Ranma 1/2
'The Art of War'
"Really, Akane," Nabiki started, looking though the ceiling of her youngest sister's room, watching the rising body disappear, "I think you give him too much credit."

Akane continued to fume, as she hastefully donned her bra, "What do you mean? That pervert walked in on me, I wouldn't credit him farther than I could punt him!"

"Sounds like you got a great deal of faith in him, then," Nabiki quipped, after estimating that Ranma, after recovering from his landing from somewhere in northern Japan, wouldn't make it home possibly until late evening if he took the train. "And I mean this pervert thing. you don't honestly think that he's capable of intentionally peeping in on you, do you? He's probably just as clueless as Ryoga."

"Don't you dare compare that jerk to someone as nice as Ryoga!" Akane snapped, still rather embarrased from having her fiancee burst in on her in the nude, "At least he would have knocked!"

"I dunno, sugar," came a familiar voice from above them. Both Nabiki and Akane looked up to find Ukyo looking down at them from the hole Ranma made, "Ih all honesty, I really don't think Ranma is truly capable of harboring a perverted thought." She jumped down, picked up Akane's pajama top, and handed it to her, "It's really weird, most guys would give anything to have four girls chasing them around."

"Ukyo? What are you doing here?"

The chef beamed a smile, pulling her take out carry into the open, "Ranma's breakfast! A cute fiancee's gotta keep her future husband fed!"

"Ukyo, not now," Nabiki interjected, "Ranma's not currently around to provide fustration relief for Akane-chan."

"and what's that supposed to mean?" Akane enquired with an edge to her voice.

"Anyway, maybe you should just lay off of Ranma about him being a pervert. Can you do that, hon?"

"Why? He's a pervert, just like most boys!" Akane pursed her lips, and turned away, "Just... less so... I guess."

"Akane, Ukyo's got a point. I don't even think Ranma has his own sex-drive, much less capable of being a peeping tom, as you accused him."

"Is no true! Airen love Shampoo, just is too, too shy showing!"

"Good morning Shampoo!" Kasumi greeted, walking into Akane's room, and looking at the newly arrived Amazon sitting in Akane's window.

"Feh, like getting that jerk to respond to anything is that hard."

"That's just the blind, all consuming, indignant rage talking, sis," Nabiki commented, while internally sighing about the ensueing damage that was about to commense with three of Ranma's suiters being in the same room at once.

"It is all too true," a fourth suiter commented from above, "Such a barbaric brute you are, Akane Tendou, to fell my beloved Ranma-sama in your uncoth tantrum. For that, you shall be punished!"

Ukyo rolled her eyes, while unsheathing her battle spatula. With an upward verticle slice, she severed the head of the descending mallet from the handle, and brought her weapon back around to catch it before it landed on Akane. The youngest Tendou calmly stepped out of the way, while the handle of the large mallet slapped futilly into the rug where she had been standing.

"What crazy-girl do here?" Shampoo challenged, producing her twin maces in preparation for an encounter.

"I had spotted my dear darling ascending from the brutish display of uncivilized behavior produced by this harridan. I merely saught to dicipline her for such dastardly actions."

"The only one around here that needs 'diciplining' is you," Ukyo stated, while stalking forward with her prefered battle arniment. Akane, caught between then, started to step aside, nervously.

Nabiki herself attempted to subtly step from the room, but found Kasumi blocking the way, while staring at the oncoming battle in mild shock, "Oh my."

Nabiki realized, with a growing dread, she was currently trapped at ground zero. As humorous as the fiancee wars have been, she didn't want to become an innocent casualty of them. At moments like that, it's amazing what is inspired during moments of self-preservation. In fact, the idea may provide her with more than ample entertainment for what has been so far a slow week.

"It's a shame, really," Nabiki sighed in a way that abruptly gained the attention of all the girls in the room, "Four beautiful girls fighting over him, yet he would never appreciate it."

"My Ranma-darling would infinitely bestow upon me his gratitude, once I removed this harpie from his midst!"

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A HARPIE?" Akane screeched.

"Sounds like you're trying to get at something, so spit it out, already," Ukyo commanded of Nabiki.

"Yes, Shampoo no in mood to beat around bush."

"Well," Nabiki fiegned remorse, "I sincerely think that... well... I'm sorry, I just couldn't bare to think upon it, it would be too shameful."

"Oh my, does this concern Ranma?" Kasumi enquired, growing slightly concerned.

Nabiki internally smiled, as Kasumi gave her the opening she needed, "It's, well, with all of this talk about Ranma's illicit perversions, it's a shame that not a one of you could ever even gain so much of a reaction from him."

"Just what, pray tell, are you implying?" Kodachi asked with an arched tone, "That my dear Ranma does not find appeal in my charms? It is to laugh!"

Nabiki shrugged, "Just making an observation, but I wouldn't put any money on your chances, really." Bait; set.

"Then you wouldn't mind making a trifle wager to back your obervation, would you, Nabiki Tendou?"

Victim of her own arrogance. "I don't see why the point I should bother with any of you, I mean it's rather obvious that Ranma wants nothing to do with any of you."

"What you mean?"


"Are you saying that my Ran-chan can't stand to be around me?"

"That wasn't very nice, Nabiki."

Nabiki raised her hand to forestall any further comments, "I let your current results speak for themselves. I'm not feeling as low as to take your money on such a sure-fire bet."

If it weren't for their egos being hammered like railroad spikes, the quip about Nabiki NOT wanting to take their money should have sent red alarms through their brains.

"Okay, fine! I have an idea!" Ukyo spoke up. Nabiki wasn't sure which one was going to speak, but already knew the proposition, "The first one to seduce Ranma... um..."

"First one to seduce Ranma..."

"NABIKI!" Akane screeched, growing deep crimson at the suggestion.

"Relax, sis, you don't have to go all the way. Just get him in an undeniable position that even he has to admit his intentions, and the victor shall be declared," Nabiki clarified, "Anyhow, first one to seduce Ranma, gets the other girls as slaves for the month," Nabiki interjected, "Oh, and by the way, let's have this little contest wrapped up by the end of the week, shall we? I don't want to have to wait long to collect."

"Oh no," Ukyo began to interject, "I already know something's fishy about this deal if you're calling the shots on it, now, so I suggest one more clause..." Ukyo pointed directly at Nabiki, while shouting into a microphone, "YOU WILL BE A CONTESTANT, TOO!!!"

Nabiki's left eye twitched, as her stomach started to turn slightly at the thought, but shrugged it off with her usual sharp smirk.

Upon the roof, Mousse looked down angrilly at what was being proposed, "Saotome, you fiend! Even unwittingly, you coerce my darling Shampoo and these poor girls into openly throwing away their dignity to fawn all over you. For this atrocity, I will have you pay a thousand and one deaths!"

"I got a better idea."

Mousse turned around, and blinked to find a handsome young man in a green dragonscale vest with steel arm bracers and a pantyhose around his waist, standing over him with a dangerous smirk. "Pant... Tarou, what is it that brings you to Nerima?"

"Oh, the usual. Stomp Happosai into changing my name, seeing what type of idiotic situation fem-boy got himself into."

"I see," Mousse replied, pushing his glassed higher onto his nose.

"I'm pretty sure you don't" Tarou quipped, gaining a scowl from the other Chinese young man.

"And, what, pray tell, is this ingenious plan you have come up with?"

"Heh," Tarou chuckled, "Why don't we get away from potentially prying ears, first?"


Ranma wrapped her arms around herself, wondering how she was feeling such an intense chill on such a nice day.