Hina ½

Chapter 3

The Gang's All Here Part 2

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"Who is that?"

Motoko Aoyama had just entered the dorm, smelling the wonderful food that had been prepared. After the walk back from the train station, she was just wanting to relax with a good meal before heading out to train.

Instead, she saw the dorm tenants inside the kitchen, with a new girl and a male.

"That's the new guy," said Kaolla, as she dove into her meal with zest.

Ranma sighed. He was really hoping that the girl wouldn't be there for a few days. Standing up, he bowed slightly. "Hello, my name is Ranma Urashima, Grandma Hina's grandson, and I'm the new dorm manager of Hinatasou."

Motoko chuckled for a bit. "A likely story, but I do not believe it."

Ranma stood up, scratching his head. "Which don't you believe: that I am Ranma Urashima, that Grandma Hina is my grandmother, or that I'm the new dorm manager."

"None of it," she proclaimed, reminding Ranma of another kendo student back in his home dimension. "Why would Grandma Hina leave a male such as you in charge of this dorm?"

Ranma began counting off points on his fingers. "Aunt Haruka has her tea shop and couldn't do it, my parents have their own lives and can't do it, I was free, and no one else would do it for the money she paid."

Everyone sat stunned, simply at the fact that he had answered her question.

Motoko shook her head. "I refuse to believe in such a travesty."

Ranma shrugged his shoulders, returning to his seat. "Believe what you want, it doesn't change the truth."

Motoko slowly steamed. "Then I challenge you. If I win, you leave."

Ranma smiled, glad that he didn't have to do stupid stuff like that anymore. Since he wasn't a Saotome, technically, he didn't have the authority to even practice Anything Goes.

Of course, being the only practitioner in this dimension essentially meant he was the founder of the style, and thus could decide the tenants.

And one of the first new ones: don't accept stupid challenges just for the sake of accepting them. "Sorry, no thanks."

"What's the matter," she sneered, "not man enough to accept."

Ranma shrugged. "Why should I? I fail to see what I get if I win?"

Motoko snorted. "If by some fluke you win, I shall drop my objections to you running this dorm."

Ranma waved his finger at her. "Now see, I really don't get anything. You're asking me to put up both my job and my residence on this little game of yours, but I really don't get anything. If you became too much of a problem, I could always terminate your lease."

That caused everyone to stop and pale. "You can't be serious," said Naru.

Ranma nodded. "Sure am. I'm expected to run this place, and I wouldn't be much of a manager if I let a tenant run over me, complaining about what I might do.

"If she can't accept the fact that the world doesn't run on her preconceived notions of the male gender and the position of people in the world, then she can find out those lessons when she has to explain to her family why she was evicted from this dorm.

"Excellent meal, by the way, Shinobu."

Shinobu nodded her head happily. "Thank you, Sempai."

Motoko just growled. "This isn't over."

Ranma waved his hand to the door. "Go tell Aunt Haruka or call Grandma Hina. They'll tell you the same thing: unless you have proof that I am a threat to the tenants of this dorm, you have neither a legal nor a moral standing to ask for my removal.

"And that doesn't include incidents you set up yourself, or failure on your part to observe safety. I would hate to have to explain to Haruka that just because you failed to see the sign out stating I was cleaning the hot springs, or you failed to clear out during the times reserved for cleaning it or my own baths, why you are now insisting I am a threat."

"But males are only after one thing," she said, grasping for straws.

Ranma shrugged. "If we're going for stereotypes, shouldn't you be barefoot and pregnant, given away in an arranged marriage."

"How dare you!" she shouted out.

"See," said Ranma, "stereotypes fail to do anything useful but cause controversy. And besides, as a martial artist, shouldn't such things be beyond you."

Ranma smiled at that, hiding his inner self congratulating him, at the job of using honor against another artist, as it had oh-so-often been used against him.

Seeing Motoko just standing there, her mouth moving like a fish, Ranma resumed his meal. He could always challenge her to a spar later to prove how far beyond her he was.

Shigeru and Minako Maehara bowed in the presence of their combined family elders. It had been bad enough that their divorce was quickly approved; a far cry from when these very same people had loudly been proclaiming that theirs was a marriage that would never falter.

"What do you two have to say for yourself?" asked the current head of the united clan.

"We are sorry," said Shigeru, "but we could not match his ability or power."

If Shinobu had merely gone to live there by her own choice, they would have said nothing. After all, the girl was to learn how to cook to a professional chef's level, and doing so for the dorm would greatly help her.

But if another Master of an Art took Shinobu as a pupil, and might contaminate her own family Art; which she would have to learn when she turned eighteen. "We shall endeavor to seek out this Ranma Urashima, and we shall challenge him. When he loses, we shall take his school and Shinobu will return to us to begin her training in our Art."

Once again, the universe congratulated itself for correcting reality for the new arrival.

Ranma patted himself down with a towel after his workout. Luckily, the body he got from Keitaro's fusion with him didn't leave him weaker. But his energy reserves were definitely larger.

"My, that looked like a great workout, sugar," came the voice of someone Ranma was hoping to avoid.

Ranma sighed, turning around and bowing slightly. "Good evening, Ms. Konno. What can I do for you?"

"Well, I wanted to talk to you about some things," she said, her sweater slightly unbuttoned, revealing a bit of cleavage.

Of course, thanks to his life, Ranma wasn't exactly being affected by that, but he quickly felt the influence he had from Keitaro slowly begin to dwindle. Stop it, you moron. She's just doing this to tease you!

"Well, as I said before, just leave a list on the fridge about what I need to fix in your room and what time I should do it." Seeing her come closer, Ranma hopped back ... a good ten meters.

"Why sugar, I'm almost feeling like you don't like me?"

"No offense, Ms. Konno," said Ranma making his way around the flirtatious girl, "but I've had too much bad luck with women lately, and have no desire to start a new relationship at this point in time."

Kitsune blinked. She was being turned down ... by a guy? "Run that by me again?"

"I'm sorry, Ms. Konno, but I am not looking for any relationships with anyone at the moment; bad breakup and all: I wanted her to trust me, and she wanted to pound me if another girl so much as looked at me." With that, Ranma executed the Saotome Final Attack and raced inside, leaving a confused and slightly angry girl behind, upset that her plan had failed.

But then she began to giggle. It had failed ... for the moment.

Ranma was making his way out of the kitchen, getting ready to take a bath in the hot springs, and finally finished with a big sign that said "Ranma is inside bathing" followed by several others, one even warning Kitsune that should they disappear and someone walk in on him, her rent would be tripled and due tomorrow.

He wasn't going to take a chance that she'd act like Nabiki, and take it just to make things interesting.

And finally, he yelled up the stairs and even knocked on each room, letting the girls know that he was taking a bath, didn't want to be disturbed, and did not want anyone barging in on him.

After all, if they wanted a bath, they should have had theirs by now.

Of course, he also had to tell Su that he didn't want to take a bath with her either, much to the disappointment of the foreign girl.

Man, I wonder how much of her life was an act in the series? Maybe she just made up that stuff about Keitaro reminding her of her brother just to make a play for him.

Man, I know the guy had it bad ... well, no worse than Shinji or Tenchi, but this guy did end up winning all these girls over.

Of course, assuming I don't end up back home at the end of the series, I am still going to do this my way.

Ranma knew his luck. He knew it was only a matter of time before it fell through. Sure, he bought time, but if these people accepted him here, why shouldn't he believe that they wouldn't miss Ranma Saotome in his world.

Then again, the genie did look a lot like that Mihoshi girl from Tenchi Muyo, so he couldn't really be certain at this point of anything.

So, he finished scrubbing, enjoying the fact that once again he wasn't changing with water temperature, and sat in the hot springs, allowing his muscles to relax, eyeing his clothes nearby, in case on of the girls decided to lose their short term memory.

So what now? I can start working as soon as Kanako arrives with the money ... assuming she shows up as herself first instead of feeling up the other girls.

And Akane said girls weren't perverts ... and she even watched the show ... well, before punching me for watching perverted shows.

Crap, I have so much screwed up crap coming at me soon.

Well, at least the series didn't have that endless summer crap. Good news is that in two years, I should have a clue if I'll ever head home.

Of course, the universe refused to let Ranma have a moment, so it chose then for the noise of a loud fight to reach his ears. Why do I get the feeling that it will somehow be my fault?

"What is the problem here?" asked Ranma as he entered the entryway.

"Onii-chan!" came the gleeful squeal, as a dark haired girl darted quickly, enveloping Ranma in an Amazon-like glomp.

Looking at the accusing looks of Naru and Motoko, the devious smile of Kitsune, and the curious stares of Shinobu and Su; Ranma knew that even in another world, chaos just wouldn't leave him alone.

Why me? What did I do? Who did my old man piss off to make this shit keep happening?