The Voice of Reason!

By: James Thomas


Disclaimer:  Borrowing characters…la-de-dah-de-dah…because I can’t make memorable characters… la-de-dah-de-dah…


             The family was gathered in the main room of the Tendo home.  Kasumi served everyone as they looked at each other.  Soun and Genma sat at the head of the table with solemn looks on their faces.  Nabiki sat on one side of the table with a bored look on her face.  Nodoka sat beside the middle Tendo with a solemn face as well.  Akane and Ranma sat on the other side of the table, a look of trepidation on both their faces.  Their fathers had told them that all their fights would be resolved tonight, and it was final.


             They all sat and waited for one of the fathers to speak.  Soun coughed and stood up.  “As you all know, Ranma and Akane have not been getting along that well…”


             “Like I want to marry that uncute tomboy!”  Ranma mumbled.


             “Who asked you, you pervert!”  Akane retorted.  Both of them were scowling at each other with arms crossed.


             Soun clear his throat again.  “As I was saying…They haven’t been getting along that well, so I decided to bring in an outside consultant.”


             Everyone’s heads snapped around to him, except for Genma.  Everyone was suddenly hanging on every word.  Except for Nabiki who was thinking, “How much is this going to cost?”


             The Tendo patriarch continued.  “I have called him here tonight to resolve the fight between Ranma and Akane and to secure their happiness.”  There came a knock at the gate.  “That must be him now.”


             “Oh my!  I’ll have to get the door for him.”  Kasumi was up in a flash to be a proper hostess.  She returned a few moments later accompanied by a twenty-something man in red and black priest’s robes.


             The man bowed and introduced himself.  “Hello, I am the Voice of Reason.  I have come to fix all the problems you have because you cannot be true to yourself or cannot recognize the obvious around you.”  He turned toward the wayward fiancés.  “You must be Ranma and Akane.  I know much about you, and have come to help you out.”


             “How come you know about us?”  Ranma was suddenly on the defensive.


             Akane glared at him.  “Have you been spying on us?!”


             The priest bowed to her.  “No, no, I haven’t been violating your privacy.  I simply do research on all my clients before I cure them.  After all, without proper research, sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease.  I have simply had agents gather information and subtly ask questions about you and your family.”


             Nabiki’s eyebrow went up.  “Is that why those ten-year-olds were asking me so many questions?  Damn my weakness for little kids.  I should have made a fortune off of all that information.”


             The priest smiled at her.  “Hopefully the light I shed on everyone here will be worth more than any amount of money.”


             “This better be good.”  Nabiki growled.


             Meanwhile, Akane’s thought processes had yet to catch up with the conversation.  “He’s probably been spying on us in the bath, the pervert.”  She continued to belittle the priest in her mind.


             Soun sat down and gestured toward the wayward couple.  “Here are the two I’ve asked you to help.  Would you like to begin?”


             “Soy-tenly.”  The priest imitated the Great Stooge, one of the founders of his order.  He reached over and slapped Ranma and Akane across the face.  “You blind children!”  He shouted.  “Can’t you see that you love each other!” He turned to Akane.  “How many times has Ranma risked life and limb to bring you back home in one piece?  My notes indicate that he has gone well above and beyond enough to just satisfy ‘honor’.  Only someone that loves you would do as much as he has.  He even went as far to tell you so after the last battle in China!”


             Akane jumped like she had been struck, which she had been, but that’s beside the point.  “Y-You’re right.”  Her shaky voice came out.


             The man turned to Ranma.  “And you!  Even though she’s beat you too a pulp and insulted you, she has still helped you out every chance she’s had!  Giving you water when you in your girl form, supporting you when you fought, and many other instances.  She only hits you because she is jealous and fears that she may lose you to another fiancé!”


             Ranma blinked at the priest.  A look of uncertainty was on his face.  “I don’t know…”


             The priest slapped him again, much harder this time.


             The pigtailed martial artist blinked like he had just woken from a deep sleep.  “I can’t believe it!  She does love me!”


             Akane turned to him.  “And you love me!”


             The both grabbed each other in monstrous bear hug.  “WE LOVE EACH OTHER!  LET’S GET MARRIED!”  They proclaimed loudly.


             Soun started up the Tendo Water WorksTM.  “Our schools will be united!  I’m so happy!”


             The priest quickly turned and slapped the man so hard it knocked him over.  “Look at yourself!  You’ve become too overly emotional since your wife died.  You need to move on and find solace in the fact that she is in a better place and that you will both be together again someday.  Plus there’s the fact that those constant crying fits make you look like a total wus.”


             The Tendo elder blinked in amazement.  “You’re absolutely right!  I must move on!  (I must also stop looking like a wus in front of my daughters.)”  The last part he mumbled.


             Genma patted his happy son on the back.  “At last, boy.  You will fulfill family honor and marry Akane tonight!”


             The priest kicked Genma back and slapped him once with each hand, one hit on each side of the face.  The man was obviously on a roll.  “You, you fat fool!  Can’t you see that all your meddling has only brought misery to your son!  You must stop living your life vicariously through your son and make your own mark in the world!  You have a lovely wife and a healthy son!  You have to let things be and enjoy what you have, and make things happen for yourself, not your son!  (Not to mention drop some pounds, tubby.)”


             Genma was astounded.  “You’re correct!  I have been a fool to live my life through my son!  Making him do things that I’ve been too cowardly to do!  I will live my life for myself from now on, and let him live his own life!  (And lose some weight.)”


             Nodoka smiled.  “I’m so proud of my manly son!”


             The priest jumped the table and landed at the Saotome matriarch’s side.  He lightly slapped her.  “Can’t you see that this pressure is not helping your son?  He’s already under a lot pf pressure.   He doesn’t need a death threat hanging over his head!  You should accept him as he is and forget about having him commit seppuku.  He IS your ONLY son, after all.”


             She held her hand up to her face.  “I’ve never seen it before, but it’s so obvious.  Thank you.”


             “My pleasure.”  He smiled a wide grin.


             “Oh my!  Such excitement.”  Kasumi came in with another pot of tea.


             With a flurry of robes, the priest was in action again.  He dropped beside the eldest Tensdo daughter, carefully took the teakettle, and set it down.  He then took the girls hand and lightly swatted it.  “You shouldn’t trap yourself here!  You have value and are extremely attractive.  You shouldn’t be raising your mother’s family, you should be raising your own!”  He pulled out a small card, slipped in into her dress, and leaned in close to her ear.  “And if you don’t find a suitable man, my number’s on the card.  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.”


             Kasumi blushed.  “You’re right.  (And I’ll keep the offer in mind.)”


             The priest turned and surveyed his work, and it was good.  He was about to pat himself on the back, but was interrupted by wall crashing in.  “PREPARE TO DIE SAOTOME!!!”


             “TIME OUT!”  The priest held up his hands in a tee formation.  He walked over to Akane.  He had read the files on Ryoga and knew he would need something more to penetrate his thick skull.  “Miss, may I borrow your mallet?  It’s critical for my work.”


             Akane shrugged and handed over mallet-sama.  “Sure, I don’t need it anymore.”


             The priest took the mallet and walked over to Ryoga and pointed to the left.  “What in the world could that be?!”


             Ryoga turned and looked where he pointed.  “Where?”


             SMACK!!!  The priest used the distraction to land a firm blow to the lost boy’s skull.  “You eee-diot!  Can’t you see you’re not going to win Akane!  She and Ranma are in love, you know this in your heart!  (Besides, she’s going to murder you when she finds out you’re her pet pig.  How long could you avoid cold water with her?)”


             The lost boy blinked and shook his head out.  “You’re right.  I’ve been such a fool.  (And I hadn’t thought of that part…)”  He turned and left the compound.


             “Get your hands off of Ranchan!”  Ukyou stormed in with her spatula ready.


             The robed man turned to confront the next invader.  He charged forward, grabbed her shoulders, and shook her violently.  “You must stop doing this!  Ranma will never be more than a friend to you!  You must take that and treasure it.   You shouldn’t try for more and lose him forever!  Besides, the man dressed as a woman in the rafters loves you more than life itself.  You can be happy with a great friend like Ranma, and a husband like that cross dressing ninja up there.”  He took out a small notepad and flipped through his notes.  “Konatsu!  That’s right!”


             The okonomiyaki chef stopped shaking and blinked her eyes and looked at Konatsu like it was the first time she had really seen him.  “I’ve been such a fool!  Thank you sir for opening my eyes!”


             The priest stretched and cracked his knuckles.  “All in a days work.”


             “What is this?!  The foul sorcerer and Akane!  I shall release you from his evil clutches!”  Kuno Tatewaki stormed in, bokken blazing.


             The man turned to face the new arrival.  “All right.  One more and I can call it day.”  He charged forward and launched a ten slap combination on the kendoist.  “You deluded fool!  Can’t you see you’re not wanted here!  Your money is by Nabiki, but not you!  You’ve been nothing but a burden to Ranma and Akane, and you’ve done nothing but bring misery to their lives!  Akane and Ranma love each other!  Leave them be!”


             Kuno turned to face the priest.  “How dare you strike my noble personage?!   How dare you also lay foul claims that Akane does not love me?!  I will yet free her and the pigtailed girl from Saotome’s slavery!”


             The priest looked at his hand and wiggled his fingers.  “Maybe I missed?”  He thought.  “Oh well, try and try again.”  He reared back and launched a devastating twenty slap, two elbow, three noogie combination.  He jumped over and grabbed the teakettle and a glass of water.  “Akane does not love you, and Ranma and the pigtailed girl are one in the same!”  He demonstrated Ranma’s cursed with the water than the teakettle.  “He is still the same man in both forms!  Neither of these two love you, nor do they want freedom from you!”


             Kuno shook his head in disbelief.  “I will not accept it!  Akane and the pigtailed girl will be mine!”


             The robed man looked at his hand once again.  “I haven’t lost it, have I?”  He slapped himself.  “I’m just a fictional character that’s a lame self-insertion/three stooges knock-off.  My only purpose in this fic is comic relief.”  He nodded his head.  “Yep, it still works.”  He turned to confront the kendoist.  “Alright, after you heed me, I will be able to retire knowing that reason always triumphs!”


             After several slaps, slams, elbows, noogies, eye-pokes, foot stomps, and mallet whompings, Kuno never did hear the Voice of Reason.


             The moral to the story is, not everyone will see the truth that is blindingly obvious in front of their face.  Some people are just extraordinarily stupid.  The other moral is, don’t write fics you think of in the shower.  L8r.