DISCLAIMER: Relatively standard stuff. Existing characters are properties of the people who made them up. Mitsuki, and several other characters are mine, and so's the story, hence ownership and copyright of them belongs to me. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want permission to use anything I've written for whatnot purposes.
Warning: in the concern of public safety, this chapter has the following warning affixed to it - this chapter is written from the point of view of Rei Hino. As such, some of the themes presented are of an adult nature (sex, violence, humour, language, themes) and may not be suitable for viewing by young audiences. You have been warned.
Translation of warning: there is lime/lemon stuff in this part. If you don't like that kinda, I suggest skipping this chapter. It won't be a regular occurance, popped out of nowhere while writing the story, so I ran with it (yeah, yeah, Misatokitty no baka hentai and the rest ;)
** Love Hino **
I bring by bokken down towards his, and it bounces. I shift my grip on the hilt slightly before the blade could travel too far from Ranma's, and brought it down again, sliding it towards the hild guard, where I could trap his bokken. That completed, I shift my weight off by back foot to my front, and swing the back foot up to tangle Ranma's legs with a light kick.
Or rather, I would have, if not for the fact he was now squatting on my bokken. Surprisingly, I didn't feel any weight on there, almost as if he was attempting one of his other ki tricks he's been showing off. His bokken's tip was right at my nose. "Gotcha," he said with a smirk. I was hideously enbarrassed.
Embarrassed thought I was, I still had my dignity - losing my temper would probably be more trouble than it was worth, seeing as he was the only sensei I could learn something off who was local. So I slid my practise bokken through hoops attached to my training gi, and bowed from the hips. I held it momentarily longer than Ranma did his - exactly what I should do for my sensei.
"Good workout today, Rei. Gotta say, using one of these things isn't as easy as Kuno always made it look." Ranma ran his fingers thoughtfully up the blade. I look at him, just wearing the pants of his gi, and wonder - why not challenge him to another round? After all, there's no sweat on his finely muscled body... it's like I haven't even challenged him at all. I *know* I can do better than that, so why haven't I been able to do it in the week since we started doing this?
I turn, and walk towards the edge of the plateau the dormitory is built on, where there are some large rocks we girls occasionally use to sun ourselves (well, Usagi, Makoto and Minako do - Ami, Hotaru and I are usually busy elsewhere, or practising our katas), and grab a clean white towel. It feels nice and fluffy against my skin, and soaks off my sweat rather well. I turn, and watch Ranma do the same, grabbing a towel from the rocks himself and wiping his brow, and not his chest, which is shining in the morning sunlight. He smiles up at Hotaru with an easy grin. I feel a twinge in my chest - I must have overdone it this morning, pulled a muscle or something. A quick massage fixes that little annoying pain.
I change the direction of my gaze to the small training area we'd sketched out with our feet. We'd done it the other morning, when Ranma had learnt enough of my technique to work on teaching me things I might be better at using.
He's not showing me how to use his ki techniques yet. But I notice he's not using them in our sparring, either... he's being very honourable about this. So, I am doing my best, also. I don't want to transform again to fight him - like I did that first time. As Sailor Mars, I hold more power than Ranma does, but I have less control of what power I do have, and he is faster, more agile.
By the time one of my special attacks has gotten to where he was, he's behind me. I want him to teach me how to do that.
Hotaru is sitting on the rocks, up behind me. She's almost on the edge of the rocks, with her back to the glorious view of the prefecture. I follow her interested gaze... Ranma. She's staring at her sempai. My sensei. Which relationship takes precedence in this situation? I mean, he's my teacher - he's her idol! If I need him, can I have him?
Hold on, what? What did I just -
Don't think about it, Rei... you're not interested in him. Although I do think it's weird Makoto hasn't yet given mention that Ranma reminds her of her ex-boyfriend...
Hotaru's eyes are still watching Ranma, and she blushes whenever he looks up at her. He gives her a smile, nice, tender. Big-brotherishy. She'll be calling him 'big brother' soon enough... or at least, that's what he thinks. You can see it in his face. He thinks she's great, but at 16, she's a little too young for him. I can see that. Usagi can see that, but she's been swayed by Minako, who thinks they'd be a cute couple. Ha! Saturn, settle down? She was *born* to destroy. And she's going to destroy any chance she's got, what with these little "Sempai sempai sempai!"'s she gives all the time.
It sickens me. She doesn't even have the guts to stand up and fight for him!
Mitsuki, sitting next to Hotaru but looking the other way, over the prefecture, she had stepped in a week ago to date Ranma, and little Hotaru-chan hadn't said anything about that. Hadn't tried to stop it... although she could have - Saturn is more powerful than some hussy with a weird personality.
I wonder what blood type she is? I'll have to ask Nanami at university later today.
Mitsuki... now she's a mystery to me, and to the other senshi. I think Hotaru knows more, but she won't say. She just gives her a look that says, I know you, and that's it. Mitsuki... acts hot and cold. I can't understand it. Almost as if she hears voices, or has other personalities, and I'm not sure which is the case - she just does some really weird things!
For example, a little over a week ago, she slammed a door on Ranma's foot. After apparently wanting a kiss goodnight - so Hotaru has intimated. He didn't give it, she slammed his foot in her door. A couple of days later (I saw this) Ranma knocked on the door to the women's hot springs. He called out - he had maintenance to carry out. He had his tools and everything. And there was no response from within. I walked up behind him, and pushed the door open for my new sensei... he thanked me, and stepped inside.
Mitsuki was standing, completely nude, on the edge of the springs, in water halfway up her stomach. Her hands were at her sides, and she cocked her head with a questioning gaze at Ranma - who promptly paniced, apologised profusely and took off. I suspect he's had bad experiences with girls in baths or springs before, so fast did he leave. I feel sorry for him. She'd obviously set this up, had manipulated events to get him in there in time to see her... naked?
That can't be it all, though... I know Ranma has some aversion to women at the moment... I don't know what. But when he bumps into one of us outside of training... he panics. As if he expects us to hit him. And hit him hard.
Not that it's not an option. I've found him... well, on places of mine I'd rather keep close to my chest if you get my drift. By complete accident. Usagi's roller skates at the top of the stairs, for example... and he's been in Hotaru-chan's lap before - last night, when Minako had tried to pull him out of his pants as he walked past her and give him 'the right idea,' Minako had said afterwards, cross when it hadn't worked. He jumped back like he'd been burnt with hot water (or cold - he has a strange aversion to that, I've noticed), but Hotaru just smiled, blushed, and muttered, "Oh sempai, later," like it was nothing!
Ranma had gone bright red, and run out of the lounge quickly. Usagi had fallen off her chair laughing. "Mamo-chan wouldn't have jumped away like that!" she howled.
Which was when I asked just how intact Usagi's honour was. She'd also gone bright red, and made excuses and left the lounge also.
I found her sitting in a cold bath with an ice pack on her head a few hours later, steam rising from the interactions between her flesh and the water. She looked angry. I guessed her honour isn't very intact at all.
But she told me before going to bed last night, Mamoru is coming over in a few days. Oh gee, that'll be fun. I think Usagi needs to have her boyfriend-cum-lover around a little to keep her mind off Ranma.
But Mitsuki... yeah. She's a mystery. Why is she doing this to him? That's what I can't understand. Ranma's said he thinks she knows him from times long since past, but he can't remember her at all. Which disturbs him a little.
He lifts up the bokken, and places it down carefully, picking up a stick and gesturing to Hotaru. She climbs down from the rocks slowly, carefully, and picks up a long straight stick of her own. I had watched Ranma sand them down yesterday - in fact, I helped. He doesn't want to start Mitsuki or Hotaru off with bokken, would rather they get used to having something long and stiff in their hands. Er, that wasn't Ranma's. Uh! That wasn't Ranma's weapons! Yeah.
Hotaru took up a reasonable pose, and Ranma takes up a decent defensive posture in response. He invites her attack with a finger, and even as she charges, he stays still. He's a good sensei... he takes hits, lets her feel like she's not useless. Yeah, Hotaru knows that Ranma is letting her tag him, but she makes that effort, and Ranma will only let his guard slip as a reward for her efforts. I feel he does the same with me.
She tries something she's watched me do, slipping on one foot and going down in the splits - she should be glad she's wearing a dress this morning, after all, I learnt to wear looser pants after trying that the first time, several years back. Made it to school late that day and found it hard to sit down for a while - hence I learnt about the clothing you wear when training.
While down on the ground, below Ranma's immediately accessible lines of attacks, she brings the stick up between his legs. This time, Ranma doesn't let her score a tag - not that I blame him for where the stick was heading very quickly. He snaps his knees shut, grabbing the stick with his thighs. It leaps from hotaru's hand, ripping free from her fingers. She cries out in pain, and the stick flies away. Ranma's own stick then taps her on the shoulder, the neutral position he uses with Mitsuki and Hotaru-chan to tag them, in case they move forwards (so they don't poke an eye out or something, I think).
He smiles down at Hotaru, and holds a hand out. "A good match. But don't blindly copy what others do - once a method of beating that style has been devised, you could find your attacks don't hit at all. Which isn't a good thing."
Hotaru must have smiled back. She uttered the, "Sempai..." she's gotten famous for since moving in, and took his hand, head lowered, blushing furiously. It works. He pulls, and she flies up into his chest, Ranma clasping her so the poor weak little girl doesn't collapse to the ground again and get injured. Sickening. Why can't he see he's being used? Played like a fish on a line? He's fallen for her - hook, line and sinker. And the stupid bit is - he hasn't even realised it yet!
He's so stubborn. I don't know why he seems to hate women so much... when he shows such affection for us all.
He helps Makoto in the kitchen. He helps Usagi with her homework - and surprisingly, if you can catch him after dinner if there's nothing good on the television, he's pretty good - if you can get rid of all distractions. He's wired the house with a fibre optic cable for Ami's laptop and computer. Helped Minako put posters up all through her room (I think she just wanted to see him with his shirt off). He helps Hotaru around up and down stairs all the time. He's stayed away from mitsuki as best he can since the hot springs incident... but even her, he does things for. Things that we would expect no manager or caretaker of a dormitory to help us with. Dammit, we're girls! We should cook! We should clean! We should -
Ahem. I feel I've just put back the movement for recognition of women as equal to men a century with that speech. But it's stuff we like doing - and he's happy to help us! Why?
And why, if he's a guy, is he so scared about touching any of us, or seeing us naked?
Is he a virgin? Nah, not at 18, not with that body. Does he... you know, touch himself? When he's alone? I wonder... I wonder sometimes what he would do. I've had... little to do with men. I lived with my grandfather for a time, and he never explained anything to me. I saw Mamoru naked once - and Usagi nearly killed me. Now... now I don't know. I know all about sex - and... certain other things. But I'm not sure how I'll know who's the right person for me, or when is the right time. It's got to be someone I can relate to, and spend a lot of time with. Someone I can be happy with.
Maybe he's gay? I don't know how two men would have a relationship, but I assume much the same as two women. But the men I've known who love other men... they don't panic around women like Ranma does.
I think he's been abused. By women. At some point in his life.
Hotaru finally lets go of him, and I can see he's gone somewhere else in his mind. You can tell that by the black stare in his eyes, and the slightly opened mouth. I wonder where he goes? That's a question I'll have to ask one time.
She steps back, and bows at the hips, same as me. "Sempai," she whispers, "Please, forgive me. I didn't mean to -"
Ranma holds up a hand. "Never mind, Hotaru-chan... we all learn from trying. You're learning well. I'm surprised. We'll start working on your pow-" He stops and looks up at me, noticing I'm looking directly at him, intently. "Er, on the power of your punches and stuff, next week, okay?"
Hotaru gives him a secretive look. She's told him about her abilities. Her transformation. She has to have. That's what he'd have been talking about. Damn, why'd I have to be looking *right at him* when he'd glanced up?
I look away, find something interesting in the flowerbed at the base of the rocks. Hmm. A few daisies. A pitiful attempt. Maybe I should get some roses...? Might make Mamoru a little happier. He could pick some then, rather than magically generate some for Usagi. And I vaguely remember some academy somewhere up north that was ordering in roses by the truck load... who knows what Ohtori did with them all? Maybe they still want some? It could come in handy, make some money for the dormitory for some extra special items... like Swedish masseuses for the girls. Well, for me. After a workout like this, all I want to do is... uh, not that. No, not that while everyone's awake. Have a nice hot bath.
Ranma bows, dismisses us all, and I head inside, grab some clothes and head out into the hot springs out the back. Ami's already there, as is Makoto. Both are chatting in the main spring, towels up on the rocks behind them. That's the first time I've seen Ami talk in a while. Wonder what they're chatting about? They don't notice me while I'm stripping off my sweaty workout gi, so I listen in.
"... know she's in love with him!"
Ami seems horrified that Makoto's said that. "How can you think that about her? She's so naive!"
"Ha! Naive! You don't know what she does when she thinks everyone's asleep!"
My heart catches.
"Even I know that... but she's got no idea about men! Haven't you seen her try to hit on Ranma?"
Makoto shrugs. "Yeah, I have. I guess you're right." She looks up then, and sees me step into the spring.
"Good morning, everyone," I say cheerfully. Ami looks ashen, as does Makoto. Weird. Maybe they had a tough night sleeping? The water feels momentarily hot, then cools to a pleasant warm numb surrounding my skin. I splash a little over my face and duck my shoulders under to clean off excess sweat, then find a rock to sit on, and look expectantly at my two friends.
They stay silent, still looking ill. I cock my head to one side, and look at Ami. "Ami, are you okay?" Ami nods, and both her and Makoto start to regain some colour. "You were talking about Hotaru?"
They both exchange a glance, and it almost seems like something's been decided. "Yeah, we were," Makoto says.
"And?" I ask. I want to know what Hotaru does at night. I've heard her breath catch... but she's usually just rolling over, or waking up to go to the toilet or get a drink, or something. Never what I thought it was. So I'm curious! What does Hotaru do while she thinks everyone's asleep?
"And... nothing," Ami says, a little lamely. "We only just started talking..."
"She's in love with Ranma?"
Ami and Makoto again share a glance - hell, even *I* know this one, why are they being so secretive? "Yes," Makoto says, finally.
After that, Ami changes the subject, and we start chatting about our courses at Tokyo University. I find Ami's doing well, and she's met someone she's flirting - with the manager of another dormitory, it seems, a little way around from us. From what she describes, this Keitaro is older than her, and trying to get into Todai himself. "And he's in love with someone already, so whenever I see him around the grounds... I make sure I go say hello to him. Sometimes we have lunch... and we talk about his childhood a lot." She looks a little disturbed at that.
Makoto on the other hand is enjoying her course not quite so much - but that's more fitting the lifestyle on campus into her normal routines. She's still taller than most of those she's in the class with, a source of embarrassment for her, and some guy is giving her grief - she's short enough to look up just about any skirt she wears. Even worse, he likes to touch girls. A lot. In... places. "He's really old," Makoto adds. "And really small. If you see him... throw salt on him or something. And hold on to your underwear."
I nod, understandingly. I know I won't fall prey to this fiend. I've got Ranma-
No, no I don't. Hotaru does. Mitsuki does. To an extent, so does Usagi! I don't. I've got nothing in common with him - nothing at all! He makes me sick... the way his muscles ripple under his skin... the way he moves with such strength, grace, power...
Ami and Makoto are staring at me. I slip my hands forward onto my knees, lean forward and grab control of my breathing. "What?"
Makoto says, "Why were you -"
Ami grabs her, though, and hauls her out of the spring. I'm confused. Why were I what? My eyes track them around the springs, as they wrap towels tightly around themselves and quickly head out. I don't know... oh damn. I wasn't thinking about *him*, was I? I look down. Yes. Yes I was. Damn. Damn! I try to sit on my fingers to keep them occupied elsewhere, but it doesn't work so well. Damn it. If I'm not going to get any peace from my mind or hormones, then the least I can do is keep an eye on the door. Surely Hotaru and Mitsuki want to use the springs, as well...?
I shift across to where Ami sat, having a good view of the doorway. My fingers start their business now, moving on their own. They know what I like. My eyes focus on the doorway... and I start thinking of my current favourite fantasy...
Tuxedo Kamen steps up to me, and takes me in his arms.
We dance a small waltz, around a huge ballroom with a giant diamond-studded disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Coloured lights are reflected off it, bouncing off the walls, the floor, making my fuku seem all sorts of exciting colours. My skirt twirls as he spins me around and we change dance styles.
And then Tuxedo Kamen lifts me up onto a bed. We're both naked, our bodoes warm and dry. He still has his mask on, but by now I've recognised who he is. He slides a hand up my side, and I shiver, and moan. It feels good. He shifts, and I wrap my legs around his waist. He moves forward, and I cry out.
There's a banging sound.
I look up, the head of the bed is banging against the wall. I can't worry about that now, this... feels... sooo... good!
The banging sound continues.
We're moving now. Really moving. I feel like I'm about to explode from my skin, it feels so good!
He calls my name! I call his in return, a gasped moan as I clutch at his shoulders.
He stiffens above me, around me, all over me.
His voice is urgent now. He takes me into his arms, and I shake, moaning, then collapse. I can feel his hands on my arms, holding me tightly. Too tight, for the actions we've just been through. I look up, through eyes slitted in my pleasure.
Ranma is above me, looking down, panicked. He doesn't have the mask anymore. Where's the mask gone? I try to brush my hair out of my eyes... what? My hair's wet. Why is my hair wet? Surely I didn't sweat too mu... Ranma's clothed. I'm not. And he's got me on my back, with cold rock and sand underneath me. There's no bed. Some part of my mind realises this isn't fantasy anymore, and I wonder what... oh no... where are my fingers?
I heave my head up, and look down me. I sigh with relief: they're by my side. That's good. I'm naked... but Ranma's draped a towel over my body. Why am I lying here? I ask Ranma just that.
"I was passing by, and heard you moaning," he explains. "I thought you sounded sick, so I knocked to make sure you were okay. You just kept moaning. Then you called my name, and then I heard a thump, like you'd hit your head... all I could hear after that was the splashing of water and bubbles, as if someone were drowning. I, uh, burst in after that and pulled you out." he puts his hand behind his head, and laughs, nervously. "I'm sorry. I should have got one of the girls to -"
My hand - the one that was Ranma - reaches out and grabs his wrist. "No," I say urgently. "No. Thank you. You... saved me. Thank you, Ranma." I sit up, and give him a hug. The towel falls off, but I don't care, and Ranma's shocked into immobility. I see in his eyes he goes to wherever it is he goes to again... and I smile, and stand up.
Hotaru's in the doorway, watching, eyes wide open. Mitsuki is standing behind her, gazing over the girl's head. Her mouth has dropped. Hotaru runs off, sniffing, about to cry. Mitsuki just looks sad, lowers her head, and walks the other direction. I make a decision. Ranma... isn't mine. He can't be mine. All I've got... is myself. I look at my hand again, frown, then clench the hand into a fist and run out of the springs, wrapping my towel around me tightly.
I've got some explaining to do to a young girl with stars in her eyes.
SAILOR MOON SAYS:
Well, the one that got away. The end of this started from a joke which may yet appear. It's a nice little visual joke, so likely it will turn up.
To those who read this, and comment on Hotaru, yes, I'm quickly falling enchanted with her myself. There will be things that happen, though, that will make it hard on both Ranma and Hotaru if they choose to go down that route.
Next part: What? I haven't got that far yet! Um... more with the Dark Kingdom baby. Round two with the senshi. More of the inner senshi, since a friend is commenting the last part kinda sucked without having them in it so much. Wow. Uh... and just when the heck are Luna and Artemis gonna turn up?