Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ Happi's Redemption ❯ Getting Stronger ( Chapter 9 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
A Ranma One Half Fan Fiction
By Michael A. Ivins
Ranma along with all of his friends, enemies and acquaintances are the property of Takahashi Rumiko. I'm just borrowing them for my own amusement and hopefully that of my readers. Sailor Moon and the Senshi aren't mine either. Please don't sue me.
This story takes place after the end of the manga.
The next day Ranma told Dr. Rinse about the self healing ki technique. The doctor was suitably impressed. She was willing to loan Ranma a chart of ki patterns so she could study them to learn more about them.
When Noriko walked into the class, the Brick was surprised. She had expected the blonde woman to beg off the teaching because of sore muscles. The woman didn't say why she was able to move around, and the Brick refused to ask.
During the day's classes Noriko mentioned to the Brick that Ranma knew the Breaking Point technique but hadn't gotten the toughening up exercises. The instructor nodded. She did train her recruits in that technique. She agreed that after the class was done she would set up the boulders for Ranma.
It was just getting toward the end of the noon hour and Ranma had finished her lunch and was doing a little clean up in preparation for the next patient. There came a clattering noise from a closet.
Wondering what was going on, the redhead opened the closet door. From the interior of the closet came a tall muscular, black haired boy who wore dark trousers and a yellow shirt. In his hair he wore a yellow bandana with black spots. He fell on his face.
It took a moment for the boy to realize that he was out of the closet. He pushed himself up and looked around. Standing nearby he spied a redheaded girl wearing a Chinese pantsuit. He thought she looked slightly familiar.
The Lost Boy said, “I'm sorry Miss but I'm lost. Could you tell me how to get to the Tendo Dojo?”
Ranma gave him a scowl. “I'm not even going to ask you how you got in the closet. The Tendo Dojo is in Japan and right now you're in China - Qinghai Province in the Byancala Range.”
“China? I thought I was in Osaka.” The bandana-wearing boy paused, “Isn't Qinghai Province where Jusenkyo is located?”
Ranma rolled her eyes. “Yeah, that's in this province. You are about a day and half walk away from it, though.”
The boy nodded as if weighing the answer. After another moment he asked, “If we're in China, why are you speaking Japanese?”
The redhead closed her eyes for a moment, rubbing her fingers across her forehead. “I'm talking to you in Japanese because that the language you spoke in when you said you were lost. Besides my Mandarin sucks.”
The boy nodded again. A puzzled expression on his face, he said, “Forgive me, but you look familiar.”
The girl asked herself, “Why is this guy so dense?” Out loud she said, “I look familiar because I'm Ranma. As long as we've known each other you should be able to recognize me, Ryoga.”
“Ranma?” He looked at her closer. “You have played with Akane's affections for the last time. Saotome Ranma, PREPARE…”
Before he could finish his usual challenge phrase Ranma shouted, “Damn it, Ryoga! THIS IS A DOCTOR'S OFFICE. Don't you dare pull your usual crap here.”
The Lost Boy stood with his mouth open in mid-challenge. Before he could think of a way to respond to that, another voice demanded, “Young man, why are you harassing my assistant? And how did you get in here anyway?”
He turned and saw a woman in a white lab coat and a stethoscope draped around her neck. If he was in a doctor's office, she must be the doctor. “Your assistant?”
Dr. Rinse frowned and said, “Yes, I said assistant. Miss Tendo is staying in our village for a few weeks with her cousin and is helping me out while she's here.”
“Tendo?” The boy was more confused. “This is Saotome Ranma. She even said she was.”
The doctor's stern demeanor intensified, “I don't care what you say this girl's name is. I know her by the name Tendo Ranko and she had proved to be a good assistant. True, she is a bit ignorant of medicine but she is smart, eager and a quick learner. If you have some private quarrel with her it will have to wait until after the end of office hours.”
“Leave, Now!” The doctor wasn't taking any guff.
“Yes, Ma'am,” Ryoga meekly responded. He started back toward the door of the closet before Ranma stopped him. Comb had to lead the boy to the correct door, muttering the whole way.
Rinse turned to Ranma and asked, “You know that boy?”
The redhead nodded. “Yeah. He's Hibiki Ryoga. He's like a sometimes friend, sometimes rival. He's very strong, very tough. He also has one of the worst senses of direction of anyone on Earth. There have been some people who said Ryoga could get lost in a room with only one door. Others said he can teleport, which gets him lost on other continents.”
The doctor considered that before asking, “What is his grievance against you?”
Ranma shrugged. “He blames me for getting a Jusenkyo curse. He fell into the spring of Drowned Black Piglet. For a long time he was in love with my fiancé and fought me because of her. He has a girlfriend now, but still attacks me because I did something to `make Akane sad.' The trouble with all that is that he has almost no restraint and yet he uses attacks that cause tons of property damage and risk hurting innocent bystanders.”
The older woman said, “That could be a problem.”
The younger girl let out a big sigh. “One of the worst parts of it is that he blames me for almost everything bad that happens to him or ever did happen to him. If his lost curse causes him to appear at the North Pole, he'll say that it's my fault. If he gets caught in a rain shower and changes to a pig, that's my fault too.”
The doctor shook her head. “That boy is in need of counseling.”
The aquentransexual gave a short, bitter laugh. “You'll get no argument from me on that.”
The redhead paused before continuing. “In a way it's a good thing that he came here after I've only been here a couple of days.”
“How is that a good thing?” Rinse demanded.
Ranma explained. “Even with him always getting lost, he almost always manages to pop up wherever I am. I don't know how he does it. I could make a bet, though that by the time you close the office for the day, he won't be anywhere to be found in the village.”
The older woman laughed. “As well as you seem to know this boy, that would be a foolish wager. Nevertheless, I'm going to phone the police and ask them to keep an eye on the boy, just to be safe.”
The redhead nodded. “The way Ryoga is, he'll likely be on the other side of the world by this evening and probably won't make it back here for at least two weeks. I'd like to hope that he doesn't get back here before Noriko and I leave.”
“Other side of the world?”
The sex changing girl smirked. “At times Ryoga has been on every continent in the world in the space of a couple of weeks, and all without ever once getting on a plane or boat.”
The doctor shook her head. “Amazing.”
“If I had to guess where he's going to end up next, I'd say America.” Ranma snickered.
They broke off their conversation as a patient walked through the door.
The police were notified but Ranma's prediction proved to be accurate. The cops watched the boy for about two hours. Then he turned a corner and by the time the policewomen turned the same corner, the Lost Boy was nowhere in sight. A quick search of the village yielded no further trace of him.
After the clinic closed for the day Ranma proceeded to the training field in back of the police station. She noticed that two boulders hung on ropes from metal frames and four more were positioned around the field. A smirk came to her face in contemplation of this. It looked like Noriko had convinced the Brick to give Ranma Bukusai Tenketsu training. Noriko was lifting weights. Some of the police trainees were lounging on the borders of the training ground, curious about the Outsider girls they had heard about.
Ranma asked Noriko, “How are you feeling?”
The blonde smiled. “I feel better and stronger. When I healed myself last night, I still got the benefit of the exercise without the soreness today. By working myself to exhaustion every day and healing every night, I can get stronger a lot faster.”
The redhead considered that for a moment. “It's kind of like the Sayians on Dragonball Z.”
Both Brick and Noriko looked puzzled. Ranma clarified, “Dragonball Z is an anime. In the story the Sayians are this super badass warrior race. They're super strong, have powerful energy attacks, can fly… Anyway they are examples of the saying `What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'”
The girl could see that more explanation was needed. “For these guys if they got beaten to the point they were close to death, when they healed up they were always stronger than before.”
Noriko nodded. “I get what you're saying.”
The Brick interrupted. “Before we begin your training on the Breaking Point there are some things you need to know. The first thing is that after you have achieved the necessary toughness in your female form, you will need to do it again in your male form. While physical skills carry over from one body to the other, physical conditioning does not (or at least not as much).”
Ranma had suspected this for a long time. She nodded to indicate her understanding.
The Brick continued, “When training a woman in this technique there is an additional step that men don't often bother with. A woman's breasts tend to be quite sensitive and need to be protected. There are two main ways you can achieve that protection. One of them is to wear protective chest gear. The other is use a ki manipulation technique called Iron Skin. Since you can already manipulate ki the second technique would likely be best for you.”
At Ranma's puzzled expression, The Brick explained, “It is a way to temporarily do what the Bukusai Tenketsu training does permanently (or at least long term.) You channel your ki into the skin of parts of your body, making them iron hard. While it is possible to do over your whole body it takes a lot of ki and tends to tire you out quickly.”
She looked Ranma over then said, “The point is that with that technique you can partially harden your breasts so they can get the toughening without damaging them.” She paused before adding the comment, “I would not want to be the one held responsible for damaging that bosom.” She pointed at Ranma's chest.
“Huh?” Ranma was confused by the comment.
Noriko paused in her exercises to explain, amusement in her tone, “The Brick isn't used to giving compliments. Basically what she means is that you have a beautiful figure. If she were to be responsible for damaging those impressive breasts a horde of men would be demanding her head and not a few women as well.”
“Humph!” That was the only response the Brick made. Even if she refused to say it, it was obvious that she agreed with Noriko's statement.
The Brick did have more to say about the techniques. “When you are toughened up you will be more resistant to punches, kicks and chops. It is said that if a person with the toughening uses Iron Skin in addition, they can withstand a gunshot.”
Impressed, Ranma asked, “Is that true?”
The police instructor's perpetual scowl deepened. “I hate to give an vague answer like this, but I have to say that it depends.”
Ranma's expression of confusion was back. “Depends on what?”
The answer was, “It depends on the weapon and the ammunition. If it was a handgun firing plain led bullets then you could easily survive it. However if you tried to go up against a person with a high powered rifle and armor piercing ammunition, then you'd be better off ducking and covering. Now, it is unlikely that a person shooting at you would do you the courtesy of telling you what kind of ammo they are using. Because of that, as a practical consideration, it is safer to assume that any guns fired at you could injure or kill you.”
The redhead shuddered in consideration of that. “That makes sense.” "Note to self, don't let people shoot at you if you can avoid it."
Noriko went back to her exercises while the Brick instructed Ranma in how to use the Iron Skin technique. Demonstrating her incredible learning talent in matters relating to martial arts techniques it only took her 15 minutes.
The Brick stepped up to one of the boulders on the field and patted the rock. “Noriko tells me you already know the Breaking Point technique and only lack the toughening. I want you to point out the breaking point on this boulder without actually trying to blow it up.”
The redhead grinned. “Great! This'll give me a chance to try out a variation on the technique I figured out.” She took a stance and used Iron Skin to harden her index finger. She then thrust her finger out to the point she could sense in the boulder and called out, “Bukusai Tenketsu Revised - Slow Crumble!”
Instead of an explosion, cracks radiated out from the impact point. From the initial cracks more spread for a minute until the whole boulder slumped down into a pile of rubble.
Ranma thrust her fist in the air and leapt up while shouting, “Yeah! It worked!” The people watching stood with their jaws hanging open.
The Brick poked her finger into the pile of rubble as if to assure herself that the boulder actually was broken to bits. Finally she asked, “When did you learn this?”
Looking a bit sheepish, the girl scratched the back of her neck as she explained, “I figured this out a couple of days ago. Noriko (in her old body) told me about a different way to use the technique for finding the Breaking Point. It got me thinking about an alternate way to destroy the boulder. I figured this way it would be easier to clean up the mess. I wasn't sure if it would work.”
The police instructor picked up one of the fragments and examined it. It was rather jagged. She said, a trifle drily, “I'd say it works pretty well. Well, if you're creating revisions, it's safe to assume you know the basic technique.”
She then hoisted Ranma up to the harness and fastened her in. Two of the students came up to help swing the boulder. The Brick turned back to putting Noriko through her paces.
Later that evening two girls made their way to the home of Elder Lo Shen. Noriko was exhausted from hard exercise, while Ranma was battered and bruised from having boulders smash into her. The two girls were leaning against each other for support.
With a groan, Noriko said, “That woman is evil. I swear she enjoys inflicting pain.”
Ranma groaned in response. “At least you get to heal up. You still get the strength build-up. I have to stay like I am. If I use ki healing I lose the toughening I've gained so far.”
That evening the two girls just ate and went to bed. They were not in the mood for a lot of conversation. Even without the use of ki to grant instant healing Ranma high ki level meant she naturally healed faster than normal people. That healing let Ranma keep the toughness she had gained.
The next day was busy without any strange occurrences. When Ranma got to the training field after office hours at the clinic, she had a question.
The instructor frowned, “What is it, Ranko?”
“Is it possible to do something like that Iron Skin technique with cloth?” She asked.
The instructor nodded. “Yes. Depending on what scrolls you're reading, it's called Iron Cloth or Armor Cloth. Why do you ask about it?”
“You know that guy that came to town yesterday?” Ranma asked.
“The one who gets lost?”
With a rueful nod, Ranma answered, “That's the one. He has this trick where he can pull his bandana off his head, stiffens it up and throws it like a shuriken. He does another trick with the bandana but he can also take off his belt and use it like a sword.”
The police instructor considered that. “The Iron Cloth trick wouldn't be hard to learn since you know the Iron Skin. Since it is outside your body, it takes more ki, but you have plenty. What's the other trick he does with the bandana?”
The redhead looked thoughtful. “When he pulls off a bandana to use as a weapon, there's another one under it. The weird thing is that he can keep pulling bandanas off and never seems to run out. If there is a limit to how many he can pull off, he's never admitted it.”
The short haired woman scratched her scalp. “That's a new one. I've never heard of anyone doing that before. I'd be curious to observe him doing it. Maybe I could figure it out.”
The young girl shook her head, “I've seen him do it lots of times and I still haven't figured it out.”
With the basics Ranma had from Iron Skin, it didn't take her long to learn the Iron Cloth technique. When she found out her reaction was, “Of course! I should have figured that out before.”
After that they went back to the training. Ranma went back to being smashed with boulders and Noriko returned to exercising to exhaustion. She had progressed enough that she was now lifting weights. When they got back to Lo Shen's house the Elder insisted that the girls go soak in a hot tub.
Ranma had wanted to protest at sharing a bath with the blonde but she was feeling too tired and painful to make a fuss about it. She reasoned that Noriko was too tired to try anything funny while they were in the bath.
Lo Shen had a Japanese style furo, so there was plenty of room for both girls to soak. Noriko was easing her body into the tub when Ranma shucked out of her clothing. Every part of her body with the exception of her face was a riot of colors, including purple, yellow, brown and greenish spots.
The blonde surveyed the other girl as she lowered herself into the water with a sigh. She said, “Damn, it hurts just looking at you.”
Leaning her head back against the side of the tub and closing her eyes, Ranma said, “It doesn't feel as bad as it looks. Brick says I'm making progress. One more day, two at the most and I should be at the level of toughness to blow stuff up without getting hurt.”
Noriko surprised herself saying, “I hope it's done soon. I don't like seeing you get hurt like that.”
Ranma opened one eye and looked at the other girl. “You actually care? Wow, I'm touched.”
The blonde blushed and admitted, “I don't know if you'll believe this, but after the help you've given me, I'm really coming to think of you as a friend.”
The redhead opened the other eye and raised her head to get a better look. “Really?”
The younger girl leaned her head back again but kept her eyes open as if studying the ceiling. After a moment she said, “Thanks for that Noriko. I have to admit that now, with you being a girl and not trying to grope me all the time, you are kind of growing on me.”
Noriko hadn't had many friends in her long life. It was with a little apprehension she asked, “Do you think of me as a friend?”
The younger girl raised her head again. “There's still some caution in my mind. I can't forget that you used to be Happosai. Still, the way you look now and the fact that you're acting different, it helping to ease the memory. If you keep going the way you've been going, I can definitely see you being a friend.”
The blonde let out a sigh. She hadn't realized how much she was fearing rejection. She hoped it didn't have anything to do with those sexual thoughts she'd had about Ranma. Her hormones seemed to have leveled out and she wasn't having as many of those lecherous thoughts about her traveling companion.
Well, she amended, she wasn't having so many lecherous thoughts. Most girls would say that Ranma's boy form was a real hunk after all. Her girl form was the stuff of male and not a few female fantasies. At the moment it was hard to feel anything approaching arousal after seeing Ranma's bruised form.
Seeing Ranma looking so abused had awakened another feeling in the former man. It was a feeling she wouldn't not have expected. She wanted to comfort the redhead, to rub soothing ointments on her and make her feel better. If she had been asked, she would have sworn she didn't have a maternal, nurturing side.
Considering what Ranma had said about gradually coming to accept her as a friend, Noriko decided not to let the other girl know her thoughts right now. She felt that doing so might ruin the trust that was growing between them. Maybe it would be better to let the friendship grow naturally rather than try to push it.
Over the next two weeks Ranma continued to work for the doctor and continued to learn about medicine. She also learned how to use ki healing on people other than herself. She found that she was greatly enjoying all that she was learning and found that healing people was something she would like to do in the future. She figured that when she got back to Japan she would redouble her efforts in school to try and prepare to study medicine.
On the training field after the doctor's office hours Ranma finished her conditioning for the Breaking Point. She demonstrated her mastery of the technique by blowing up three boulders. She learned the Iron Cloth technique and the Splitting Cat Hairs.
Between working to exhaustion every day and ki healing, Noriko was almost equal to Ranma's strength.
At one point Noriko offered to train Ranma in some of the techniques she knew.
While the redhead was getting to where she felt like she could trust the blonde, she wasn't so sure about her techniques. She said, “If you want to teach me that trick of how to steal a woman's underwear without taking off her outer clothes I don't really want to know that.”
Noriko pointed out, “I actually adapted that from a technique that had nothing to do with perversion.”
Ranma was surprised, “Really? What was the original technique for?”
The older girl explained, “The original technique was used to steal weapons and armor from opponents to make them more vulnerable to martial arts techniques such as punches and kicks.”
Ranma had to concede that this might be a useful technique. She agreed to learn it. She also learned a variation of Tendo Soun's demon head technique. In all they both kept busy.
One night during their stay Ranma and Noriko spent the night at the Brick's home because a warrior of the Joketsuzoku had come to check if the “fugitives” had passed through the village. The warrior had been told that Saotome Ranma and Happosai had not come through the village. The warrior stayed the night at the home of a friend of Po Shen's and left the following day.
In the email correspondence there wasn't much new information. Ranma told Nabiki that Ryoga had showed up in the village. Nabiki said she would be on the lookout for him. She hoped to be able to keep him from telling people where Ranma was at least until the travelers could leave the village.
The mercenary girl reported that Kuno had taken off on a mission to rescue the “Pigtailed Goddess” from the Vile Lecher Happosai. When he had tried to carry his bokken through the airport, security guards tried to stop him. In the resulting fight four guards were injured and they had to throw a net over the deranged kendoist to subdue him. Nabiki had commented that it wouldn't have done Kuno any good if he had gone, because he had only the vaguest of ideas of where to go.
Kodachi had made a pest of herself at the Tendo dojo, dropping by every day. Every time she was told that Ranma-Sama had not returned yet and there was no ETA. Ukyo was almost as bad. At least she was willing to believe that Ranma had gone to help a dying Happosai.
The Nekohanten group of Amazon's had been quiet the whole time and Nabiki said that had her worried. Maybe she was trying to let her people in China handle things on that end but she would have expected the Amazons to at least keep a watch on the dojo.
It seemed that Ms. Hinako was giving Ranma the benefit of the doubt. She was willing to believe that boy really was helping a sick friend. She had phoned the Tendo dojo to tell them that she had save up the assignments so that Ranma could catch up when he got back if he wanted to.
Then a new email came.
“To: Undomesticated Equine
From: Frozen Monarch
Subject: Got it!
Your documents are ready. I'm putting them in an envelope and sending them by an express delivery service. You should have them no later than day after tomorrow.
Based on your description of the time it took on the way in, I'm making reservations for a flight back to Tokyo from Beijing. By my estimate, the reserved flight should leave one day after you get to that city. I added that extra day to allow for any problems that might come up on the way.
On the chance that you find a faster way to travel, I'm including a credit card. It's like a gift card with a certain amount of money loaded onto it. There should be enough on it to pay for hotel rooms for two nights as well as meals. This is going on Noriko's tab, by the way. She can settle up with me when she gets back.
Be seeing you soon,
The Ice Queen”
Ranma and Noriko exchanged a look then high fived. They had enjoyed their time in the Amazon village, but they were eager to get back to Japan. They had things they wanted to do there.
After Ranma sent a brief acknowledgement, she logged out of the email server and the two girls went downstairs to talk to their hosts.
When Lo Shen saw them she noticed something in their demeanor that suggested they had news to tell. “Did you hear some news from home?”
Ranma nodded. “Our documents are ready. The girl who's taking care of it for us is sending them by an express delivery service. We should have the documents by day after tomorrow.”
The Matriarch seemed to think for a moment. “I'll be sad to see you both go. You have been pleasant company. Still, when I agreed to let you stay here, I knew this moment was coming.” Impulsively she got up and hugged each girl in turn.
When they disengaged from the hug, Lo Shen told them, “This comes at a good time. We have a shipment of our tea ready to go. You two can accompany the shipment. That will cut down on your travel time.”
Ranma looked at her with a raised eyebrow. The Elder expanded, “We will be sending four crates. Mas Cara will be taking them in the truck down to the next village that has an airstrip. There they will be loaded onto a plane that will be flying direct to Beijing. If I request it, the pilot will let you ride with him. That would free you from hitch hiking and trains.”
Noriko smiled. “That would help a lot.
“Well,” Said Po Shen, standing up. “We need to get down to business.” She walked over and reached behind the couch. She pulled out a canvas backpack.
The young woman said, “My friend Mei Ling recently got a new, fancy backpack by mail order and doesn't need this one any more. She was willing to let Noriko have it.” She handed the backpack to the blonde girl.
Noriko hefted the pack and commented, “There's stuff in this already.”
The elders granddaughter laughed. “When they heard that you had nothing to wear other than borrowed clothing, Condi Shonur's sewing class went a little overboard in making clothes for you. They said it wasn't right that you to have to wear borrowed boy's clothes. They made dresses, undergarments, pants and blouses. In fact they made more than would fit into two packs.”
The blonde looked distressed. “I'm grateful for their generosity and hard work, but we need to travel light.”
Po Shen sighed. “Actually they were more generous than that. The class also made some clothes for Ranko as well. Since you will be riding the whole way, maybe it wouldn't be too much trouble to take more than you can carry on your backs.”
Ranma protested, “What are we going to carry the extra stuff in? Right now we only have the two packs.”
The Matriarch grinned. “I anticipated this and asked around. Our school teacher was planning a trip and mail ordered new luggage. She was wondering what she was going to do with her old luggage. She'd be happy to let you have two of the old suitcases. She's giving you the two biggest ones that should fit all of the extra clothes with no trouble.”
The redhead seemed almost ready to cry. “You are such nice people. After I met the Joketsuzoku, I'm afraid I had a bad opinion of Amazons. You have shown me that not all Amazon's are bad people.”
Lo Shen smiled. “Thank you, Ranko. You shouldn't judge the Joketsuzoku too harshly. They live in more primitive conditions in an area that is hard to get to. They have reasons for acting the way they do. True, many of the reasons for their behavior are no longer relevant in the modern world, but that is a discussion for another time.”
The red haired girl shook her head. “I don't know. Maybe the ones I've met are just a bad example and the rest of them are nicer. Personally I think Shampoo is obsessed and Mousse is an idiot. Without a doubt Cologne is a cold, manipulative old bitch.”
The Elder considered that for a moment. “While I might not approve the language you used, I can't argue the truth of what you say about them. I think part of the problem they have is that Kho Lon has been in charge so long and so used to getting her way that she gives no consideration to the feelings of the people she deals with. I think Shan Pu has a little bit of that problem herself.”
The aquatransexual thought about that. “So, if I'm understanding what you're saying, basically she's a spoiled brat who treats me like a toy her grandmother gave her.”
The older woman chuckled. “Well, I wouldn't phrase it that way but I can't really disagree. As to young Mou Tsu, I'm not sure if he qualifies as an idiot. I would have to say he really is a fool, though.”
Ranma and Noriko both joined in the laugh.
Noriko took the backpack and the two girls went back up the stairs. Ranma transferred one of the tents to Noriko's pack. They would have to wait until the day they left to pack the food supplies.
The redhead wasn't all that thrilled with the gift of girl's clothing, but it would have been rude to refuse. At that thought she paused. If she was ever going to get her girl form grown up to match her male form, she'd have to spend time as a girl. If she learned how to change at will, there shouldn't be any more accidental changes. Maybe girl clothing wasn't such a bad idea after all - as long as it wasn't too frilly and girlish.
That brought another thought. Back at the Tendo dojo there were boxes of girl clothing she had either never worn or not worn more than to try it on in the store. This was the stuff her mother had bought for Tendo Ranko while trying to make the girl she believed to be Akane's cousin more ladylike. While there was some really frilly stuff there were some more basic items that would probably be appropriate for a tomboy.
Yeah! If Ranma did have to spend half or more of her time as a girl, she was still a guy inside. That would make her girl side a tomboy, wouldn't it? It didn't look like she was going to be the “man among men” her mother wanted. It was a relief at least that Nodoka wasn't going to enforce the contract. Well that was an issue to worry about after she got back to Japan.
Since they were not actually leaving for at least another day or two, they didn't spend much time with their packs. After they were done they adjourned to the bath. They had gotten in the habit of bathing together. The first time both of them had been too tired to do more than just sit and soak. Now they had developed enough trust in each other that they were willing to do it when they were feeling healthy. By mutual agreement, conversation at these times was kept light, staying away from important topics.
After a nice soak, the two girls retired to their beds for the night.
Author's Note: In effect Ranma and Noriko have had a sort of working vacation. Noriko's almost as strong as she wants to be and Ranma has learned some cool techniques. Soon they will be heading back to Japan and Ranma will have to face up to the fiance mess again.