Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ Little Angel Lost ❯ Sidestory 1 What makes a man Part 1 ( Chapter 10 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Little Angel Lost

A Ranma 1/2 Fanfiction by Ryo Oki

Disclaimer: All characters and places not created by me
are probably owned by someone else.

Authors Note: This story is an alternative universe / crossover story
set roughly 4 months after the wedding. Ranma and Akane are now juniors
in high school.

This is going to be a side story set after the events written about
in chapter 9 of the main story. As for why I am writing a side story now,
well let's just say I needed a break from the main story for a while.


Side story #1 What makes a Man? Part 1

Ranma returned to Hinako's house after their first day back at school,
since they acquired their new forms. The day was uneventful, in Ranma's mind,
except for the brief make out session he had with Shampoo. Ranma felt somewhat
guilty about that. He had not intended to be so aggressive with her, it wasn't
in his nature, but his new form was tired and needed to be satisfied. Ranma
was pretty sure Kasumi had felt what had happened and was probably angry with
him. The best thing he could do was just admit what had happened and hoped she
reacted different than Akane probably would if he was in a similar situation
with her.

As Ranma landed in the yard in his goddess form, carrying Hinako, Kasumi
came out to greet them. She didn't appear to be upset as far as Ranma could tell
but that did not necessarily anything. Nabiki was awfully good at hiding her
emotions, who is to say that Kasumi was not as well.

"So how was your first day back?", Kasumi asked Ranma and Hinako.

"It was very nice, although Ranma was a little naughty.", Hinako
teased Kasumi as Ranma began to look a little nervous.

"You mean about the kiss he gave Shampoo?", Kasumi said in a mock
angry tone.

"Um, well.....you see I didn't really mean to. I just.....", Ranma
tried to say as he cringed slightly, expecting to be hit by a large mallet,
or whatever daemons used.

"I am not going to hit you Ranma-chan, but you are going to have to
make it up to me.", Kasumi said in a sultry tone.

"How do you want me to do that?", Ranma asked somewhat nervous by
the tone of voice Kasumi was using.

"Well later on you can show me exactly what you and Shampoo were
doing.", Kasumi thought to Ranma along with a few other ideas of things she
wouldn't mind trying out.

Ranma turned bright red in response.

"I wouldn't do anything that would make you uncomfortable, although I
am curious about how 'sensitive' your new goddess form is.", Kasumi said as she
leaned in and whispered to Ranma as Hinako snickered out loud while
wondering if she would be allowed to take part in her goddess's little
'games' when she assumed her final form.

"Is there anything else?", Ranma asked.

"Yes there is. It appears Shampoo felt guilty about 'groping' you
and called from the cafe earlier and told me what happened. She
invited you, I, and Hinako to dinner at the cafe. I believe that she also
invited Ranko and Nabiki as well.", Kasumi said to Ranma.

"Shampoo is trying her best to become friends with more people from
now on, instead of thinking of them as 'obstacles' as she did in the past.
I could be wrong about this, but I also think that she may have a small
crush on the catboy., Hinako said as Kasumi raised an eyebrow at this

"Nabiki will not be happy to hear that. Are you sure that Shampoo
feels that way about him?", Ranma asked Hinako.

"I think that she just might want to hear more of the stories that
he has been telling her about his and my travels together.", Kasumi stated
before Hinako could answer Ranma's question.

"I wouldn't mind hearing about some or your travels together. Perhaps,
when I am fully grown the three of us go visit a few of the places that
you have been to.", Hinako said shyly.

"Something tells me that the three of us won't exactly have a boring
life together.", Ranma said as Kasumi held back a grin.

After all it was not her fault that her mother showed her a back door
into the world tree computer, allowing her to view all sorts of possible
futures that she, Ranma and Hinako might experience together.


Meanwhile back at the dojo, Ranko was just getting off of the phone
after accepting the invitation from Shampoo for he and Nabiki to eat at
the cafe that night.

Nabiki was glad to have the opportunity to leave the dojo for a
while. Akari had come home with Akane and was continuing her cooking
lessons for Akane before the two left for Akari's aunt's house that night
Akari would probably not allow Akane to poison anyone, but why take foolish
chances. After all her father was there and could give his opinion on his
daughter's cooking so there was no reason for Nabiki to stay.

Ranma, Kasumi, and Hinako were the first to arrive at the Cat Cafe.
As they entered the building they were greeted by an unusually cheerful
Shampoo and seconds later by a very annoyed Mousse.

"You have some nerve showing up here after what you have done today
Saotome!", Mousse declared 'righteously'.

"What are you talking about duckboy?", Ranma said, trying to sound
as if he didn't know what Mousse was 'hinting' at.

"As if you didn't know. You should be ashamed of yourself molesting
Shampoo today and in your girl form no less.", Mousse declared as several
of the cafe's customers looked on in interest.

"Stupid Mousse imagining things, Ranma no molest Shampoo.", the
Amazon girl said as Cologne began to look on in interest.

"You do not need to lie for that womanizer. I shall break the spell
he has over you.", Mousse said while sounding a lot like a certain
deluded kendoist.

"Mousse imagining things. Maybe hit on head one to many times.",
Shampoo said.

"Ah, but I have proof.", Mousse stated as he pulled several pictures
out of no where and tossed them to several people around the room including
Cologne who seemed very interested in them.

"Aiyah, where you get those?", Shampoo ordered as she saw her 'moment'
that she shared with Ranma now being passed around like some scene from
a hentai magazine.

"I followed you to the school to ensure that this fiend does not
take advantage of you and what do I see but the two of you joined in a
passionate embrace, bodies rubbing tightly against each other as your
tongues darted in and out of your mouths.", Mousse said while drooling as
two boys fainted with nosebleeds.

"You do not understand what you saw.", Ranma said.

"I understand. How could I not, with you slowing slipping your hands
under Shampoo's skirt and into her panties.", Mousse declared as three more
customers fainted.

"But it was an accident, I was merely tired after taking Shampoo
flying and needed to recharge, that's all.", Ranma said then wincing as
he noticed the hurt look on Shampoo's face.

"So you admit taking advantage of her.", Mousse stated.

"No I wouldn't, I care too much about her to use her like that.",
Ranma said as Shampoo's expression changed from sadness to almost
manic glee.

"That is a weak excuse. No one has the right to touch Shampoo like
that except for me.", Mousse shouted.


Mousse hit the floor hard with a large frying pan now embedded in
his head.

"Stupid Mousse ever try doing that, Shampoo dip stupid duck boy in
spring of drowned bimbo and sell to Musk tribe, besides it Shampoo's idea
to kiss Ranma in the first place. Ranma merely responded to attention Shampoo
pay to him.", Shampoo said, while trying to hide the smile on her face and
the shiver running through her body as she remembered Ranma gently touching

Ranko and Nabiki entered the cafe just as Shampoo finished
flattening Mousse and trying to explain what had really happened.

"Oh my! Ranma was making out with Shampoo in his goddess form.", Ranko
thought, fighting back a blush.

"How come I did not know about this?", Nabiki said, surprised at how
she was letting herself 'slip' in her duties as the school's main
'information broker'.

"Perhaps all of you would like to discuss that in private.", Cologne
said as she began to escort the few remaining conscious customers out of
the cafe.

With all of the customers cleared out of the restaurant, Cologne had
Nuku Nuku drag the unconscious duck boy into the kitchen so the 'children'
could discuss their problems.

Over dinner Ranma and Shampoo explained what had happened to them and
how sorry they both were. Nabiki listened to what had happened, but was still
a little suspicious. Ranma was never the playboy type after all, but perhaps
this new goddess form of his was changing him somehow. Nabiki could not
bare to see Kasumi hurt to perhaps she should keep an eye out on Ranma for
a while, assuming of course that such a thing was even possible any more.

Hinako was busy taking notes as Ranma and Shampoo spoke. Unlike
Kasumi, who had felt the full affect of Ranma's and Shampoo's kiss, Hinako
barely noticed it at all. She supposed it was do the fact that she was
still a child at the moment and not ruled by her hormones. She kept the notes
in the hopes that as she aged, she could experiment on how Ranma kissing
someone made her feel. Maybe he would even kiss her.

Hinako felt all warm and tingly as that last thought went through her
head. After all she was now Ranma's angel, both of them being linked by
their souls until they die.

Ranko, meanwhile, was looking at Nabiki and wondering what it would be
like to hold her and such a fashion. He did not want to rush things, given
Nabiki's lack of experience in relationships, but the thought of them being
so intimate with each was very tempting and from the look he now noticed
Nabiki giving him, she was having similar thoughts as well.


In the kitchen of the cafe, Nuku Nuku had just thrown a pot of hot water
onto Mousse in order to wake the boy up.

"AHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIII", Mousse shouted as he jumped towards the ceiling
to avoid being boiled like a lobster anymore.

"Good you is awake, now maybe duck boy behave himself and not molest
Shampoo-chan anymore.", Nuku Nuku said while sounding quite annoyed at Mousse.

"I am not the one who molested her, it was that foul demon Saotome. I was
merely showing my love for her.", Mousse stated in a petulant tone of voice.

"Love?!?, that not love, that acting like little perverted school boy.
Nuku Nuku should know, that is how all the boys at school at towards me.",
Nuku Nuku stated.

"What do you mean?", Mousse asked, while wondering why he was being
compared to some common perverted school boy like Kuno perhaps.

"Almost every day that I go to school, some boy tries to touch Nuku
Nuku in a bad way, even if I just want to be friends. Silly school boys think
that just because a girl is nice to them or helps them, it means that she wants
to be their girlfriend. Of course, other girls see this and think that Nuku
Nuku think of herself as too good for little school boys. Nuku Nuku alone a
lot of times at school because of this.", Nuku Nuku said in a somber tone
of voice. Quite a change from her usual bouncy self, Mousse noted.

"Shampoo was nice to me when we were children. Many of the Amazons,
particularly the young warriors in training used to enjoy picking on the
'poor blind fool', except for Shampoo. She never hit me or insulted me,
until we became older. I don't know why she changed.", Mousse said in all

"Nuku Nuku just tell you why Shampoo no like you. Why Mousse not pay
attention.", Nuku Nuku said while starting to sound a little frustrated.

"I just thought that as we became older, maybe our former friendship
could be turned into something else.", Mousse replied.

"Maybe if you be nice to Ranma and others, then maybe Shampoo treat
you like a friend and not perverted boy, but even if that happens, Nuku
Nuku does not think that Shampoo will ever want to marry you.", Nuku
Nuku said, while sounding a little sorry to Mousse.

"That doesn't matter, nobody else in the village would be interested
in me anyway.", Mousse said, sounding quite sorry for himself.

"Perhaps if Mousse wear glasses and stop talking to furniture, people
will treat Mousse better.", Nuku Nuku replied to Mousse.

"I do not like to wear them, they make me look foolish and I have
always been teased for wearing them.", Mousse replied.

"More like you are teased for not wearing them. Girls no care if
boys wear glasses, only care if boy is kind and respectful towards them.
Besides if Mousse no like wearing glasses, why not buy new ones or have
eyes fixed in other ways.", Nuku Nuku asked.

"That takes money, and the old ghoul doesn't pay me anyway for all
the work that I do here.", Mousse said.

"Maybe Nuku Nuku can help. Papa-san very good at building Nuku
Nuku, maybe he can help fix Mousse's eye if I ask, but only if Mousse
do something for Nuku Nuku.", the catgirl asked.

"What is it?", Mousse asked, with some hope in his voice.

"You have to leave Shampoo-chan alone from now on. Can try and be
friends, but you no can act like pervert and you can not attack any of
Shampoo's friends.", Nuku Nuku said.

Mousse thought about what the catgirl had just said. On one hand he
did not always being treated as a joke, because he could not see, but if
he gave up on Shampoo what else in his life was there? Still, Shampoo had
never shown any interest in him yet. Perhaps that would change if he no
longer needed to wear his glasses anymore.

"At least I won't look so stupid anymore.", Mousse mumbled out loud.

"Nuku Nuku no think Mousse look stupid. Mousse look kind of cute,
when you are not being a pervert towards Shampoo.", Nuku Nuku said to a
somewhat shocked Mousse.

After spending some more time thinking, Mousse decided to agree to
stop bothering Shampoo, at least for the time being, but he didn't mention
that part to Nuku Nuku.

A short time later they left the cafe, with Nuku Nuku holding his hand
and leading him out of the restaurant, through the dining area, as everyone
else just stared at them.

"Well now isn't that interesting.", Nabiki said as she saw Mousse
and that android catgirl walk out of the restaurant and down the street

"Maybe Mousse finally find someone else to bother.", Shampoo said in
a hopeful tone of voice, while resisting to jump for joy.

"And you were worried that she wanted to be with me.", Ranko teased

"I was never worried about that.", Nabiki said as several people looked
at her with arched eyebrows as if to say, "Sure tell us another one."


With dinner now over and two 'pests' gone from the cafe, Shampoo
decided that now was the time to ask Ranko or the nice goddess Kasumi if they
would perhaps tell another story about what happened why they were
traveling together. Shampoo was admittedly surprised about how often
she thought about the first story that Ranko told her during his first
visit to the restaurant. Perhaps it was because he was nice to her, without
being engaged to her, or perhaps it was just that she was so bored with her
life that she needed something to fill it.

"Maybe he even knows a few stories about how I turned out in those
worlds that he visited.", Shampoo thought in Mandarin.

After dinner, Shampoo invited everyone up to the living quarters
upstairs where everyone could relax. This was a surprise, since no one
present, except for Ranma ha ever visited the Amazon's home before, and
had only seen Shampoo's bedroom at that. This fact Ranma decided to keep
to himself. Although he and Shampoo never did anything, him being
drugged during the times that this had happened, it was still best not
to mention things that could get someone angry at him.

Half of the second floor was taken up by a large living room, with
a stone fireplace taking up a large section of the north wall of the room.
Nabiki felt herself drawn towards the large rug in front on the fireplace and
was soon lying on he back and stretching out in front of the fire, much to
everyone's amusement.

"Shampoo do that too when Shampoo in cursed form.", Shampoo said as
she watch Nabiki scratch her back against the rug as a house cat tends
to do from time to time.

Hinako walked up then sat down next to Nabiki on the rug and began to
rub the catgirl's stomach, causing Nabiki to purr loudly.

"She's silly.", Hinako giggled.

It didn't take Nabiki long to realize what she had been doing, so she
quickly sat up with an embarrassed look on her face.

"Sorry, for some reason I couldn't help myself. I suppose it is a good thing
that the dojo doesn't have a fireplace.", Nabiki said with a nervous laugh.

"Shampoo no mind, after all you is guest. Just be careful not to claw
furniture. Shampoo do that once in cursed form and make great grandmother
very upset with Shampoo.", Shampoo replied to Nabiki.

Ranko looked around the room to see Ranma and Kasumi sitting on one
of the couches in the room and began to unconsciously snuggle
up together. Meanwhile Hinako was lying on the rug next to Nabiki
scratching the catgirl's ear and laughing and how loud Nabiki was
beginning to purr again.

Shampoo looked over at Ranma and Kasumi with a wistful expression on
her face, before sitting down in a nearby overstuffed chair with a more
neutral expression on her face.

"Well Shampoo, since you were kind enough to invite Nabiki and I
over for dinner tonight, perhaps you would like to hear another story
about the time Kasumi-chan and I spent traveling together.", Ranko
asked Shampoo.

"That sounds nice, perhaps you can even tell story about one of
my other selves.", Shampoo said, still trying to speak Japanese properly.

"There is one story about how Ranma and you became very close to
each other, but I am not sure that you would want to hear it. It is
somewhat sad in parts.", Ranko said to an excited looking Shampoo.

"So you were there?", Nabiki asked Ranko.

"For this particular world, no. But Kasumi did show it to me using
the crystal she gave to me. Now I can use it to show that world to you.",
Ranko replied to Nabiki.

"Do Shampoo... I mean I marry Ranma?", Shampoo asked.

"Well perhaps it would be best if I start the story from the
beginning. It's a little complicated and the crystal can show you what
happened far better than I can explain it.", Ranko said as he
pulled the viewing crystal out of hammer space and set it in front of everyone.

The crystal sphere began to glow and a large hologram floated
in front of everyone showing them a life that could have been.


A younger Genma Saotome sat in a hospital waiting room in a
torn gi, with many recent cuts and scratches over his body. He
refused all treatment for help at the moment, as his attention
seemed to be solely devoted to a pair of doors that separated the
waiting area of the emergency room from the nearby examination
rooms. As the doors opened Genma shot to his feet and almost knocked
the poor doctor over in his haste to speak to the man.

"Mr. Saotome will you come with me please?", the doctor asked as
he led Genma into a small exam room in which a ten year boy was laying
on a bed, connected to a respirator and several tubes that Genma could
not identify.

"Is he going to live?", Genma asked in an excited tone of voice.

"He will live, but there are complications.", the doctor said to
a now nervous Genma.

"What sort of complications?", Genma asked the doctor.

"I do not know what sort of creature attacked both you and boy,
but whatever it was poisoned your son as well as giving him the
lacerations that both you and he now possess. The poison is very similar
to a poison that a cat has in its claws, but in order for such a high
level of the poison to show up your son would have to have been attacked
by dozens of almost crazed felines.", the doctor said as Genma twitched

"You have removed the poison though right", Genma asked.

"We have, but I am afraid that it has severely affected your son's
immune system. It would not surprise me if he became quite prone to colds
or viral infections in the future. I am sorry to tell you this, but your
son might not be able to be as physically active as other children, as
he grows up.", the doctor said to a stunned Genma.

"I see.... May I spend some time alone with the boy for a while.",
Genma asked the doctor.

"Of course you may. When you are done simply speak to the nurse as
the front desk and arrangements will be made for a room for your son to stay
in as he heals.", the doctor said as the left the room.

Genma looked at Ranma laying on the bed and was reminded of a time not
so long ago when he was in a similar situation.

(Brief Flashback:)

A five year old boy was playing with some Legos on the floor of a
waiting room in a hospital, as an elderly nurse looked on in concern. The
boy's mother had been brought in earlier, the victim of a robbery. Both
she and the boy's father were now in an exam room with the doctor on duty
for that night.

The doctor came out of the room and looked at the nurse with a sad
expression on his face. He was about to say something when he noticed the
young child nearby and quickly quieted himself. The looked he gave her
though, told the nurse all she needed to know. She had been a nurse for
over 30 years and if what she suspected was true, then it would be up to her
and the father to talk to the boy about what was wrong with his mother.

Inside the exam room, Genma Saotome was bending over the bed of his
injured wife, who was trying to speak to him with great difficulty.

"Genma, I feel that my time is almost up and there is something that
I want to tell you. A promise that I want you to keep.", Nodoka said in a
sleepy tone of voice.

"Shhhhhh, don't say such things Nodoka-chan. You will be fine. You just
need a little rest.", Genma said, trying to sound confident.

"Please, my husband, I may have looked asleep earlier, but I did hear the
doctor speaking to you earlier, and I know how serious my injuries are, so
please just listen.", Nodoka said as Genma tried in vane to hold back a few tears
despite he fact that his wife might not consider it manly.

Genma knew that his wife was a little strange in some ways, but he loved
her still the same, and did not want to lose her. Fate though, seemed to be
conspiring against him.

"Genma when I am gone, you must teach Ranma all there is to being a man.
I want him to be the type of man who will be an inspiration to others and
desired by many women. He must be a 'manly' man, Genma. Please promise me that
you will see that this will happen.", Nodoka said.

Genma tried to protest what his wife was saying. He did not want to admit
that he had 'failed' to protect his family. Never mind the fact that it was
impossible to watch over someone 24 hours a day. There must of been something
that he could have done. Maybe if he had insisted that Nodoka came to the
park with he and Ranma. Maybe if he had tried to train her, despite the fact
that she was a woman. So many if's, but it is too late to wonder about what
might have been now.

As he reluctantly agreed to what Nodoka had asked of him, she seemed to
breathe in sharply, then all sorts of alarms and other noises erupted from
the machines that she was connected to.

He was escorted out of the room as several doctors and nurses tried to
revive his wife, but they tried in vane. Nodoka Saotome died that night,
a little after six years of being married.

Looking over at Ranma playing on the floor, Genma slowly walked over
to the nurse and tried to figure out just how he was going to explain to his
son what had happened to the boy's mother.

(End Flashback)

He still had dreams about that night. Ranma had never really understood
what had happened to his mother until recently. Both the nurse and Genma tried
to explain to Ranma what had happened, but what does a five year old know
about life and death.

Now he was in the same situation as he was in five years ago. He had
failed to not only raise the boy properly, but protect him as well.

Damn his shortsightedness. How could he have not noticed that two of
the pages of the training manual were stuck together. At least his son would
not suffer the insanity related to that technique. He fell unconscious far
too quickly for the fear to take affect.

Genma was briefly tempted to blame the boy for his condition. Perhaps
the boy was just too weak? This thought was quickly squashed as he saw his
wife's face in his memory. After she had died, Genma had done a lot of
thinking, something that the "Anything Goes" style does not stress. He came to
the conclusion that some of the things that the master has taught him were
wrong. Unfortunately he still did not realize that perhaps some techniques
were simply better off not learning. Who knows mabe he was even wrong about
calling Ranma a 'weak girl'. No the boy did need some motivation....maybe.

Genma reached over the pushed some of the boy's hair out of his eyes
and tried to take comfort in the fact that the boy would at least live.

"Momma, please help. It hurts. Make it stop.", Ranma cried out in his

Walking over to a small table in the exam room, Genma sat down and
began to write something down on a piece of paper. When he finished he
slipped the paper under one of Ranma's pillows and walked out of the exam
room and back into the waiting room, where the doctor, who worked on
Ranma, was waiting for him.

"Leaving for the night?", the doctor asked.

Genma slowly nodded in affirmation.

"Before you go, your wounds really should be treated. They are not as
serious as your son's, but they still might become infected.", the doctor
stated to Genma.

"I will be alright. I have had worse wounds. Besides even if they
scar, I could consider these wound to be 'payment' for not looking after
my family properly.", Genma said.

The doctor was not surprised to her Mr. Saotome say such things. Many
parents blamed themselves whenever their children became injured. The doctor
hoped that the man did not do anything foolish in his grief though. The poor
boy would have a very difficult life if both parents were to pass away.

Ranma woke up the next day and waited for his father to come see him.
By dinner time though, it was looking as if his father would not show up, much
to the boy's distress. The nurses on duty tried to comfort the boy, by saying
that maybe his father was delayed for some reason. When they found the note
under Ranma's pillow though, they knew that the reason for Genma not
visiting his son was far more serious.

The note said, "Dear son if you can not understand what I am writing
here, please get one of the nurses to help you. I must go away for a while.
The doctors say that you can not be cured and will always be weak because
of the training I foolishly put you through. I will not rest though
until I find a cure for you."

"The 'master' often spoke of many cures to illnesses that exist in many
temples and training grounds around the world. I will not rest until I find
a cure for you. I do not know how long I will be gone, but I promise that I
shall return before your 16th birthday. If I have not found the cure before then
we shall search together or settle down in one place if that is what you wish."

"When your mother passed away I had to sell the family home in order to
pay for the hospital bills and to help pay for our training journey together.
As of now we have no place to live, so we must be apart for a while."

"I realize that it may seem cruel to leave you where you are, but being
with me now would only make your illness worse. I know that the nurses and
doctors there can help you find someone to be with. Perhaps even one of them
could take care of you."

"You have my word though, that I am not abandoning you forever. I will
find a way to make it up to you and carry on the promise I made to your
dear mother.

"Love, your father, Genma Saotome.", the letter ended.

Despite the note, it appeared to everyone who had taken care of the
boy, that he had been abandoned. In such cases the right thing to do was
call a government social services agency and hope that they could place
the boy in a proper home, and hopefully not an orphanage.


As several people were 'wrestling' with what should be done with the
poor abandoned child, a young girl found herself wandering down the
hospital corridors in search of her mother.

The ten year old girl had just finished seeing one of the
doctors because of a cold that seemed not to want to go away. The
'cold' turned out to be walking pneumonia, and the girl was just being
let out of the hospital when she told her mother that she had to use
the bathroom and didn't need any help. The mother familiar with how
strong willed her daughter could be, even at such a young age agreed.

Somehow though the young girl had gotten turned around and was
now on the verge of panicking when she heard someone crying from a
nearby room. Looking in, young Yuka Shiritory saw a boy about her age
crying into his pillow so that no one would see here him she guessed.

Yuka peaked around the corner to look at the rest of the room
that the boy was in. She saw four beds, but only person was in the
room. The window drapes were drawn and only a couple lights were on
in the far corner of the room. This made the room seem somewhat scary
to Yuka.

Yuka entered the room as quietly as she could in hopes of getting
a better look at the little boy. She had just gotten to within four feet
of the boy's bed when she tripped over wastepaper basket in the room, and
landed on the floor face first.

Ranma was startled out of his crying, when he heard something fall
over. At first he wasn't sure what the noise was until he
saw a young girl now laying almost underneath his bed.

"Owwie", the girl said.

"Who are you?", Ranma asked Yuka.

"My name is Yuka Shiritory. What's your name?", the girl said in
proud tone of voice.

Yuka noticed the boy seemed to wait a little for some reason before
telling her that his name was Ranma.

"Why were you crying? Are you sick?", Yuka asked.

"I'm not crying. Only weak girls cry, and I am a boy.", Ranma said
to Yuka, who glared at the mean little boy.

"Maybe that's you're here by yourself. No one wants to be with such
a mean ol' boy.", Yuka said in the casual cruelty that all children seem
to possess when they are young.

Ranma tried to ignore what the 'dumb girl' had just said. The more he
thought about it the more he began to believe that the girl may be right.
Did his mother go away because he was bad. Did his father leave him, because
the was disappointed in him for some reason.

Yuka was about to leave the boy by himself when she saw his eyes
begin water and his lower lip begin to quiver. He turned away from her
and put his face deep into the pillow and began to shake slightly. It
was obvious the he was crying again and Yuka felt bad about making the
boy cry again, even if he was a 'meannie'.

"I'm sorry.", Yuka mumbled as Ranma continue to sob into his pillow.

Yuka's mother had always told her that she should be a nice girl, and
not to hurt other people, but the boy seemed to be ignoring her. Yuka climbed
on a chair and scooted herself onto Ranma's bed, cause him to sit up and
stare at her.

"What are you doing?", Ranma asked as the girl reached over and hugged

"Mother says that when you are sad, a hug can make you feel better.",
Yuka said trying to sound wise like her mother was.

Ranma was unsure of how to respond to the hug, so just sat straight for a
few moments before deciding to hug the weird girl back. He was surprised that
he did begin to feel a little better after a while.

Yuka asked why Ranma was so sad and Ranma told her about how he thought
that his parents didn't want him around any more.

"That's not true! Your mommy and daddy love you, they wouldn't just
run away from you.", Yuka exclaimed loudly, attracting the attention of
a few people walking past the door.

"Yuka is that you? Are you in that room.", a voice from outside the
door called out, causing Yuka to turn around and see her mother and two
nurses walk into the room.

"Yuka I told you to come right back to me after you were done, not to
go wandering around the hospital. Now come here and stop bothering that
boy.", Mrs. Shiritory told her daughter.

Yuka looked over at the boy, then to her mother, and began to scoot
herself off of the bed. She stopped almost immediately by a hand grabbing
onto her wrist.

"Can't you stay longer?", Ranma asked Yuka.

The nurse, watching Ranma acting a little less sad than he had been,
asked Yuka's mother if she could speak to her outside the room.

"Mrs. Shiritory would it be possible for your daughter to stay with
the boy for an hour or two.", the nurse asked.

"We can not stay. I have to take Yuka home for her 'lessons', why
is it important for her to stay with that young boy?", Mrs. Shiritory asked.

"The boy was abandoned by his father here yesterday. and since then
he has been almost comatose in his grief. I believe that your daughter may be
able to cheer him up while he is here. At least until we can send to boy to a
foster home or an orphanage, the nurse said sadly.

"What about the boy's mother. Why is she not here to take care of her
son.", Yuka's mother asked.

"She passed away a few years ago in this hospital. Ranma's father was all
that he had, and not that he is gone, Ranma is alone in the world for now.",
the nurse said.

"Sigh...., I suppose it will be alright then if Yuka stays for a little
while until the boy feels better.", Mrs. Shiritory said.

Yuka was allowed to stay and talk to Ranma for a couple hours that
day and for the three other days that he was in hospital, before it was
time for him to leave for his new 'home'.

As they spent time together, Ranma began to feel more relaxed around
Yuka, and by the third day he had not even insulted her once. It seemed to
several of the nurses present that they two children began to treat each
other as brother and sister. The afternoon that they fell asleep curled up
next to each other prompted one of the nurse to take several pictures and
hang them up at the nurses station where everyone commented on cute they
looked together.

Although Yuka seemed to be having a good influence on Ranma's
recovery, he still refused to talk about why he was sent to the hospital.
Genma had told the doctors that he and his son were attacked by some sort
of large cat during the night, but no one sure that this was exactly
what had happened. Asking Ranma about a cat, only caused the boy to
shrink in upon himself and begin to shake in terror. Even with Yuka
nearby, Ranma seemed to be unresponsive for several minutes.

When Yuka and Ranma were going to see each other for the last time,
the young girl begged her mother to take her 'brother' home with them. Yuka's
mother was surprised by this. She did not think that the two children had
become so close so fast, especially since Yuka tended to somewhat shy
around other people.

Mrs. Shiritory asked the doctor in charge of Ranma's case if the boy
has any other living relatives, and if not perhaps then she might be able to
let the boy stay with her for a while until he found a permanent home that
Ranma would feel comfortable in.

No one wanted the boy to be placed in an orphanage, so an arrangement
was worked out with the local social services department to allow Ranma
to stay with Yuka's family for the time being, until someone wished to
adopt him, which considering the boy's weak constitution, was not a likely
prospect for the near future. Yuka would have to look after her brother
for a while.


Upon exiting the hospital, Ranma was surprised at the size of the car
that his new 'sister' and 'mother' were getting into. It looked bigger than
some of the rooms that he and his father used to stay in when they were
traveling together.

(Sniffle) (Sniffle)

Yuka looked over at Ranma and how sad he appeared to be. She couldn't
really understand what he was going through since she still had both her
parents, although she was lucky to see her father more than once a month
because of how often he had to travel for his job.

As the car traveled away from central Tokyo Ranma stared out the
window at all of the people and tall buildings. He remembered seeing
something similar before he left of his 'vacation' with his father, but
for the past few years he had spent most of his time in small
villages and camping out in the wilderness.

After an hour of driving Ranma saw that the were now entering the
countryside on the northern edge of Tokyo. At least he thought it was the
country. He saw very few houses, and the ones that he did see were huge and
they were surrounded by large stone fences and gates.

The car pulled into a long paved driveway and led to a 'house' that
Ranma thought was almost as large as the hospital he had just left. Near
the front of the house was a large lawn that seemed to run on forever, as
well as a large western style flower garden. If anything the house and
the grounds resembled a castle that Ranma saw in a movie that he and his
father had snuck into the year before.

When he was out of the car, Ranma saw several people standing near the
door to the house wearing what looked like uniforms.

"Who are they?", Ranma asked Yuka while pointing to the people in
front of the house.

"They are mommy and daddy's servants. The cook, clean the house, and
even help tutor me in different things.", Yuka said.

"Oh.", Ranma said while wondering why Yuka's family had others do their
work for them, not that his father would have minded. He could imagine his
pops easily giving orders to others while he sat back and relaxed, and ate
all the food leaving Ranma with....

"No that's not right. Pops only did that for training. He wasn't just
being mean to me.", Ranma thought.

"Hi!", Ranma heard a voice say.

Looking over to the side he saw a young girl his age with long black
hair and green eyes wearing a small green and blue kimono.

"Ranma this is my 'bestest' friend Sayuri.", Yuka said as Sayuri smiled
at Ranma causing him to look away shyly.

"Is she your sister?", Ranma asked Yuka.

"No, her mother is one of our maids.", Yuka said.

"You mean one of the people who cleans your house.", Ranma said.

"Yes.", Yuka said.

"So Yuka-chan is that why you and your mommy went to the hospital to
get Ranma?", Sayuri asked.

"You know I was sick Sayuri-chan. I just got better today.", Yuka said.

"Then how come he came home with you?", Sayuri asked as she noticed
Ranma begin to look sad.

Before any of the children could say anything more to each other,
Yuka's mom called them into the house so that they could show Ranma where he
would be staying for the time being.

The inside of the house did not look very Japanese to Ranma. As he walked
into the house he saw a large staircase made out of some sort of dark wood that
seemed to shine as if someone had spilled oil all over it. The walls of the
room were lined with pictures of 'funny' dressed people Ranma thought. They
reminded him of old kings and queens that he saw in a picture book his father
bought him when Ranma was younger.

Ranma was surprised that his pops had ever let him look at any books,
it seems that his mom gave pops a list of what she considered many before
she died (sniffle), and one of the things on the list was that a manly man
must be able to read, not just be able to hit people.

Ranma followed Yuka and her mother as they climbed the stairs ahead of
him and entered a long carpeted hallway with wood paneling covering the
bottom half of the walls, and the other half being painted a darkish green
to match the carpet. Many pictures of people and other places covered the

As the trio turned down another hallway, the failed to notice Sayuri
sneaking up the stairs to follow them. Normally a child of one of the servants
was not allowed in the owner's private living quarters, but she was curious
about the young boy. If he wasn't Yuka's brother than who was he and why
was he here. Sayuri never did like not knowing something, so she had to follow
the boy to satisfy her curiosity.

Yuka's mother escorted Ranma in a room just off the middle of the hallway
that they were in. Upon opening the door and walking in, the first thing that
popped into his head was that, how many people he would be sharing the room with.

He saw only one bed, but it seemed huge to him. It looked as wide as his
pop was tall, and was at least that long as well, probably a few feet longer.
The room itself was equally large, about 20 by 30 feet. As he looked around
he noticed that the size of the room did not seem to impress Yuka. She almost
looked a little ashamed of leading Ranma here for some reason.

"So what do you think of your room Ranma-chan?", Mrs. Shiritory asked
the wide-eyed boy.

"My room? You mean I will be in here by myself?", Ranma asked
while hiding their nervousness in his voice. After all he had not slept in
a room by himself since he just before pops sold their old house. Ever since
they would either share a tent together or if they were lucky a small room
at a temple or at an old inn.

"You can come visit me in my room whenever you like if you get
lonely.", Yuka said while holding onto his hand.

Ranma smiled at Yuka, then looked embarrassed as his stomach growled

"Are you hungry Ranma-chan?", Mrs. Shiritory asked.

"Yes, they didn't give me enough at the hospital, and the food
there was yucky anyway.", Ranma replied.

"Well I think that our chef can make you something that is not
'yucky'.", Mrs. Shiritory smiled at Ranma.

The kitchen turned out to larger than Ranma expected. There were
shelved covered with many different jars and cans. Fruit sat in a few
bowls on top of several counters. There were two large metal cabinets
Ranma guessed were refrigerators and a stove that looked like it belonged
in a restaurant sat against part of the far wall of the room. A few people
dressed all in white were rapidly moving around the room making something
that smelled very good to Ranma.

One of the people in the room seemed to be a little clumsy to
Ranma, for as he saw her carving up a large turkey, her hand slipped and
knocked one of the birds legs out of the bowl and it along the floor
ending up right next to Ranma.

"Mihoshi, watched what you are doing.", a green haired woman
said to the blond who had dropped the turkey leg.

"I'm sorry Kiyone", the blond girl said in a whiney voice.

Ranma, seeing the food on the floor, and remembering his father's
teachings about not wasting food, pickup it up and tried to eat it, but
was stopped before he could even take a single bite.

"You shouldn't eat something that fell on the floor young man, it
is dirty.", Kiyone said to the boy.

"Why not, pops made me do it all the time.", Ranma said as he noticed
the chef develop a twitch in her right eye for some reason.

"Your father made you eat off the ground?", Mrs. Shiritory asked,
while trying to not sound as angry as she felt.

"He didn't make me, but if I was too slow I had to eat it off the
ground.", Ranma said

"What do you mean?", Yuka said while thinking about how mean
Ranma's father seemed to have been to him.

"It was part of my training. When pops cooked something he threw it
up into the air. I had to run after it and catch it. If I was too slow, then
I had to pick it off the ground and eat it. It was my fault for being too
slow.", Ranma replied.

"Did your father ever train like that?", Kiyone said through
clenched teeth.

"No, he said that he was already trained.", Ranma said.

"Ranma, what your father did was wrong. He was being mean to you.", Yuka
said to her new 'brother'.

"Oh.", Ranma said, wondering why his father would want to be mean to him.
He always tried to be a good boy and do what his father told him to do. Maybe
he was just not good enough to train in the family art, especially now that he
seemed to get tired so easily.

He didn't want to say anything to anyone, but simply climbing up the
stairs made him feel a little dizzy. Perhaps it was best that his father
left him. He seemed to be nothing more than a 'weak girl' Ranma thought to

"Ranma if it makes any difference, you are not alone in having a father
that seemed to be disappointed in you.", Kiyone said as she watched the
emotions play over Ranma's face.

"Your father didn't like you?", Ranma asked Kiyone.

"Not, so much that he didn't like me, but that he was disappointed.
You see my father always wanted a son, but instead he had a daughter. I
tried for many years to act like a 'son' to him by playing as many sports
as I could and even enrolling in the Tokyo Police Department like he did
when he came of age. I wasn't happy doing this though. I wanted something to
do something else", Kiyone said.

"You wanted to be a cook?", Ranma half said, half questioned Kiyone.

"Well not at first. I tried to do many different things when I left
the police force, but overtime I found out that I liked cooking for
others and creating new styles of food. The various restaurants I used to
work for also allowed me to meet all sorts of people that I would
probably never have met if I just continued to try and please my father.",
Kiyone said to Ranma.

"So it's not my fault that mother died pops left me?", Ranma asked.

"No it is not and never let anyone tell you otherwise. I do not know
what happened to your mother, but I doubt that she would ever want to
willingly leave such a good boy.", Kiyone said to Ranma as she knelt
down next to the boy to speak to him at his 'level' so to speak.

"You should listen to Kiyone, she is very smart.", Mihoshi said
from across the kitchen.

"Now why don't you and Miss Yuka wait outside in the dining room,
while I prepare something for the both of you, alright.", Kiyone stated
as Ranma turned back around and pushed the door open to the dining room a
little too fast.


"Ooofff", someone said.

Looking around the door, Ranma saw Sayuri, now getting off of the
ground and rubbing her rear end.

"Were you spying on us?", Yuka scolded her friend.

"No, I was just...", Sayuri started to say.

"Curious about Ranma.", Yuka finished the sentence for her.

Sayuri nodded reluctantly.

"Kiyone was going to make us something to eat. Would you like her
to make something for you too.", Yuka said.

Sayuri said yes and sat down next to Ranma at the table, who was
wondering why the girl in the kimono was smiling at him.

None of the children spoke much as they ate. Sayuri kept stealing
glances at the strange boy, who was inhaling food like he part vacuum
cleaner. Yuka appeared to be equally stunned. As for Ranma he was unaware
of anything else, except for the food going into his mouth and the fact
that no one was trying to steal it from him for once.

After his 'snack', Yuka's mother told Ranma that he would now be going
to the same private school that Yuka and Sayuri went to. One of the perks for
working for Yuka's mother, was that Sayuri got to go a school that her mother
could not normally afford to send her to.

Ranma had always been told by his father, that his mother wanted him to
go to school, but he had never really like it. Since Ranma had been in and out
of school several times, while traveling with his father, Yuka's mother told
Ranma that he would probably have to be tested in order to see if he would be in
the same grade as Yuka. Fortunately, since the school was presently closed down
for a week between semesters, Ranma would not miss any school due to having to
be tested.

Ranma spent the rest of the day wandering around the house, sometimes
with Yuka and Sayuri, sometimes by himself. There were two things that
surprised him about living here and that was, why was this house so big
when only Yuka, and her mother and father lived here, and where was the
dojo. Ranma couldn't find it no matter how hard he looked. Many of the people
he asked didn't even seen to be interested in fighting at all. The idea
seemed to either bore them or even disgusted them. The only one who seemed to
practice a little was Sayuri, but Ranma couldn't fight her. She was a girl after
all, and even feeling weak as he now did, fighting her wouldn't be a challenge
he thought to himself.


Later that night, Ranma was laying in bed unable to sleep. He was
watching the shadows of trees waving rapidly back in forth. It was
probably very windy and cold outside, yet he could not feel it one bit.
This seemed a little strange to him, since he had spent most of his time
outside. Being in such a large and comfortable place seemed to make him
feel as if he were cut off from the outside world, not that he would put
it in so many words. He would say though that it felt different sleeping
inside instead of outside. It took a little over an hour for him to fall
asleep. Two hours after that, the nightmares began.

Yuka awoke with a start to the sounds of someone screaming. It took
her a few seconds to realize that it was coming from Ranma's room. She
jumped out of her bed and ran down the hallway as fast as her little legs
could take her. Sliding to a halt in front of Ranma's room, Yuka could
see that her mother and a couple of the servants were already there. The
two servants looked on in concern as Yuka watched her mother try and grab
hold of Ranma, who was twisting and turning in his sleep, while screaming
something about cats?

Ranma came awake with a start and latched onto Mrs. Shiritory with
such force that the poor woman was almost knocked over.

"Momma, don't let daddy throw me to the cats anymore. It hurts.",
Ranma sobbed into Mrs. Shiritory's shoulder, causing the woman to first
look concerned about the boy, then angry at was probably Ranma's father's
fault for the boy being so distraught.

Ranma gradually stopped crying and moved away from the person that
was holding him. He was somewhat embarrassed that he had woken everyone
up, especially Yuka, who seemed to look quite sad at how he was acting.

"I bet she thinks that I am acting like a baby.", Ranma thought.

"Ranma are you alright? Why were you screaming so loud.", Mrs.
Shiritory asked with concern in her voice.

Ranma did not say anything, but he did turn away and was looking
at the ground in embarrassment.

"It's my fault for being like a 'weak girl'.", Ranma said as
Yuka sat down next to him, concerned, but not very happy about the
'girl' comment.

"You had us all worried. Please tell us what is wrong.", Mrs.
Shiritory said to Ranma as Sayuri appeared in the doorway of Ranma's

Sayuri had been awoken by the scream, even though she lived at the
far end of the house. After all, how many times does one hear a high pitched
scream in the middle of the night.

"You were yelling something about cats. Does that have anything to do
with why you were in the hospital?", Mrs. Shiritory asked as she watched
Ranma almost jump back when she mentioned the word 'cats'.

"Neko-ken training.", Ranma mumbled.

"Cat fist? What is that.", Yuka asked.

"Poppa threw me into a pits filled with starving cats and wrapped me
up with sausage. The cats attacked me. I tried to keep them away, but
there were too may. They started to scratch and bite. Poppa did this to
me for a week. I begged him to let me out of the pit. He only yelled at me
and said that I was a weak little girl for not being able to learn the
neko-ken. The last time he threw me in, I started to feel real sick, and then
I guess I fell asleep.", Ranma said as Yuka ran out of the room, taking Sayuri
with her. Both girls looked a little green after listening to Ranma speak.

"Ranma you are not weak because you ended up in the hospital. You are
very lucky that your father didn't kill you while doing something so stupid
to you. What he did wasn't training, it was torture. No one with any sense
would hurt their child so.", Mrs. Shiritory lectured Ranma.

"So I am not a weak girl?", Ranma asked.

"Ranma we will have to talk later on about some of the things that your
father has told you. For now though I am telling you that girls are not weak,
and that you will make many people angry if you tell them that. Not lets put
you back to bed.", Mrs. Shiritory said as Ranma looked back at his bed, not
entirely sure that he wanted to be alone in it for the rest of the night.

"Can Yuka stay here tonight.", Ranma asked.

"Alright, but just for tonight. After all you both have your own
bedrooms now.", Mrs. Shiritory said.

"Can I stay too?", Sayuri said as she walked back into the room with

"You will have to ask your mother. She might not like you spending
the night in someone else's room. After all she does not know Ranma yet.",
Mrs. Shiritory said.

As it turned out, Sayuri's mother did not mind. After all the
children were still quite young. Now if they wanted to have a sleepover
when they were teenagers, well then they would have to be supervised, but
no one had to worry about that for a few more years yet.

The three children awoke the next morning and were quite reluctant
to get out of bed. They were quite warm and contented laying there in
Ranma's king sized bed. Ranma himself felt rather contented and safe
surrounded by his new sister and his friend. Not that he would ever say
anything about it though. He was after all a 'man', and father always
said that men do not need anyone. Of course, his father also said that
the neko-ken training was a good idea, and that did not exactly turn
out very well.


Ranma spent the rest of the week getting to know his way around Yuka's
house, and spent more than half of his time being led around by either Yuka
or Sayuri, who obviously had a small crush on the boy. Ranma, of course, remained
completely unaware of this.

He did finally agree to 'spar' against Sayuri, and was able to easily dodge
all of her blows at first, but he quickly began to slow down and Sayuri did manage
to knock him down twice. The second knockdown greatly frustrating Ranma so much
that he gave up after it happened, leaving a very confused Sayuri standing in
the middle of one of the patios, behind the main house.

Sayuri found Ranma a few minutes later sulking in a large chair in the
corner of the family library.

"Ranma, why did you run away?", Sayuri asked while sitting in the
large chair next to Ranma, much to his discomfort.

"Because I lost.", Ranma mumbled.

"Ranma, that's silly. You can't win all the time, nobody can.", Sayuri

"That is what pops used to tell me. I either win or I am nothing but
a weak little girl, who would be better off wearing a dress.", Ranma said
as Sayuri's eyebrow twitched.

"I thought that Mrs. Shiritory already talked to you about this.
Your father was an idiot. He had no right to tell you the things that he
did. Besides, do I seem weak to you?", Sayuri asked.

"No.", Ranma replied quietly.

"Then that proves your father is wrong. You still are sick. I am sure
you will get better in a while.", Sayuri said, hoping that what she said
to Ranma was true.

"That is not what the doctor said.", Ranma replied.

"Well, he could be wrong. Even doctors aren't right all the time.

"Even if you can't fight as well as you could before, you could do
other things. When we get to school, I can help you with your classes. Maybe
you will even find something that you like better than martial arts.", Sayuri
stated as Ranma looked at the girl as if she had just grown a second head.

The day before Ranma was due to start his new school, he found himself
wandering into one of the large greenhouses, that occupied the Shiritory
estate. It was far quieter in here than in the house as of late. Ranma was
growing very fond of his new 'sister' Yuka, but he could not stand how she
like to play that horrible American rap music so loud.

Out here though he did not have to listen to anything as he wandered
up and down isles of flowers in the greenhouse, stopping briefly to look
at some strange colored roses. Odd, he didn't think that they came in green
, blue, and dark purple shades.

Ranma was a little embarrassed to have admitted to Sayuri earlier that
he did enjoy helping his mother in the garden when he was very young. At that
young age though he made more of a mess than anything else, but he did remember
his mother smiling at him every time he picked one of the flowers and gave it
to her. His father, of course, did not approve, which bothered Ranma a little
back then. He wanted his daddy to like him, but he never was sure what he could
do to please his father. Well he did not have to worry about that anymore. If
he wanted to try martial arts, walk in a garden, or do anything else it was his
choice. It was kind of lonely being here by himself though. Maybe he would ask
Yuka or Sayuri if they wanted to come here with him later on.

A little later, Ranma almost ran into the head gardener of the estate,
as he was leaving the greenhouse. The old man asked Ranma if he wouldn't mind
helping him transplant some new species of roses. Ranma wasn't quite sure what
the old man was talking about, but if the man needed help then Ranma might as
well help him, besides Ranma was rather curious about the old man, considering
he was a gaijin. American or European by the look of him.

Talking with the Gardener, Ranma found out that Tomas, had come from
Italy over 30 years ago to help out Yuka's grandmother set up the greenhouses
in this estate. From the way the old man talked about Yuka's grandmother, Ranma
thought that they may have liked each other. Maybe they were friends, he thought.
When the woman has died, Tomas stayed on to help look after Yuka's mother. It
seems that her father had a tendency to be gone on long trips just as often as
Yuka's father did.


After breakfast on the morning that school was due to start, Ranma and
the two girls were driven to the private school in which Ranma would now be
attending with them. Ranma did not have a uniform, but that could easily
taken care of at a later time.

As they pulled up to the school, Ranma was surprised about how many
people had the same large black cars that he was driven up to the school
in. He guessed that everyone who went to this school must be rich and
being helped by someone like his friend Sayuri was.

As the two girls went to their classroom, Yuka's mother led
Ranma to the registration office. Entering the office Ranma noticed
several men in black suits standing near a woman with long pink hair
holding the hand of a young girl his age, with long purple hair. The
young girl did not seem very happy and glared at Ranma when he came
into the office. Ranma guessed that she was unhappy with him, for he found
himself staring at the girl, the moment she came into the room. She was very
pretty, but he could never go up to a girl like that and just start talking
to her.

Waiting his turn, Ranma heard that the purple-haired girl's mother
was something called an Ambassador, and the her daughter ,Shampoo,
(snicker), was going to be going to this school as well. He also heard
that they were Chinese. Ranma's father had told him of all sorts of
neat training grounds and temples there. Maybe they could help Ranma
so that he would not be so weak anymore.

"Why you laughing. You making fun of Shampoo?", the little girl
asked as Ranma looked over her with an innocent expression on his face.

"Huh?", Ranma replied.

"Shampoo behave yourself, we are not in village and you will not
act so rudely.", the woman holding Shampoo's hand said.

"Yes, mother.", Shampoo said in Mandarin.

"You talk funny.", Ranma said, shocking the woman working behind
the office counter and several of the men guarding Shampoo and her

Ranma only glared back at the men. It didn't matter that they were
bigger than him. His father also told him to never show fear when someone
tried to intimidate him.

Shampoo looked like she was about to hit the annoying boy, but her
mother?, Ranma guessed had a smile on her face that made Ranma blush as
he turned away from her.

"Oh my, both spirited and shy at the same time. You are an interesting
boy aren't you.", the Ambassador said to Ranma as he looked up at her again
and said the first thing that came to his mind, much to his embarrassment.

"Kawaii.", Ranma said quietly as Shampoo's mother suddenly smiled even
wider at the boy and reached down to hug him, much to everyone's surprise.

"Oh Shampoo see what going on. Weak outsider boy try and trick mother
so that he can marry strong warrior like Shampoo when he get older. Shampoo
too smart to fooled by stupid boy though.", Shampoo thought to herself.

"So what is your name young one. My name is Mei Ling.", Shampoo's
mother said to Ranma.

"My name is Ranma..Sao...Saotome.", Ranma said while wondering if he
even had a family name anymore.

"Stupid outsider boy, not even know own name.", Shampoo snorted.

"Shampoo I will not stand for you picking up any of your great
grandmother's bad habits. We are guests in this country and you will
behave yourself while you are here.", Mei Ling said to her stubborn

After Shampoo and her mother had left it was Ranma's turn to
register. The school clerk was at first a little confused about why
Mrs. Shiritory was registering someone else's child until he was
quietly told about how Ranma came into her care.

Nothing more was said after that. The Shiritory's were quite a
powerful family in this region and if they wanted to take care of a boy
and bring him to school, no one would deny them that right.

"At least he appears to be a little more normal that that
strange Kuno boy that came in the other day.", the school clerk thought
to herself.

Mrs. Shiritory watched Ranma and she escorted him to his new
classroom on the second floor of the school. Even after only climbing
two flights of stairs the boy appeared to be tired. Hopefully no one
would pick on the poor boy. He appeared to have enough troubles as it

"I suppose Yuka and Sayuri will look after him.", Yuka's mother
thought in amusement about how interested the two girls seemed to be
interested in her new houseguest.

Reaching the classroom, Ranma saw that strange purple haired girl
and her mother standing outside of the classroom as the sounds of
several kids yelling and giggling echoed from inside.

"It appears the poor teacher is having trouble calming her students
down before she wishes to introduce our children to the class.", Mei Ling
said to Mrs. Shiritory.

Inside the classroom, recent college graduate Ami Mizuno was indeed
having trouble getting the children to behave. The children somehow
realized that the teacher was new to her job and 'swooped in for the
kill', so to speak.

"Sigh, and I used to think that Youma were hard to deal with.", Ami
thought to herself.

Outside of the classroom, Shampoo was looking at the boy who seemed
ready to fall over. Shampoo had heard her grandmother say that all outsiders
are weak, but this boy seemed to be the weakest of all. There was no way that
she would ever have anything to do with this boy.

"Well I suppose I should held the poor dear deal her students.",
Mei Ling said as she walked into the classroom, tired of waiting for
things to settle down on there own.

The students briefly watched the door open then froze in place as a
very pretty Chinese woman was glaring at them with that seemed to tell them
that they had better behave themselves from now on, or else.

"That is amazing! How did you do that?", Ami asked Mei Ling, while feeling
somewhat intimidated by the Chinese Ambassador.

"It is a useful skill for dealing with petulant Amazon daughters.", Mei
Ling said with a smile.

With the class now quieted down for the most part, the teacher began to
introduce the two new students to the class.

"Now class, today we have two new students who will be joining us.
Shampoo will you please stand in front of the class and tell anyone a little
bit about yourself.", Miss Mizuno said to the young Amazon.

"My name is Shampoo and I am going to be leader of Chinese Amazons when
I get older.", Shampoo said to the class, who started to laugh in response
to what they had just heard.

"Chinese Amazons, yeah right.", one little boy snorted, before Shampoo
walked up to him and slapped him upside the head.

"That hurt!", the boy cried out.

"Shampoo!", Mei Ling yelled, causing Shampoo to freeze in place.

"Young lady that type of behavior is against school rules. I want you
to apologize to him right now.", Miss Mizuno ordered Shampoo, who really
didn't seem to care that the teacher talking to her.

"You do not have a choice young lady. Either apologize I will be forced
to punish you. Say a spanking, in class, in front of everyone.", Mei Ling said
to her daughter.

Shampoo paled. It was a horrible shame for an Amazon to be punished so, but
to have it done in front of a bunch of weak outsiders, that would be too much
for the poor girl to handle.

The apology that Shampoo gave the boy was half hearted at best, but
considering how much she was being influenced by her great grandmother as
of late, Mei Ling thought that it would do for now.

The teacher next brought Ranma up to the front of the class and made him
introduce himself to everyone. Ranma fidgeted in place for a few moments before
he started to speak.

"My name is Ranma Saotome, and I am living with Yuka and her family right
now.", Ranma replied quietly to the class.

Several of the boys in the class seemed amused by Ranma's rather nervous
behavior. Maybe they could have some 'fun' with him later.

"Why aren't you staying with your mother and father?", one girl innocently
asked as Ranma tried to stop his hand from shaking.

"Mom died, and my dad left me, because he was ashamed of me.", Ranma said
as the teacher and class listened in shock. Even Shampoo looked at the boy with
some sympathy.

In the back of the classroom, a girl with long black hair and violet eyes
listened to Ranma tell how he came to live with the Shiritory's. Her own mother
had died recently and her father tended to ignore his children now, letting
the servants take care of them instead.

"Maybe he would like to be friends?", the girl thought to herself.

As Mei Ling and Yuka's mother left the class, Shampoo sat herself in
the far corner of the room, away from everyone, while Ranma was seated between
Yuka and Sayuri, a fact which seemed to please Sayuri.

During the morning classes, Yuka did not have to help her brother as
much as she thought she would. Ranma told her, that he had never really been
to school, but his father had brought several books along with them so he
could uphold a promise to Ranma's mother.


Shampoo sat at a table in the cafeteria by herself, watching all of the
other students talk and laugh with each other. Earlier she had tried to impress
the other students with how she was going to be a great warrior and leader of
her village, but none of them seemed to care. Some even thought that she was
just bragging. Shampoo wanted to hit some of the annoying boys who had teased
her, but she remembered what her mother had told her would happen if she
misbehaved herself in school again.

What really confused Shampoo was why that weak boy....Ranma she thought
his name was, had so many girls around him. He was not a warrior. Even that idiot
Mousse back in the village, was stronger, so why were so many girls paying
attention. His sister did seem to quite protective of him and that one
girl Sayuri, Shampoo observed, knocked two boys across the room when they
tried to pick in Ranma earlier. Maybe the girls here just liked weak males
so that they could better control them and show them their place, Shampoo
pondered to herself.

Just as Shampoo was leaving to go outside, she saw yet another girl
approach the weak boy. It was that strange pale girl with the dark hair, who
had seemed interested in the boy's story earlier about his losing his mother.

Ranma was enjoying his lunch with Yuka and Sayuri, when he noticed
another girl approaching him. Ranma wasn't sure why all the girls were
being so nice, but since they often brought him food, he wasn't going
to complain.

"May I sit with you today?", the pale girl asked everyone seated
at "Ranma's" table.

Ranma looked at the pale girl standing in front of him and said that
he didn't mind if she ate with them. The girl sat down looking nervous as
Ranma noticed Sayuri looking at the new girl strangely.

"My name is Kodachi.", the pale girl said quietly.

"That is a neat name.", Ranma said.

"Thank you Ranma-san.", Kodachi said while smiling shyly.

"How did you know my name?", Ranma replied.

"I was listening when you introduced yourself to the class and when
you told us about what happened to your family. I am sorry that happened to
you and I think I know what you are feeling.", Kodachi said as Sayuri wondered
what their new table guest was up to.

"How would you know that?", Ranma said while not really wanting to
talk about his mother and father.

"My mother died recently and my father, decided to go away for a while.
Our servants are taking care of me and my brother right now.", Kodachi said.

"Sorry about your mother.", Ranma said.

"If you like you can tell me about your mother and I can tell you
about mine.", Kodachi said as Yuka excused herself from the table, dragging
a reluctant Sayuri with her.

"What are you doing?", Sayuri said to Yuka when the were a good
distance away from the table.

"Ranma hasn't talked about his mother to me or to momma yet. Maybe if
he talks to that girl, he will feel a little better.", Yuka said to

"I don't trust her. She looks weird, almost like a ghost.", Sayuri
said looking at how the girl's almost white skin stood out so much from
her black hair and red lips.

"Oh!, you sound jealous.", Yuka teased Sayuri.

"Am not!", Sayuri pouted.

"Afraid she is going to take your 'boyfriend' away?", Yuka continued
to tease.

"He is not my boyfriend. I just don't think that he should be near
that strange girl.", Sayuri said.

Yuka and Sayuri watched Ranma from nearby and were surprised when he
smiled at Kodachi several minutes later.

"See I was right. Ranma just needs to talk to someone. I am so smart.",
Yuka stated, quite pleased with herself.

Sayuri didn't say anything at the moment, but she was going to make
sure that that she would do something for Ranma in the future so that he
would smile at her.


After lunch was over, Kodachi offered to show Ranma where the gym was.
Ranma was normally excited about p.e., it being his favorite class of the day
in the few times that he went to a school, but now that he was weaker than
he used to be, he was a little nervous. His nervousness did not show though,
he walked to the gym with Kodachi, Sayuri following them from behind to make
sure that Kodachi behaved herself, or so she said when asked later by Yuka.

Both the boys and the girl's classes had gymnastic practice this day.
Ranma started out quite strong, surprising the teacher about how skilled he
was. He quickly tired though, which at first confused the teacher, until
he remember about what he had been told earlier about Ranma's condition.
Seeing how frustrated the boy was getting the instructor asked Ranma to help
the other boys become familiar with some of the gymnastic equipment and to
help 'spot' them if the needed assistance. This helped to take Ranma's mind
off of his 'weakness' a little, but he still would have preferred to
participate in the activities more often.

Once most of the boys in his class seemed to have the basics of the
equipment down and began to practice with each other Ranma turned his attention
to how the girls were doing. Earlier he had seen a little of how skill
Kodachi seemed to be in gymnastics as he watched her out of the corner of his
eye. Now though he watched her, and Sayuri, who was also quite skilled,
competing with each other on the uneven bars.

The fact that they were not only trying quite hard, but were also
competing with each other went against what his father had told Ranma about
women. Genma had always said that women were weak and soft, and
definitely did not enjoy to anything physical. Watching them, Ranma began
to wonder about some of the other things that his father had told him
about girls. Perhaps they weren't stupid either, as Genma always seemed
to say, when he wanted to insult Ranma.

Kodachi, seeing Ranma watching her, threw herself up as high as she could
from the top bar of the equipment and managed to complete three twisting flips
before landing on the ground safely, then looking over at Ranma while smiling.

Sayuri, trying to copy what Kodachi had just done, managed to complete
two of the flips, before coming down hard on her right leg, then falling over
backwards onto her rear.

Kodachi was the first to reach Sayuri, but the girl refused Kodachi's
help. Instead she waiting until Ranma approached then she let him help her off
the ground, before the women's gym teacher led Sayuri off to a nearby bench
so that she could examine her leg.

It was obvious to Kodachi that Sayuri was jealous of her for some reason.
Why anyone would be jealous of a friendless girl like her though she didn't
know. It couldn't be just because of Ranma could it. They had just met, and
although she did think that they had some things in common, it was not as if
she wanted to have him as her friend all to herself.

"I wonder why Sayuri-chan seemed upset?", Ranma said to Kodachi as he
walked up to her.

"She is mad at me for spending so much time with you at lunch I
think. Maybe she thinks that you want to have me more as a friend instead
of her.", Kodachi said.

This didn't make any sense to Ranma. Why couldn't he have as many
friends as he wanted to. Was there some sort of rule that he wasn't aware
of that said guys could only have a couple girls as friends. He would have
to talk to Sayuri to find out what is wrong.

"Tell Sayuri that I did not intend to do anything to make her
angry and that I would still like to be friends with her as well,
alright Ranma-san.", Kodachi stated.

"You can just call me Ranma if you want.", Ranma replied.

"How about Ranma-chan?", Kodachi said, then looked away embarrassed
at how bold she was being.

"Only if I can call you 'Dachi-chan', Ranma said to a blushing

"I wouldn't mind that.", Kodachi stated as Ranma started to head
off towards Sayuri.

Ranma sat down next to Sayuri and looked at her with concern in
his eyes.

"Sayuri why were you being so mean to Dachi-chan?", Ranma asked.

"Dachi-chan?!?! Grrrrrr.", Sayuri thought.

"I don't know what you mean Ranma.", Sayuri said.

"She thinks that you are jealous of her because she also wants
to be my friend.", Ranma replied.

"Yuka said the same thing to me. Why does everyone think that I
am jealous of that weird girl.", Sayuri whispered.

"Kodachi is not weird, she is just quiet and sad sometimes. She
doesn't have any friends. We also both lost our mothers. I suppose that
means we are the same in some ways. People think that I am weird. You
heard how some of the boys were laughing when you hit those two bullies
that tried to pick on me. People think that I am weak or have to hide behind
a girl.", Ranma said, sounding a little frustrated.

"I only wanted to help out a friend.", Sayuri said sadly.

"I know you do and so do I. I want to help out Kodachi and have her as a
friends just as I want to have you as a friend Sayuri-chan.", Ranma replied.

"Sayuri-chan?", Sayuri said trying to hold back a smile.

"Is it alright that I call you that. I like to give all of my friends
nick-names, just like Uc...", Ranma's voice trailed off.

"Who?", Sayuri asked.

"Never mind. I'm just glad you, Yuka-chan and Dachi-chan are my
friends now.", Ranma said as Sayuri reached over and hugged a surprised

Having just completed her floor routine, Shampoo looked over at the
'soap opera' now being played out around Ranma. Why Ranma was so popular
was a mystery to her. After all if to boys were interested in her that
would make perfect sense, since she was after all the best fighter in her
village and quite a catch in her opinion. For two girls though to chase
after a boy was just too strange.


After school, Yuka and Sayuri were waiting for Ranma, near the front
gate of the school. Ranma came running up to them, breathing hard and
looking a little flushed.

"Are you alright?", Yuka and Sayuri asked.

"I'll be fine...(Gasp)...Just a little tired that's all. Stupid body,
with I could find a cure for what pops did to me.", Ranma said.

"You can rest on the way home. Lets go.", Sayuri said trying to guide
Ranma into the Limousine.

"Not yet, we have to wait for one more person.", Ranma replied.

"Who is it?", Yuka asked.

"Oh Ranma-chan!.", a musical voice rang out.

The two girls turned towards the sound of the voice and saw one
Kodachi Kuno running towards them, skidding to a stop right in front on
Ranma with a wide smile on her face.

"I'm glad you waited. I was afraid that you would have left without
me.", Kodachi said.

"She is coming home with us?", Sayuri said, sounding somewhat annoyed.

"I invited her. I wanted to show her some of the roses that were
growing in the greenhouse.", Ranma replied.

"Roses?", Yuka said in confusion.

"Yeah, Dachi-chan and I were talking earlier and I found out that she
likes to grow roses, and I told her that I saw one there that was the same
color as her eyes, so I wanted to show it to her.", Ranma said while
blushing a little, much to Yuka's enjoyment.

"Let me help you in the car, Ranma-chan.", Kodachi said as she
grabbed hold of one of Ranma's arms, then sat down next to him when they
were both inside.

Yuka was sorely tempted to burst out laughing at the expression on
her friend's face. It wouldn't be nice, but there was no reason for her
to be jealous really. Ranma tended to blush when any girl was near him, not
just Kodachi. Sayuri seemed to forget this for some reason though.

When they arrived back home, Ranma and the three girls went out to
the greenhouse, that he had talked about earlier, and let Kodachi to the
roses that reminded him of her.

"See it is the same color as your eyes.", Ranma said while
holding up a pot containing a dark purple, almost black rose.

"It's very pretty.", Kodachi said.

"Would you like one, young miss.", the gardener said as he walked
in and noticed Ranma showing one of 'his' roses to a young girl.

"I couldn't... It wouldn't be right.", Kodachi stammered.

"It is not a problem. The young man must be fond of you to bring
you all the way out here, and it is only appropriate for a young man
to give flowers to his girlfriend.", the gardener snickered.

"It's not like that.", Ranma and Kodachi said at the same time,
causing the gardener to laugh a little louder.

"Well then consider it a gift from one friend to another.", the
gardener said as he watched one of the maid's daughters (Sayuri), look
a little upset.

Yuka leaned over and whispered something to Ranma, who gave her
a confused look, then whispered something back to her. Ranma excused
himself from the group and came back a few minutes later carrying
something behind his back, out of sight from everyone.

"Um....Sayuri-chan, I have something for you as well.", Ranma
said to a the surprised girl.

Ranma pulled out a green rose in a pot and handed it to Sayuri.

"I was going to give it to you when it grew a little bigger, but
since you seemed to like Kodachi's so much I guess it would be alright to
give it to you now.", Ranma said, hoping that he remembered correctly
what Yuka had told him to say.

"You were going to give this to me.", Sayuri said happily.

"Well, yes....I mean it matches your eyes and all, and I thought that
well..... you might like it.", Ranma tried to say, but was cut off when
Sayuri glomped onto his arm, confusing the poor boy.

"I'm glad you like it.", Ranma said, moving away from Sayuri. He did
like the girl as a friend, but being so close to any girl still made him
somewhat nervous. It was almost as if she didn't want him to be near any
other girl, but why would Sayuri want that.

Kodachi had to return home an hour later, but before she left she
invited Ranma over to her home to see her pet turtle?, at least Ranma
thought she said turtle. Oh well, he would find out tomorrow.

Shampoo was driven back to the Chinese embassy, directly after school,
but was unable to see her mother until later. Shampoo was feeling quite
frustrated. Only she it seems walked out of the gates of the school by
herself. All of the other school boys and girls seemed to have friends,
even Ranma, who quite frankly was beginning to make Shampoo a little
nervous. She wasn't sure why, but there was something about him
that seemed to cause other people to pay attention to him.

"Maybe I should ask mother about that strange boy.", Shampoo thought
to herself in Mandarin.


Shampoo arrived at the embassy and went to look for her mother. Mei Ling
saw the expression on her daughter's face as she approached and rightly
guessed that perhaps Shampoo had not had a pleasant day at school.

"What's wrong Shampoo.", Mei Ling asked as she guided her daughters
into one of the first floor parlors where they could talk in private.

"Nobody at that school wanted to talk to me. They did not care that I
was going to help lead our tribe. They did not even care about being a
warrior. Some even thought I was just bragging.", Shampoo said in Mandarin.

"I tried to tell you before. People here are different from those in
out tribe. There are very few warriors in any country outside of our valley.
People do not need to fight to survive as we have had over the years.",
Mei Ling said to Shampoo.

"What am I suppose to do then. Great grandmother told me about the
outside world, except to say that everyone was weak and that I should always
show how superior I was to them.", Shampoo said as her mother sighed and
rubbed her temples.

"Shampoo, try and listen to what the other students talk about when
they are with each other. You will learn a little about what they are like
if you do. You might also want to act a little more humble. Trying to act
as if you are superior to everyone will just get you ostracized by
everyone. You do not want that to happen do you?", Mei Ling asked.

"No, I don't want to be ignored, but it is very confusing. That one
boy especially confuses me. He was so weak, but he seems to attract the
attention of everyone around him.", Shampoo said.

"You mean that darling boy who complimented your 'old' mother in
the school's office and said that you 'talked funny'?", Mei Ling said
in amusement.

Shampoo nodded.

"That boy is different from the other students Shampoo. He is what
the legends of our tribe call a 'Nexus'. People like he tend to have both
great and horrible events happen around them, whether they want them to
or not. This can be both a blessing and a curse.", Mei Ling said.

"How do you know this?", Shampoo asked her mother.

"I saw his aura.", Mei Ling said as Shampoo now stared at her mother.

"You can do that. Even great grandmother can not see an aura.", Shampoo
said in awe.

"Both you and your great grandmother share one flaw I am afraid, and
it one that I hope that you will at least outgrow. This flaw is that both
you and she tend to judge people without even getting to know them. Your
first impressions of a person Shampoo, are not always going to be right. In
fact they seldom will be. If you try and look at a person with an open mind
though you will start to develop a sense to see how other really are. You
will be able to do this using your ki, subconsciously.", Mei Ling replied
to Shampoo.

"I don't really understand mother, but if you want I will try and be
nicer to the little school boys and girls, even that weak strange male.",
Shampoo said.

"You make it sound like a chore to be accomplished. Besides it might
be in your best interest to be around that 'weak' boy. Often the blessings
that happen to those who are a nexus, also happen to those who are close
to them.", Mei Ling said.

"Probably the curses as well.", Shampoo mumbled.

"Now none of that. He seemed like nice boy, and he definitely was
interested in you, judging by how he kept looking at you when we were
registering you for school.", Mei Ling giggled as Shampoo frowned, amusing
her mother even more.


For some reason Shampoo felt nervous as she approached Ranma
and the others during lunchtime. She was greatly confused by this, after
all none of them were warriors or her level. The pale girl came close and
the green-eyed girl possessed some skill as well, but they were not
dedicated warriors.

As Shampoo stopped a few feet in front of Ranma, she asked if she could
join them for lunch and was surprised when they didn't seem to mind her
joining them. The green-eyed girl, Sayuri though, seemed to keep an eye on
her, Shampoo noticed while they ate together. Perhaps she wanted the weak
boy Ranma for herself, and didn't want anybody to steal her airen.

This was fine in Shampoo's mind. She had no interest in the boy,
although every time he looked at her and smiled Shampoo felt herself
acting in a more calm manner than she usually did. Even when Sayuri
'accidentally' made fun of Shampoo's accent, Shampoo did not feel the need
to yell or strike out at the girl. Shampoo was unaware though, that this was
due to the almost 'Kasumi-like' calm that Ranma seemed to radiate from

Kodachi left halfway through lunch, but came back ten minutes later,
looking quite annoyed and mumbling something about, "Bokken-brained idiots",
but she refused to talk about it, when Ranma asked her what was wrong.

Lunch broke up without incident. Shampoo even walked with her
classmates back to the classroom, but if one looked closer she always
appeared to be a half-step in front of the. This was done almost
subconsciously by Shampoo as to reflect her status when walking with
non-warriors or warriors of a different status.

After school, Ranma agreed to ride home with Kodachi to her house.
He would be driven back to Yuka's home in a few hours. Sayuri was tempted
to join them, but she was held back from doing anything foolish by Yuka,
who seemed to realize that both Ranma and Kodachi seemed to be more 'alive'
when they were around each other. Before Ranma arrived, nobody, except
for the gymnastic team, even ever noticed that Kodachi was even there. She
was a quiet person, who seemed to just blend into the background when she
wasn't trying to actively attract somebody's attention.

When they arrived at the Kuno estate, the first thing that Kodachi
wanted to show Ranma was her pet, Mr. Turtle, was turned out to be a 'small'
alligator about six feet in length and not a turtle at all.

"Um...Dachi-chan, is it safe for us to be around him? He won't bite
us will he?", Ranma asked Kodachi while pointing at Mr. Turtle.

"Of course not Ranma-chan, he is quite gentle. Well except to my
father and 'darling' brother.", Kodachi said with an amused look on her face
as she reached down to rub the alligator's back. The creature emitted what
sounded like a deep growl or purr from a ,(shudder), cat.

He certainly didn't look or act the same as the alligators that Ranma
and his father had run across during their brief training trip together, so
Ranma slowly reached his hand down towards the creature's back and began to
rub it as well.

Mr. Turtle at first 'eyed' the boy as Ranma approached, but he determined
that Ranma was not a threat to either him or his mistress, so Mr. Turtle did
not respond when Ranma started to pet him.

"See I told you that he was friendly.", Kodachi stated.

"I guess...", Ranma replied, still not entirely sure why someone would
want to have such a large and ugly creature as a pet.

Ranma jumped back as Mr. Turtle suddenly emitted a loud rumbling growl
spun away from Ranma.

"What is this filthy little peasant doing here. Speak quickly boy.",
an annoying voice demanded from the direction that Mr. Turtle was facing.

Ranma saw a boy about his age wearing a kendo outfit and waving around
a large bokken in the air.

"Bokken-brained idiot.", Ranma snickered allowed while remembering what
Kodachi had said at lunch earlier that day.

"You dare to insult the scion of the noble house of Kuno. Have at thee!",
the boy yelled out as he lunged at Ranma.

Ranma 'eeped' and managed to dodge out of the way in time. The deluded
kendoist, off balance from missing the lunge, stumbled forward and right into
a kick to the jaw from Ranma, who responded out of reflex to the attack.

A cracking sound was heard and the boy spun to the ground, hitting it
as he fell unconscious.

"Oops., Ranma replied in embarrassment.

"The is no need to worry, he will be fine.", Kodachi said while shaking
her head in disgust.

"Who is he?", Ranma asked.

"The fool you see before you is my brother.", Kodachi replied.

"I'm sorry to hear that.', Ranma said, causing Kodachi to giggle.

"Would you like to see the rest of my home now?", Kodachi asked.

"What about him?", Ranma said as he pointed to the unconscious
Kuno boy.

"Don't worry Mr. Turtle will watch over him.", Kodachi said as she
motioned to Mr. Turtle, who walked over to Kuno and laid down on top of
the boy, preventing him from following Ranma and Kodachi.

As Kodachi and Ranma were approaching the front door to the Kuno
mansion, the door opened and Ranma saw a strange looking short man,
wearing a black 'ninja' outfit approach them.

"Mistress Kodachi you are home early and with a guest even.", the
little man said while sounding quite happy.

"Sasuke, this is my friend Ranma.", Kodachi said while taking one
of Ranma's hands and holding it in her own.

"Oh that is wonderful news!", the little ninja exclaimed as he led
the two children into the mansion.

Sasuke led Ranma and Kodachi into the kitchen, when Ranma's stomach
had started to growl, much to his embarrassment.

"So how did the both of you meet?", Sasuke asked the both of them.

"We are in the same class together. Ranma is staying with the
Shiritory family.", Kodachi replied.

"Oh, are you a relative?", Sasuke asked as Ranma began to look a
little depressed.

"I'm sorry. Did I say something wrong.", Sasuke said.

Kodachi told Ranma that he didn't have to explain why he was there
if he didn't want to, but Ranma said that it would be best if everyone
knew, especially since he might want to visit Kodachi again at her home.
This news seemed to please her quite a bit.

"I see, both you and Mistress Kodachi have lost your mother. My
condolences Master Ranma.", Sasuke said.

"It's ok, Dachi-chan and I talked about our mothers at school today.
I think that we made each other feel a little better.", Ranma said.

"I am glad to hear that. Mistress, if you wish to bring any other
friends over, please feel free to do so. Your father has left me in
charge while he is away, and I believe that you will feel much better if
you had other to speak with, instead of just myself.", Sasuke said.

Later on Kodachi spend a great deal of time slowing showing Ranma
around her home, not because he was showing signs of being tired, but
because she wish to spend as much time as possible with her new friend.

The two children eventually ended up in Kodachi's bedroom, which
Ranma noticed was painted in black and dark violet colors. Even some
roses that were sitting in a nearby vase were black.

"Kind of dark in here isn't it?", Ranma asked.

"When mother died. I just wanted to hide somewhere in the dark,
away from everyone. It made me feel better to be in here. I could forget
about everyone and everything. I even thought about calling myself the
"Black Rose", to show everyone how I was feeling about....well life.",
Kodachi said.

"You don't have to be in here all by yourself anymore. I want to be
your friend, and I am sure Yuka and Sayuri want to as well. Maybe even
that strange girl Shampoo would as well.", Ranma said.

"I hope that we will be friends for a very long time.", Kodachi said as
she reached over and hugged Ranma.

Working on the hedges outside of Kodachi's room, Sasuke happened to
look into her room just as she and Ranma were hugging.

"How wonderful it is that she has found a friend. Maybe this will
help her to live a happier life than her mother. Sigh, there was no reason
for her life to end the way it did.", Sasuke thought to himself.

"Get off of me foul beast!", a voice echoed across the yard.

"Oh dear, it sound like master Kuno is in trouble again. I had best
see to it.", Sasuke mumbled as he went off in search of the troublesome


Ranma returned to the Shiritory home a couple of hours later, holding
three yellow roses in his hands.

"Are those from Kodachi?", Yuka asked when she and Sayuri met Ranma
at the door.

"Yes, she said that they were a symbol of friendship and she wanted
each of us to have one.", Ranma said as he handed a rose to each of the
two girls.

"That was very nice of her.", Sayuri mumbled, seeming confused
about something.

"She is nice, but she's very lonely. I know the feeling. She lives
in this huge house with just her crazy brother and some servants I guess.",
Ranma said.

"Crazy brother?", Yuka asked.

"Yeah, he saw Dachi-chan and I together out on the lawn and tried to
hit me with a sword.", Ranma said casually.

"He attacked you?!?", Yuka and Sayuri both said, sounding quite angry
as they checked Ranma over for any cuts or bruises.

"It's ok, he didn't even touch me. I managed to dodge out of the way,
then kicked him in his head when he stumbled past me. After that, Mr. Turtle
sat on him so he wouldn't bother Dachi-chan and I again.", Ranma replied.

"Who is Mr. Turtle?", Yuka asked.

"He is Dachi-chan's pet alligator. He's really neat.", Ranma stated.

"That spooky girl keeps an alligator as a pet. What is wrong with her?",
Sayuri said.

"Sayuri-chan that is not very nice. Dachi-chan wants to be friends with
all of us. You don't need to insult her.", Ranma scolded Sayuri.

"I'm sorry, I just was worried about you, like when those boys tried
to attack you at school. I don't want to see you hurt.", Sayuri said,
sounding quite sad.

"Don't be sad. I'm not mad at you, I just want all of us to get along.
I haven't had a lot of friends, and I don't want the ones I now have to
fight.", Ranma stated, while walking up to Sayuri and hugging her.

When Ranma stepped away from Sayuri, the girl giggled once, then ran
off towards her room in the far side of the house, while managing to trip
over several pieces of furniture along the way.

"Sayuri-chan sure acts strange sometimes.", Ranma said as Yuka
managed to avoid falling on the ground and laughing her butt off.


It had been six months since Ranma had first arrived at the
Shiritory home and things were beginning to settle into a relaxing pattern,
much to Ranma's liking.

He would spend the mornings with Yuka and Sayuri, before being driven
to school, where upon Kodachi and Sayuri now seemed to make it there business
who could spend the most time, with the poor confused Ranma.

Even Shampoo started to spend some time around Ranma, not because she
felt anything for such a 'weak' boy, but because it was obvious that he needed
protecting and it was an Amazon's duty to protect the weak. At least that is
what she told her mother. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the
fact that Ranma actually spoke to her as if she were a person and not a
prize to be one, like a certain blind annoyance did back in Shampoo's

Besides, it was also important for her to learn the 'strange'
language that was spoken in this country, and Ranma had volunteered to
help teach her, along with Kodachi, who seemed to have a natural affinity
for learning languages and teaching them to others.

Shampoo tried to repay Ranma for his language lessons by teaching
him a little of her 'art', but while he seemed to pick up the various
skills and katas quickly, he could not maintain them for long. The poor
boy simply had no endurance to speak of. One time Shampoo even had to
carry the poor boy back in from the embassy's dojo, back to her room,
causing Mei Ling to tease her daughter about being so concerned about her
new 'boyfriend'. Shampoo denied this quite loudly, but quickly quieted down
when Ranma mumbled something incoherently and snuggled up to Shampoo, while
purring, of all things, in his sleep.

The two amazons later found out that this was one of the few side
effects that Ranma had picked up from his botched Neko-ken training. He
still was nervous around cats, but at least he didn't turn into one
mentally as so many others had.

Shampoo was also secretly pleased that Ranma had only purred
when held by one other person, while asleep, and that was Kodachi after
she and Ranma were practicing some gymnastics together.

Sayuri was still waiting for her chance for Ranma to purr at her.
Even during the nights when she, Yuka and Ranma still slept together he
still did not purr when Sayuri tried to hold him. Nobody had the experience
to realize that the purring was a result of Ranma feeling subconsciously
content and protected by others, which was probably for the best. If
Ranma had found out why he was purring, he would have more than likely taken
it as another sign of him being 'weak like a girl'.


Throughout this time, Ranma was beginning to feel more content about
life and to have a better image of himself. He was glad that he now had to
many friends who cared about him, and were teaching him things that his
idiot father never would or could. Still, something was missing from his
life. Ranma had an idea about how he could solve this problem, but he
was not sure whether or not it was appropriate, or even if it would be
allowed. Gathering his courage one day he set about trying to see if 'she'
would accept what he had to tell her.

Ranma approached the one door in the Shiritory home he did not often
enter, that being the door to Mrs. Shiritory's private office. He knocked on
the door and was told to enter, when he announced himself.

Standing in the room, with the woman who had been so kind to him,
smiling patiently for Ranma to say something, almost caused the boy to lose
his nerve regarding what he wanted to say to her.

"You know....I have been here for a while now and everyone had been
so nice to me, especially you.... I.... that is.... It has been a while
since I have had a real family and you have been just like a mother to me
so I was wondering if you would....that is.... If it is possible to adopt
me into your family, so that I could be your son.", Ranma said nervously.

"You want to be my son?", Mrs. Shiritory said, her eyes starting to
water, much to Ranma's distress.

Ranma, unsure of how to handle someone he cared about crying, began
to panic.

"I'm sorry. Please don't cry. If you don't want me to be your....",
Ranma tried to say but found himself pulled into a tight hug.

"(Sniffle), you silly sweet child, I am not sad or angry at you. I'm just
very happy.", Mrs. Shiritory said.

"You're crying because you are happy?", Ranma asked in confusion.

"Yes, I am. I'm crying because I have seen how well you and Yuka
get along together and how much you care for each other, like a 'real'
brother and sister would. I was hoping to ask you to join the family
some day, but I wasn't sure that you would accept. Now I know and I
couldn't be happier.", Mrs. Shiritory said.

"So would it be ok if I called you mother then?", Ranma said.

"Nothing would make me happier.", Ranma's new mother said.

The news of Ranma's decision spread quickly throughout the house,
causing both Yuka and Sayuri to almost bounce off the walls in excitement.
Yuka being happy that Ranma would now be her brother, and Sayuri for the
fact that Ranma would now be a permanent part of the household, so she
could always be near the boy.

It took two weeks to have Ranma transferred over to the
Shiritory family registry, an amazingly short time considering the usual
slow nature of Japanese bureaucracy. After the transfer was complete though
Yuka and her, or rather her and Ranma's mother decided to hold a party for
the boy. The first that he could ever remember being held for him.

Invitations were sent out to some of Ranma's friends, including a
certain young Amazon, that tried to act as if going to a party was not
that important. Of course her spending almost four hours trying on outfits
for the occasion spoke volumes about how she really felt.

Sayuri spent even more time looking for something to wear, preferably
something western, considering how Ranma didn't really seem to care for
traditional Japanese attire.

Ranma was 'distracted' the Kodachi the most during the night of the
party, when she appeared wearing a peach colored evening gown, sized
just for her and a light jade green necklace and earrings, both of which
provided excellent contrast with her dark skin and light complexion.

As the night progressed, Ranma found himself staying near the outer
edges of the Shiritory ballroom. He had never been to such a party before
even if it was for him, so he decided to stay away from the center of
all the activities going on, until Sayuri spotted the poor nervous boy and
dragged him out onto the middle of the dance floor. She had to lead Ranma
through most of the dances. He didn't seem to really mind, until he made
the 'mistake' of telling her that she looked very pretty tonight. After that
Sayuri starting to go into her 'own little world' and almost tripped over
Ranma's feet twice.

After that had happened Ranma decided that it would be safer to spend
most of the night with Kodachi and Shampoo, who didn't seem to mind that. As
the night went on, Ranma seemed to prefer spending most of his time on one of the
mansion's balcony's staring up at the stars.

The evening ended with the three girls taking turns kissing Ranma on
the cheek as they left for the night. Personally Ranma thought that the whole
'kissing thing' was rather icky, but he didn't want to say anything and take
the chance of hurting the girls' feelings.


It had been two years since Ranma had first arrived at the Shiritory
residence and things had started to change for everyone there. Six months
ago his mother said that it would probably be best if the three children
did not spend time in Ranma's bed sleeping together anymore. He seemed
confused by this, until Ranma's mother decided to give he and Yuka the
'talk' that all young people should be given by their parents as they
approached their teenage years.

Being twelve, Ranma was beginning to notice some things about
girls that he didn't before. The feelings that he was experiencing
sometimes had embarrassing physical results, that he preferred not to
think about. After he received the 'talk' though he now had a basic idea
what was going on. Now if only he could get his mind off of thinking
certain things about Kodachi and Shampoo, he would be a lot less stressed.

Sayuri seemed to be paying less attention to Ranma now. Yuka thought
that she had found someone else, but when she tried to asked Sayuri, the
girl said that the boy was away, almost as if he were lost continually.
This didn't make any sense. After all how could a boy their own age get
lost like an elementary school child would. More than likely, Yuka believed
that her friend had made up this boy so that it wouldn't seem that she 'gave
up' on Ranma, due to him spending most of his time with Shampoo and Kodachi.

Shampoo had turned out to be an 'early bloomer' and Ranma tried not
to stare at her, but the pant suits that she was now wearing, when she
wasn't wearing her school uniform, were very distracting. Watching Kodachi
was almost as rough on the poor boy. The tight black leotard that she wore
did nothing to hide her emerging figure and often left Ranma just staring
at her much to Kodachi's delight.

The end of the year brought the biggest change to the preteens life
though. Shampoo's mother was being transferred back to China and Shampoo
herself had to return to her native village so that she could be trained
to be a full warrior when she became sixteen. No one as happy with this,
even Sayuri, who still had some feelings of rivalry for Shampoo.

While Sayuri seemed to be giving up on Ranma, for the most part,
Kodachi and Shampoo were forming a plan of their own, which they discussed
a week before Shampoo was scheduled to leave.

Kodachi entered the Chinese embassy, and escorted up to Shampoo's
quarters where the two girls came to a decision regarding their feelings
for Ranma.

"So I heard that you will be leaving all of us soon.", Kodachi said
to Shampoo.

"It's true, I have to return to my tribe to complete my training
as a warrior. Since I will more than likely be part of the ruling council
as I get older, it would not due for me to not participate in the tournament
when I reach the age of 14 or 16 as some girls do.", Shampoo said in almost
fluent Japanese.

"What about Ranma? Will you be able to leave him for two or four
years, until you complete your training?", Kodachi asked.

"He is just a friend that is all. I am a warrior. I can possibly be
interested in someone who cannot fight.", Shampoo said, in a very
unconvincing voice.

"So you do have feelings for him, don't you?", Kodachi asked.

"Yes....", Shampoo replied in a quiet voice with her head held low.

"You act as if you are ashamed of it.", Kodachi said, now sounding
a little angry.

"That's not true, but....I have a responsibility to my tribe. Maybe
if I were to stay in Japan, but once I become a warrior it is expected of
me to marry another warrior.", Shampoo said in a shaky voice.

"That is not always the case though. You told Ranma and I a few
things about your tribe, including how some women chose to marry men who
were not warriors. Wouldn't it be better to be with someone you like?",
Kodachi said to Shampoo.

"Why do you want me to be with Ranma, don't you like him as well?",
Shampoo asked Kodachi.

"I care for him more than any boy I have ever met, and I know that
he cares for the both of us.", Kodachi said.

"So where does that leave us?", Shampoo asked.

"You said that your tribe has rules about two women sometimes being
with one boy. Maybe as we get older Ranma will want to be with the both
of us.", Kodachi said while blushing.

"Does that mean you like me as well?", Shampoo teased.

"I haven't thought about that. I just thought that the three of us
could be friends, but with you and I sharing Ranma.", Kodachi said with
a blush growing on her cheeks.

"What about Ranma? There is no telling what could happen in two or
four years. He might find someone else, or decide that he wants to be with
just one of us. What will happen then? You will still be here. He will most
likely choose you and forget all about me in a couple years.", Shampoo
stated in a sad tone of voice.

"Then write to him. Send him pictures. I have seen the way he looks
at you. I don't think that he could ever forget you. We both have been with
him almost every day for over two years. He will not forget you. You have
not seen the way he looks at you when you wear those native costumes of
yours.", Kodachi said with an evil grin as Shampoo began to blush.

"Now you are just teasing me.", Shampoo said.

"Of course I'm not. Haven't you noticed how often he holds a book
or a book bag in front of himself when you walk near him or hold his hand.",
Kodachi stated.

"Hold his book close to him? What do you.....", Shampoo started to
say as it dawned on her what her friend was hinting at.

"Exactly.", Kodachi said in amusement as Shampoo's blush went from red
to purple.

"So it is agreed then. If he still wants us. We will be there for him
in any way.", Kodachi said to Shampoo, who seemed speechless at the moment
and could only nod her head in the affirmative.


The day that Shampoo was to leave finally came around, much to
everyone's sorrow, especially Ranma, who looked as if he was losing a part
of himself. Perhaps that was true. Shampoo had become close to many people,
both as a friend, and in Ranma's case something else. Her leaving was
definitely going to leave a 'mark' on the boy.

Ranma and Shampoo stood in her room alone together. Mei Ling had
ordered the embassy staff to leave them alone, until they said their
goodbyes to each other.

"I guess you will be leaving today.", he said while sighing at how
'lame' that sounded.

"I have no choice, but I will miss you.", Shampoo said.

"Shampoo, I like you and care about you a lot. I know that when you
leave I'll be sad for a long time.", Ranma said while a tear began to fall.

"I thought you said real men don't cry.", Shampoo teased while trying
to remain as calm as she could and failing quite badly.

"You, Dachi-chan, Yuka-chan, and Sayuri-chan taught me that wasn't
right. Besides a man can cry if someone that he cares about is leaving.",
Ranma said, not bothering to hold back his tears anymore.

"I will be back, but until that happens here is something to
remember me by.", Shampoo said as she leaned into Ranma and gave him a
light kiss on the lips, then pulled him into a tight hug, the both of them
beginning to cry as they held onto each other.

An hour later it was all over. Shampoo and her mother was gone and
Ranma was back at his home sitting next to Yuka and Kodachi, with his head
leaning into Kodachi's shoulder.

"She will be back.", Yuka said to her brother.

"I know. Shampoo and I promised that we would see each other
again. We also promised that we won't spend all of our time being sad.
Shampoo will be busy with her training and I intend to spend a lot of
time with all of you.", Ranma said, hugging his sister, then Kodachi.


A week later the Shiritory house was in an uproar. Sayuri had
disappeared a week ago. She was last seen in the company of a strangely
dressed boy, wearing a bandana and carrying a large umbrella. Maybe this
was Sayuri's supposed boyfriend. Whatever the case when Sayuri was found
there were several people who were going to make the boy's life hell.

They got their chance a day later when Sayuri and the mysterious
boy seemed to just appear, almost out of nowhere, in the middle of the
front walk leading up to the Shiritory mansion.

"Where have you been young lady and who is this 'boy' with you?",
an angry female voice said. Sayuri turned to see her mother, Yuka, Ranma,
and Mrs. Shiritory approaching her and her friend. None of them looked
very happy.

I'm sorry mother. I didn't mean to be gone so long, but Ryo-chan and
I got lost, but we came here as quick as we could.

"Ryo-chan!?!", Sayuri's mother said in a tone of voice that almost
caused her daughter and 'boyfriend' to faint on the spot.

Watching this going on, Ranma was very glad that it was not he who
had made Sayuri's mother, Ayane mad at him. The woman was an excellent
martial artist, who taught Sayuri everything she could. He often saw
her practicing in her short violet colored gi, with her short lavender
hair waving in breeze as she flowed through her katas. That is not to
say that Ranma had ever had a crush on the young woman, he merely
admired her skill in the art.

"Mother please, don't be mad. I didn't mean to worry anyone.", Sayuri
managed to say while shaking.

"No, you just got lost. You expect me to believe that. What have you
and this boy been doing. I swear if he tried touching you in any way...",
Ayane started to say before she was cut off by Yuka's mother.

"Ayane-chan, please calm down. I am sure that there is a perfectly
good explanation for what happened, right?", Mrs. Shiritory said as she
glared at the boy next to Sayuri.

"Stay calm?!?! How can you say that Kasumi. This jerk is probably not
any better than that creep Hayate. You remember what Hayate tried to do to
you and what I had to do to him.", Ayane growled.

"So who are you boy?", Kasumi said to Sayuri's 'friend'.

"My name is Ryoga Hibiki, maam.", the boy said nervously.

"And you became lost with my daughter?", Ayane said in scorn.

"Mother, please don't hurt him. Ryoga has a problem with
finding out where he needs to go. He didn't mean for us to be gone for
so long and her was a perfect gentleman when we traveled together.",
Sayuri said.

"Are you telling me the truth, young lady?", Ayane asked her daughter.

"I think that she is. Sayuri-chan never was a very good liar.", Ranma
said, trying to defuse the situation.

"Well that's true.", Yuka said.

"Very well, I shall let him live for now. In the meanwhile this boy
and I are going to have a little 'chat'.", Ayane said as she dragged
Ryoga off into the house as Sayuri prayed for his safety.

Ryoga was next seen being led home by Sayuri and accompanied by
Yuka and Ranma. Not much was said as they walked the boy home, but
Ranma noticed a definite look of fear on the boy's face. Ryoga was alone
with Ayane for two hours and nobody had heard the boy ever scream or cry
out so Ranma guessed that the boy wasn't physically hurt. Given Ayane's
temper though, she probably came up with some very creative things that
she told the boy that she would do him if he ever harmed Sayuri.

The boy seemed to be a little depressed. Maybe he could get lost
easily. That would make him different, and Ranma knew firsthand how
those that were different were sometimes treated by others.

"Don't worry man. Ayane may seem vicious, but she can be very nice
if you let her.", Ranma said.

"Really?", Ryoga said nervously.

"Yeah, besides you don't look or act like a pervert. Sayuri would
have pounded you into the ground if that was true.", Ranma said.

"I couldn't do anything like that to Sayuri-chan.", Ryoga said
as Ranma and Yuka mouthed "Sayuri-chan" in amusement.

"Good, now we be friends if you want.", Ranma said in all

"You want to be my friend?", Ryoga said in confusion.

"Of course, you can never have to many friends. Besides those of
us who are a little different need to stick together.", Ranma said.


It had been a year since Shampoo had left and while she had been
sending Ranma and the others pictures and letters about how her life had
been going, everyone still missed having Shampoo around.

Ranma, Kodachi, and Yuka were going to be entering a well known, and
rather expensive local junior high school. Sayuri and the other hand was going
to be entering one of the local public junior high schools. Sayuri's mother,
Ayane said that it was important for her daughter to meet all kinds of
different people, not just the wealthy. Yuka's mother, Kasumi though
believed that her friend was just being prideful, and did not feel
comfortable with someone else paying for her daughter's education. This
being the case Sayuri was now going to Furinkan junior high school, which
coincidentally Kodachi's brother was attending, due to the fact that his
rather poor grades excluded him going to the same school as his sister.


Ranma was not in a very good mood as he walked with Kodachi through
one of the local malls. They had just finished picking up their new
school uniforms, and now Ranma had to endure following his girlfriend
around as she seemed to stop in every store in sight. Ranma liked being
with Kodachi, more so than he realized. As both he and Kodachi turned 13,
Ranma found himself almost 'melting' every time Kodachi either smiled at him
or held his hand. During his last birthday, he and Kodachi had kissed each
other in a romantic way for the first time. Ranma could not help but smile
every time he thought about it. Now if only he could do something about these
annoying uniforms.

"Sigh, why did Dachi-chan have to say that I looked very handsome in
it.", Ranma thought as he walked hand in hand with Kodachi.

To make up for her poor boyfriend's 'suffering', Kodachi offered to
by Ranma the largest ice cream that he could eat, which was undoubtedly
going to be quite large. Even though he did not practice any form of martial
art too often he still seemed to be able to eat anything and everything
under the sun without gaining weight. A point of fact that seemed to annoy
Sayuri and several other girls who knew Ranma.

As Ranma sat staring and almost drooling over a large sundae composed
of six different type of ice cream scoops, as well a vast amount of chocolate
and whip cream, both he and Kodachi had failed to notice that they had
attracted the attention of two girls sitting nearby.

One girl appeared to be about a year older than Ranma and wore her
brown hair in a short pageboy style cut. The other girl was probably
Ranma's age and had long blackish blue hair. The style of dress between
the two girls though was quite different. The elder girl was dressed in
blue jeans and a light pink blouse. The younger, who appeared to be
somewhat underdeveloped for her age, wore a set of pink overalls, which
made her look like a tomboy.

"What are you looking at Nabiki?", the younger girl asked the
older one.

"Do you see the uniforms that those two have in those clear bags?
They are for a very expensive school. Those two are either very rich
or have good connections.", Nabiki said in a tone of voice that her sister
Akane was used to. The poor girl was way to obsessed with money
in Akane's opinion.

"So they go to an expensive school. It doesn't mean that the teachers
are any good.", Akane said

"That is not the point. By going there they will meet future leaders
of many companies. Oh what I could do with those connections. Maybe then we
would have more money instead of having to scrap by on mom's life
insurance policy and whatever money Kasumi can make on her modeling jobs.

"Whatever, just try not to do anything embarrassing like you did with
poor Morisato-san.", Akane said.

"I don't see anything wrong with what I did.", Nabiki stated, sounding
somewhat offended.

"He is in high school, and you practically threw yourself at him. I
bet he still thinks that you are strange.", Akane said.

"Hey!, He was very smart and had the potential to become quite wealthy
as he got older. I was trying to keep on top of things. You never know when
opportunity will strike.", Nabiki replied to her frustrated sister.

As Nabiki and Akane continued to talk and look over at Ranma, Kodachi
became aware that she and Ranma was being watched.

"It appears that you have attracted to more girls to your fan club.",
Kodachi teased Ranma as she motioned towards Nabiki and Akane.

Ranma looked over just as Akane decided to take a quick glance at the
boy that seemed to interest her sister. As their eyes met Ranma decided to
be polite and smile at the little tomboy. This caused the girl to look
away rapidly while blushing.

"He smiled at ME?!? Does that mean he thinks that I am cute?", Akane
thought as she tried to hold back a smile.

"(Giggle), It looks like the young one over their is developing a
crush on you. Tsk, tsk you naughty boy.", Kodachi teased as Ranma began
to look embarrassed.

"I am not encouraging her. I just tried to be friendly.", Ranma

"Don't worry, Ranma-chan. It's not your fault, after all you do
remember what Shampoo's mother told you?", Kodachi asked.

"You mean that silly 'Nexus' stuff? I don't know Dachi-chan, that
sounds like something out of one of those silly shoujo mangas.", Ranma

"So speaks the boy who has read all of the Sailor Moon mangas.",
Kodachi stated with a grin on her face.

"It was a good series. Being a shoujo manga had nothing to do with
it.", Ranma pouted.

"Well I suppose it really doesn't matter anyway. From what I can tell
the youngest girl is harmless. The older one though, you should watch out for.",
Kodachi said.

"Why? She seems to be just a normal girl.", Ranma replied.

"She reminds me of that annoying girl Kaori. You remember her don't
you Ranma?", Kodachi stated.

"Yeah, she was the girl who wanted to become close to me after her father
found out who mother was.", Ranma replied.

"That's right. I know this may sound cynical to you, but you have to be
careful, now that you are part of a noble family. There will always be girls
who will want to be with you because of what you are, not who you are.",
Kodachi said as Ranma seemed to smile at her, confusing Kodachi for a moment.

"You don't have to worry about that Dachi-chan. You and Shampoo are
the only girls that I care about in that way, although I am not sure that
I understand how you and Shampoo could agree to 'share me'. I can't really
have two girlfriends at once can I?", Ranma asked.

"Girlfriends and more.", Kodachi thought with an evil grin on her face
as she leaned in and surprised Ranma by kissing him on the lips.

"Look how that shameless girl is taking advantage of that poor boy.",
Akane said to Nabiki as she saw Kodachi kiss Ranma.

"Maybe you had better try and rescue your 'Prince Charming' then,
before that girl tries to take that boy home with her and do horribly
hentai things to him.", Nabiki snickered as she got up from the
table she and her sister were sitting at, and headed towards the

"Nabiki is right. I have to do something to protect that poor boy
from that evil girl.", Akane declared a little too loud, causing those
around her to snicker.

Kodachi, seeing Nabiki beginning to walk off, began to get up and
follow the girl.

"Where are you going Dachi-chan?", Ranma asked.

"I thought that girl and I would have a little talk.", Kodachi said.

"Please don't over react. I am sure that she is not like Kaori.",
Ranma replied to Kodachi.

"Never the less, you can not be too careful.", Kodachi said and
hurried after Nabiki.

"Girls sure make life complicated.", Ranma thought to himself.

Seeing that her sister and that 'girl' had left, Akane decided
to make her way over to the table where Ranma was sitting. Now if she
could only think of something to say to him.

Too busy thinking about Kodachi having a 'discussion' with the
shorthaired girl that she had followed, Ranma didn't notice Akane
approaching him until she was standing right in front of him.

"Do you mind if I sit here?", Akane said, motioning to a chair
next to Ranma.

"I don't mind.", Ranma said as he pulled the chair out for the
little tomboy.

"Thank you.", Akane said as she sat down, then blushed as her
stomach grumbled at the sight of the large ice cream sundae in front
of Ranma.

"You can have some if you like. I have an extra spoon.", Ranma
said to Akane, not realizing how his kindness was having an affect
on the lonely girl.

"By the way my name is Akane Tendo.", Akane said between bites of
the ice cream, much to Ranma's amusement.

"My name is Shiritory, Ranma Shiritory.", Ranma said in imitation
of one of his favorite movie characters, causing Akane to giggle and
almost choke on the rapidly dwindling sundae.

"Sorry about that, I guess I have been watching far too many of
those silly western spy movies.", Ranma said.

"You like those as well?", Akane asked.

"Yeah, I watch them because I can never do the things that are in
them anymore, since I became sick.", Ranma said.

"You are sick?", Akane said while putting her hand on Ranma's,
causing all sorts of warning bells to go off in the boy's head.

"Don't worry, it's not that bad. I mean there are people worse
off than I am. At least I have a new family and friends to help me in
the rare times that I need it.", Ranma replied.

"You have a new family. Did something happen to your old one.",
Akane said, then quickly apologized for asked something so personal.

"It's a long story. I won't tell you exactly what happened. It would
only make you sick. Let's just say that because of my former father, I
ended up in the hospital and almost died when I was very young.", Ranma
said to Akane who looked as if she wanted to cry.

"Your father hurt you? What about your mother?", Akane said still
cursing herself about how personal she was being. She couldn't help it though.
For some strange reason she wanted to help this boy. She almost felt
drawn towards him.

Poor Ranma, the live of a 'Nexus' is filled with hardship.

"My mother died when I was about five. I really don't remember her that
well, but I every time I think of her I always imagine a person smiling
at me and showing how much she used to love me.", Ranma said sadly.

"She sounds a lot like how I remember my mother, before she died.",
Akane said.

"Does your father take care of you then?", Ranma asked as he saw
Akane begin to look somewhat angry.

"My father, (SNORT), the only thing he did was barricade himself in
his room for the first two years after mother died. If it wasn't for Kasumi
trying to raise and Nabiki trying to bring in some money we might be out on
the street now.", Akane replied.

"Your sisters supported the family?", Ranma asked in confusion.

"I don't like to talk about it, but yes they do. My oldest sister Kasumi
kind of acts like a second mother to the rest of us, staying home cooking,
cleaning, shopping when she isn't in class. I hope she at least tries to get
away when she graduates, but I doubt father would let her.", Akane said.

"I'm sorry to hear that. When she becomes 18, perhaps it would be best
if she left. So what about your other sister.", Ranma said.

"Nabiki, who I guess you saw me talking to earlier, tries to help
earn money for the family. She doesn't say exactly how she does this, but
Kasumi thinks that it might not be exactly honest. I hope that it isn't
anything too dangerous though. One time she came home with a bruise under
her right eye, but she refused to say how she got it.", Akane said looking
quite sad, causing Ranma to return the squeeze Akane gave his hand earlier.

"It sounds like you have something in common with Dachi-chan as well
as me. All of us have had rotten fathers.", Ranma said.

"Dachi-chan? Is she the girl you were with?", Akane asked.

"Yes, her name is Kodachi and I met her the first day I went back
to school, about three years ago. She had just lost her mother and her father
had let their servants raise her and her brother. Everyone considered her
strange because of her pale skin and the fact that she used to like to
dress all in black. I didn't see her as being strange though.", Ranma said.

"What did you see?", Akane asked.

"I saw a girl who was like me and needed help just like I did, before
Yuka and her mother took me in. I also saw someone who I felt comfortable
being around. It was always easy to talk to her and I just liked being around
her. I think we helped each other feel better about life. As we got older we
began to feel more for each other than just being friends.", Ranma said.

"It sounds like you really like her, maybe even love her.", Akane

"I'm not sure that I even know what love is, but I do know how happy I
am when she is around, and how his smile just causes me to feel all warm and
fuzzy inside.", Ranma said.

"I see.....", Akane said as her voice trailed off.

"Is something wrong?", Ranma asked Akane.

"When I saw Kodachi glomping onto your arm and how uncomfortable you
looked, I thought that she was taking advantage of you. I came over here
to try and 'rescue' you. I guess that sounds stupid to you.", Akane replied.

"So you wanted to save someone you didn't even know?", Ranma asked.

"Yes.", Akane said in embarrassment.

"Thank you, that was very sweet, but I don't need to be save from
Kodachi, just the opposite in fact. When she is away, I feel like something
is missing. I'm no sure what, but I never feel....complete I guess you
cold say unless she is around. Both Dachi-chan and Shampoo-chan are the
two people I have been the closest too.", Ranma said.

"Who is Shampoo? Is she another girl?!?", Asked somewhat
shocked at the boy possibly being with two girls.

"Oh crap, now how do I explain this?", Ranma thought to himself.

"Shampoo was another girl, that I met when I first started going
to school again. She is the daughter of the Chinese Ambassador and was
raised as an Amazon, believe it or not.", Ranma said as Akane looked at
him with a skeptical expression on her face.

"An Amazon, in China? Oh come on you just like having two girlfriends
don't you.", Akane said, sounding a little hurt to Ranma.

"I know it sounds strange, but she was also quite lonely and treated
coldly because she was different. For some reason the three of us just grew
very close to each other. I don't know how it will end up, I mean its
not like the three of us will even be married to each other. Well unless
those laws Shampoo told me about are true.", Ranma said to Akane, while
thinking the last part to himself.

"The three of you together?", Akane said in shock while blushing
badly, imaging all sorts of naughty things. Maybe she shouldn't have
snuck a peek at those magazines of Kasumi's. They were causing her to think
like a pervert would.

"No need to think too much about that, I am sure something will work
out between us.", Ranma said with obvious affection in his voice.

"Boy, do you have it bad", a voice said from behind Ranma.

Turning around, Ranma saw Akane's sister Nabiki who was talking to her
earlier. Next to her was Kodachi looking at him with little hearts
seeming to swirl around her head.

"You really feel that way about me and Shampoo-chan Ranma?",
Kodachi asked.

"You heard me?", Ranma said while starting to blush.

"Yes I did. Now answer the question.", Kodachi mock demanded.

"It's true, I love both of you.", Ranma said much to Kodachi's
delight and Akane's shock.

"Oh my, isn't that interesting.", Nabiki said then quieted down
when Kodachi glared at her.

"You must be Nabiki, Akane was telling me about you.", Ranma
said to Nabiki, who didn't look to happy about that relevation.

The four young teens talked to each other for the better part of
an hour, before they has to go their separate ways. Both Akane and Nabiki
were surprised at how easily Ranma talked about his life. Most people did
not talk about personal information so easily. They figured though, that
by talking about his life, Ranma was better able to put what happened to
him 'behind him', so that he could go on with his life.

Ranma and Kodachi were not to thrilled with what Akane had told them
about her father. He abandoned his daughters just like they believed that
Ranma's father abandoned him. Perhaps it was even a little worse. At least
Ranma did not have to face his father every day and wonder why the man just
ignored him as Akane's father seemed to ignore her and her sisters.

While being driven back from their shopping trip, Ranma asked Kodachi
about her little 'talk' with Nabiki when they were in the women's restroom.
She didn't say exactly what she said to Nabiki, but Kodachi did tell Ranma
that she made sure that Nabiki understood that there were many people who
would not take too kindly to those who might take advantage of him.


"So Ranma-chan, do you have yourself another admirer now?",
Kodachi teased Ranma as they sat next to each other on couch in the
front parlor of Kodachi's home.

"I don't know if you can that say, but I think she may have a bit
of a crush on me. She kind of reminds me of Ryoga in a way. Both of them
seem to very lonely. You remember how quickly he latched onto Sayuri.",
Ranma said.

"So you think she might begin to follow you around, the same way
Ryoga tries to follow Sayuri-chan?", Kodachi asked.

"I doubt it. We don't go to the same school, and she doesn't know
where we live or what the phone number here is. We will probably hardly
ever see her again.", Ranma said.

"You almost sound pleased by that?", Kodachi replied.

"Don't get me wrong, she is nice, but I do not feel anything for
her and the last thing I would want to do is lead someone on. You and
Shampoo are about all I can handle anyway?", Ranma teased.

"But you like 'handling' me do you not?", Kodachi said as she
sat herself across Ranma's lap.

Poor Ranma tried to say something, but having Kodachi sitting
on his lap and putting her arms around him was short circuiting most of
his thought processes.

"Foul peasant, how dare you once again invade the house of Kuno.",
a certain annoying junior kendoist said as he stormed towards Ranma
and Kodachi.

"Oh, it's you again.", Ranma said in a bored tone of voice.

"Brother dear, please leave. Ranma-chan and I wish to be alone and
you are interrupting us.", Kodachi said.

"Ney dear sister. I will not allow this perverted molester to
darken our halls.", Kuno said.

"You do realize that you sound like a complete idiot, don't you?
Besides I have not molested your sister, have I Dachi-chan?", Ranma
said to the kendo idiot.

"No Ranma-chan you haven't molested me, but I have hopes for latter on
if we were just left alone.", Kodachi teased as steam seemed to come from
Kuno's ears.

"Your not helping matters, you know?", Ranma said as Kodachi snuggled
closer and smiled at Ranma with a Cheshire cat grin.

"Base criminal, I will....(Urkrrkk)", Kuno tried to say, but suddenly
fell over, revealing a small ninja that had snuck up behind him.

"My apologies mistress, I had thought that you brother was away. I see
that I was mistaken.", Sasuke said to Kodachi.

"That's quite alright, just drag my foolish brother away from here.",
Kodachi replied.


Meanwhile Akane and Nabiki had returned to their home, the former
with a shy smile on her face.

"Were home!", Nabiki and Akane shouted and entered the living
room of the Tendo dojo.

"How was your day?", a sixteen year old girl with long brown
hair said as she walked into the living room.

"Just fine Kasumi. Although Akane's was a little more than fine,
wasn't it?", Nabiki said as the smile on Akane's face seemed to widen.

"What happened?", Kasumi asked.

"She met a boy that she now has a crush on.", Nabiki said before
Akane could reply.

"Is this true Akane? Did you meet a nice boy?", Kasumi asked her
now mortified sister.

"He's a friend, not my boyfriend. Besides he already has two
other girlfriends.", Akane said.

"What!?! some playboy is trying to take advantage of my little
girl.", a girlish voice screamed out from behind the three girls.

"Daddy, Ranma-chan is not a playboy. He's just a kind boy who
wanted to talk to me and let me share his ice cream sundae with him.",
Akane said while trying not to blush and failing miserably.

"Ranma-chan?", Kasumi and Soun said at once.

"Are you sure that you do not want to be number three?", Nabiki
teased Akane.

"Ranma?, I wonder if he's.....", Soun's thoughts trailed off.

"What was his last name Akane?", Kasumi asked.

"It was Shiritory.", Akane said.

"Oh my, they own the market I go to and several other things as
well.", Kasumi said.

"Like what?", Nabiki said, smelling money.

"Well one of the nice boys working there said that the Shiritory
family owns several businesses called a wafer 'fab' whatever that is.",
Kasumi said as Nabiki began to choke.

"Ranma belongs to that family?!?", Nabiki said.

"You know them?", Kasumi asked.

"They own one of the largest computer companies in all of Asia.", Nabiki
said in shock.

"Isn't that nice.", Kasumi said as Nabiki just rolled her eyes.

"So how exactly did you meet this boy?", Soun asked Akane.

Akane gave a brief explanation of how she met Ranma and what they
talked about for the most part. She wisely chose to leave off the part of her
trying to rescue him though. After all, people already thought that she was a
little weird. It was not Akane's fault that she was a little 'misunderstood'.

"I see, so the boy also lost his family when young. Well I do not see
any problem if you wish to be friends with this boy, but any sort of
'relationship' with this boy is out of the question.", Soun replied.

"Why not? What is wrong with him?", Akane asked, not really believing
that she could 'take' Ranma away from Kodachi or this Shampoo girl, whoever
she was, but a girl has to keep her options open after all.

"Akane, one day one of you girls will marry and carry on the fine
tradition of the Anything Goes Martial Art School. In order to do so, though
you must find a strong husband so that he can run the school. This boy Ranma,
sounds like he would be too weak to ever run the school.", Soun said as Akane
began to stare at her father in annoyance.

"What do you mean, we need a husband to run the school. I am the heir
to the school.", Akane said to her father.

"Now, Akane, you know that it is a man's job to run the school and a
woman's job to produce heirs to the school. Beside the old (shudder) master
forbids women to ever learn any advanced skills of the school.", Soun
stated then began to back up as he saw Akane and Nabiki glaring at him.

"That's a bunch of crap. There are plenty of female martial artists. I bet
some of them could beat this so-called master of our school.", Akane said.

"Not to mention that I want more out of my life than just to have
children.", Nabiki shouted in her father's face, who responded in his
typical fashion..... Crying of course.

"Now Nabiki you know have sensitive father is.", Kasumi tried
to scold Nabiki, who didn't seem too interested in what her sister was
saying to her.

"Right sensitive. So sensitive that we haven't had a student in over
five years. So sensitive that the rest of the dojos in the area consider
us a pathetic joke. You would not believe some of the things that others
say about us and how hard it is to try and ignore it.", Nabiki said.

"I am sure that you're overreacting Nabiki.", Kasumi said.

"Overreacting am I? Let me put it to you this way: If I thought
that either Akane or I had a chance with this boy Ranma, I would do
anything I could to make sure that one of us ends up with him. At least
that way one of us will have a future that amounts to us being more than
'baby factories' like 'dear' daddy wants us to be.", Nabiki almost hissed,
surprising her elder sister.


Later that evening, as Kasumi was washing the dinner dishes, her
normal almost vacant smile, began to fade and was replaced with one that was
almost sinister in appearance.

"So our dear sister has met a rich and lonely young boy. I bet he would
just love to meet a 'nice' older girl.", a voice said in the back of Kasumi's

"No we can't do that. That wouldn't be nice.", Kasumi whispered.

"Who cares about nice. Momma always said that you were a bad girl. Why
should we disappoint her.", the voice said.

"No.... I want to be good. That nice doctor said I have to be.", Kasumi
continued to whisper.

"Nice, what a joke. Then why did he give us those pills to keep us from
achieving what we really want?", the voice asked.

"It was your fault. You had to try and take advantage of that nice doctor
Tofu. Now he can't even be around me without acting strange.", Kasumi mumbled.

"I hardly see why that is my fault.", the voice said, sounding

"You tried to almost rape the poor man, and we were only 14 at the time.
What were you thinking?", Kasumi said out loud.

"You have to take what you want in this life, or someone else will. Who
cares if that makes us bad, and who cares what mom wants. The old bitch is
dead and good riddance I say.", the voice shouted in Kasumi's mind.

"No, no.... That's not true, I want to be good. I don't want to be like I
was. I want.....more out of life.", Kasumi shouted as she reached for the
prescription that the doctor gave her. A couple of minutes later the voice
began to fade.

"You may be getting rid of me for now, but I will return.", the voice
said as it faded into silence.

Outside the kitchen, the rest of the family was listening with
nervous expressions on their faces.

"I think that we are safe now. Kasumi must have just been late in
taking her medication.", Nabiki said.

"That is good, but we must be more careful. We should take turns
in making sure that she continues to take her pills. We do not want to
meet 'Cassandra', anytime soon again, now do we.", Soun said with more
than a little fear in her voice.

"Maybe if we found her another doctor, everything would be ok.",
Akane asked.

"We can't afford that. For now father is right, we will have to just
keep a close watch on Kasumi, or 'Cassandra' might get loose again, then no
boy will be safe, even 'your' Ranma, right Akane.", Nabiki said as Akane
gulped nervously.


It had been two months since Ranma had enrolled in his new school.
Junior high was a little different from primary school. Everyone seemed to
gather in small groups and exclude others for the silliest reasons Ranma
noticed. Not that he really cared. He had Kodachi and Yuka to spend time
with. Ryoga would occasionally pop up, confused to where he was as usual.

The only thing strange so far, that Ranma had noticed was the
school's new cooking class instructor. He seemed to be just a little too
bit high strung, judging that he had a tendency to suddenly scream out in
class, before calming down.

Ranma and Kodachi were in their cooking class, when the teacher
suddenly froze in place and began to sweat as if he expected something truly
horrible to happen at that moment.

"Oh, Mr. Tenkawa looks like he is going to freak out again.", one
of the students in the class said.

"Akito... Akiiitttttooooo.", a high pitch voice called out from
just outside the classroom door.

"Tenkawa are you in there?", a louder more aggressive female voice
sounded from outside the room.

"Akito-chan are in there. Come on out, there is no reason to hide.",
still another female called out.

"Oh no, they found me. Why can't they just leave me alone.", the
teacher said in a panic.

The door to the room suddenly burst open and three young women
walked in. One with purple hair and another with dark brown hair, and the
third with emerald green hair. All three were dressed in some sort of military
uniform that no one in class seemed to recognize.

"There you are! Why did you run away. I worked really hard making
lunch for you.", the girl with the purple hair said.

"Self-preservation.", Akito mumbled.

"I doesn't matter, we have you now darling. Yurika, Megumi, help me
grab our poor confused Akito.", the girl in the green hair said as all
three women began to advance on the teacher.

"I'm out of here.", the teacher said as he suddenly began to glow,
then disappeared from sight.

"He won't get away that easily.", the girl with the brown hair said
as she pulled out some sort of small electronic device..

The three of then soon disappeared into thin air as well.

"This school is gets stranger every day.", a girl in the class said
as the rest of the class could only nod in reply.

Two class periods later, Ranma entered the locker room and noticed
one of the lockers shaking, as if someone were inside of it.

Ranma was surprised that upon opening the door to the locker, his
cooking instructor, fell out.

"Why are hiding in a locker?", Ranma asked in confusion.

"I can't let them find me. You don't know what they are like.", Akito
said in a panic.

"Aren't you overreacting just a little. I mean they are just girls
after all." Ranma said.

"Hah, so you say, but you don't have to worry about three crazy
girls following you around all the time trying to feed you food, that
is not fit for an animal to eat.", Akito said as several Ranma's around
the multiverse began to break out in laughter for some reason.

"There you are!", three women said as they burst into the boys
locker room.

"Eep, bye!", Akito said as faded from sight once again.

"Ahem!", Ranma said.

"What!", the green haired girl said sharply.

"All of you do realize that you are in the BOYS locker room?",
Ranma replied.

The three girls were now quite red and exited the room as fast
as they could, while calling for 'their' Akito.


It had been two weeks since the disappearance of the school's
beloved cooking teacher and strange things were once again taking

For the past couple days Ranma had been feeling quite uneasy, as
if someone were watching him, but he could never find out who it was. The
only new person that he had run into was Akane's older sister Kasumi. She
seemed to be a very nice girl who was about three years older than he was.
Ranma didn't think that she could be the one that was making him uneasy, so
there had to be another reason. Perhaps his (shudder), father had returned
and was waiting for the right moment to ruin Ranma's life again.

Across the street from the school, in a small cafe, Kasumi sat near
a window looking out at the school. She was confused to why she was even here.
She doesn't usually leave school early, but something made her come here, and
she hoped that it wasn't a part of herself that was responsible.

"So that is our savior. A little young, but he might be cute as he became
older. Either way once we become close to him, we can leave our 'loving'
father forever.", Cassandra's voice said in Kasumi's head, without Kasumi
being aware of it.

Later that night a crash was heard somewhere upstairs at the Tendo
Dojo. Soun, Akane and Nabiki were relaxing in the living room, when
suddenly Nabiki shot upright at the sound of the noise, with a panicked
expression on her face.

"What's wrong Nabiki?", Akane asked.

"We forgot that tonight is the night of the full moon.", Nabiki said
in a shaky tone of voice.

"That means 'she' will be in control tonight.", Akane said while
looking around nervously.

Soun meanwhile had dove into his room and locked the door behind
him, leaving his daughters to fend to themselves.

"Come out right now, daddy. It's your fault all of this is happening
anyway.", Akane shouted as she banged on the door to her father's room.

Another loud bang and the shattering of glass drew the attention
of the two teen girls.

"We have to check on Kasumi and see that she hasn't escaped.",
Nabiki said as she dragged Akane along with her.

As they reached the door to Kasumi's room, Nabiki slowly opened
the door and was shocked at what she saw. Not only had the window been
completely shattered, but the cast iron bars in front of the window had
been completely ripped off of the wall. As for who could have done this,
well the answer to that question was standing right in front of them.

Akane and Nabiki saw their sister about to jump out of the
window, wearing a very short black dress. Kasumi turned towards them
and smiled 'evilly'. The moonlight showing the subtle differences that
had come over her. Her eyes had changed to blood red and small little
fangs were visible.

"I am sorry dear sisters, but I can not stay home tonight. I have
an appointment with a troubled young man, who needs the comforting of
a mature older woman.", Kasumi said while licking her lips.

"You had better not mean Ranma! He doesn't need you!", Akane
shouted while Kasumi giggled.

"My, my, you do sound jealous little sister. Perhaps you were
thinking of taking the boy for yourself after all.", Kasumi replied
as she them leapt out of the window, two small black bat wings appearing
on her back.

Akane tried to rush over to her sister, but by the time she got
near the window Kasumi was already flying off, well out of reach.

"Come on Akane, there is nothing that we can do right now. Hopefully
nothing will happen tonight.", Nabiki said as she led her distraught sister
out of Kasumi's room.

Meanwhile, a little earlier in Kasumi's room, Kasumi was beginning to
feel quite light headed. She knew what would soon happen but she to resist
for the sake of others. She couldn't let herself take advantage of anyone.

"Oh father why did you have to be unfaithful to your wife.", Kasumi

"If he hadn't, neither of us would be here now would we.", Cassandra
said in Kasumi's head.

"It doesn't matter. At least all of those boys would now be safe.",
Kasumi said.

"Bah, they were never harmed. A little energy was all that we needed
and they never complained about how we took it from them. Now as for dear
'daddy', it's not his fault he was with mother. She could be very
persuasive after all and you know how weak willed father is. Now why don't
you take a nap Kasumi dear, for this night belongs to me.", Cassandra said
as Kasumi began to feel her consciousness begin to fade.


Ranma had agreed to stay at Kodachi's house for the night in order
to take care of the girl after she pulled a muscle in her back while
practicing that day.

"He is so sweet. If only he was the one who had helped bathe me
instead of one of the maids.", Kodachi thought with a silly little
grin on her face as she laid down on her bed carefully by said maid.

"I'll be going now mistress. If you need anything just ask.",
the maid said to Kodachi.

"Perhaps I should have asked him to stay in my room with me
tonight. (Sigh) That boy can be so shy at times.", Kodachi thought
as she imagined herself snuggled up to Ranma under the covers.

Outside the Kuno home, a young woman had just landed in the front
yard. She sensed the object of her hunt was here. Now all she had to do
was find the boy. Pulling her cloak tight around her, she set off
towards the house.

Hearing a growling sound the young 'woman' turned around and found
herself face to face with a large alligator. Cassandra growled and her
eyes began to glow. Poor Mr. Turtle suddenly had the feeling that perhaps
it would be best not bother this visitor and quickly went back to his

"Hold varlet! Who dares invade the hallowed halls of the house of
Kuno.", A boy's voice said from behind her.

Turning around Cassandra saw a young boy of about 14, pointing a
large wooden sword at her.

"Now that is no way to treat a lady.", Cassandra said seductively as
she approached the boy.

Tatewaki Kuno was surprised when the 'invader' of his home lowered
the hood of her cloak revealing herself to be a very attractive older
teenage girl. The fact that she also had red eyes and small fangs seemed
to go unnoticed by the boy for some reason.

My apologies fair maiden, I thought you were another foul peasant,
like the one who has ensnared mine sister.", Kuno said.

"A foul peasant?", Cassandra asked.

"Yes, a sorcerer of some sort by the name of Ranma Shiritory, has
caused my dear sister to look upon him with affection even to the point of
standing against her family.", Kuno said.

"So you are a member of the Kuno family. How interesting.....",
Cassandra purred as she stepped closer to the now quite nervous boy.

Poor Kuno was now quite confused. This strange, yet attractive girl
was not acting like the women in the samurai novels that he liked to read.
Women in his stories were always quite demure and passive. This girl
seemed to be quite aggressive though, almost as if she was going to be in
charge of any relationship that she would have with a man.

"Well now since Ranma appears to be quite taken at the moment perhaps
I should find another young man to spend my time with. Do you have any
suggestions?", Cassandra said as she ran her hand across the shocked boy's


Early the next morning Kasumi awoke in her bedroom and made her way
downstairs, where she was surprised to find a boy a couple of years younger
than her already cleaning the house and setting the table.

"Ah mistress, you are awake. I hope that you didn't mind but I arrived
early and used the key that gave me so that I could start the morning
chores before you had awoken. I am sorry though that I am not a cook, so I
could not start our morning repast.", Kuno said while looking at the
shocked Kasumi with a blush on his face.

"Oh dear, I did it again?", Kasumi thought in frustration.

A little while later, the smell of breakfast cooking, awoke the
rest of the family. Seeing a strange boy setting the table and glancing
into he kitchen with a look of fondness on his face, did not seem to
bother Soun, Akane, and Nabiki at all, especially when Nabiki pointed
out the two small 'bruises' the boy had on his neck.

Poor Akane felt sorry for the boy. Her poor sweet ,yet sometimes
overly amorous sister had claimed yet another innocent person.

Nabiki was in shock when she realized who the boy was, and have
differently he was acting from when they were in class together. Nabiki
wondered if the boy's sister would be interested in the information. That
might even give her a chance to let Akane see Ranma again.

Soun wanted to be angry at the boy, but he knew his daughter too well.
Perhaps this boy would be the one to help his poor little Kasumi keep her
other half in line. The only thing he could do for the moment was talk to the
boy and tell him the truth about Kasumi. Hopefully he would not runaway like
the others had.

"So son, where did you meet my daughter?", Soun asked Kuno.

"I met the fair Cassandra, ahem I mean Kasumi when the security
system at the Kuno estate alerted mine noble person that an intruder was
in the process of sneaking onto the estate. Imagine my surprise when the
intruder turned out to be your lovely daughter.", Kuno stated.

"Did Kasumi say why she was there?", Nabiki asked, already having
an idea what Kuno's answer might be.

"She was looking for that miscreant Ranma Shiritory, with whom
my beloved sister has fallen in love with. Fortunately I was able to save
her from that peasant's evil sorcery", Kuno said.

"Ah the poor boy has obviously been greatly rattled by my dear
daughter.", Soun thought as he listened to Kuno continuing to Rant.

Nabiki was tempted to laugh at loud. Nobody seemed to realize that
her classmate was often like this when he started to speak of someone that
he did not like.

"Son, there is something you must know about my daughter if you wish to
continue to see her.", Soun said to Kuno.

Soun began to tell Kuno about a certain youthful indiscretion he became
involved in, shortly after he married his dear Kimiko. It seems that his
former perverted master, may he burn in hell, had summoned a demon. Since
the creature was female, hence weak in the eyes of the anything goes school,
he, his master, and another student by the name of Genma Saotome tried to
subdue the creature. This turned out to be a very bad idea. The demoness could
have easily killed all three of the men, but she was reaching the age where she
wanted to produce an heir and she offered Soun the choice of either being the
father or she would kill the three men immediately.

Soun had little choice but to agree. He could not stand the fact to have
anyone die because of him. He only hoped that Kimiko would forgive him in
the end. Two months later little Kasumi was born and left with Soun and Kimiko.
Kasumi's mother, Glassia, did not want to be bothered with raising a child, so
she gave him to Soun with the intent of meeting her daughter when she came of
age in several hundred years.

"So you see lad, my dear sweet Kasumi is actually half demon, and
although she now appears to be a little older than yourself, she will stop
aging when she reaches 21, while you will continue to age. Knowing this can
you honestly say that you wish to have a relationship with my daughter.",
Soun stated, expecting that the boy would soon be running away as fast
as he could.

Kuno sat in quiet contemplation for a few moments before replying.

"I understand what you are telling me and you have my word as a member
of the noble house of Kuno that I will free your daughter from the demon that
has obviously possessed your daughter.", Kuno declared.

"Um, that's not quite it.", Soun tried to say but was surprised to be
'hushed' by Kasumi.

"What are you doing?", Akane whispered to Kasumi.

"I kind of like him and I know Cassandra does.", Kasumi said

"How do you know?", Akane whispered again.

"Because she did not try to take him to bed. Besides he said that I
was a fair maiden like a princess out of a story book. He is a little
different I admit, but then so am I.", Kasumi said starting to blush.

"So Kasumi, this young man seems to be quite taken with you. Do you
wish to pursue a relationship with him?", Soun asked Kasumi.

"Yes father I would like that.", Kasumi said.

"Well son, since Kasumi has no objections to being with you, I give
you my permission to date her.", Soun said.

"Very good, soon I can get away from these fools and live the life
that I deserve to live.", Cassandra said in Kasumi's mind, without Kasumi
being aware.

It was the next day that Kuno announced to his sister and Ranma, that
from now on Kodachi would have to deal with the 'demon' Saotome, while he
help to rid the, "Pure and noble Kasumi of the foul demoness Cassandra that
had obviously possessed the fair maiden."

Needless to say both Ranma and Kodachi had assumed that the poor boy had
obviously been hit on the head again, by one of the girls that he bothered
at his school each day.

There opinion changed in two days, when Kuno brought his 'possessed'
girlfriend home for the first time. Most girls after all do not have small
fangs and small batwings on their back. The girl Kasumi, (Cassandra?), seemed
nice enough on the surface, but she seemed to have two distinct personalities
almost, but not from being possessed.

When Kodachi had a chance to speak to the girl alone, she found out
that this girl was something called and Alu-Demon, half mortal, half
demon, and both halves seemed to like her brother, much to Kodachi's
surprise. Kodachi didn't like Kasumi though, flirting with Ranma, when she
thought that no one was looking. She was already 'sharing' him with Shampoo
and Kodachi had no intention of sharing with someone else.


It had now been two months since Kuno and Kasumi had started to date
and during that time, both of them seemed to be growing more 'stable' if
you will. Kuno had yet be sent home from school with various bruises and
cuts in quite a while. He also barely seemed to acknowledge Ranma's
presence, when Ranma came over to see Kodachi.

Kasumi also seemed to be undergoing some changes, most of which she
was unaware of. As Cassandra began to spend more time with Kuno, she
began to lose interest in just taking all of the boy's money and
property, and starting to think of him more fondly. Her appearance
now started to blend together in both her 'forms'. Kasumi still had
the same brown hair that she had always had, but her eyes were now
permanently a light red color and her fangs were smaller than they
were before, but still quite obvious when she smiled. Her wings she
could now make disappear at will without have to change forms.

Ranma was still nervous every time he met Kasumi and he was very glad
that the girl had never visited his home. Ayane and his mother would
have taken one look at the girl and attacked her on sight. Both of them
were very wary around supernatural creatures, because of an incident
regarding a Tengu that they had killed several years ago.

Ranma had managed to run into both Akane and Nabiki several times
while shopping. Neither of the two sisters were too thrilled to have
Kuno hanging around their house constantly, especially since it tended
to bring out the "Cassandra ness" part of Kasumi's personality, meaning
that the girl was acting far more affectionate in public than she
usually would. She even fed him, much to Akane's disgust.

Seeing her sister with a boyfriend now, made Akane all the more
aware of how the boys seemed to ignore her, except for one boy, who
was quite frustrated on how he should deal with her. Ranma didn't mind Akane
being a friend, but she was started to act far to possessive of someone,
who was, "Just her friend", as she always said.

Ranma was upset that he had to yell at the girl one time when she
almost threatened another girl that Ranma was talking to one day. It
hurt him to see Akane on the verge of tears after he scolded her, but
what choice did he really have. Kodachi took all of this in stride. She
knew what it was like to be lonely. Shampoo, if she had been around, on the
other hand... Well Ranma was just glad that he didn't have to deal with that
at the moment.


A few more months had past and Ranma and Kodachi were now almost 14.
They were now at the age were some teens started to 'experiment' with their
new feeling for each other. Ranma and Kodachi were no exception to this rule,
and their experiments took place mainly in the mansions numerous large tubs
and saunas, causing either Ranma's mother or Ayane to keep a close watch
on the two teens in order to make sure that they didn't go too far in their
activities. This normally took the form of one or both of the older women
suddenly showing up to see if the two teens needed anything, or if worse
came to worse, joining them in the large outdoor tubs, and teasing the
two teens.

At Kodachi's home, poor Sasuke found himself with the task of spying
on the two young teens. He really did not like being a voyeur, but propriety
had to be at least somewhat maintained. Also, he felt that the two were not
quite ready to handle the possible consequences of their romantic interludes
if they were left to their own devices, so to speak.

A week before his 14th birthday, Ranma came bouncing into the house
with a big smile on his face.

"Why are you so happy today?", Yuka asked.

"I just got a letter from Shampoo. She said that she and her mother
would be arriving here just in time for my birthday", Ranma said in an
annoying cheerful voice to his still very single sister.

"I thought that she was going to have to stay in her village until
she was 16, for some sort of fight.", Yuka said.

"She completed her training early, so she can come back here and
stay in Japan until she is 16, when she has to go back and complete in
the warrior's tournament.", Ranma replied.

"So that means that you will have both of your girlfriends over
here now. So you the three of you plan to spend some time in the spas
together like you do with Kodachi now.", Yuka said with a big grin as
she watched Ranma turn bright red and grab onto his nose to prevent
from fainting.

"Yuka-chan stop teasing poor Ranma.", Ayane said as she past by
for her daily sparing with Ranma's mother.

"But why, it is so much fun.", Yuka mock pouted.

"Because if you talk about it too much you will make poor Sayuri-chan
jealous and she will want to join in as well. You know what she is like
when her "Ryo-chan" is away for too long.", Ayane said.

"Three girls?!?", Ranma squeaked out.


"Now who's teasing Ranma?", Yuka said as she dragged her brother
to a nearby couch and threw him on it just as Sayuri came into the room.

"What happened to Ranma-chan?", Sayuri said as she ran over to Ranma
and began to check him over, much to her mother's amusement.

"I am afraid the poor boy couldn't handle the thought of you,
and his two girlfriends all in one of the mansion's spas getting to
know each other.", Ayane replied.

"All of us?", Sayuri said with a naughty grin on her face.

"Oh my dear daughter is such a pervert. You do your mother proud.",
Ayane said as Yuka face-faulted.

"At least mother is not that weird. Although she and Ayane sure do
seem to end up in the strangest positions when they are practicing
together.", Yuka thought.


Over the coast of China, heading towards Tokyo, Shampoo's mother, Mei
Ling was growing more and more irritated at her daughter's constant
fidgeting in her seat.

"Shampoo will you please calm down. Nothing is going to happen.",
Mei Ling said in exasperation.

"I don't like flying in this thing. It reminds me of a big metal
coffin. Why couldn't we take a boat back to Japan?", Shampoo asked.

"I have duties to perform and a schedule to keep daughter. What am I
suppose to tell everyone? That I have to postpone my duties because my
daughter, the brave Amazon warrior, is AFRAID to fly.", Mei Ling snorted
in a rough manner.

"I'm not afraid, I just prefer to go by boat, that is all.", Shampoo

"What would your 'friend' Ranma think if he found out, or perhaps
Kodachi?", Mei Ling said as Shampoo began to look a little more nervous.

"You wouldn't tell them?", Shampoo asked.

"I would consider keeping silent if you keep calm the rest of the
flight. If you don't........ Well then I can not promise anything.", Mei
Ling replied.

Shampoo continued to grumble silently, but she managed to stop herself
from continuously glancing out the window. She did have more pressing matters
on her mind anyway. She had not seen her friends in almost two years. How
had they changed, and had they grown closer in Shampoo's absence? Would
Ranma even be interested in seeing her anymore. It wasn't as if she wasn't
attractive. There wasn't a boy in the village that wouldn't stop and stare
at her as she walked by. Shampoo really didn't care about that anymore. A
few years ago she would have relished the attention, but now she wanted to
be with someone in a more permanent fashion. After all, she was now 14 and
some of her early childhood friends were already engaged.

Shampoo knew the outside world was a little different from the life that
she had been living in her village, still she didn't want to end up like poor
Mao. To be almost 30 and still single was a quiet shame for the poor woman.
Shampoo didn't want anyone to look at her in pity.

The plane landed two hours later and Shampoo was brought back to the
embassy under guard as usual. Even since that fool Herb had tried to attack
the village, she and her mother had been under guard. She almost felt sorry
for the poor Musk Warriors, for when the Chinese leaders found out about
an attack on one of their ambassadors, an attack was ordered on the Musk
stronghold. Shampoo wondered if anyone had survived, and if they did would
revenge be sought in the future?

Shampoo called Ranma and Kodachi soon after she was settled in her
old room at the embassy. Both seemed excited that they would see her
again and it was arranged for them to visit the embassy the next day, new
security arrangements or not.


Author's Note:

Well it has been a while since I finished a chapter to this story.
To tell the truth I originally started to work on chapter 10 of the
story instead of this new side story, but as I started chapter 10 I had
a really hard time typing anything. I had first started this story in
December of 2002 and published the first chapter on February of 2003. I
was starting to get burnt out so I decided to take a little break from the
main story.

There are other reasons that this chapter is late. The holidays of
course cut into my writing time and I had the "wonderful" experience of
getting the flu in January. That tended to dampen my enthusiasm for doing
anything. Combine that with starting a new quarter at school and dealing
with a sick cat, and you can see why this chapter has taken almost two
months to finish.

The next chapter will conclude this side story, then I will either
continue the main story, if inspiration strikes, or I will write about
another side story that I was thinking about.

If you have any comments, you can write me at: ryo_oki@pacbell.net

Ryo Oki