A/N: Thanks so much for all your reviews...Sigh...I've been meaning to update 'Possession' for AGES! But sometimes the muse just doesn't want to visit...what can you do, right? I don't think this is the best chapter, either, but I figured I had to get a move on, anyway, what with the demanding emails...Plus, y'all know how I hate unfinished stories. Forgive me if it isn't up to par, but I'm a bit rusty, and I hope it'll smooth out in the next chapter.

The second reason I'm posting this is cos' I ran across an excerpt from a Ranma story that I really, really want to read. If anyone knows what the name of this story is, who wrote it, or where I can find it, I'll willingly write you two chapters ASAP of any one of my stories you want updated!!! (As you can see, it's driving me crazy!)


Ranma danced with Akane, leading her slowly down the hall toward her doom. Around them, other couples flashed by in a whirl of bright coloured silks and gay laughter. The haunting music played on, and Akane was caught in his eyes.

"So you want me to save you?" he asked, amusement brightening his grey eyes, his gaze trained on her face as he whirled her past the musicians. Akane could hardly bear the unholy delight she saw in his face. She averted her glance and mentally sifted through her choices again. There were too few- only two, actually. She could either watch as her soul faded away in a matter of days, or she could sell it to the highest bidder, and when she died, the demons would pull her to hell....or she could pay Ranma's price and keep her soul, what there was of it. And still she might have chosen hell, if she didn't need her soul to make the next transaction. Angels didn't deal with the soulless. It was her passport of entry. Even if she could retain her soul for a temporary period, it would be enough. But Balial wouldn't wait.

"Dearest lady Akane," Ranma mocked, "Your silence is most becoming, but really...inappropriate. Listen, wench! If you want to be saved, you've to decide now. In a few days, it will be impossible, even for one such as me. Whether I win or not, you'll lose."

Akane considered. The Eternal Champion...the knight destined to defend....yet what previous champions had done for free, now the Saotome clan charged for. Of course, it had brought them riches.

Lord Saotome, Knight of the Black, made his eyes unreadable. Even in this realm, what went around came around back to you, if you were patient. Akane had slipped through his hands once but she was so very near again, nothing could spoil it. She'd willingly give herself into his hands, and she would never be free again. He squelched a smile at the thought.

END Excerpt


Chapter 7

"Someone has to do it!"

"Well, it doesn't have to be you!"

"Now now, Kyou-kun, if it's for Tohru-kun's sake, I'll volunteer."

"To undress her? You're such a pervert, Shigure!"

Tohru opened her eyes to find herself in her room. A scowling Kyou and Yuki were towering over a grinning Shigure, who had his palms up in a calming gesture. Next to them, Haru lounged against the wall, staring moodily down at her.

"What's going on?" Tohru tried to sit up, but Haru immediately stopped her.

"Tohru!" Kyou spun around, scowling. "Are you all right?" Yuki approached the bed, looking worried.

"Tohru-kun, we were so worried about you," Shigure said, re-adjusting his sleeves. "You and Kyou were caught in some kind of flash flood..."

Water...pouring towards her in a wall...

"...when you were coming back from the supermarket. Luckily, the cats came to Kyou's aid."

"How are you feeling?" Yuki asked, concern in his eyes.

"I...I'm fine," Tohru said, still processing what she'd heard. A flash flood? That seemed so...improbable. She suddenly remembered her manners.

"Ah! Thank you...for saving me," she bowed her head in their direction.

Kyou waved that away impatiently. "Your clothes are soaked through. And we...ah..." He looked away, a flush on his cheeks. Yuki looked at the ceiling. Bother of them seemed to want to look anywhere but at her."Anyway, you need to change out of them. Your...uh, clothes."

Tohru looked down to realize that he was right. Although they'd covered her with a blanket, she could feel that her skirt and blouse were soaked through.

"Come on, let's leave Tohru-kun to change, shall we?" Shigure made a shooing motion, ushering everyone out.

Tohru smiled to herself. She wouldn't have minded if Kyou had stayed. She blushed at the idea and began undressing herself.



"You failed?" Izumi shook his head sadly.

Nami bowed his head, his cap obscuring his blue hair and his features. The rest of the group gathered in the garden looked at him, some more sympathetically than others.

"What happened?" Miki asked, her green eyes showing concern.

"The cat called his allies," Nami answered, looking up,his gaze troubled. "I sent a tsunami towards him. He should have been crushed, but a tiger pulled him out to safety."

"A tiger?!" Flame-haired Hono slammed a muscular hand down on the table, making the rest of them jump. "Don't make me laugh! Where the hell did a tiger come from, the zoo?"

"Actually..." Nami began, sweat-dropping.

"The cat's pull was so strong that a tiger escaped from the zoo to save him?" Miki mused, her chin on her hand as she stared into space. "He sounds remarkable."

"He is an outcast among the Soumas, but you must remember his primary directive, his raison d'etre," Izumi pointed out.

"Huh? Is that French?' Hono asked.

"You dope. It means 'reason for being'." Akane leaned back so far in her chair that it looked like the smallest push would tip her over. Her spiky heels were planted firmly on the edge of the table, however.

"Hey, you overgrown lightning rod, don't call me a dope!" Hono leaned forward, and around the golden irises of his eyes, tiny flames flickered.

Akane allowed her chair to return to an upright position.

"Lightning rod? What, this?' She asked, touching her metallic headband with its silver spikes that held back her dark-haired page-boy haircut. "You should watch what you say about other people, Hono." A spark suddenly shot up from her fingers.

Hono nimbly skipped away from the table, but a spark of electricity followed him, and there was a sizzle in the air.

"Ouch! Damn, you Akane! I'm gonna get you fer that!" Hono waved his hand in her direction, sending his will out towards her.

"Akane, your hair is on fire!" Miki shouted.

"Wha...? Hono, you jackass!" Akane hurriedly began batting at her hair. Miki rose to help.

"Children, children, please, let's not fight," Izumi said placatingly. "We have enough to worry about."

Hono grinned. "Yeah, listen, let ME at this cat. I'll take him down, no problem!" He folded his bare arms across his chest and flashed a white smile.

"No." Miki stood, determination in her green eyes. "Let me go, Izumi-san. I'll use a more...subtle approach."

Izumi considered. "Hm, maybe that's what we need. All right, Miki, you have my permission. Do what's needed."


Kyou propped his chin up lazily with his fist, only half his mind on what the teacher was talking about. The evening before, it seemed as though half the Souma family had shown up in concern for Tohru. She'd fended off their questions successfully, mainly because she really didn't know what had happened.

Neither did he, for that matter. Finally, he'd written the whole incident off as some kind of fluke. He had other things to be bothered about, anyway. The cat spirit in him was growing stronger daily. This morning, Kyou had woken to find his blanket covered with cats from all around the neighbourhood. They were draped over him, purring and kneading him with their claws.

He glanced at Yuki, who was staring dreamily out the window. It was a surprise to him how his cousin ever managed to get good grades in class, the way he was daydreaming. Just one more unfair thing about the rat, he decided.

Surprisingly, the spirit within him didn't react overly strongly to Yuki's rat spirit. Kyou had been hoping the cat demon would crush Yuki, making a place for Kyou within the zodiac's circle.

The teacher was wrapping up his explanation, as the bell was about to ring for the next class. As he began packing up, the principal walked in, followed by a pretty girl.

The class stood respectfully, eyeing the girl curiously.

"Good afternoon, class," the principal said somberly. "I'm afraid Ms. Tomoeda has had a small accident, and is out today, so you will have a substitute teacher for a few days. Please welcome Ms. Miki Siddiqui, your substitute teacher for math."

Ms. Siddiqui smiled around at all the students cheerfully. "Hallo, everyone," she chirped, putting her briefcase on the desk. "It's too bad about Ms Tomoeda, but she'll get a chance to rest for a few days. No doubt, you all wish you'd gotten off from math as well, but we'll try to make it as pleasant as possible!"

Kyou suddenly felt the cat spirit within him stir. It coiled in his chest, making it feel tight. Something about the girl was rubbing him the wrong way. Kyou examined her more closely.

She wasn't much older than him, possibly eighteen or nineteen, though he found it hard to determine the age of females. Her light brown hair hung loose down her back, much like Tohru's, but her eyes were a brighter green. She was dressed quite suitably in a skirt and a jacket, and her manner was professional, even friendly.

Kyou decided his spirit was over-reacting and mentally forced it down. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Tohru's friend, the denpa. Saki was naturally quiet, but something in the way she was holding herself, a sudden alertness about her, telegraphed to his heightened senses that she too, was aware of something odd about the girl.

So he wasn't the only one feeling disturbed. That felt good to know. For some reaosn, it calmed Kyou, and he settled back in his seat, watching the teacher.

Miki looked around the class, carefully avoiding looking at Kyou Sohma. So, here was her first look at the cat of the jyuunishii. Interesting. He and his cousin were so different. Yuki looked calm, but Kyou looked so...restless. He had a vital energy that reminded her of Hono in a way, especially with that bright hair, and that scowl.

Yes, he shouldn't be hard to take care of, but suddenly she remembered that Nami had underestimated him.

Miki decided that she wouldn't make that mistake.


Like I said, it's a short chapter, and is a set-up for action in the next chapter, so if you review this, I'll get working on the next one. Cheers! :)