I got splashed with water!  And we all know how old martial artists are.”  He turned to Akane.

 

            She had a confused look on her face, and then it lit up in revelation.  “Happosai?”

 

            Ranma nodded his head frantically.  “I was trapped on a planet FULL of HAPPOSAIS!  They wouldn’t leave me alone!  I learned the Kaiou Ken out of pure necessity!  I had to learn how to hold the Uma-Sen-Ken invisibility in my sleep!  I had to perfect it as well, so I didn’t leave a Ki void!  Everyday was a thousand times worse than anything Happosai or Kunou could ever deal out!!!”

 

            Goku looked off into space.  “I wander how he’d react to Master Roshi…”

 

            Pan took a step back and took a good look at Ranma.  He hadn’t put on much more muscle mass, but all his baby fat was gone.  His muscles looked like they were chiseled out of stone.  “So how much stronger are you?”

 

            Ranma gave her his cocky grin.  “Wanna try me?”

 

            Pan flew up into the air powered up.  “Let’s go tough guy!”

 

            Ranma shot up and stopped a few feet in front of Pan.  “Before we get started I’ve got to say something.”

 

            “What?”

 

            “This is not a marriage challenge.  This is just a friendly match.”

 

            Pan was confused.  “Of course it is!  Now why did you feel you had to say that?”

 

            “Those old broads on Dan Kaiou’s world were always giving me problems if I didn’t do everything just right.  It’s taught me to be careful around Amazons, even when they’re my friends.”

 

            “Okay, whatever.”  Pan brought her aura to visible levels.

 

            Ranma read her with his senses.  “Why don’t you go ahead and go Super Saiya-Jin.  You may need it.”

 

            Pan smirked.  “Yeah, right.  This should be enough to handle you.”

 

            Ranma shrugged.  “Suit yourself.” He powered up his aura, which easily matched Pan.  “Now, watch this!  KAIOU-KEN!!!”  His aura blazed red and he surged forward faster than Pan could react, sending her plummeting to the Earth.  She managed to right herself before impact, but Ranma was right there to hit her again.  Before his burst of strength and speed was over, Pan was planted into the ground.

 

            Pan pulled herself out of her hole and spit out some dirt.  “Okay.  So you got in one lucky shot.”

 

            Ranma smiled and disappeared.  Pan looked around frantically trying to find Ranma.  “Don’t bother.  You won’t be able to find me.”  Pan still searched anyway.  Ranma thanked her by planting her into the ground again.

 

            Pan pulled herself out once again.  “No more Ms. Nice Saiya-Jin!”  With a yell she transformed into the blonde-haired, green-eyed Super Saiya-Jin.

           

            Ranma kicked her from behind and sent her rolling across the ground.  He shot foreword and headed her off and booted her straight into the sky.  She righted herself and launched an attack at Ranma.  The two started trading blows and dodges.  Ranma just had a giant grin on his face.  He used the Kaiou-Ken again and sent Pan flying, once again.  She landed at the feet of the dragon.

 

            “Uh-hum!”  The dragon cleared its throat.  “You Still Have Two Wishes!  I Don’t Have All Day!”

 

            Pan reached her feet and stopped.  “Whoops!  Knew we forgot something.  Now, Akane?”  Akane nodded her head.

 

            Ranma came down beside Akane.  “Now, what?”

 

            “She’s going to get the next wish.”  Akane answered.

 

            Pan dropped out of Super Saiya-Jin and looked at the dragon.  “I wish for a handsome boyfriend that will love me and is powerful enough to defeat me.”

 

            The elder relayed the wish.  The dragon’s eyes flashed.  “Your Wish Is Granted.”

 

            Pan looked around.  No one new was here.  “Hey!  Where is he?”

 

            The dragon kept its mouth shut.

 

            Pan snarled.  “I get it.  You’re going to make me burn our last wish to learn where he is, aren’t you.”

 

            “You Made Me Wait While You And The Boy Fought.”  The dragon answered matter-of-factly.

 

            “Hey!  Have a heart!  I haven’t seen him in six months!”

 

            “I Want To Go Back To Sleep, You Have A Heart.”

 

            “Okay!  Okay!  I wish you would tell me where he is!”

 

            The elder relayed.  “He’s At The Masaki Shrine.”

 

            “YES!!!” Pan jumped into the air.

 

            Akane just looked at her.  “What are you so happy about?”

 

            Pan was clapping her hands.  “Tenchi!  Tenchi!  Tenchi!”

 

            Ranma’s brows knitted together.  “What does Heaven and Earth have to do with anything?”

 

            Pan landed with a huge smile on her face.  “It’s a guy’s name!  A very cute and powerful one!  I knew I’d find someone!”

 

            Ranma shrugged.  “Congratulations…I think.”

 

            The Dragon began to glow.  “You’re Wishes Have Been Granted. Farewell!”  He disappeared and the balls flew into the air and they shot off in different directions.

 

            Pan turned to Ranma.  “Now where were we?”

 

            Goku put a hand on Pan’s shoulder.  “Shouldn’t you be somewhere?”

 

            Akane smiled.  “We’ve got to get back to the party!  Boy, are they going to be surprised!”

 

            Ranma put a hand on Akane’s shoulder.  “This will really surprise them.”  He put his index and middle finger to his forehead, and they teleported away.

 

            Pan looked at Goku.  “Hey, grandpa, I need a lift home!”

 

            Goku laughed.  “No problem, Pan-Chan.”  He put a hand on her shoulder and followed Ranma’s example.

 

            Ranma and Akane appeared at the party, gazing in through the open shogi doors at the guests gathered for the party.  “I’m back!”  Ranma shouted.  He soon regretted it, as he was suddenly attacked from several directions at once.

 

            “Ran-chan!”

 

            “Airen!”

 

            “Ranma!”

 

            Ukyou, Shampoo, and Makoto all attacked him at once.

 

            Pan and Goku arrived at that point.  Pan saw the scene and chuckled.  “Hey!  Don’t kill him again!  We went to a lot of trouble to bring him back!”

 

            Ranma stood back up, but the ex-fiancés and Makoto still clung to him.  “It’s like a bad case of static cling.  GET OFFA ME!”

 

            The girls dropped off and stepped back.  They all had hurt looks on their faces.  Ukyou looked like she was going to cry.  “Ran-Chan…”

 

            Ranma instantly felt bad.  “I’m sorry, but I’m not your fiancé anymore.”

 

            Soun and Genma come out.  “That’s right!  He’s going to marry Akane and carry on the school of Anything Goes Martial Arts!”  Soun announced.

 

            Ranma appeared in front of them.  He picked them both up by the fronts of their gis and hauled them in front of his face.  “Now listen up, because I’m only going to say this once.”  Ranma’s eyes tracked between the two fathers.  “I am not going to marry ANYONE because someone tells me I HAVE TO!”

 

            Genma put a hand up.  “But honor says…”

 

            “You have NO right to lecture me about honor!”  Ranma cut him off.

 

            “But, son.  Think about Akane!”  Soun spouted.

 

            Ranma’s eyes narrowed.  “Maybe if you had thought about Akane a long time ago and left us alone we would have been married A LONG TIME AGO!!!  I already died!  My obligations died with me!  I’m not going to let you two, or anybody else trap me into marriage!”  He dropped him both on the ground.  “You got that!”  The two fathers nodded their heads with eyes wide.  “Good.”

 

            As Ranma walked away from the pair, everyone’s eyes were locked open in shock.  They couldn’t believe that this was Ranma doing this.  When did he grow a spine?  Nabiki thought.

 

            “Well Son-In-Law, it looks like being dead has been beneficial.”

 

            Ranma turned to see Cologne standing on the wall.  “I’m not your son-in-law.”

 

            Cologne’s eyes narrowed.  “Oh, but it’s only a matter of time before you and Shampoo are happily married.  You’ll slip up and fight her again, and you’ll win again.”

 

            Ranma narrowed his eyes to match.  “Not if I have anything to say about it.”

 

            “What’s that Son-in-law?”

 

            Ranma crossed his arms.  “Let’s just say I had a little chat with a couple of old crones named Sarah Lee and Mrs. Paul.

 

            “Xhara Lee and Mitza ‘Al?  The legendary Amazon elders?”

 

            “You got it.  They said, all I had to do was challenge you to the Right of Hera, and if I defeated you, I could tell you to take a hike and you’d have to listen.”

 

            Cologne laughed.  “You’re still a hundred years too young to defeat me.”

 

            “Maybe.”  Ranma smirked.  “Maybe not.”  Ranma’s form split into several copies of himself and he surrounded Cologne.

 

            Cologne was still laughing.  “The Splitting Cats Hairs Illusion is worthless on me!”

 

            “Who said anything about this being an illusion?”  All the Ranmas asked.

 

            Cologne’s eyes went wide as she was attacked on every side.  She fought well, but for every Ranma she knocked down, there were two more Ranma’s there to take advantage of the opening.

 

            All the party guests were just watching as they chewed on the snacks Kasumi had made.  Mamoru turned to Usagi.  “Akane definitely knows how to entertain her guests, doesn’t she?  Who is that guy anyway?”

 

            Usagi pulled her head out of the munchies.  “That’s Ranma, Akane’s fiancé.  I told you about him didn’t I?”

 

            Mamoru nodded his head.  “I remember now.”

 

            Cologne fought to the best of her abilities, but it wasn’t enough.  At the last instant, all of the replicas of Ranma disappeared as Ranma grabbed her by the back of the neck and pinned her to the ground, staying well out of reach of her arms and legs.  His aura was blazing like a raging inferno.  “Now!  Admit defeat!”

 

            “You win.”  Cologne coughed out.

 

            Ranma let her up.  “Now get out of here and never bother me or anyone close to me ever again!”  He pointed toward the sunset for dramatic effect.

 

            Cologne stifled a laugh.  “Whatever you say, but you still have to come back to China with me, now more than ever.”

 

            Ranma glared at her.  “And why is that?”

 

            A smiled crept across her face.  “Because you’re the new matriarch of the Amazon tribe.”  She said with a bow.

 

            Nabiki shook her head.  Too bad that new spine didn’t come with a brain attached.

 

            “DAMN IT!!!”  Ranma shouted he started beating the ground and letting loose with a stream of expletives that would ruin the family friendliness of this fic.

 

            Akane walked out and tried to calm him down.  “Ranma?” She put her hands on his shoulder.  “Settle down.”

 

            “WHY!?”

 

            “You’re putting a crater in our yard and the walls are turning green from your mouth.”

 

            Ranma’s eye lit up as realized what he had done.  He looked at the party guests and saw them all sitting there, shocked and pale as death.  “Uh, sorry.”

 

            Cologne stepped toward him.  “Of course when you come to China to claim your throne you’ll have to live in your cursed form if you want any of the other elders to respect you.”

 

            Ranma glowered at her.   “There has to be a way out of this.”

 

            Cologne chuckled.  “Since you didn’t kill the former matriarch, you can abdicate the throne to her in admission that you cannot handle the responsibility and acknowledge your weak character.”

 

            Ranma was about to start shouting when Akane slapped a hand over his mouth.  “Just do it, Ranma.”

 

            “Of course you’ll still have warrior status, so you’ll still have to come back with me.”  Cologne continued.  Of course I could always trust our ancestors to figure out a way for Son-in-law to join us.

 

            Ranma stopped and thought for a second.  He had had to outwit the old bags on Dan-Kaiou’s world a few times.  Of course he was not successful most of the time.  He finally came up with a plan as the sun was disappearing past the horizon.  “Okay, but before I give you your position back, I banish myself from the tribe.  The job’s yours again.”

 

            Cologne cursed under her breath.  How did he figure that out?  He knows that he can’t return to the village as a banished warrior. 

 

            Nabiki chuckled.  Trunks put his arm around her.  “What’s so funny?”

 

            She looked up at the purple haired half Saiya-Jin.  “Nothing.  I was just doubting whether Ranma’s new spine came with a brain or not.  I guess it came with a little one.”

 

            Ukyou walked out toward Ranma.  She figured her turn was next.  “What do you plan to do about me, Ran-Chan?”

 

            Ranma sighed.  This is the hard one.  “Uch-Chan, I…I just want to be friends.”  <Author’s Note:  Lame breakup line numero uno!>  Ranma ignored the author’s comments and went on.  “We were always pals when we were younger, nothing more.  I don’t want to send you away like some people.  I want you here as my best friend.”

 

            Ukyou’s shoulders sagged a bit.  “I…I understand.”  A single tear ran down her face.

 

            Ranma restrained himself from moving to comfort her.  “I’m sorry.”  He whispered.  Akane hugged him.

 

            Cologne hopped up onto the wall.  “You’ve done pretty well today, Sonny boy, but there are still a few loop holes.  I have to leave by your first decree, but Shampoo can remain because you weren’t speaking to her.  Next, you cannot return to our village as a warrior maiden, but you can return as a male.  See you later!”  She bounded off the wall and bounced away.

 

            Akane slapped her hand over Ranma’s mouth before he could start cursing again.

 

            Rei stood up and stretched.  “Well, it was a great party, but we’ve got to catch a train.  See you later, Akane?”

 

            Akane nodded her head.  “I’ll be back in Juuban tomorrow.  I do have to finish school, you know.”  She winked at the Sailor Senshi.

 

            Rei returned the wink.  “See you then.”  The senshi of fire turned to Usagi.  “Come on, Meatball head, time to go.”

 

            Usagi was stuffing her face with the remaining snacks.  “But there’s still lots of food left!”

 

            Rei groaned and pulled Usagi away from the food.  Usagi waved at Akane as she was being drug out.  “See you later, Akane.  Great party!”

 

            Everyone gave their similar compliments and goodbyes and soon it was down to just Ranma, Akane, and Pan standing out in the yard cleaning up the mess.

 

            Pan sighed.  “Alls well that ends well, I guess.”

 

            “I guess so.”  Ranma turned to Akane.  “Akane, I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything for your birthday.”

 

            Akane hugged him tight.  “But you did!  You came back to me!  That’s the best present you could have given me!”  She stood up and kissed him on the lips.  He happily returned it.

 

            Pan started feeling like a third wheel.  “I’ll let you two be alone.  I’ll be in my room if you need me.”

 

            Ranma and Akane watched Pan go into the house.  Akane leaned against Ranma.  “We really need to do something for her.”

 

            “Next school break.”

 

            Akane looked up at him.  “What are we going to do?”

 

            “I figure we’re going to be making a field trip to a certain shrine.”

 

 

<Author’s Note:  Stay tuned for the final part of the Dragonball R Trilogy:  No Need For A Saga.  See you next time!>