"Rain, just great!" thought Nabiki as she looked out of her window. She was lying on her bed chewing the end of a pencil as she attempted to do her books. They weren't balancing. "Going to have at gouge Kuno some more. Oh well nothing else for it." She shut the book with a resounding sigh. Things just hadn't been the same since that lazy fat ass Genma had come to stay. Every effort over the last few years had been swallowed up by the monster appetite of her father's 'oldest friend.' College had become just another pipe dream, sure she could get a scholarship easy enough, but without her here to curb the idiot twins the house would belong to the bank in weeks if not days.

"Crash" the noise echoed across the compound, accompanied by a slight quake as the building shook. "Akane!" Nabiki practically spat the name. The indirect source of so many of her other woes. Little miss "I am a martial artist" was smashing things in the dojo again, as if she needed the practice destroying things. Again Nabiki wondered if she should have just let the Dojo Destroyer keep the goddamn sign. But no the school was her father's legacy and she could no more do that than tell Akane how she had been rigging her fights for years. Even dojo destroyers had things they did not want others to know, things like for instance being christened 'Dorothy.'

"To the joining of the schools" "Kampai" the idiot twins shouted, getting drunk again despite the lack of funds. God she could just hate those men sometimes. Genma had convinced her father that his sons would turn up any day now, then they could get their heirs to marry and all would be right with the world. Idiots. That had been six years ago and still it was "any day now."

There was a knocking at her door "Nabiki-chan are you in?" her father.

"Yes dad what is it?"

"Could you come down please, there is great news"

"Of course" Nabiki replied her heart sinking just a little more, some new scheme to cause the family more grief no doubt.

In the distance she heard her father calling Akane and then the little princess' terse reply. "One, two, three, right on time" her father burst into tears right on time. Nabiki mouthed along with the words

"WAAAAH, my daughter hates me"

"No dad, I was just practicing" Akane said, Nabiki counted off her fingers two three…

"WAAAAAH! My daughter is so dedicated, I'm so proud!"

"Yadda yadda yah" Nabiki filled in. Always the same, a never-ending tale of the tragic supporting the blind. But they were family, so on with the show.

Thank you for coming down girls' Soun said as he took his place at the head of the table. As usual Genma sat opposite and the two remaining girls on either side.

Father paused to heighten the dramatics, Genma just smirked

"Today I received a letter from Ranma, it seems that he is finally coming to visit." Soun sat back with a huge grin on his face.

Akane's reaction was predictable as ever, a smug look at her sister to say "I told you so" followed by a theatrical sigh "Guess I finally get to meet my fiancé then. When does the waster arrive?"

"The letter says that he will be arriving this evening on the 6 o'clock train. Says he will find his own way here."

"In that case I will go and get cleaned up" said Akane.

Nabiki could see where this was heading, and there was no way she was cooking dinner for this new guest. Better that this was nipped in the bud, "Akane why don't you put the dinner on first?" Nabiki suggested .

Soun and Genma blanched and started to stammer reasons for Nabiki to do it instead, as usual.

"After all you have been trying so hard at your cooking. I think he deserves to get his first meal here from his future bride doesn't he"

Akane, rather predictably, jumped at the chance to show off her newfound 'culinary expertise.' "yes of course, ill make that new pesto chicken surprise, now where did I put the baking soda…"

"Now if you will excuse me I have some calls to make" Nabiki left, barely containing her own laughter. "that should get rid of the sap"

The fathers rapidly got over their fear and decided to drown it in alcohol and a few games of shogi.

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"This is the place " A young man stood outside the entrance to the Tendo-ke, "looks comfy. "Let me see, challengers round the back, guests please ring bell" okay bell it is." He rang the bell and stood waiting patiently.

He was dressed in a red silk shirt of Chinese design , black cargo trousers and combat boots. His hair was black, tied in a pigtail and hung down to his waist. The expression on his face was calm and even, controlled and peaceful. Only his eyes showed different, instead being made of turbulent blue grey clouds. The stance was relaxed yet something told of coiled energy. Over his shoulder was a kit bag made of kaki green canvas.

The door opened to reveal the familiar form of Nabiki, dressed in a formal kimono and looking at him appraisingly. "Saotome Ranma I presume"

Ranma bowed respectfully " Yes maam, I was told that I might find my father here?"

"inside, please follow me." Nabiki led the way consciously giving her backside an extra sway. She turned to wait for him to change into some guest slippers, she noticed his eyes dropping and congratulated herself with a quick smile, "yep still got it she thought"

The sexy girl with the impressive ass led Ranma into the front room where he could see another girl and two older men. The girl was cute in a childish sort of way but his attention was immediately drawn to the fat balding, gi-clad waster at the far end.

"Ojai" Ranma whispered, temperature dropping well past freezing. "how good to see you again" he said louder. Nabiki's right eyebrow shot up this was going to be far more interesting than she had thought.With glacial force Ranma stalked towards his father, fists tightening..

"Son you don't know how happy I am to see you at last" Soun exclaimed and leapt in for a bone crushing hug. Ranma's hand was suddenly in the way

"Excuse me Tendo-san but my father and I have some things to discuss with my father."

"Hell-lo boy, howareyou, fancymeetingyouherewouldyou' smack Ranma ended his father's rant with a straight arm to the jaw, propelling his father out onto the patio.

"OI!" Akane was right on cue, "just who do you think you are? You come into this house and attack one of our guests. Well perhaps someone ought to…" then she noticed that the man in question was no longer paying attention to her. "HEY you look at me when i…" infuriated she swung out a hard blow to his… "huh how'd you move so fast" swing swing swing "stop ….dodging…"

Nabiki was trying hard not to laugh, there was this random guy, just in off the street, and instead of falling goggly-eyed over the little princess he had first dismissed her and then proceeded to back it up by ignoring her best efforts to 're-educate' him.

"Look Little Girl, give it up." Ranma said tiredly

"Gonna …..squash ……you….. like…. a bug!" replied Akane, despite her obvious inability to do so. " I am the best!" seconds later she was on her ass next to the opposite wall, looking up dumbly at Ranma's outstretched arm.

"Shhh!" Ranma put one finger to his lips and tried again to shut the brat up. He quickly spared glance for the human waterfall that was the Tendo patriarch, and rapidly discounted him. "Now dad where were we?" with a quick two-step he caught up with the fat man's not so subtle escape attempt. "I believe we were about to discuss the details of our last separation."

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Some significant time later the Tendo family plus their new guest were sat around the dining table (the wasted still 'resting' out in the yard, in the rain.

"you want me to marry the little wannabe? Oh I don't think so. Whatever butt-wad promised you, you can extract out of his ass, I made a rule a long time ago, you make a deal with HIM, then HE pays."

"It is a matter of honour boy!" Soun interjected

"Your honour and his, not mine." Ranma countered "the alternative is that friend of yours finally does the honourable thing and commits seppuku. Its up to you." Ranma finished with a shrug. " I came here to get some info out of the fat man and kick back for a few days. I had hoped that, hell I don't know what I had hoped but this s not it.

"Tendo-san thank-you for your hospitality." Ranma stood and bowed. "now I am out of here" he said emphatically.

"Good riddance" murmured Akane.

Ranma was just getting to the door when Soun said "wait" and then louder "wait!"

"Ranma please wait. Perhaps things have gotten a little ahead of themselves. And for that I apologise. Please at least stay for dinner-

"Ack dinner.." Akane flew into the kitchen, revealing clouds of black smoke.

"I'll order some" Nabiki put in, and then looked at Ranma "how many am I ordering for?"

"Okay, I never say no to free food."