Ranma 1/2: Cousins
Chapter #01: Cousin Ranma!
The streets of Tokyo are mostly deserted this night, for a violent storm is sweeping in off the ocean. There have been warnings of possible hurricane force winds and worse, tsunamis occurring. The normal night life of Tokyo has all but been shut down. The sky is sullen and overcast thunder growls from its belly high overhead. Lightning flashes in fits and bursts and the wind is rattling street signs on their posts and whipping the tops of trees back and forth. Everywhere the wind seemed to be blowing, except for one spot in Tokyo, within the Nerima area of the city. There was a space there where there seemed to be no wind, much like the eye of a hurricane.
From the wind swept streets and into this calm spot there stumbled a man, obviously not of Japanese origin. He was dirty and his clothing had seen better days. He looked like he lived on the streets or was very close to doing just that. His face was weary to the point of exhaustion and the jacket he wore had been tied about his waist with the arms of it and not put on despite the chill in the air. He was glad the wind had stopped blowing so hard and burning at his arms. He stopped for a moment and lifted a hand up to his face, removing the large glasses which rested there for a moment so he could rub at his eyes. He felt what little strength he had drained out of him and a wave of vertigo sweep over him. He collapsed to the ground and lay on his side, his arm having fallen into the crook of his arm.
From out of the shadows a man dressed in a white cloak which obscured his features walked slowly into the circle of dead air and approached the young man. He crouched down and pulled the young man into a sitting position, removing a silver flask from somewhere within his cloak and giving the young man a sip. It seemed to wake up the young man from his daze a little for his eyes blinked and he looked up at this man with curious but weary eyes.
"Shh, don't talk my gaijin friend. You seem to have had a bad time of things recently. Tell me, what year were you born in? What month?" The strange man wreathed in white cloth asked calmly.
"What…I…s-seventy-eight…march…why is that important?" The young man blinked blearily up at the man. He felt so tired…so weak, his eyes wanted to drift shut, it was all he could do to keep them open. His nose was filled with the scent of vanilla for some strange reason.
"Hm, the Year of the Horse. You'll do my gaijin friend. You'll do quite nicely. Don't worry; everything will be just fine for you shortly. We just have to make a few…changes." The man in white produced a golden flask this time and brought it to the gaijin man's lips, tipping it back so the man drank the liquid. He swallowed slowly, half choking as the liquid filled his mouth between swallows. Some of it overflowed and ran down his cheeks. When the flask was empty he laid the man down and replaced it in his cloak.
He removed then what looked to be a silver pocket watch which was attached to him by a length of silver chain. He depressed a button upon the side of it and the watch snapped open smartly, and from within the clock face there shone a bright emerald glow which cast its light up and into the hood of the cloak illuminating the man's face. His hair was dark and short, except for the bangs which seemed to hide his eyes in fits and starts. His wore a pair of large spectacles upon his face and it was lined but still youthful looking. He took hold of dial to the top of the watch and pulled it out. As he did this thing everything, even the sound of the wind and the storm, stopped.
He moved his hand down to a second knob located just below the button for the cover. He pulled it out as well and when he did a soft white light bathed the area. Had one been able to move and see in the moment of frozen time one would have seen all of Japan and China shot through with lines of shimmering incandescent light; ley lines. The man held the watch out above the frozen body of the young man the glowing face of the clock pointing towards the heavens. The glow intensified until a ghostly green image of the clock face, but backwards, shone from the face of the dark thunderhead clouds above.
The shadow of the second hand began to spin slowly but with increasing speed until it was a blur of motion. The shadow of the hour hand began to move but in the opposite direction of the second hand's spinning. The shadow of the hour hand split into two it seemed and each went a different direction from the midnight mark it had been resting on. As the twin hands passed each other over the six o'clock mark the world seemed to shudder. The second and minute hands began to slow as the twin hour hands approached the midnight mark from opposite directions. Slower and slower the hands of the clock in the sky turned until all four hands stopped, one above another and so on. All hands of the clock now pointed to midnight.
The small watch chimed the hour thirteen times and on the final chime the world rung softly with it and light was everywhere. When it faded away some of it stayed for no longer was it night, but it was early morning and the young gaijin man was all that remain, though gaijin he was no longer. His appearance marked him as oriental though of possible mixed birth though he still looked exhausted and bone weary. His glasses remained clutched in one hand and a book bag of foreign make lay beside him, its handle clutched in his other hand. A finely carved cane was threaded through the hand holds of the book bag. His clothing was changed as well, now being a simple black Chinese shirt and a pair of black pants, though they were travel worn and dusty, they were not so near as worse off as his previous clothing had been. He groaned the once and shifted to lie fully on his stomach and never made another sound until he woke up much later in the day.
"Ranma hurry up or we'll be late to school AGAIN!" Akane's voice shattered the moments of silence and a moment later she ran out of the house and down along the street dragging Ranma, who was still eating, by the ponytail. He soon finished eating and detached himself from Akane's grip and started running along just behind and to the side of her. They dashed through the streets at top speed racing for the school.
"If we're late again today Ranma you're going to get it after school! I'm in enough trouble with all the times I've been late because of you and I don't need anymore!" Akane shouted at Ranma not looking back at him at all.
"Hey! It's not my fault half the people in the world show up to either attack or marry me! It's the old man's fault I tell ya!" Ranma shouted back and the two rounded a corner and kept running. Ranma muttered to himself as they did thinking Akane wasn't paying attention. She was however and stopped short to glare at him.
"What was that Ranma! What did you just say about me!" Akane said as she got angrier by the second. Ranma stopped a few feet ahead and turned. He blinked at her a few times.
"Oh nothing much Akane just saying to myself how much of an un-cute tomboy you are to be jumping to conclusions about me like that." Ranma said and smirked lightly at her. He leaped back at just the right moment to avoid Akane's school bag which swung to hit his head. He landed on something soft however. He blinked and noted he wasn't on the sidewalk anymore. He looked down and saw what he was standing on...or rather who. There under his feet lay the young man still unconscious. Ranma immediately jumped off and kneeled down to see if he had hurt him. Akane noticed this and moved over to the man's side as well kneeling.
"Is he alright Ranma? What do you think happened to him?" Akane asked looking him over for any cuts or bruises. She found none except for one on his forehead. He appeared to have just fallen and gotten knocked out and a small blood stain on the sidewalk near his head seemed to lend support to this theory.
"He looks it Akane. I don't know what happened. We can't just leave him here. Get his bag there Akane we'll take him to Dr. Tofu's and leave him there." Ranma said and moved picking Johnny up carefully setting him to drape over his back holding onto his legs. Akane nodded and moved grabbing to lift his book bag. She blinked as she tried. It was quite heavy. She put her effort into it and lifted it with a little effort. Soon they walked into Dr. Tofu's and laid him down on a bed there. Dr. Tofu poked his head into the room and saw them.
"Ranma, Akane what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in school now?" Tofu asked and walked in a little concerned.
"Oh Dr. Tofu. Yes we should but...we found this boy here unconscious on the street. We couldn't just leave him there. Do you mind if he stays here until school is out. We'll be back right after school." Akane said glancing to unconscious man. Dr. Tofu looked to him and immediately moved to his side and proceeded to poke and prod him. After a few moments he looked to Ranma and Akane.
"That's okay Akane you did the right thing. He not badly hurt but he appears to be suffering from over exhaustion. He should be fine after he wakes up. You two get to school now before you are any later." Tofu said kindly. They both nodded and paused to look once more at the strange person before turning and running out heading for school again. Ranma looked a little longer and shook his head as he headed out. He looked familiar somehow but Ranma just couldn't remember where from.
Somewhere it is dark. Very dark. It is a cave and what little light there is illuminates down from the ceiling to shine upon a crater filled with water. The man in the white cloak appeared from the shadows, as if parting them like curtains and walked over to kneel before the crater.
"It is done." The man in the white cloak says in a whispery voice.
"Good. Has everything been changed according to plan? Are his items with him? Have his memories been altered?" A voice, almost identical to the voice of the man in white speaks up from all around.
"Yes. He has everything he needs. His memories have been altered and will soon take over his existing ones. The web spell I placed upon him after his changes is holding firmly and Ranma has begun to spread it and so shall Akane and the good Doctor. Every person they interact with will add more strands to the web and so on for each person those interact with. Once it is strong and large enough it will begin to pass more easily and grow until the web spell holds the entire world." The cloaked one said.
"Good. Very good. Let us...enjoy the show." The voice said and chuckled softly as the man in the white cloak slowly began to chuckle as well.
The young man moaned softly and turned his head slowly from one side to the other. He slowly opened his eyes and let the light in from the clinic overhead fluorescent bulbs. He groaned and winced lightly feeling his head pounding terribly. He closed his eyes to get rid of the light for a few moments and then slowly opened them again. This time instead of the light he saw a face of a man in his twenties with a head of brown hair, glasses and a kind smile. The man blinked startled, jolting lightly.
"Hello. Sorry for startling you. How are you feeling?" Tofu said and sat back a bit as the young man sat up slowly groaning once again.
"Ohhhh. Well...other than a sore back and my head feeling like it's going to explode...I'm peachy." He said and finally got a good look at Tofu. He didn't know this man but from his surroundings he looked to be in some kind of clinic. Logically this man was then a doctor but why did he need a doctor? He shifted around and slid his legs off the bed and stood up, wobbling a bit and catching himself.
"Be careful young man, from the look of you when you came in you were suffering from exhaustion, possible malnutrition and a good bump to your head. But with some healthy food, good rest and a bit of time you'll be fine in no time." Tofu said with a small smile and kept close to this young man as he moved towards the small mirror upon the wall. The young man didn't know why but he had an undeniable urge to look at himself in a mirror.
When he did he started and his eyes widened considerable. The face in the mirror…that face looking back at him, it wasn't him. It wasn't his face! It was all wrong, all different, what was going on here?
"AH!" The young man yelped eloquently before passing out. Tofu caught him and dragged him back over to the clinic bed laying him down upon it. He went around and sat down where he had been.
"He's such a high-strung young man." Tofu said calmly and lightly jabbed a spot near his temple. His eyes popped open and he groaned lightly and blinked a few times.
"Oh man. Thank goodness it was only a dream" He said to himself and paused to wonder when he got fluorescent lights in his room.
"What was a dream might I ask?" Tofu said smiling lightly. The young man sat upright and looked over at Tofu eyes wide. He looked around the room and his eyes fell upon the mirror and he remembered the face that had stared back at him from it. It wasn't a dream. He winced as a pain shot through his head and felt the doctor's fingers touch upon his head. After several long minutes of gentle pressure and massage the pain ebbed away to nothing.
"Oh…uh thank you…doctor…?" The man said and swallowed a bit and looked up to Tofu with grateful eyes.
"My name is Ono Tofu. You may call me Doctor Tofu. What might your name be?" Tofu asked smiling warmly at him. The young man blinked as if puzzled by the question and he looked into his mind for his name but he couldn't find it anywhere. He opened his mouth with hesitance to say that he didn't know.
"Juni; my name is Juni Saotome. It's nice to meet you Doctor Tofu." The words came from his lips unbidden but they were enough it seemed because he could remember things now. It was like those words have been a gust of wind to his cloudy mind.
"Saotome, you say your name is? What a coincidence, a young man of my acquaintance named Saotome is one of the two who brought you in here this morning. His name is Ranma Saotome and the other was a young lady named Akane Tendo. Are you any relation perhaps to Ranma?" Tofu asked a curious smile upon his face.
"Yes. Yes I am. I'm his cousin and I've come to live here and meet with Ranma and Uncle Genma. I'm supposed to be starting school soon here too. A place called…uh...Furinkin High I think." The young man, Juni as he now thought of himself, spoke up with a sunny smile.
"Another Saotome in the neighborhood for a while, my but things are going to be livelier than usual. Oh your things are over on a table there. Ranma and Akane should be getting of school in a few minutes and said they'd be back to check on you. If you'd like you can wait here or you can go and meet them on the way. Furinkin High School is just down the street a little ways. Just turn right once you leave if you want to meet them." Tofu said rising and going over to a cabinet to get some salve he had to use on a patient that would be here soon.
"Oh. Thank you Doctor I...think I'll go and meet them. I could use a bit of fresh air; it could help clear my head. I'm still feeling a little fuzzy up here." Juni said and hopped down off the bed. He went over to his book bag and stopped. He pulled the cane out and held it in one hand picking up his book bag with the other he turned and walked out saying goodbye to Dr. Tofu and exited the building itself. He paused at the street and turned right and began walking down the street. If Doctor Tofu had been right Ranma should be heading towards that clinic and him in just a minute. It'd be great to see him again after what was it? Twelve years it had been. As much as he missed his parents...he would still speak with them and he had always liked Ranma. He began to whistle softly to himself as he walked down the street, lightly twirling his cane in his hand.
Back at the cave the voice chuckled softly to itself. The man in the white cloak turned and placed a small pot down. The waters of the crater were now tainted a soft green color from the liquid the small pot had held.
"The first part of his memory is completely changed. His memories of his past are submerged in his subconscious now. They are so deep within him it will take a miracle for him to remember it anymore. We have but two more triggers to set off at the proper times and he will be fully be who we wish him to be. Most people will not even know the web spell is changing them because for them nothing will have changed. We still have other changes to affect in other people. Go now and make them my shadow, for they must be set upon the path to here" the man in the white cloak said in his usual tone.
"Yes…but what of those who slip through the web? It will happen." The voice said and its tone was tight and concerned.
"Worry not of their interference. They will have other problems to deal with for the web spell on our dear Juni is not the only web spell I have cast and those others are connected to this one. One way or the other all will be drawn in."
Ranma and Akane had just left school and were, to the amazement of many, not fighting. Akane was walking along the sidewalk as Ranma took his usual fence route. Both were exhausted from a 'usual' day at school, which meant there had been run-ins with Kuno, Shampoo, Miss Hinako, and Ryouga, who got lost soon after. Right now they were both glad to be out of school and heading home.
"Don't forget Ranma we have to stop by Dr. Tofu's and check up on the guy we found this morning. I hope he's okay." Akane said a little worried.
"I didn't forget and don't be so worried. He wasn't hurt badly...at least as far as I could see." Ranma said and shrugged hands behind his head, his school bag dangling from two fingers. He was a little curious as to why Akane always wanted to help things that were hurt. Maybe it was just a girl thing.
"Well you did jump on him Ranma. You could've broken his back or something you know!" Akane retorted and Ranma was about to retort back with the usual remark about her looks when he was stopped by a whistle from up ahead of them meant to get someone's attention. They both turned and looked and saw the young man they had found this morning, Juni. He was lightly jogging towards them book bag swinging in his right arm, his cane held at about middle in his left.
"Hey Ranma! It's me!" Juni called out to Ranma when he was nearly to the pair of them.
"Ranma do you know him?" Akane questioned Ranma looking at him. Ranma crouched on the fence and shrugged lightly to which Akane frowned. "You mean you don't remember if you know him or not? Honestly Ranma, that's sad even for you!" Akane said glaring at Ranma a bit.
"Huh? What do you mean you don't remember me Ranma? It's me! Juni, your cousin! You gotta remember me! My dad and I went with you and Uncle Genma about twelve years ago. We all traveled around together for about five months with that...uh...okonomiyaki yattai...was it? You gotta remember!" Juni said with a small chuckle at Ranma's confused and curious expression. Akane just watched a bit as Ranma thought...and thought...and thought until finally she sighed and whacked him on the back of head with her satchel. Ranma pitched forward about to fall to the ground but Juni moved quickly and dropped his book bag to the sidewalk. He gave his cane a little toss into the air at the same time and moved both hands catching Ranma by the shoulders as the cane's semicircle handle hooked itself upon his arm.
"OW! What'd you do that for Akane?" Ranma said with a glare at Akane, before he turned his gaze to Juni and hopped down. He stared at the young man a little closer as Juni let go of Ranma's shoulders and removed his glasses to clean them again his shirt.
"Ah Juni, it is you! Long time no see buddy! How've you been? How come you're here? Oh Juni this is...uh...my uh...fiancée...Akane Tendo. Akane this is my cousin Juni Saotome", Ranma said introducing them.
"...Hello Juni. It's nice to meet a polite man of the Saotome line." Akane said sending another glare at Ranma for his method of introducing her.
"Hello Akane. It is a pleasure to meet you as well." Juni said smiling at Akane and turned to Ranma grinning.
"And I'm quite sure Juni that you'll get the chance to meet his other fiancées as well soon enough." Akane said in a sugary sweet voice, with a matching smile before she moved on past Juni and Ranma, heading home.
"Hey! It's not like that! It's our parent's idea Juni. Pops and Mr. Tendo engaged us okay?" Ranma explained and gestured for Juni to follow as Ranma headed off to join Akane. Juni snatched up his book bag and was only a step behind them.
"But to answer your questions Ranma, I'm doing alright and well I've moved here. I have a letter to give to Uncle Genma." Juni said trailing off and looking to Ranma.
"Huh? Oh sure thing we were heading back to the Tendo's anyways. Pop's there and you can give it to him there. Come on." Ranma said with a smile and hopped back onto the fence walking along. Juni and Akane fell in behind him Juni giving curious glances to Ranma on the fence.
"So you're...Ranma's cousin?" Akane asked curious as to what this member of the Saotome family was like.
"Hm, oh yes. My father and Ranma's father are brothers. We're first cousins, though I think my father and Ranma's never really saw eye to eye on some things." Juni said with a smile and a shrug.
"Oh? Well...welcome to Nerima, Juni. I hope you enjoy your stay." Akane said smiling back.
"Yeah. By the way what are you doing here Juni? I thought you lived in America?" Ranma said immediately wondering what kind of a martial artist Juni had become. After all he was a Saotome though Ranma had noticed Juni had a little...extra baggage on him.
"No. Not America Ranma. I lived in Canada. As for why I'm here...I live here now. I've moved here and am going to start attending Furinkin High School tomorrow. Dad said he outlined everything in the letter he wrote to Uncle Genma." Juni said and shrugged lightly.
"Really! Well I want to be the first to warm you that some pretty strange things happen around here. Also I...uh...have made a few...rivals who don't like me very much. So you might want to be careful who you tell your name to." Ranma said in one of his wise moments. He hadn't seen his cousin in twelve years and didn't want him to get badly hurt or even killed by some of the people Ranma normally fought with.
"Ranma's right Juni...I suppose. You should be careful around here. There are a lot of martial artists around here; most with something for Ranma." Akane said a slight glower on her face.
"Oh? Well then I'll be careful but don't worry about me too much. I am a martial artist myself you know. I can take care of myself when needed." Juni said and lightly pushed his glasses up on his nose some. Ranma and Akane were a little skeptical about that. After all they had found him unconscious just this morning, and on top of that he certainly didn't seem to have the mindset anything like the martial artists around here. He seemed so sweet and polite and peaceful. They knew the kind of martial artists around here and glanced at each other for a moment silently agreeing to keep an eye on Juni. He didn't look like he could handle himself against the people around here. The three continued on towards the dojo Juni telling a few stories to Akane and Ranma of life in Canada, Akane listening curious in her own right and Ranma both wondering if he could keep his curse a secret for long and hoping his father was in human form when they got there.
Sitting on the porch engaged in the ongoing game of shoji was Soun and Genma, in human form. Both looked up as the three entered...and then went back to their game. Ranma sighed and shook his head.
"Sorry about that Juni. I'll get his attention. Yo! Pop! We got some company. It's cousin Juni!" Ranma bellowed at Genma who looked up again. Soun rearranged the board first and then looked up.
"What's this Saotome? A cousin of yours has come to visit?" Soun asked and looked Juni over a bit. Juni was just setting down his book bag and digging out the letter.
"No Tendo. I don't have a cousin named Juni." Genma responded. Ranma suddenly leaped across the yard and clocked him upside the head.
"Not your cousin Juni my cousin Juni. Your nephew! Don't tell me you forgot Pop!" Ranma growled at his father. Genma would've hit back but just then remembered Juni and with the memory of the boy came with it the memory of his brother Kinma.
"Oh yes. Yes of course my brother's son Juni Saotome! How are you boy? It's so nice to see you again. How is your father? Tendo come you must meet my nephew." Genma said as he clapped an arm on Soun's shoulder and then rose and went over to greet Juni. Soun blinked a bit as he was drug to his feet by Genma and looked to Juni. The memory of Genma's brother floated into his mind's eye and settled before him. It had been so very long since he had seen that young man.
"I'm fine Uncle Genma. Dad's fine too. Here he gave me this to give to you." Juni said and handed the letter over. Genma paused and looked it over. He nodded and gestured towards the house. Juni smiled and nodded and picked up his book bag and headed inside, followed by Ranma, Akane, Genma and Soun.
After a few moments they were all seated inside around the table and Nabiki and Kasumi had joined them. Kasumi was smiling sweetly and offering Juni something to eat. Nabiki was observing Juni trying to figure out how she could make money off of him. Ranma and Akane were lightly talking with Juni while Soun and Genma read the letter from Juni's father to themselves.
Dear Genma, How are you brother? I'm fine and so is my wife. I hope Nodoka is fine as well and you son Ranma. I have a large favor to ask of you brother. I have been offered a new position with my job here in Canada and unfortunately I have to move. My wife is moving with me but we cannot take our son with us. I have sent him to you for one reason. I would like you to take care of him for me. The job will last about three years and I will send enough money each month to you so that you can afford to take him into your home. Juni has the first month's money on him. I have total and complete faith in you Genma. Until I and my wife return you are his guardian and responsible for him. Don't let me down brother. Also I have been training him in the Art along the ways of the Saotome School of Anything Goes but I unfortunately have had to be lax with him as per my wife's coddling. He is a good martial artist but there are areas he is lax in. I trust you shall also help him there as well. The rest of his clothes and personal items should be arriving within a week. We'll call sometime before the end of the month to talk to both you and him. Until then Genma take care and watch over my son as if he were your own. Yours truly, Kinma Saotome.
Genma looked to Soun and Soun looked to Genma. They both turned and looked to Juni. Juni suddenly stopped talking with the Tendo sisters and Ranma and blinked a few times. He turned to see Genma and Soun looking at him and shrunk back a bit. The rest there also turned to look at Genma and Soun.
"Uh...what is it?" Juni said to the two men swallowing lightly. Something was up.
"Well my boy..." Genma began. "...it appears as if your father has entrusted you to me for the next three years while he's at his new job. You'll be staying here with me and Ranma and the Tendo's. Your father said he'd send me money to be able to afford you my boy. You have the first month's worth on you right?" Genma finished. Akane and Ranma blinked a little shocked; Akane that they were having another Saotome staying in the house. Well at least he wasn't as bad as Ranma, she thought to herself. Ranma was shocked because he had just met Juni again after twelve years and now found out he was going to be staying with them.
"Well at least we'll finally have someone actually paying for staying here instead of freeloading eh Daddy?" Nabiki said with a smirk to her face. Genma and Ranma sweat dropped while Juni, not really paying attention began searching through his things. He pulled out his wallet and fished out all but 5000 yen and placed it on the table. He replaced the wallet in his book bag and then turned to look at the stunned faces of everyone...except Nabiki who snatched up the money quickly and expertly counted it.
"There's the money...Uncle Genma.", Juni said and paused as Nabiki took it.
"Hmm. 45000 yen Daddy. That'll be enough to cover him and some of Ranma and his father for the month." Nabiki said noting he hadn't given all his money to them.
"Oh...well then...our home is your home son. Welcome to Japan." Soun said happy to have someone contributing to his household. As much as Genma was his friend he was freeloading. Suddenly Genma whispered something to Soun and the two excused themselves from the room.
"Well I have to go make dinner now. Is there anything special you'd like for your first day at your new home Juni?" Kasumi asked rising.
"Oh. No thank you...uh...Kasumi?" Juni said having a little trouble remembering the names. Kasumi smiled and nodded and went off into the kitchen. Nabiki rose as well pocketing the money from Juni.
"I'm sure Ranma and Akane would love to show you around. It's been a pleasure doing business with you." Nabiki said heading off to her room to think of how to make money of the new addition to the household as well as plan for tomorrow.
"Uh...she just...took the money." Juni said a little confused.
"Oh don't worry about that. Nabiki is the one who looks after our house financially. She'll make sure it goes where it's supposed to. Come on Ranma lets show Juni to his room and then maybe we can head out to the dojo for a match?" Akane said getting up. Ranma and Juni followed suit Juni getting his book bag and cane and following.
"Yeah I wouldn't mind seeing how good you are now Juni." Ranma said as they headed upstairs.
"Oh I'm...not that good, just fair really. I don't really fight much unless I have to. I don't believe in violence." Juni said looking around lightly fascinated.
"Oh? Well stick around here for a little while and you will." Ranma said with a smirk.
Out on the porch Genma and Soun had just sat down in front of there shoji board and began to pretend like they were playing.
"Well Saotome it seems like you've got another mouth to feed eh? So why did we have to come out here to speak in private about Juni?" Soun whispered to Genma.
"Simple Tendo, do you realize what we have here? My brother entrusted me with his son for the next three years." Genma whispered back and held up the letter. "He said himself I'm his guardian until they return." Genma continued still whispering.
"Yes I know that Saotome but what are you getting at?" Soun said back to him. Just then they heard a shout and turned to see Akane and Ranma arguing again leading Juni out towards the dojo.
"That's what I'm getting at Tendo. Even though I have the utmost faith in my son to do what he knows is his duty and marry Akane...it is better to err on the side of caution. I am Juni's guardian and Juni is a Saotome. You still have two daughters Tendo.
Understand now?" Genma whispered to him grinning lightly. Soun thought about it and grinned back.
"Ah. Yes Saotome. I see what you mean. Why not ensure that the Saotome and Tendo families will be united by having two Saotome's engaged to two Tendo's? It's brilliant Saotome. But what of your brother and his wife? Would they not be angry at us for interfering?" Soun asked with a small frown upon his face.
"Do not worry Tendo. Both of your remaining daughters are wonderful girls and will make wonderful wives. My brother and his wife will thank us for this!" Genma said with a broad grin upon his face.
"Then who shall we choose, Nabiki or Kasumi?" Soun asked a little more happy than usual. This idea was brilliant and would ensure the schools in case Ranma or Akane ever broke up.
"I think the choice is obvious Tendo. Kasumi wouldn't marry Ranma because he was too young and Juni is Ranma's age. That only leaves Nabiki." Genma said nodding sagely.
"Yes. Yes of course. We'll tell them when they come back from the dojo." Soun said and the two nodded together and laughed.
Ranma, Akane and Juni slowly entered the dojo, the argument having finished just moments before when Akane slammed him into the ground via her mallet. Juni was wondering where she got it from and where it went to after. He just shook his head a bit and concentrated on looking around the dojo. He walked in and glanced around idly twirling his cane in his right hand.
"Nice place. Nicer than the one back home. Which one of you wanted to spar with me?" Juni said reaching the middle of the dojo and turning around. Akane moved walking over towards him and stopped a few feet from him. Ranma leaned back against the dojo wall to watch.
"I do and don't hold back either. I can handle myself okay?" Akane said getting into a stance. Juni nodded idly twirling his cane still not taking a stance.
"Okay. I understand Akane." Juni said and bowed lightly resuming his just standing there twirling his cane and waiting. Ranma noticed he wasn't taking a stance and smirked softly. He was using a Saotome Anything Goes School stance, one of only looking not ready for battle as he did the first time he fought Akane. This would be interesting. Akane paused a moment and then seeing his was ready decided to just go all out right off the bat. She leaned down and back a bit and then leapt forward sending a hard and fast fist to his midsection. He moved his stomach area back away from the punch and swung his cane around hitting her hand effectively blocking her hit. She winced softly not expecting that and dropped back and slowly circled him. He turned slowly following her moves waiting for another attack.
Akane leapt forward again and sent a flurry of kicks and punches directed to different points on his body all over. His right hand and arm swung his cane around quickly and expertly and blocked each of her blows before they hit, a few time blocking two at once. He moved back away from her as she moved away from him. They were both breathing a bit quicker now.
"What's wrong? Why aren't you attacking me! I won't break!" Akane said getting a bit angry seeing him just blocking and not attacking.
"Uh...I don't attack you see...because I..." Juni began and Akane saw a little of Ranma in him then. He was patronizing her and thinking her too weak. With a cry she lunged at him again hard and fast swinging punch after kick after punch at him not stopping. Juni's cane flew in a light blur in front of him blocking each punch and kick as they came. He was steadily losing ground to the force of her attacks and would soon be at the wall. He felt the wall getting close behind him when suddenly Akane threw a very hard punch at him. His mind sensed the danger and told his body it couldn't be blocked; his body then reacted by dodging or more actually jumping into the air and flipping over her. She moved right under him her fist slamming into and through the wall of the dojo. He held his cane out as he did so it touched the ground first. For a moment he balanced himself in mid air above the cane before continuing around in the circle pivoting about his cane and landing on her feet a couple feet behind Akane. He smiled softly picked his cane up off the ground and touched the end to her back.
"Uh…I win I guess." Juni said and softly laughed glancing over at Ranma who was trying to keep from laughing himself. Akane blinked and pulled her hand from the wall and turned around and smiled a bit laughing softly.
"Yeah you did win. You're pretty good but why didn't you attack me?" Akane asked a bit of her earlier anger rising as Ranma headed over.
"Oh. I tried to tell you I don't attack...unless I have to. My training was almost completely defensive in nature. I'm...not that good at fighting but I'm very good at defending myself. I still haven't found anyone, except my father, who can get through my defenses." Juni said with a simple shrug. To Ranma those words screamed challenge.
"I bet I could. You want to spar with me. I won't go as easy as Akane did." Ranma said with a smirk.
"Easy! I didn't go easy on him!" Akane said and swung a punch at Ranma's head which he merely leaned out of the way. Akane growled a bit but refrained from doing more.
"Oh? Well...okay I suppose so. Just don't be disappointed if you can't get through." Juni said and backed away a few feet idly twirling his cane again. Ranma blinked a bit at that. Not get through? He'd have to show him who was the best martial artist here. Ranma dropped into a stance and almost immediately leapt out and attacked a lot faster than Akane did with a flurry of punches and kicks, jump kicks and foot sweeps, not going all out on him but pretty close to it. Juni, to his credit, managed to block or dodge every attack though there were some close calls. After about a minute of attacking and blocking Ranma stopped and backed away a bit.
I can't get through! Okay then. Just need to pour on the speed I guess. Ranma thought and braced himself before leaping forward at Juni. "Katsu Tenshin Amaguriken!" Ranma shouted and sent a flurry of about two hundred punches at Juni in the space of a few seconds.
Juni heard him shout and his brain came alive with danger warnings. They relayed the warnings to his body which reacted quickly shoving his cane out in front of his like a shield. He began to turn it to block the incoming punches and it became a blur as he spun it. Not all the punches were stopped cold by the cane, some were slipping through when the cane caught up and parried that punch down and out of the way. In the end however none of the punches actually touched Juni. Ranma stopped and pulled back shocked. He had just blocked the Katsu Tenshin Amaguriken. Ranma was still in shock, as was Akane who was watching, when Juni recovered stepped forward and pushed the end of his cane to Ranma's forehead and pushed him off balance to land on his butt. Juni smiled and laughed a bit as Ranma just blinked and Akane began to laugh out loud.
"I think that makes it two and oh. That was a neat move with all those punches though Ranma. I almost didn't block it! How'd you do that?" Juni said as Ranma got up pride hurt a bit but definitely respecting Juni for being able to block those. He was right in saying he was very good at defending.
"It's a...technique I learned here in Nerima. How did you block it?" Ranma said and glanced over at Akane who was just slowly beginning to stop laughing and coming over.
"Oh. Like I said I'm very good at defending. My father made sure I was the best by specifically training me in that area. He also helped me increase my sense of danger a lot and reaction time. That was a good match though. Oh...if you're wondering if this had been a real fight you would've won most likely cause I rarely attack." Juni said and smiled softly.
"Yeah Ranma so don't get all angry cause you lost. Come on Juni let's go inside supper should be ready about now." Akane said and started out of the dojo.
"Hey! I didn't lose it was just a spar. Not a challenge or nothing! Stupid uncute tomboy." Ranma said mumbling the last part. Luckily for him Akane didn't hear this time and continued out.
"Ranma, you have a point. It was just a spar. There is no real winner in just a test of skills." Juni said and gestured and the two headed back into the house.
The whole group, meaning the Tendo's the Saotome's and the newest addition Juni, were sitting at the table. Dinner had just begun when Soun nodded to Genma. Genma cleared his throat and took a small drink of water.
"Juni my boy, I've been thinking and seeing as your father has left me in charge of you for a while, me and Tendo here have a favor to ask of you?", Genma said and glanced to Soun.
"Yes that's right son. We were wondering if you could help me and your Uncle with a small problem of ours." Soun said slightly hopeful. Ranma, Akane and Nabiki glanced up from their food at their respective fathers. They were up to something. They had that gleam in their eyes again.
"Oh. Sure I guess so. Anything I can help out with I'd be glad to Mr. Tendo." Juni said missing the gleams.
"So it's settled then. Congratulations son. I'm sure you'll be very happy together." Soun said and patted Genma on the back smiling.
"Uh...huh, what?" Juni said eloquently.
"Happy together?" Akane said confused.
"Alright what are you two up to?" Ranma demanded.
"What do you mean boy? We're just congratulating the happy couple!" Genma said chuckling.
"Exactly what happy couple is that?" Nabiki asks getting a sinking feeling.
"Oh why...you and Juni of course. Congratulations you two. You're engaged." Genma said with a smile. Nabiki spit out the water she was drinking while Akane, Ranma and Juni fell over in shock.
"WHAT! Daddy you're not seriously going along with this are you? I can NOT be engaged." Nabiki said for once her cool outer wall broken down. She was...not pleased.
"Daughter I am your father and I know what is best for you!" Soun said looking very imposing.
"Yeah well I'm NOT getting dragged into this like Akane was and if you think I'll go down without a fight you're WRONG!" Nabiki shouted and pounded the table with her fist. Soun paused and then turned away and began to cry into Kasumi's shoulder.
"Kasumi she's so scary! Soun wailed.
"There there father." Kasumi said comforting him.
"Dad you can't do that to Nabiki!" Akane said getting into the act.
"Yeah! What's with you Pop? You can't engage Juni like that! You don't have the right to do that! He's not your son!" Ranma said nearly coming to blows with his father to prove his point.
"My brother made me guardian of his son and I am doing what I feel is best is for him!" Genma said standing up to his son.
"WAAAAAHHHH!" Soun interjected.
"You think engaging him to someone he's never met on the day he moves in with us is best for him! I think you've been spending too much time as a panda, Pop! It's warping your mind!" Ranma shouted back.
"Why am I cursed with such a disrespectful son! Oh the agony!" Genma cried to the sky before turning back to Ranma. "Listen up boy I know what's best for Juni. I engaged you to Akane and look how well you two are getting along now!" Genma continued.
"What are you crazy! We are not getting along. That stupid uncute violent tomboy hits me all time and tries to feed me...whatever that stuff is she cooks. How can you say we are getting along!" Ranma retorted, ignoring rule number one about Akane. Never insult her when your back is turned to her. Her response was to become enraged and grip the table edge. Nabiki pulled her food off but everyone else was too occupied to bother.
"RRRRRAAAAANNNNNMMMMMAAAAA!" Akane shouted and slammed the table down flattening Ranma to the floor where he lay twitching in pain. Soun had stopped crying and both he and Kasumi were looking at Ranma with sympathy. A sudden clearing of a throat broke the sudden silence and everyone, but the unconscious Ranma, turned to see Juni holding his right hand up.
"Um...excuse me.", Juni said in a weak voice and slowly fell backwards with a thud, passed out.
"Oh my. He certainly is excitable isn't he?" Kasumi noted and smiled sweetly.
"Ugh. I am not being engaged to that." Nabiki said pointing one chopstick and went back to calmly eating dinner.
Juni woke up about an hour later shortly after Ranma. His eyes slowly opened to look up at the smiling face of Kasumi, who was replacing the damp cloth on his forehead. He blinked a bit at her smile.
"Oh you're awake. I'm terribly sorry. Our dinners aren't usually so exciting. You'll get used to them." Kasumi said sweetly and sat back.
"Why she have to hit me so hard? Hey Juni what happened to you anyways?" Ranma complained and glanced over to Juni.
"Ohhhhh..." Juni groaned softly and sat up rubbing the back of his head a bit. "Oh. I passed out. Just after...Akane flattened you." Juni continued and glanced over at Ranma. Kasumi kneeled nearby packing up the first aid kit.
"Oh. Whatever. Listen Juni I'm gonna go and have a 'talk' with Pop. Get him to change his mind about this whole engagement thing. I'm not gonna let him get away with it this time!" Ranma said and hopped up to his feet walking out of the room. Juni merely nodded and began to get up himself.
"Oh Juni. If you'd like to go and take a nice relaxing bath the towels are just in the hall closet and the bathroom just down the hall. It might make you feel better." Kasumi suggested rising to her feet and smiling as per usual.
"Hmmm? Oh. Yeah...I think I will thank you Kasumi." Juni said and smiled lightly. He needed some time alone to think about this and a nice hot bath would be as good a place as any to do that. Kasumi nodded again and left the room going downstairs. He paused a moment and then heading out and found the closet. He got himself a couple of towels and headed down towards the bathroom.
I don't believe Daddy engaging me like this. At least I got him agree that if Juni calls the engagement off he won't force it. Now all I have to do is make the engagement so miserable for Juni that he'll call it off...and make money off him while I'm at it. Nabiki thought to herself as she relaxed in the bath. She relaxed for a few moments longer before rising from the water and stepping out. She picked up her towel and slowly headed for the door lightly drying her hair.
Juni stepped into the area just before the bath and shut the door behind him. He set his towels down and sighed to himself taking off his shirt, pants and boxers and tossed them into the hamper. He grabbed his towels and turned towards the door to the bath itself. He was looking forward to the bath. His hand just about reached the door when it slid open and he stood face to face with Nabiki. Both blinked and Nabiki's eyes momentarily took on a moment of rage which quickly faded as she got control over herself. Juni's face flushed bright red and he quickly shut his eyes and tried to say...anything. Nabiki calmly glanced him over while covering herself with her towel. She carefully reached over and took her robe from a peg and slipped that on as well. He had backed up a bit and she smirked softly to herself and walked past him towards the door opening it and stepped out. She paused in the hallway and glanced back.
"I hope you had a good look...Juni-chan...it'll cost you." Nabiki said and closed the door behind her and walked off to her room. Juni blinked a bit feeling a trickle of blood come form his nose He brought a towel up and stopped it. He opened his eyes and with a sigh walked, still blushing, into the bathroom. He had a feeling things were going to get a whole lot more complicated before they got the smallest bit simpler.
"Why me?" Juni asked himself shutting the bathroom door behind him.
End of Chapter #01
Author's Miscellany: Welcome to the deeply revised version of this particular fic. It used to be a self-insertion fic back on my webpage, and it is still there if anyone knows of it and wishes to compare. In truth I like this story better and while the poor hapless gaijin fellow who becomes Juni is not really me, as it was in the pervious version, he still has some of my personality traits. The other new characters introduced in the next couple of episodes, for those who again know them already, will get to see the massive changes also given unto them. I hope you enjoy this new version because I know I am.