"so to win; do I need to mark you? or would disabling you be enough?"
"You need to mark him." Nabiki called out
then he leered
the small American smirked, then leered.
Ranma shivered, then grinned a cocky grin of his own, then shimmered out of sight, then struck at the little man's back...only to have the little man appear behind him, and only Ranma's heightened reflexes avoided him earning his third mark. Ranma dropped the invisibility and attacked with simple but over compensative swings. not so much to hit the smaller male, but to run down the clock.
True to his efforts, the little guy pushed and pulled at Ranma's control, between the meowing and the other sound effects; the sound of a bike-bell, hair clippers, etc...
then he disappeared...
"Ailen, We go on date, no?" Ranma was caught in a sloppy hug as a shadow threw itself at him from behind. Out of instinct, Ranma's foot caught the 'attacker' across the head, before the hug-lock was completed, sending her to land at Nabiki's feet.
"Time!" Nabiki declared, "Where is Ren-Sensei?"
"Ranma, how could you kick a girl in the head like that?" Akane was powering up for a show down...
'Shampoo' sat up, and in Ren's voice "that is three"
there on Ranma's leg was a grease mark
While Nabiki was conferring with her people, Ranma and Ren were speaking quietly in the center of the field.
"Nice reflexes, but the info that I have says that Shampoo never gets hit when she tries to hug you. what changed?"
"I think on some level I knew you were not her." Ranma cocked his head, "Can you explain?"
"Most likely it was your sense of smell. Close your eyes. Now point out your mother." when Ranma pointed, "now describe what you smell about her."
"Sword oil, Tea, green, I think and Sandalwood." Looking at Ren, through squinted eyes "So, what does that prove?"
"Close your eyes and find Shampoo."
This took a few minutes, but then Ranma pointed towards the Neko Hatten. "Cherry blossoms; her shampoo. Ramen, and cat. " he blinked, '"No stutter?"
"It might mean you are getting over you fear, but I think it has a deeper meaning."
Nabiki sauntered over. "Good news, bad news. Ren made contact, and was kicked away before the time limit was up, but the grease mark did not appear until after the time limit expired." She grinned. "Ranma won, but died soon after, from wounds in battle."
Ren's pocket watch chimed. Frowning, he pulled it from his vest. When he opened it, he blanched. "Got to take this one." he pulled a leather folded wallet from an inside pocket of his vest. Handing it to Nabiki, "Ranma and the girls are to be treated to Ice Cream. This should cover it. I will be back this evening."
Once Nabiki's fingers touched the old, worked leather, her eyes glowed. but only Ren and Ranma noticed.
Ren collected his things, and as he twirled the cloak about his shoulders, he vanished.
three hours later
Nabiki walked into the family room counting the yen left over from the ice cream run. when a small 'bmmfft' caused her to look up. Ren was in his Rat-Man form, she watched in curious amusement as he shook himself like a wet dog, and folded into human.
"Ah Nabiki. My wallet, or are you going to collect it for your horde?"
Nabiki felt a flash of anger. 'This petty mortal is claiming our horde item?' then it was gone. "Question, Horde? "
Ren cocked his head to one side. "Deal; No charge on questions we ask each other in private. This excludes questions you are not ready to know, but means that I am to tell you that you are not yet ready, and then to answer them when you are ready." he grinned, "Deal?"
She frowned, and pouted, then nodded. "Deal"
"You are a Fireborn. In simple terms; a Dragon. All dragons have a Horde. It is from the Horde that they draw their power. You seem to draw power from money and information. That wallet is over 100 years old, crafted by a master of his craft, and carried by no less then three Lords of Finance. and while that wallet was in their pocket, they never lost a bet, never lost money in the stock market, every investment paid off. There is real Power in that Wallet. I would under stand if you wanted to claim it."
"I do, Part of me already has." Nabiki blushed.
"Good. it means that you are growing in your power. Keep it. It is 'Tagged'."
"Tagged?" Nabiki pushed.
"Ah, Ranma. there you are. I am meeting a so called god of Martial Arts. Want to join me?"
"Yeah, Wait until I tell Pops!" Ranma bounced on his toes.
"No can do. We are leaving Now. Get your shoes, kiss your mother, and we are away."
Ranma hurried away to do as told, even kissing his mother. Ren gripped Ranma by the fore arm, and pulled.
Both flashed from sight.
five hours later Ren returned.
"Ah, Akane-chan. Your softball bat please." as the young girl quickly ran for the requested item, Nabiki sauntered forward.
"Where is Ranma? Did you misplace him?"
With the bat in hand, Ren ignored the young lady, as he strode to the middle of the yard. "FREE SAKI FOR ALL PANDAS!!!"
the air night went still...
the wind held its breath...
like on the morning of a great storm...
out of nowhere Genma appeared, clearing the compound wall in stride...
only to catch a wooden club to the gut.
*You stupid moron. You unbelievably brainless piece of crap. You have just condemned your son to death.* Ren was swearing in American. *Ranma Saotome does not lose? can not lose?* each word was equaled by a swing of the bat or a lowly placed kick.
Turning to Nabiki, "Summon the full NWC. Akane, get Sue. Kasumi, a cup of tea please. Mistress, join me."