Random Chance?

By Lord Raa

Chapter… what are we on now? FIVE? Oh dear?

Disclaim-me-do: Ambassador, with these Ferrero Rocher, you are spoiling us.
Previously on "Random Chance?": "The reason, Kuno-kun, that you cannot move properly is because there is a baseball bat protruding from you rectal cavity."
Before I forget, there are some scenes here that run concurrently/overlap with scenes from the last chapter.

"Why?" you ask.

Well, it amuses me.

That and I can't be bothered to rewrite the last chapter.

Ranma had nearly arrived at his front gate to give his parents the bad news. "I hope Mom understands about what happened at school."

"Understands about what happening school?" a female voice asked him.

Ranma looked up and saw that his mother was tending to the rose bush that stood in their small, but well manicured front garden.

"You're back a bit early, aren't you, Ranma?"

"Yeah, about that. Something happened today at school," Ranma admitted.

"What? Are you in trouble with the school?" Nodoka asked, hoping that her son wasn't a juvenile delinquent.

"No. In fact, I left school to prevent trouble. I'll explain inside."

Inside, Ranma and Nodoka were sitting at the table, sipping their tea.

"Well then son, seeing as your whistle has now been wetted, would you care to explain why you're here at home when you should be in class?"

"Well you know that I beat Akane Tendo in a duel before Pops and I came back here?" Ranma asked. Seeing Nodoka nod, he continued. "Well, there's this idiot at school who thinks he's some kind of invincible samurai that's been sent from the heavens. He's taken it upon himself to 'protect' Akane Tendo."

"Ah, I see. So why doesn't he like you?"

"He made some bullshit declaration that if you wanted to date Akane, you had to beat her in combat. He took our match to mean that I was going to do all sorts of perverted things to her. I'm not like that."

Nodoka "hmmed" as she sipped at her drink. "And then what?"

"Well, I beat this idiot in two moves, went to class. Beat him up again when he burst into my lesson. After lunch, we had a PE lesson, which he interrupted. I found out that he's the principal's son, so he'd probably abuse his position to get me kicked out. So in order to save face, I left."

"Oh," Nodoka nodded, understanding her son's logic. 'It's a shame he didn't get a girlfriend when he was there.'

"Besides, the teacher made me play softball without a shirt on," Ranma confessed. "I can't keep doing PE without my clothes on, the girls kept running into each other."

"I see," Nodoka smiled, which had the effect of unnerving her son. "Well, I still think that you should still go to school."

"I agree, but I'm not going to Furinkan."

"Well, in that case I need to look at some of the other local schools. How far are you willing to travel?" Nodoka asked as she pulled out a pen and notepad.

"I don't know, five or six kilometres. Eight at the very most," Ranma answered after mulling it over. "Any more than that and I'll be too tired to pay attention at school."

Nodoka nodded. "I'll ask some of my friends, they should have a better idea about which of the local schools is best option for you."

After the evening meal at the Tendo house, Kasumi knocked on Nabiki's door.


"Nabiki-chan, I want to ask you a question," Kasumi started with a blush.

"Sit down, and I'll see what I can see," Nabiki smiled.

"Well, have you heard of a writing team called 'Red Dragon'?" Kasumi asked, but couldn't face her sister. "Apparently they're quite famous in certain circles."

Nabiki was shocked, but managed to keep her face neutral. "I have nee-chan. Why?"

"I heard a story earlier today," Kasumi relayed the details of her visit to Nodoka's house.

"I don't believe you, Kasumi."

"I have proof!" Kasumi insisted. "Follow me."

Nabiki rose from her chair and walked to Kasumi's neat and tidy room. She was surprised to see her sister lock the door.


"Look at this," Kasumi showed the manuscript to her younger sister.

Nabiki flicked through the first chapter. "This is Mother's handwriting."

"I know," Kasumi sighed. "Do you think that it's true?"

"What? That our mother wrote dirty stories with Ranma's mom? It would explain why Dad never needed to get a job after she died," Nabiki reasoned. 'Some of the passages have been highlighted recently.'

"So what do we do now?" Kasumi asked.

"I don't know, Nee-chan. I can get you some of their other work," Nabiki offered.

"Could you?" Kasumi's enthusiasm was starting to freak Nabiki out.

"Yeah, I'll get you something tomorrow."

In her room, Nabiki was pondering the recent change in Kasumi's behaviour. Ever since Ranma turned up, the oldest Tendo daughter had started to act in a more normal manner. Instead of just ignoring male/female relationships beyond that of family, she now seemed interested in starting families.

It was quite unnerving for the Ice Queen of Furinkan to have someone she considered pure and innocent to request some reading material from a writing team that was famous for their erotic stories.

Not to mention the fact that she dropped the bombshell that her mother was part of that writing team

"What next? Ranma's parents insisting that we have a formal meeting to arrange us courting Ranma?" Nabiki asked the walls.

Elsewhere in Tokyo, Nodoka Saotome looked up as a thought hit her like a bolt of lightning.

"I've just had a fantastic idea."

Nabiki, sitting on her bed, shivered violently.

"I've got a bad feeling about the near future."

At the Kuno mansion, Tatewaki was returning home in a wheelchair. The captain of Furinkan's Kendo Team was sitting on an ice pack, a fact which his sister quickly picked up on.

"What happened to you, dear brother? Did you have another run in with that lowly Tendo woman?"

"No, oh Twisted Sister, I found myself on the receiving end of a violent mob," Tatewaki said, trying to sound like he was the wronged party in the fracas.

Kodachi said nothing and returned to her book.

"What are you reading, dear sister?" Tatewaki asked after being ignored for a few minutes.

"I was reading a romance novel," Kodachi answered, putting the now finished book down on the coffee table. "It's very good, though a little vulgar in sections."

"A novella by Red Dragon," the male Kuno read from the front cover.

Tatewaki moved in closer and picked up the book, flicking through the pages. "I see what you mean. What is the appeal of such a bawdy piece of literature?"

"If you have to ask, then you're not ready to know, Onii-sama. Now go away before you drip more water on the tatami."

When Tatewaki failed to move after becoming engrossed in the book, Kodachi sighed. "Fine, then I shall be the one to move."

Kodachi left the drooling fool in his place and walked to her room.

On the way to her room, Kodachi noticed the unopened mail on the table in the hallway. Out of a sense of idle curiosity, she flicked through the pile of letters and saw one from Happy Pig Publishing, a company name the Kodachi thought was a little below that of her family's status. Despite it being addressed to her late mother, she opened it.

'Dear Masako-san

I am happy to tell you that I will be able to visit you on Tuesday the 15th of June.

Unfortunately, it will have to be a flying visit, as I am expected to fly out to America for a meeting with licensees about edits and localisations. It seems that some manga publishers there are taking it upon themselves to alter certain things. But enough bad news, I hope that you will be able to meet with me.


Kazuki Fujita.'

Kodachi was reminded of the first time she encountered that company name, just a scant few days earlier.

Flashback time…

Kodachi walked to her room, bored with tending to her garden when she noticed the door to the study was open. 'It seems that Sasuke was careless when he was cleaning. I will punish him later,' the Kuno daughter mused.

The raven haired gymnast stepped towards the room to close the door when she noticed a newly placed letter on the desk. While it was common to put the incoming mail addressed to her father in the room, this envelope seemed out of place.

Sighing that she would have to lower herself to the role of secretary, she entered the study to reposition the letter.

Kodachi's eyes glanced at the name on the envelope – Masako Kuno.

"Mother…" Kodachi whispered breathlessly.

Mrs. Masako Kuno had been dead for a number of years, her unfortunate absence contributing to her son's delusions of grandeur and her daughter's obsession with horticulture and gymnastics, so it was richly bizarre to see the post mark dated two days ago.

Kodachi opened the envelope, not understanding whose records could be so out of date, that they were almost to the point of hurtful mocking.

'Dear Masako-san,

Apologies for the delay in responding to your correspondence, but I have been out of the country for a number of years.

I do hope that your writing team have been working hard; I've seen the sales figures and reviews for the Red Dragon stories that have been published so far.

I plan to visit you in the coming weeks, though I cannot be sure of the exact date at this time. But please rest assured that I shall make an appointment to see my favourite Happy Pig Publishing employee.

I do hope that your family are all healthy and that your job as editor hasn't taken too large of a toll on your family life.

Kindest regards,

Kazuki Fujita'

"Mother... worked with this "Red Dragon" team?" Kodachi asked the empty study. "Sasuke has been with the family for a long time, perhaps he can tell me about them."

Back to the present day…

After the Saotomes ate their evening meal, Ranma asked what his mother did while he was training.

"I was part of a successful writing team," Nodoka smiled. "With Mrs. Tendo, no less."

"Mrs. Tendo, as in Tendo Dojo?" Ranma asked, thinking it a coincidence that two families with the same name would know his parents.

"Yes, in fact their eldest daughter, Kasumi was here earlier. I think she's quite smitten with you, son," Nodoka hinted. "Small world, isn't it?"

"Yes," Ranma commented dryly. "I didn't get the chance to properly talk with Kasumi the other day, what's she like?"

"She's a nice person, son. She's quite beautiful, if a little conservative with her choice of clothing, but I think that's because Soun was always a little overprotective about the women in his life," Nodoka explained.

"Why do I get the feeling that someone's plotting something?" Ranma asked his mother, his head cocked to the side.

"I just want you to be happy, Ranma. Is that a crime?" Nodoka asked, preparing a fake tear or two. "I got so lonely while you and your father were gone."

"I'm sorry, Mom," Ranma apologised with a hug. "It's just that Pops had planned my life for me, but I'd like to see what the world has to offer, make my own mistakes as I walk down life's path. Do you know what I mean?"

"I do, Ranma. But would you consider meeting Kasumi? Formally, I mean."

"I don't see why not," Ranma flashed Nodoka a winning smile.

"Thank you, Ranma. I'll speak with her tomorrow."

The rest of the evening was fairly quiet for the Saotome family. Once Ranma had beaten some of the hypocrisy out of the part time panda and Nodoka mentioned that Ranma would be meeting with Kasumi soon enough, that is.

Ranma spent another night on his bed. He decided that the feel of a nice mattress was something that he could get used to.

He didn't consider that his mattress was an old one that, if Nodoka had her way, would be far too small.

It was lucky for him that his mind never seemed to dwell on such matters; otherwise he'd not have slept so well.

The next morning, Kasumi was not expecting the phone to ring while she washed the breakfast dishes.

"Hello, Tendo residence, how may I help you?"

"¬Kasumi, it's me, Nodoka Saotome.¬"

"Oh, hello, Auntie Nodoka," Kasumi smiled. "How can I help you?"

"¬I was wondering if you'd like to come over for dinner this evening.¬"

"Will Ranma be there?" Kasumi asked, hope audible in her voice.

"¬Yes, in fact, he'd like to get to know you better, Kasumi-chan.¬"

Kasumi positively beamed happiness rays. "What time would you like me to come over, Auntie Nodoka?"

"¬Seven thirty would be absolutely perfect.¬"

"I'll be there," Kasumi declared.

"¬That's good. I'll see you then, have a nice day, Kasumi-chan¬"

"You too, Auntie Nodoka."

When she hung the phone up, she skipped back to the kitchen to finish her chores.

Ranma trained in the garden with his father. The two Saotomes were practicing the one of the more advanced techniques of their family style – the Umi-sen-ken.

Genma had been convinced to teach the move to Ranma on the condition that his son took the meeting with Kasumi seriously.

"Pay attention, Ranma, I will only show you this once," the balding man informed his son.

"Gotcha," the younger martial artist nodded, though he kept eye contact with his instructor.

"First, use your chi to get a quick feel for your surroundings. You need to know what you're trying to blend in with."

"Ok," Ranma nodded. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Opening them again he was ready for the next stage.

"Focus your chi so you become one with your surroundings. Like so," Genma said as he faded from view.

Ranma did as his father instructed and soon, he too, seemed to melt from existence.

"Now, remember to keep focussed on your surroundings," the older Saotome said as he returned back into view. "I'm going to attack you by throwing these stones where I think you are. Ok?"

The pigtailed youth nodded, though his gesture wasn't observable by anyone.

Genma reached for a handful of gravel and scanned the well landscaped garden for his currently hidden son.

"Oof!" Ranma said as several stones hit him in the stomach and chest. When he fell into view, he asked his father how he'd spotted him.

"Simple – you're trying too hard," Genma answered. "Someone well trained in chi and ki techniques would be able to detect you by the big hole in the environment that you created. The trick is to be able treat it like it's second nature to you, like walking or breathing."

"I see," the blue-eye male nodded. "I'll need more practice."

At the Kuno mansion, Sasuke answered the front door.

"May I help you, sir?"

"Yes, I'm Kazuki Fujita, I'm here to meet with Mrs. Masako Kuno, is she in?" the man in a well-tailored business suit asked with a polite bow.

"I'm afraid not, though her daughter, would like to speak with you," the manservant replied apologetically. "Please come in. Mistress Kodachi wants to meet with you in her mother's study."

"Thank you," Fujita smiled as he shed his shoes.

"Take a seat," Sasuke said as he led the guest into the Kuno matriarch's private office.

Moments later, Kodachi appeared at the doorway, dressed in a white blouse with a long black skirt and black sweater. "Hello, I'm Kodachi Kuno, Masako's daughter."

Kazuki blinked. "Yes, terribly sorry, I had no idea you were so grown up. The last time I saw you, you were a toddler."

The Kuno daughter bowed politely before taking her seat behind the desk. "What was it that you wanted to talk with my mother about?"

"It was about her work," the man replied. "If you don't mind my asking, where is your mother?"

"You weren't told?" Kodachi asked with a frown. "She passed away several years ago. It was shortly after Reiko Tendo died."

"Reiko's dead too?" Kazuki was aghast. He stood up and bowed deeply at the waist. "I'm so terribly sorry, Miss Kuno. I've been out of the country for the last 11 years, and I've only just started to catch up on my correspondence. Please forgive me for my ignorance to your situation. Had I known, I would have attended the funeral."

"That's ok," Kodachi said in a reassuring manner. "I wanted to know more about what my mother did. What can you tell me about her work?"

The suited man blushed as he thought about the best way to tell his host that her mother worked as an editor for a publisher of erotic literature. "She worked in the publishing business."

"I see, and what of her dealings with the writing team known as 'Red Dragon'?" asked the raven haired girl. "I've read one of their works, and while I found it to be a little vulgar in places, I thought it was reasonably well written."

Fujita gulped. "I apologise if I cause you any more offence or distress, Miss Kuno, but your mother worked with Reiko Tendo and Nodoka Saotome as part of the Red Dragon writing team. She was proof-reader, editor and a general sounding board for ideas."

Kodachi nodded. "So my mother helped write explicit romance literature? How many books did she work on?"

"I can't give you an exact figure, for obvious reasons, but it was over a dozen before I was assigned to the American branch."

"I see. Perhaps Nodoka Saotome would be willing to meet with us," Kodachi mused. "I'd like to know more about what Mother was like."

"I'll see what I can do," Kazuki promised. "I'll make a call now."

Back at the Saotome homestead, Nodoka was serving up lunch for her family.

"So then, what did you teach Ranma today?" the copper-haired woman asked as she handed out the bowls of rice to the men in her life.

"I taught him one of my own special techniques. He's almost mastered it," Genma said with more than a hint of pride. "I did train him to be the best."

"Actually, you always said 'second place is a fancy name for loser'," Ranma smirked as he took a bite of rice.

"Well, it's true," the portly man insisted. "Besides, you won't be complaining when you start winning tournaments and the fight groupies start beating a path to your door."

"Yes!" Nodoka smiled. "Fight groupies fawning over my manly son! Each of them offering their nubile bodies for you to slake your primal lusts!"

The youngest Saotome blinked. "Oh-kay."

Nodoka coughed politely. "Sorry, it's been a while."

Genma just shrugged when Ranma looked questioningly at him.

"Yes, well Kasumi will be here tonight at 7.30," the copper haired woman swiftly changed the subject.

"Kasumi's the oldest one, isn't she?" the bespectacled martial artist asked. "She's a beautiful young woman, son. You'd make a good couple."

"Yes," Nodoka agreed. She stood up to answer the phone that had just started to ring. "Saotome residence, how may I help you?"

"¬Sorry to bother you, but this is Kazuki Fujita from Happy Pig Publishing, may I please speak to Nodoka Saotome?¬"

"This is Nodoka. Kazuki-san, Is that you? It's been a while since we last talked. How're things at the publishers?" Nodoka smiled.

"¬They're doing quite well. Can you believe that I only just heard today about the deaths of Reiko and Masako?¬"

"Where have you been for the last TEN years?" the copper haired Saotome demanded.

"¬I've been in America, handling licensed properties. If I'd known, I would have gotten on the first flight back to Japan.¬"

"Yes, well, what was it you wanted to talk about?"

"¬Masako's daughter, Kodachi, would like to meet with you. Are you free this evening?¬"

"I'm sorry," Nodoka sighed, "but we've got plans this evening. Tomorrow would be perfect though. How is Kodachi-chan? Is she as pretty as Masako?"

"¬She's every bit as pretty, Nodoka-san. Why, are you looking to set up your son, Ranma? Did Genma make a man among men out of him?¬"

"He seems manly enough, and well, Reiko's oldest, Kasumi is interested in him."

"¬I've missed so much,¬" Kazuki sighed down the phone. "¬We must have a proper reunion, Nodoka-san. Would you object to me sitting in with you tomorrow?¬"

"Not at all, Kazuki-san. In fact, I'll get show you the last manuscript Reiko and I were working on."

"¬That would be absolutely fabulous, Nodoka-san. I'll call you later to arrange a time, ok?¬"

"Yes, I'll be expecting your call," Nodoka smiled before hanging up. She returned to the table and explained what was planned for the following day.

At the Kuno mansion, Kazuki Fujita turned to face his host, Kodachi.

"I've got some good news, Nodoka Saotome is willing to meet with us tomorrow to talk about your mother's working relationship. And I hear that she's got a manly son that practices martial arts."

"Really," the raven haired girl drawled. "What's his name?"

"Ranma Saotome."

"Saotome, eh? I thought I heard my brother mention that name yesterday…"

To be continued….

Yes, it's been a while.

And it could be a while before I write the next chapter.

You'll get over it – I have.

This was pre-read by Chi Vayne and…. Now for some omake, from an idea he suggested…

"I taught him one of my own special techniques. He's almost mastered it," Genma said with more than a hint of pride. "I did train him to be the best."

"Actually, you always said 'second place is a fancy name for loser'," Ranma smirked as he took a bite of rice.

"Well, it's true," the portly man insisted. "Besides, you won't be complaining when you start winning tournaments and the fight groupies start beating a path to your door."

"Yes!" Nodoka smiled. "Fight groupies fawning over my manly son! Each of them offering their nubile bodies for you to slake your primal lusts!"

She turned to face her husband. "Primal lusts, yess."

Ranma looked suitably disturbed when he saw a trail of drool escape from his mother's mouth. "Are you ok, Mom?"

"No, it's been TEN years since I had sex and I need some action. Genma – you're coming with me. It's time to turn Ranma from an only child into an older brother!"

The kimono clad woman displayed a previously hidden strength as she hoisted the heavy set man into a fireman's carry and rushed up the stairs. "Ranma, you may have to train by yourself this afternoon, I've got plans!"

Until laterer comes.