Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ One Whole ❯ Chapter 3: Learning How To Deal With It All ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Nabiki massaged the front of her temples her frustration growing with each passing minute of the story told alternately by her younger sister and her black haired training companion.
"So let me get this straight...", the middle Tendo spoke with her head facing towards the floor conserving the oxygen her mind needed to process what she had just been told.
"You", she said pointing an accusing finger at her newly found sibling, "turn into a boy with cold water."
Akane nodded her head eagerly as if it was simplest thing to comprehend in the world.
"And you", Nabiki spoke again flicking her finger over to the black haired boy named Ranma,"turn in to a girl with cold water."
Ranma did the same as Akane nodding his head as if what the girl had reverberated back to him was the most natural of all things.
Nabiki flicked her finger in a circle emphasize the vast expanse of the universe.
"And your father, training guide, god knows where he is, turns into a panda with cold water."
The two training companions nodded their heads together neither saying a word as they watched Nabiki focusing.
None of the other occupants of the room spoke a word. Kasumi sat aware only that Nabiki was speaking and she should listen. Her younger, brown-haired, sister was much better at depriving someone of information that she would ever be. Though sometimes she question her methods.
Soun sat in silence for the same reason. His daughter was frighteningly efficient in the art of negotiation. He wondered where she had gotten it from. None of the relatives on either his or his wife's family were gifted with such a talent. Only his wife's brother, Shikoku, came close, but only to the standards it took to sell insurance.
Nodoka sat, for her mind was enveloped in a conflict for which she did not know how to repair. Her darling baby boy had returned to her. For this her heart was proud and she enjoyed the feeling it brought to her knowing she would be a mother to her young son once more.
Under her kimono Nodoka flicked the hilt of the Saotome family honor blade. The cloth cover had received great amount of wear from the woman over the many years as she used the weapon for practice. Now though only a particular area of the blade was receiving attention.
"And you all turn back with hot water?"
For the last time both martial artists nodded their heads in eager anticipation.
It was almost lunch and the girl was cutting into the time which was required to consume all the food they needed.
Nabiki threw up her hands surprising most in the room.
"What the hell is wrong with you people!"
"Nabiki!", both Kasumi and Nodoka could be heard chiding the girl.
Both Ranma and Akane could be seen with scowls on their faces.
"I'm sorry, but doesn't this strike anyone else, but me, as a bit odd."
Kasumi could not reply back to her sister instantly, for her mind was caught between a an insult of a guest and a lie.
Nodoka too considered the fact her son was also now her daughter and apparently had been so for some time. Going through most of his, or her, schooling years, between genders. Not to forget adolescence and puberty. If he ever did get married he would make an excellent husband.
And Akane as well, only just the opposite. A girl learning how to shave and how certain 'body parts' worked. It was, as, Nabiki had so bluntly put it, a bit odd.
Nodoka could only imagine how Soun must feel.
Soun let out a cough loud enough to alert all in the room of his presence.
"If I'm not mistaken. I think we were going to have a party."
Nodoka concurred partly to halt the three teenagers in the room from beginning an argument and partly to rid herself of the need to make a decision on various issues.
"Yes we were!"
Both adults raised themselves off the floor from which they had been sitting. Soun walked to the preparations which they had prepared earlier that day.
Nodoka urged all the teenagers up form the floor as she scurried about to each of them, though Kasumi was already up and in the kitchen before Nodoka could reach her. Ever eager was the girl to fulfill her role as the dutiful daughter she was.
The residents of the house marveled at the sight of the two martial artist consuming the vast amounts of food set before them. It was an atrocious display of manners as the both of them attempted to snatch food up before the other could have a chance at it. The chopsticks in their hands were only used as weapons, deterring the opponent with the occasional threatening jab at the hands.
It was those same hands which brought the food to their mouths leaving large smears of the various samplings of food across both faces.
Somewhere along the line Ranma had attempted to take a large swig of tea which by the time the party started was much cooler than originally indented. The drink managed to exit the cup before entering the boy's mouth splashing on his face and reverting him to female form.
Akane was either better at drinking in a hurry or was luckier than her companion for she was able to consume her drinks without a spill.
Now there were two girls eating the food in such an aberrant state which made it all the more awkward to watch. Finally Nodoka could take the sight of the two children sparring over food much longer.
"Akane! Ranma! Stop fighting this instant!"
The two, currently female, martial artists ceased mid-battle. Akane with a long string of noodles hanging from her mouth while Ranma held a piece of meat in her hands.
"What do you think you are doing?", the older woman admonished the two.
As Ranma did not have food which needed to be chewed and swallowed at that moment she decided to speak up first.
"Training?", was Nodoka's reply. The atrocious sound of the language which exited the mouth of such a daintily made figure as was Ranma's female form horrified the traditional woman.
"Uh huh.", Ranma replied to her mother,"Speed trainin'. Pop said you gotta get more food than the other. If you can;t then you starve. 'S good trainin'."
The two older sister's plus Nodoka balked at the answer.
Soun closed his eyes. He remembered back to the days where he had been training with Genma under the watchful eye of the master. They too had been subjected to this, him up against Genma, for their many years on the road.
Obviously Genma had been more forgiving to the two younger martial artists for smiles graced their faces as they battled one another. Their own training had ended, normally, in bitter hatred towards their master for their hands lay bruised from the many poking one had administered from his opponent. It was all easily excused, as their main source of anger was not themselves but the master who made them fight for such little.
But it was very good training and made him very fast. As he came back into the civilized world, however, he learned quickly such antics were not well received in public.
"Well you aren't training right now so you will sit and eat your food like a dignified human being."
Akane stuck her tongue out to her shorter, red-haired, friend.
Akane you'll do the same", Soun reprimanded his daughter.
Nodoka attempted to take no notice of her child's current female state. Her mind was more focused on how to civilize her child before she, or he, as she hoped, would be introduced to the world of her peers. She had no thought of how she was going to cure the poor thing before a, certain, promise came into play. She dreaded it for family honor was an important matter, but at what cost?
The sound of the two young martial artist grumbled as they attempted to use chopsticks to consume their food. In all honesty the sight of the two eating did not improve in the slightest, for neither had much use of chopsticks.
"Uncle Genma never made us use chopsticks", Akane could be heard grumbling.
"Well Genma isn't hear right now", came Soun's curt reply.
"Speaking of which", Nodoka began having swallowed her latest bight of noodles,"Where is Genma? He should have arrived with you?"
Both Akane and Ranma smirked while they ate, as if an in joke had been passed between the two telepathically.
"Probably still doing tricks for some Amazons", Akane replied to her father.
All the people in the house, once again looked at the martial artists.
"Amazons?" Kasumi spoke. All this talk of things which the her younger sister and her companion was becoming too much for the the uninitiated.
Akane and Ranma shared a glace between the two of them.
Nodoka decided to continue eating, her mind already in dire straights. She could only take so much in such a short span of time. Maybe tomorrow she would ask and assume the chase for her husband. According to the smiles the two children had he may have been in an uncomfortable situation, but he was not in and immediate danger. Correct?
Nodoka eyed Soun, but his face, too, was embedded in the food before him. The man consumed it with interest far outstretching the normal appreciation for his daughter cooking.
It was not long before the food set before the two martial artists had vanished much like water in the Sahara. The rest of the occupants at the table too were finished with the food, though not out of choice. The party which was to be a grand celebration had diminished into a silent eating afraid. None of the normal occupants in of the house had the faintest idea of how to approach the two newcomers without the fear of rustling up something which would turn their world view even more.
Surprisingly it was Kasumi who brought them all out of the silence.
"Perhaps you two would enjoy the dojo?", she offered. It was a polite way for her to exit them out of the house allowing herself, Nabiki, Aunty Nodoka, and her father some small amount of time to adjust and talk outside the presence of their guests.
"You have a dojo?", Ranma's eyes sparkled with delight at the eldest Tendo.
"Oh, I completely forgot we have a dojo", was Akane's reply as well.
"Oh, I'm sure you two will love it. It just outside the house over there."
Kasumi pointed with her index finger in the direction outside the house.
Akane grabbed the hand of her still female companion dragging her up form the floor as she stood.
"Come one Ranma lets go have a match! I haven't seen the dojo in forever!"
Ranma needed to further encouragement as she ran out behind the ecstatic blue haired girl.
The sound of the two girl echoed though the hall until the door leading outside was open and shut. Then there was only peace in the household.
Nodoka thumbed her fingers she held in her lap.
All in the house were aware of the thoughts racing through the older woman's mind, for they had the same thoughts of their own.
"Oh god Soun", Nodoka spoke to the the long haired man next to her. "What am I going to do?"
Soun sighed a heavy sigh. His daughter was now his son as well. What did that mean on the levels of inheritance. It was a progressive era, he as aware, but tradition was part of becoming a martial artist. And honor...
Soun understood what Nodoka was referring to. She had told him about the contract on the anniversary of her son and husband leaving for that cursed training trip. She had been in particularly low spirits and confided in him whether she thought it was the best idea to let them go.
Before he could reply she answered her own question, pulling out the contract form her pocket. Apparently the woman carried it with her everywhere along with the family blade, always prepared.
I Genma Saotome will make my son Ranma Saotome a man amongst men or we will commit sepukku to regain our honor.
Bellow was the unmistakeable bad handwriting and a small hand-print Soun could only thing of being Ranma's young signature.