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***Disclaimer***

I do not have any type of ownership of Ranma ½ in any way and such; I don’t have any right to be using the characters or places used.  I only use them in my stories that I create to quench my writing desire to change the fate of the Ranma Universe at some level.  General Warning to the owners of Ranma ½: Don’t bother suing me please.  I’m still a lowly college student and if you remember your college days, money is scarce while schoolwork is plentiful (yet I can still make time to write this stuff.  Lets here it for procrastination).  It will be only considered a loss on your part.

 

***WARNING***

 I’m still a beginning writer at this; so don’t get bent out of shape if my grammar goes to hell throughout the story.

 

***Story Notes***

I was inspired to do this while I was writing, “Return of the Eagle.”  I was in the middle of one of the earlier chapters when I thought about all the Ranma altaverse/divergence stories that exist out there.  In every one of them, Ranma either has his regular curse or no curse.  There is a rare few that deal with Ranma who has a curse that is completely different than the norm.  Plus, no matter what story it is, Genma is always a panda.  What would happen if Ranma and Genma, while at Cursed Springs, Jusenkyo, received different curses from the original cannon?  As such, this story came about.  Hope you enjoy it.

 

R-Ranma => Ryoga thinking he is Ranma

H-Ranma => Hayabusa-Ranma.  The real Ranma cursed to be a falcon

 

 

A Tendo & Her Falcon

Chapter 5

 

H-Ranma looked over the city from the roof of the Tendo house lost in thought.  Ever since he had discovered how to reverse his curse, he had been spending late nights at the park.  In a small grove that was well hidden, H-Ranma started stashing things there for emergencies.

The first night, he grabbed a set of clothes from the top of his old pack and avoided digging around too much.  At the same time, he was able to grab a small pot from his cooking supplies.  He then snuck out and stashed them in the grove; luckily the plastic bags were still in good shape that he had his clothes in.  After that, he had started “acquiring money” from his father when he got a job the way he was taught.  If they don’t see it, notice it, or do anything to stop you, it’s there loss.  Right now, he had a good amount to get by for a week or get some more clothes.

Over the next few weeks, he continued out to his grove and was able to heat some water from the nearby lake.  Then for a few hours, Ranma relearned the art.  It has been too long since he last practiced and he could tell.  But slowly, he was making progress as he got himself back up to par.  But it’s been during these nightly practices that he started to create a new form from mimicking his cursed forms movements.

The only disadvantage of this was that he was constantly falling asleep during the day at school.  Luckily, no one really said anything about it.  He guessed that they really only wanted him as an image and mascot for the high-level meetings and school events.  Man, wonder when Nabiki will finish working on the houses bankbook.

That was the other thing that he took notice to.  It seems that the Dojo was not in the best shape financially.  It was doing fairly well but ever since his father and “Ranma” arrived, things were not looking good.  He knew what she was doing to help counter this problem but he wish she didn’t have to.  When she was doing her business deals, she was another person that he didn’t recognize or like.  The only good thing was that he seemed to be the only thing to bring her back out of this personality.  He could feel it as she did her homework or just relaxed on the bed while he was in the room.

Just one more thing to remember when I have to break the news about her pet and I need to do it soon.  I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this.  If I wait too long, I won’t have any honor left and it would be too late to salvage things between us.  H-Ranma let out a quiet exasperated sigh.  “Akane, some of your friends from school are here,” Kasumi called out catching his attention.  Wonder what’s going on?

 

--A little later--

“Nabiki, can you tell Akane that dinner is ready?” Kasumi asked.  Nabiki was watching some TV with Ra next to her.  Occasionally, she would pet the graceful animal creating an effect of calmness that seemed to effect both of them.

“Hugh, oh sure thing,” motion to the falcon to climb on her shoulder.  “Where is she anyway?  I haven’t seen her since her friends came over this afternoon.”

“Oh, she’s in the dojo with Ranma.  Akane was asked to compete in a match next week,” calling out.

Nabiki just shrugged and went out to the dojo.  When she got there, what she saw was something that she could expect from her little sister.  From first glance, she could tell that Akane was practicing for a gymnastics match from all the tools and the leotard that she was wearing.  But she was surprised to see Ranma trying to coach her.

“That’s enough training tonight Akane.  You handled the ribbon fairly well, but you need a little work still.” R-Ryoga stated, trying to put serious meaning behind his words.  The effect though wasn’t even close as Akane lay panting on the ground with her own ribbon tied around her.

“Th… Thank you, Ranma.  Do… Do you really think I’m doing that well?”

H-Ranma couldn’t believe that he was lying so badly to her.  Why is he lying about her skill so badly?  It’s obvious that she hasn’t made progress.  Nabiki would never know that her falcon was mimicking her own thoughts.  “Don’t tell me that you’re actually believing what Ranma is telling you, Akane?”

Akane suddenly realized that she and Ranma weren’t alone and quickly yelled back, “Nabiki!”  R-Ranma just turned around with his back facing them as he scratched the back of his head.  “What are you doing?”  Akane was more worried that she was caught like this.  If her father ever heard about this, she was sure that she would be married tomorrow.

“Kasumi told me to let you know that dinner is ready,” turning to leave.  She stopped just from walking around the corner and decided she just couldn’t leave it alone, “And Akane,” bringing Akane’s attention back to her, “You should have told me that you were interested in that sort of thing.  I’m sure I could have found some people that have the same interests.”  She then continued around the corner leaving Akane staring at her back.

Akane was a little confused by what her sister just said.  R-Ranma left to let her get cleaned up shortly there after.  It was a few minutes later when she tried to get herself out of the ribbon when she realized what she was talking about as she suddenly became flustered.  “Nabiki!”

 

[In the house]

Nabiki smirked hearing her little sisters yell.  Kasumi looked at her with confusion, “What is Akane so mad at you about?”

“She just is finally accepting something about herself that she never knew.  Don’t worry about it Kasumi.”  H-Ranma looked very confused.  Even though he was with a young woman most of the time, he still didn’t them.  R-Ranma was sharing the same thoughts even though he didn’t have as much exposure to women.

“Alright, but you tell her to come talk to me if she has anything to talk about.  I’ll start bringing out dinner.”  Nabiki nodded and glanced over to her father and “Mrs.” Saotome as they tried to cheat at shoji, oblivious to the surrounding.  Of course, the way Mr. Saotome was cheating was a disgrace to all women.  Every now and then, she’d seen him lean in a particular way that would allow a little too much of flesh to be seen by her father who would momentarily freeze and become oblivious to the changes that Genma would instantly make.  He really is a pathetic person to use his curse like that.  Kasumi then started brining out the dishes seemingly completely oblivious.

 

[Later that evening]

“I really am hopeless.”  Akane stared up at the ceiling of the furo, letting her tired body relax.  “I never realized how good Ranma is,” sighing quietly.  “But, I guess he isn’t that much of a perverted pig since he is helping me train.  But how did he know how Rhythmic Gymnastic Martial Arts work any how?” she mused while climbing out of the furo.  “I guess it could be because he and his father have traveled all over Japan for ten years.”

Akane climbed the stairs to her room lost in thought.  She realized that Ranma might be better than her, but that couldn’t be right since she was the best martial artist in Nerima.  Yet, she just witnessed it during practice and he knew what he was doing and was very good at it.  But… and the cycle continued to repeat itself all the way till she opened her door, “I’m too tired to think about it right now.  I’ll work on it tomorrow,” collapsing on her bed.  Diligently, she pulled the rest of herself onto the bed and faced up to the ceiling.  Suddenly, she was fully awake when she realized part of her ceiling was wearing a leotard.

 

[Meanwhile]

H-Ranma gazed over the city as the nightlife started to gear itself up.  Dinner had been rather quiet though Akane seemed to glare at Nabiki a lot and kept mumbling about not being into “that sort of thing.”  When it was over, everyone went their different ways.  Mr. Tendo and his “father” went of to cheat at shoji, while R-Ranma went back to the dojo.  Akane went to take a bath while Kasumi cleaned the dishes.  Nabiki decided to help out in the kitchen and that left him alone.  Knowing that they trusted him to not leave the house, he left to roost on the roof peak and think.

So for the past hour, he had been up here trying to determine what to do about his curse and having two identities.  So far, everything he came up with would end up hurting someone and that was the last thing he wanted to do.  No matter what, I can’t think of something where everyone will be fine.  I just don’t know what to do.  He was interrupted from his thoughts when he heard someone land on the roof edge.  Turning he saw Ryoga, or “Ranma” as everyone else knows him as, standing up and he had a kettle in his hands.  Uh oh.

R-Ranma was angry with his father for sneaking up on him and throwing the water on him while he was meditating.  When he asked why, he was told that he should be completely aware of his surroundings at all times, and then he left.  Luckily, there was still a kettle of warm water that Kasumi brought out during the training session just in case.  After changing back and getting dressed again, he tried to return the kettle to the kitchen, but was still angry that he got lost on the way.  Now he was on the roof and looking at a falcon.  He then realized that it was Nabiki’s falcon, Ra, and that would mean that he was still at the Tendo’s.

“Good, I’m still at the Tendo’s.  Got lost trying to find the kitchen to return this,” indicating the item in his hand.  Why he was talking to a falcon though he had no idea.  He never had a pet before and for some reason, it felt good to talk to someone that didn’t judge you like people did.  Still to angry to try and find the kitchen again, he stepped up to the roof peak and leaned back against it, setting the kettle nearby, and gazed over the city and the stars.

“You really can see the city from here and it’s peaceful,” gazing quietly.  H-Ranma had to agree with Ryoga and turned back to the skyline.  It was several minutes later when Ryoga spoke up, “Listen, Ra, I know we started off pretty badly when I first arrived.  Nabiki knew nothing of the curses when you attacked me and I don’t hold a grudge against you for that.  There was a time though when I would have.  I guess the monks were right about my anger and depression, weird,” whispering the last part.

H-Ranma was drawn to the last part of what Ryoga said.  What happened on that training trip after I left?  It seems that lost-boy found some help and is no longer as lost.  But I don’t remember him being angry and depressed that much… well, maybe he was and I didn’t really help.  H-Ranma saw that if he came forward he would hurt Ryoga as well, just when he seems to have some happiness.

 

[Back in Akane’s room]

Someone wearing a leotard with a large mallet strapped to her back was clinging to her ceiling.  But before she could say anything, the girl dropped down and tried to bring the mallet on her head, “Prepare yourself Akane Tendo!”  Adrenaline instantly kicked in allowing her the jump out of the impeding mallet as it was brought down on the bed where she had been lying.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” taking a defensive stance.  This girl is crazy!

“I am from St. Bacchus’s School for girls, Kodachi The Black Rose!  I shall be your opponent next week so lets fight in all fairness,” proudly declaring while trying to hit her target.  Akane Tendo, you are good to have dodged my attacks.  You are nothing like the others.  Her attacks were interrupted as she dodged Akane’s attack.

“You call this fair?” as she continues her attack on the “Black Rose.”  Suddenly, and idea popped in her mind and she put the two together, “It’s you!  You’re the one that ambushed our team to keep them from competing next weekend.”

“Ambush?  Ambush is such a nasty word; in fact I don’t even know what it means.”  Kodachi slowly put herself between her target and the door in case Akane bolted to get help.  “I just believe in having a fair fight before the match!”

Suddenly the door opened hard, hitting Kodachi and pinning her between the door and the wall.  Akane was surprised to see that it was Nabiki.  From the look of despair, Akane knew something was wrong.  Nabiki rarely showed this much emotion to anyone, including her family.  “Akane, have you seen Kasumi or Ra?”

“No, but I think Kasumi was putting some clothes away.  Why, what’s wrong?”

“I can’t find Ra.  He was at the table where I left him after dinner to help Kasumi.  When I was done, he was gone.  I know he doesn’t leave the house, but I can’t think of anywhere else to look.”  Nabiki then scooted down to Kasumi’s and finally her room looking for the eldest sister.  She found her putting away the laundry in her room, “Kasumi, do you know where Ra could be?”  Akane listened in from her doorway, hoping that Kasumi could help Nabiki.

“I’ve seen him on the roof sometimes around this time.”  Nabiki calmed down hearing this.  That was the one place she hadn’t looked yet.  “Thanks Kasumi.”

As she turned to go back down, she caught Akane her doorway, looking back at her.  “Kasumi says he’s usually on the roof, I’ll…  LOOK OUT!” seeing the mallet heading for her sister.

On instinct, Akane twisted and kicked the weapon from Kodachi’s hands; apparently she wasn’t unconscious anymore.  “You’re very good, Akane Tendo.  Now, I must take my leave.  I shall return!”  Then with a flourish, she pulled a gymnast’s ribbon and started twirling it.  Instantly, black rose petals filled the room, acting like a smoke screen.  When it was all over, Kodachi was gone but the floor was covered in petals.

“You ok, Akane?  Looks like rumors are true about the “Black Rose,”” as she took note of the room.

Akane simply nodded while glaring out her open window, “They are.  I’m ok.  I was able to handle it pretty easily.  I’m just angry with the mess she left.  Go check the roof for Ra, I need to get started on this,” pointing to the floor.  Nabiki nodded and left to find Ra.

 

[On the roof]

H-Ranma’s and R-Ranma’s silence was interrupted by the sound of someone running on the roof towards them.  R-Ranma turned to the sound and saw the intruder.  Quickly, he grabbed the empty kettle and threw it hard as the intruder was in mid air.  “Yes,” he shouted seeing the kettle strike the intruder in the head and seeing him fall from the strike.  “Ugh!”  R-Ranma instantly froze as he heard the intruder groan from the strike because it sounded female.  Taking another glance, he saw that it was a girl that he hit, “Damn!”

H-Ranma was about to go after the intruder himself when Ryoga beat him to it by throwing the kettle.  After it was thrown, H-Ranma quickly noted that it was a girl using his eyesight.  He took off as soon as Ryoga jumped and tried to think of a way to help.

R-Ranma bounced off the ground and met the falling girl halfway down.  “Are you ok?” he asked as he landed on the roof.  “I’m sorry about hitting you like that I thought…” R-Ranma lost his train of as he looked at the girl that he knocked out.  She’s kinda cute but I wonder why she was here?

As R-Ranma was trying to figure why the girl in his arms was at the Tendo’s roof, Kodachi woke.  Oh… my!  He’s gorgeous and those little fangs seem to match him so well.  “You ok, miss,” she heard him say as he took notice that she was now awake.  “I… I was so scared.”  R-Ranma immediately froze as the apparently scared girl latched onto him like a vise.

Kodachi was in heaven.  Here she was, a damsel in distress and a handsome man was holding her glorious body ever so gently as he worried over her health.  Oh, I had given all hope of finding a man to love.  Who would have thought that such a wonderful encounter was awaiting tonight.  Of course, reality would show that it was she that was doing most of the holding and R-Ranma was frozen stiff with fright, a deficiency with his social training thanks to the 10 years of being with only his father.

“May I ask your name sir?” after being set on her feet.  R-Ranma looked at her and was skeptical by the dreamy looks he was getting from the girl, but replied anyway, “Ranma Saotome.”

From the same place that the mysterious mallets appear, Kodachi pulled a bouquet of black roses and offered it to her knight, “For my Ranma.”  As she handed them to him, R-Ranma didn’t notice her step back a little more than normal.  H-Ranma, who had been watching the entire episode from twenty feet above the roof, noticed this.  She was a little too anxious to back up.  I wonder what’s…  Before he got any farther he saw a puff of some type of powder come from the roses and he saw Ryoga stagger.  Damn!  Something’s in the roses!  Without thought, he dove on the roses to try and get them away from his friend.

Moments after R-Ranma took a sniff, a powder exploded in from the roses.  Almost instantly he knew something was wrong.  His legs weren’t responding to him anymore and he was having a hard time standing.  Expect the unexpected, Ranma.  Pop slammed that point home with you.  Kodachi smiled a not so friendly smile.  It was a smile a tiger would wear after cornering his prey.  Just as Kodachi was about to begin to claim her prize, R-Ranma and Kodachi heard a screech and saw something grab the flowers away from R-Ranma.

R-Ranma tried to tell Ra to stop, but he couldn’t get his mouth working.  Kodachi watched the bird try to steal her roses.  Now why would the bird do that?  After all they’re only harmless roses.  Kodachi just watched as the paralysis gas start to affect the bird that stole her roses.  H-Ranma was successful in getting the roses away, but he was suddenly having a hard time moving his wings.  His legs went numb and the roses dropped on the lower level roof over the porch and then his wings gave out.  This is going to hurt.

 

“Ra!  Are you up there?” Nabiki called from the yard as she stepped off the porch.  School had been busy the past few weeks with the upcoming Rhythm Gymnastics meet and she had been trying to make the odds so she would make a profit.  Everyone knows that the team that goes against St. Bacchus ends up forfeiting the match.  Good thing I’m taking bets on when the forfeit will be announced.  With Akane now substituting for the team.  She just defeated Kodachi in her own room so the outlook is good that she will make it to the match.  Now that she had some extra time, she thought Ra might like a little night flying.  There wasn’t a cloud overhead and the full moon provided a good background for some photos possibly, “Ra!”

Suddenly, she saw something fall from the sky and land hard in the dirt giving her a small scare.  But that scare escalated.  It only took a moment to notice that the thing that fell from the sky was Ra.  “Oh my GOD!  Are you ok?  Please be ok.”  She never noticed the tears as she knelt down to her friend.

 

“Now, where were we,” Kodachi purred as she began to climb over her prey.  R-Ranma tried to voice his negative opinion of what was going on but his mouth wouldn’t work.  HELP!  Then answer to his silent plea came, “How dare you hurt my sister?” as Akane kicked Kodachi.

Akane had come up after hearing a commotion on the roof above her while cleaning her room and she had just gotten up there when she heard her sister scream.  That’s were she noticed her sister’s falcon on the ground and unmoving.  Oh no, what did that psycho do to Ra?  Her worry over her sister and her pet allowed the image of Ranma allowing the other girl to climb over him and do perverted things above her room to slip by without notice.

“Oh, dear, such tragic timing.  Let us meet again my dear Ranma-sama,” and with a couple jumps she was roof hopping back to her estate with dreams of the strong handsome piece of mea, er, man that she claim, er, found.  R-Ranma breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the crazy girl was gone.

“Nabiki, is Ra Ok?” Akane called down.  R-Ranma glowered as the pet bird’s welfare was more important than his.  “Nothings broken, but he isn’t moving,” a frantic Nabiki called back.  Akane finally remembered that there was someone else on the roof and saw Ranma, “Well, are you going to just lie there all night or are you going to get up and help.”

“Nnnnnggggg!  Nng, gnnn nnnn!” R-Ranma grunted out.  He was really trying to move, but the paralysis kept him still.  Akane saw the trouble her fiancée was having in moving and was about to go help him up when she noticed a small line of black pedals that hadn’t blown away yet.  At the end of the trail, she saw a bouquet of black roses and it was directly in line with Nabiki.

“Nabiki, Ranma is in the same situation.  Kodachi might have done something to them both.  There is a bouquet of black roses on the porch roof near the edge.  I’ll get them and Ranma and have Kasumi call Dr. Tofu.”  Carefully, she climbed down and grabbed the suspicious flowers.  Holding them as far away as possible from her, she climbed back up and was able to get Mr. Saotome to help get Ranma off the roof.

[A little later]

Dr. Tofu closed put away his emergency bag after realizing what the problem was, “It’s nothing to worry about.  It’s just a paralysis powder that she used.  It should be out of both their systems before morning,” motioning to his two patients.  R-Ranma and Ra were both in the living room, R-Ranma on the couch and Ra on Nabiki’s lap.  “And this one,” turning to the latter, “is essentially sleeping.  He probably got knocked out from his crash.  He is lucky though that nothing was broken.”

The tension that Nabiki was holding during the doctor’s examination disappeared after hearing the news.  “He’s a resilient bird Nabiki.”  Nabiki nodded her head as she carefully held Ra as he slept.  “I know Ranma will be ok, but I would like to take Ra back to the clinic with me to be sure.  There I can call my friend who’s a vet and would know more of what I could do for Ra here.”

“Ok, Dr. Tofu.  Thanks again for everything,” Nabiki said as she put Ra in a small box.  As Tofu picked up the box, made his way for the entrance, “You should be able to pick him up tomorrow on your way to school.  Goodnight to you all.”

“It’s a good thing that we were able to get Kasumi to go pick up some ice cream before Dr. Tofu arrived,” Akane said from the door.  She and Nabiki watched as the good doctor walked back to his office.  “Nothing would have gotten done if he was here when she was.  From what I’ve heard, he might have seriously hurt his patients if she was.”  Both sisters turned back to go inside a moment later, “I wonder when he’ll get over his problem and when Kasumi will be less oblivious about the man,” Nabiki commented.

Akane only shrugged her shoulders and continued up to her room.  She’ll regret ever hurting Ra and Nabiki.  I swear she won’t win the competition.  With that, she closed her eyes and fell asleep with dreams of her dancing all over the ring beating Kodachi every time.

 

[Meanwhile]

Dr. Tofu walked into his clinic while relocking the front door behind him.  He made his way into examination room; he turned on the lights before setting the box down on examination bed.  The bouquet of black roses, which were sealed in a plastic bag, held under his arm, were taken to his private study where he set them down next to a chemical set.  From there, he went to the small kitchen and pulled a kettle and filled it with water before setting it on the stove to heat up.

Leaving the water, Dr. Tofu moved back to his study.  Taking out a single rose, he dropped it in a beaker before pouring in a clear liquid that when it touched the pedals, the liquid immediately changed purple.  Nodding to the reaction, he got rid of the roses and cleaned the used equipment.  In the examination room, Dr. Tofu knowing picked up a syringe bottle and needle.  Double-checking the bottle, he filled the needle.  Just as he was setting the bottle down, he heard the teakettle start to whistle.

A couple minutes later, he returned to the room and set the kettle down on the counter with two cups.  “Now, lets see who you really are,” speaking for the first time since leaving the Tendo house.  Carefully taking a still unconscious Ra, Dr. Tofu laid Ra on his back on the bed.  Trading the box for the kettle, he ruffled the bird’s feathers covering his belly while slowly pouring the water.  Making sure the water seeped to the skin.

A couple moments later, Dr. Tofu saw the reaction he wanted as the bird transformed into a young man with black hair that was tied back into a pigtail.  Doing a quick physical and satisfied with his findings, he took the filled needle and injected into the young man’s arm.  Instantly the boy awoke but still couldn’t move, “You’re still under the affects of the paralysis.  You should start being able to move your limbs again in a few minutes, just wait for it to circulate through your system.”  He stepped back and through the needle away and grabbed a blanket in the cupboard and covered his patient.

While waiting, Dr. Tofu made tea for him and his guest before pulling up a chair near the bed.  It wasn’t a long wait as the boy finally was able to turn his head to him, “How?”  Ranma could only remember the ground rapidly approaching him after grabbing the roses.  Next thing he knew, he was naked, in an unfamiliar place while staring at a ceiling, and an unknown person was sticking his human arm with a needle.

“I’ve had experience with a couple other Jusenkyo cursed victims.  It wasn’t too hard to recognize that you as well had one when two others were in the same room.  The aura was easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for.”  Ranma just nodded as he slowly began to flex his arms and hands again.

“You can read aura’s?  I thought only trained martial artists could do that?”

“Third level black belt in Tai chi..  My master taught me about auras shortly after reaching the first black belt.  I read about Jusenkyo in many of my Chinese medical books when I was studying their medicine while working on my license.”  Dr. Tofu indicating his degree’s and Martial Arts Championships before turning back to the boy, “Now, can you tell me who you are and why are you parading as Nabiki’s pet?”

Ranma sighed and was able to sit up and face the doctor, “My name is Ranma Saotome, now its just Ranma thanks to Jusenkyo.”  It took Ranma a couple hours to explain his past and how he ended up with Nabiki and how he learned about the curses and how they worked.

“She helped me when I didn’t ask or expect it.  I was just doing my job as a martial artist to help those in need when she was attacked in the ally.  I never wanted to hurt her, so I became Ra and her friend and have been ever since.  Don’t judge me wrong Doc; I’m no pervert that is using my curse to peep on her.  I just don’t know what to do now.  I want to come clean but not without hurting her and Pop finding out about me.”  Ranma could only stare at the tea in his hands expecting the worst.

Dr. Tofu silently watched the young man in front of him.  His story was hard to believe, but he could tell that it wasn’t made up.  The boy could be read like a book and his aura never wavered until he started talking about Nabiki, but that was something else entirely.  “Ranma, I believe you and you know that delaying telling her will only end up doing more damage.  I know how hard it was for you to tell me this, but thank you.  You are a good friend to Nabiki and it shows.”  He saw that Ranma relaxed from the praise, “I’ll help you out with Nabiki though and with my help, we might be able to salvage your friendship.”

Ranma looked up, hope shining in his eyes, “You think so Doc?  If you think so, I’ll try almost anything right now.”  Seeing Dr. Tofu nod, Ranma bowed to him, “Thanks Dr. Tofu.  You don’t know what this means to me.  I expected a lot worse from you when I was found out.”

“Don’t worry about it Ranma.  I suggest we call it a night and we’ll talk again before Nabiki comes for you.  Do you need anything?”

“Yeah, some cold water, I found that I can sleep better as a falcon and standing.  Also, I was wondering if you could help me with something?”

 

[Next Morning]

Nabiki had just entered Dr. Tofu’s clinic when he appeared with Ra on his arm.  “Everything is fine Nabiki.”  H-Ranma hopped off Dr. Tofu’s arm and landed on Nabiki’s awaiting arm before hopping up to her shoulder where he usually perches.  “As you can see, he’s back to normal.”

Nabiki smiled seeing Ra back to normal.  It was hard to go to sleep knowing that Ra wasn’t nearby that night.  “Thank you again for everything that you’ve done, Dr. Tofu.  I’m sorry I can’t stay longer, but I need to get to school.”  She quickly stepped out and gave a wave as she headed for school.

Dr. Tofu waved back as he watched both Ranma and Nabiki leave.  Closing the door, Dr. Tofu pulled out a business card and picked up the phone.  I guess this favor will turn out to be useful after all.  I only hope that he can find her before going off to his “hobby.”  Suddenly Dr. Tofu heard a voice on the other line, “Yes, my name is Doctor Tofu.  I was told that City Hunter could be found at this number.  I have job for him.”

 

[Furinken]

“Good luck at the competition Akane!”  “Win one for us Akane!”  “You can do it!”

“Thanks guys,” Akane called back to her friends as she passed them.  Apparently it didn’t take long for the news about her taking the place of the injured Gymnastics this weekend.  She just turned her back when her untrained sixth sense went off.  Danger!

“Akane Tendo, prepare yourself!” Kodachi declared in mid-strike with her boken.  She was rightly surprised when her strike stopped short.

Akane held the boken tip one-handed as her anger began a steady boil.  “You again?  After what you did to last night you have a lot of nerve to try and ambush me first thing in the morning.”

“Me?  Ambush you?  I’m here merely to meet my Ranma-sama.”  Kodachi tried to subtly get the boken out of Akane’s grip but she found it held fast.  I have to stop underestimating this Akane Tendo.  She is more than she appears and does seem to have some skill.

R-Ranma desperately wanted to avoid meeting that woman again.  He was just about to try and disappear in the growing crowd when he saw Nabiki with Ra walk up.  “Ranma is not yours and never will be while he is engaged to my sister.”  Akane and Kodachi stopped their staring contest and stared at Nabiki in surprise.

“Oh ho ho ho, what is this?  Nabiki Tendo, who are you to tell me what I can and can’t have?  Surely, men would adore basking in my presence and would do anything to be my equal in stature.  While you have men running from you and have to pay them to be with you.”  Kodachi was oblivious to the shocked expressions running through the school.  They all knew not to mess around with Nabiki if you wanted to live in peace.  H-Ranma really wanted to attack the girl for some reason, he reasoned that it was for last night, but it didn’t feel right.  Maybe it was for Nabiki but he knew she could take care of herself.

Nabiki didn’t respond right away as she tried to get her anger under control.  Don’t let her get to you.  Sensing Ra’s posture change, she held him back from attacking.  “I might have to do that, but men run from both of us but they will come to me freely if I pay while you have to paralyze them so they can’t run.  As for the rest, I am above you in every other department, except financially.  That makes me above you alone.”  She paused while Kodachi’s control slipped and she could see the anger being directed to her.  Nabiki ignored it with a wicked smile, “And as for my business here.  Last night you attacked my sister and the gymnastics team before that.  Then you paralyzed my sister’s fiancée so you can have your way with him and then Ra, my falcon, so you wouldn’t be stopped.  I can’t prove it, but this is a warning.  You directly attacked Furinken’s honor by trying to sabotage the match and attacking the school mascot.  You have also attacked my family’s honor by trying to have your way with Ranma.  This is a warning to you, try it again and charges will be pressed that you and your family will not hope to be able to escape undamaged.”

Kodachi was about to attack Nabiki, but her target spun on her heals and left.  Kodachi then realized that she was alone in an unfamiliar school and was surrounded by multiple people that promised retribution if she did anything.  “Sister, it was not wise to attack the Falcon of Furinken last night.  Take this chance and leave or I will not be able to stop the impending trouble.”  Kodachi turned and saw her brother off to the side.

“I take my leave then.  I’ll see you at the match Akane Tendo and prepare to loose the match and your fiancée.  He’ll surely come to me once he sees how easily you are beaten.”  With a twirl of her ribbon, a shower of black rose petals filled the sky as she hopped over the walls of Furinken.  Before she made her way to school, she turned and saw something new next to the name Furinken High School.  There was a falcon’s head next to it and she then made the connection between the mascot and the falcon that Nabiki had, which looked a lot like the one that tried to stop the previous night.  I will be sure to get more information next time before I try anything more.  This isn’t over yet Nabiki Tendo.  No one makes a mockery out of Kodachi the Black Rose.

Back on the other side of the wall, the students were dissipating for classes and give their pity to R-Ranma.  “Ranma, my sister never gives up on things that she wants.  Take care of her.”  Before R-Ranma could respond he turned to Akane and handed her a bouquet of red roses while his statement had stunned her.  “Akane, please, don’t let yourself be hurt by my sister at the match.  Even though I despise our mascot because it doesn’t glorify this noble institution enough, I pray you defeat her for the honor of Furinken.”

“Kuno’s sister?” Ranma said, watching Kuno walk back to the school.  Akane stood next to him barely noticing what she was holding.  “It makes sense if you think about it.”  From the window in her classroom, Nabiki watched Kodachi leave the school premises.  “Attack Ra again and you’ll find your roses trimmed, Kodachi.”

 

[Night before the match]

The sounds of combat were steadily coming from the dojo that night as it had been for the past week.  “Saotome, I think they really like each other.  How else would they be working together like they are now?  Soon the schools will be united, WAHHHH!”  However… something just don’t change.

“I told you Soun.  It won’t be long now and we can have the wedding and we can retire in luxury.” Genma laughed while Soun water works of happiness went off.  Genma was smart enough to be behind Soun when he was like this.

Inside the dojo, R-Ranma and Akane were still practicing.  Come on Akane, stop trying and just do it.  You’ll never win at this rate.”  They had been practicing all week and Akane has shown improvement where she was proficient with the tools, but R-Ranma thought she still wasn’t good enough while he blocked her ribbon.

“I’m doing it exactly like you showed me!” discarding the ribbon while kicking the ball at him before picking up the rope and a baton.  R-Ranma blocked the ball with his two batons and prepared for her attack.  “Well, then prove it!  If you can’t defeat me then you’re not good enough.”

This had the effect he wanted; Akane steeled her emotions and launched herself at Ranma intending to pound some sense into him.  “Hyah!”  In the heat of the attack, Akane missed the rolling ball that planted itself under her feet.  CRASH!

 

[Akane’s room]

R-Ranma tried not to look worried but was only half successful.  It was my fault; I shouldn’t have teased her that much.  Nabiki caught his expression and filed it away for later.  “Man Akane, you are such a klutz tripping yourself like that.”  Kasumi silently put away the medical supplies back in the first aid kit, ignoring the bickering.  “I guess you have no choice but to withdraw from the competition.”

“I’ll be there.  I have to uphold the school’s honor.”  She resolutely claimed while turning to stand up.

“No, wait Akane!” Kasumi exclaimed.  The result was Akane falling back down to the floor grabbing her ankle.  “You sprained your ankle and can’t use it tomorrow if you don’t want to seriously injure yourself.  You’ll just have to find a replacement.”

“That’s easy for you to say, but who else do we know that is nimble enough,” Nabiki’s eyes suddenly showed some mischief, “in great shape,” suddenly Ranma’s eye’s lit up, “and knows martial arts,” Akane finished with a questioning look to Ranma and Nabiki.  They seem to have an idea.  Oh I see!

Downstairs, Genma and Soun were oblivious to the happenings in the house while they played go on the porch.  SPLASH!  Onna-Genma sputtered as he turned and found Nabiki with a bucket in her hands.  “Nabiki, what’s the meaning of this?” Soun asked shocked by what her daughter just did.

“A matter of honor is present and only Genma-chan is able to fulfill it.  He, she, is to fight at the Rhythm Gymnastics tomorrow.”

“What?  Why would I do such a thing like that,” Onna-Genma questioned in her now higher voice.

“One: Akane injured herself a few moments ago and can’t compete.  Two: Kodachi is gunning to ruin your little dream by trying to claim Ranma.  And Three: I would be willing to overlook Genma’s debt to us for all the freeloading he’s doing to us if he does this,” while handing Genma a rather thick folder.  He only read the first line before slamming it back shut, “If you put it that way, I guess it’s my duty as a martial artist to protect the Tendo-Saotome pledge.”

“Good, Ranma is in the dojo waiting for you.”  Genma went off to the dojo looking for his son to show that his father didn’t need such training.  He was after all the Master of Saotome Anything Goes Martial Arts, a student couldn’t teach him anything new.  How little he knew.

“Nabiki how could you do that, demanding a guest to pay their debt?” Soun asked, flabbergasted.

“Simple Father, ever since the Saotome’s arrived, they have put a huge burden on our finances, about 5 times the normal amount than our previous guests.  Most of that is food and if something isn’t done about it, we will loose the dojo.  So, for once, stop playing with your dreams and face reality or there won’t be any dreams to dream about.”

Nabiki swiftly left her father in shock as she headed for her room.  She hated to do that to him, but there was no other way of telling him that finances were in trouble.  Genma’s job with Dr. Tofu was helping but he didn’t work enough hours to make it worthwhile, as he would drink his income the next weekend.  She saw Ra watching out the window to the dojo as she closed the door.  “I finally told him Ra, I only hope he listens this time.”  H-Ranma was about to turn around but quickly turned back to the window when he noticed that she was changing for bed. He didn’t turn back until he heard her sit on her bed.  “Things will be fine Ra, don’t worry.  I’ll make sure that we don’t loose the house if I can help it.”

 

When Nabiki was finally asleep, H-Ranma hopped out the open window and flew towards Dr. Tofu’s.  For the past week, he had been visiting the Doctor late at night for counseling usually.  Being on the road for 10 years and having to live as a bird for over 4 months created a lot of questions that H-Ranma wanted to ask.  His time as a bird changed him, forcing him to live with people and observe how they acted and talked.  He knew he needed help so he asked the good doctor if he would be willing.

Dr. Tofu was more than willing to help out the young man.  He could tell that the boy had no secret motive and really wanted to learn.  The surprising fact was that the boy was a natural learner.  He only had to explain things usually once or twice and Ranma understood.  He was still a bit rough around the edges and still tended to put his foot in his mouth but it was still an improvement.  His thoughts about girls being the weaker sex though was taking longer to get rid of and would still be with him, though from experiencing the Tendo girls, there was already some kinks with that line of thought.

“Hello, Ranma.” Dr. Tofu said, hearing the flapping coming from the open windowsill.  With practiced ease, he allowed H-Ranma to climb on his arm and took him to the bathroom where a tub of hot water was waiting and some clothes for him to wear.  A few minutes later, H-Ranma, now human, walked out.

“Evening Doc.” following him to the study, “Any more news about my Mom?”

“Sorry, Ranma.  The Detective is still looking though he is closer and is hoping to have something by next week.”  Dr. Tofu watched as the boy’s mood dropped, “Come on, I believe we’ve done enough with the counseling and I want to teach you something that you hold a great interest in.”  H-Ranma looked up in surprise as Dr. Tofu sat in front of him, “I want to teach you about aura’s.”

 

[The next morning]

“Mmmmmmnnnnnn,” stretched Akane.  The sun was already up, yet the morning dew could still be seen covering the ground.  Pulling on a robe, Akane walked downstairs towards the dojo.  I hope those two idiots didn’t practice all night.  Mr. Saotome seemed to be able to learn the tools quickly but still didn’t seem to have the practice that Ranma did.  I wonder why?  Didn’t Mr. Saotome teach everything he knew to Ranma?  Stepping into the dojo, Akane performed a massive face-fall once she saw the destruction in the dojo.  Walls had cracks and holes in them, while a few sported a few of the tools implanted in them.  The real shock was a sleeping Ranma with his back against the wall and a sleeping onna-Genma who was sleeping with her head in the wall.  Oh, boy.

 

“A replacement?” Kodachi asked, a humorous smile across her face.  She eyed the woman behind Akane who was still partially asleep.  “Well, that is fine with me, though the outcome will still be the same.  Let us shake on it,” putting forth her hand to the girl.  However, just as the girl was to shake, Akane stopped her hand while turning it over, exposing the tacks in her hands.  “Oh dear, how did those get there?”

Akane and Onna-Genma were led to the visitor’s dressing room where Akane set down a sleeping pig on a chair.  She was able to wake up Mr. Saotome, but Ranma slept through even a cool bucket of water.  So as to not be late, she just carried him a long like he was her pet until she could get him some hot water.  Making sure Mr. Saotome had everything, she moved into a different part of the room to let Mr. Saotome change.  “Akane, dear?”

“Yes, Mr. Saotome?” walking back into the room.

“Where is Ranma, is with you?  I was going to toss him into the showers.”

“No, I set him down,” and saw that the chair she had set him on was now empty, “there.  I guess he woke up and went searching for hot water.”

“He’s a big boy Akane, he’ll show up later I’m sure of it.”

“I’m not worried about that pig,” she denied loudly.  She was a little worried, but she wished her father and Mr. Saotome wouldn’t act so smug about things like this.  Not to mention that they still haven’t given up about this stupid marriage idea.

Elsewhere, R-Ranma was looking for the hot water.  The last thing he remembered was being knocked into the dojo wall after sending his “mother” towards the other wall.  When he woke up, he was a pig and in an unknown area.  So, he plopped off the chair for hot water.  Now, he was outside and very, very, lost.  Where the heck am I now?  Suddenly, he felt himself being lift up and was staring face to face with Kodachi.  “You will prove to be useful.”  R-Ranma could only pray she didn’t cook him for dinner.  Help!

 

“In this corner, we have St. Bacchus’s champion, Kodachi Kuno!” the referee announced to the screaming crowd.  “And in the opposite corner we have,”

“Nodoka Saotome,” Onna-Genma answered.  Oh well, can’t really go about using my name.  Besides what’s the chance that Nodoka will ever hear about this?

“Nodoka Saotome!”  The crowd erupted in applause except for two people.

Tatewaki was in shock seeing his fleet-footed warrior fighting his sister.  Even more so, that the warrior carried the same family name as the evil sorcerer Saotome.  “I must write this down, less I forget,” as he grabbed a pad and pencil.  The man has his priorities at least even though she told him her name the first time they fought.

Kodachi was just as in shock but for a different reason.  “You.  How is it that you share the same family as my beloved Ranma-sama?” asking as they approached the center of the ring.

“Hugh?  Probably because,” think Genma, think, “I’m his cousin.”  Good cover Genma my boy.

“Well, I’m sure my Ranma-sama wouldn’t mind too badly if I had to prove my worth to his cousin.”  Just as they were about to shake, “Look over there!”

Onna-Genma and the ref both looked where Kodachi was anxiously pointing.  CLICK!  Genma knew that he had fallen for one of his own tactics when he heard and felt the manacle on his wrist.  Looking at it, there was a long chain attached to it and R-Ranma.  Ranma, how did you get yourself in this?

 

[Meanwhile]

Nabiki watched the contest with interest.  It seemed that Kodachi was making up for the lost chances at their place in the ring.  The specially crafted rope, baton, and hoop were a big surprise for everyone.  However, her attention wasn’t on the match but the ring.  If Kodachi had her tools crafted, then something would be wrong with the ring.  “Sis, I’m going down to see how Akane needs any help.  Watch Ra for me,” moving Ra to Kasumi’s shoulder before heading ringside.

“Ok, don’t get in her way though and be careful,” Kasumi called, seated next to Soun who was crying at Genma’s performance in the ring.  “Oh, the suffering you go through for the sake of uniting the school’s Genma.”  H-Ranma, sleepily noticed him being moved to a different perch, but didn’t protest.  The reading that he did last night after leaving Dr. Tofu went a little too long where he nearly forgot to change back and get back to Nabiki’s room.

 

Down at ringside, Nabiki carefully moved about so not to get noticed.  It was pretty easy since everyone’s attention was on the ring, not around it.  Bending down, she slowly peeked under the tarp and was shocked to see the area under the ring filled with girls in leotards.  Ah, I knew something was up with the ring.  Slowly, she put the tarp back down without being noticed by the girls who were apparently chatting and killing time while waiting for something.  Now, what to do.  I know.  “And the challenger blocks with the pig, who doesn’t seem to be too happy about it either,” the announcer calling the plays.  That has to hurt.

 

Under the ring, the entire St. Bacchus’s gymnastics team was waiting for Kodachi’s signal.  “I just wish we can watch the match as well.  This is the first time someone has managed to avoid being taken out by Kodachi.”  “I agree, but we can’t argue with her.”

“Hey, I know we’re in a dark place and people won’t notice but I’m not like that,” yelled a girl suddenly.  The one next to her was apparently confused, “I didn’t do any… yah!  Who just touched me?”

“Squeak, squeak!”  Who me?  The two girls suddenly saw the assailant and froze.

 

[Meanwhile]

Genma was really tired of all the dirty tricks this girl was pulling on him.  No one did this to him, but if it was for training he didn’t mind.  But this was an honor match to keep the Tendo-Saotome Union from breaking.  Only he could do use such underhanded tricks to win.  It just wasn’t fair.  Onna-Genma flipped backwards to avoid another spiked club when he saw that the girl was extended too far.  “Lady, you left yourself open,” grabbing her club with her feet and suddenly flipped Kodachi into the air heading out of the ring.  “And that mean’s you loose.”

“Wait, it seems that Kodachi is heading out of the ring.  Is this the end of the undefeated champion?”  Kodachi paid the announcer no mind as she pulled out a small whistle.  Just as she was about to signal her team… “EEEEEKKKK!!!!”

Instantly, multiples of girls in leotards appeared from under the ring as they ran from the ring as if the devil incarnate was under there.  Kodachi was so surprised, that she forgot to blow the whistle as she came crashing down outside of the ring.

“Kodachi is out of the ring.  Nodoka Saotome is the winner!  But what was the reason for the evacuation of the entire St. Bacchus’s from their hiding space under the ring?”

Onna-Genma hopped onto the ropes and struck the matting, utterly destroying it and allowing him to rip it off.  Underneath, the remnants of the team’s snacks and cards remained as if they had been there a long time.  Everyone looked, trying to find what caused the scare.

Then, a bag of popcorn moved and out came a small white mouse, with some popcorn in its mouth.  It then stood on its hind legs and started to munch on the popcorn.  Then, as if noticing the attention, it stopped eating and addressed the crowd of people.  “Squeak?” What did I do?

 

[Somewhere in Tokyo the next day]

A woman with dark red hair, dressed in a blue kimono, was reading the newspaper while having breakfast.  It was one way of leaning about things going on around the city and it was also another way to pick up clues.  “Nodoka Saotome, defeated the then undefeated Kodachi Kuno in Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics yesterday.  Kodachi could only comment that her love for her Ranma-sama was put out, but a new one was burning in its place.  The challenger could only say that Anything Goes Martial Arts is the style that could challenge any other and defeat it.  For more information, contact the Tendo Dojo.”  The lady slowly put down the paper as she stared at it in shock.  Could it be them?  I don’t know but how many people are named Saotome.  Too bad there wasn’t a picture with the article, it was only a minor article.  But what on earth was I doing at St. Bacchus’s?

 

***Author’s Notes***

I know I have not been really good about bringing these chapters out but school has been a real pain and I haven’t had the motivation recently to get this done.  I now have my head on straight and I’m slowly working on the stories again.  My next endeavor will be Knight of the Moon then I need to pick up Return of the Eagle.  I know people are a little OOC, but things have changed allowing people to grow a little earlier.  As you’ve noticed, the manga’s are slowly being fazed out.  From here on in, the manga’s will be referred to for the settings, but I don’t think they will be used anymore.  The scenes are set; the actors just need to be introduced.  Enjoy.  Oh, if there wasn’t enough fight scenes, you should be able to imagine the fight scene yourself.  Remember, Genma taught Ranma and is a Master.