Dark Heart's Desires

By Lord Raa

Disclaim-me-do: You are no match for my Promethean Rage™!
Part 4 (of X)
Ranma stirred as the morning light flooded into his room. He was enjoying being woken up in a gentle, pleasant way for once.

"Wake up, Ranma," Urd said as she kindly shook him. 'Ooh, his muscles are really firm.'

"Hmm, Urd-chan, is that you?" he asked with a smile on his lips. "I was just thinking about you."

"I can see that, Ranma," the goddess dryly noted.

"What? Have I got morning wood or something?"

"Ranma!" Mara called out as she entered the room. "Breakfast is nearly read– oh my!"

"Morning, Mara-chan," Ranma waved. He glanced down and confirmed what the blonde demoness was staring at. "What? You're not trying to tell me that this is the first time you've seen one of these?"

"No, just not in the flesh," the blonde admitted in a quiet voice.

"Mara, are you a virgin?" Urd asked, unable to keep the smirk off her face.

When the shapely infernal being blushed, stammered and generally failed to deny the charge immediately, Urd knew what the truth was.

"Hahahahahahah," she laughed. "I can't believe that you're still a virgin after all this time! I thought you would have at least hooked up with an incubus at some point."

Ranma saw Mara's eyes started to tear up and frowned. "Hey, Mara-chan," he smiled to reassure his girlfriend, "come here."

Mara didn't move. Instead tears were now falling.

Throwing the covers from his body, Ranma stood up and strode to over to the doorway, past the still giggling goddess.

"Mara," he barked. "You will join me for breakfast and accompany me to school. Urd will be staying at home for being mean to you."

"WHAT? That's not fair!" the goddess protested.

"Actually, it is," the Lord of Desire corrected. "As I've got business to attend to at school, you get to make inroads with my mother without interference from Mara-chan. It's swings and roundabouts, Urd-chan."

"It doesn't seem that she's being punished," Mara sniffed.

"Ah," Ranma smiled, "you get to sit on my lap while we eat breakfast. Come on, you two, it's ready now."

He grabbed his infernal girlfriend by the hand and led her downstairs, seemingly unmindful of his current state of dress – a pair of yellow boxer shorts and a white undershirt.

Mara blushed as both she and Urd noticed what Ranma was wearing.

Urd pouted. "D'oh!"

Nodoka was a little surprised to see her manly son take his place (un)dressed as he was. Her surprise turned into a smile when he pulled Mara onto his lap and smiled at the girl in the tight leather trousers.

"What are your plans for today, son?" the woman in the kimono asked as she served up breakfast.

"I've got some unfinished business at Furinkan, and I want to take Mara on a bit of a tour," Ranma explained. "Urd's been naughty, so she's staying her with you, Mom. You don't mind, do you?"

"No, not at all," Nodoka smiled as the goddess in question took her seat. "Please eat up."

A chorus of "ittadakimasu" was heard before they all dug into the excellent meal.

After breakfast, Ranma quickly washed up and dressed in his usual manner, selecting a black shirt for what he planned to his last visit as a student to Furinkan High School.

Descending the stairs, he saw Mara standing there, dressed in her low-slung, black leather trousers and black and purple lacy corset.

"How are we getting to school, Ranma?" the cute demoness asked, her hands behind her back. "I can transport us there using a CD."

"I was thinking more along the lines of roof-hopping," the pigtailed young man smiled. "But that would mean I have to carry you. That's not a problem, is it?"

Mara glomped Ranma as he stepped onto the hallway. "That'd be perfect, Ranma!"

Stepping outside, Ranma waved goodbye to Nodoka and Urd. Moments later, he had scooped the demoness up in his arms and held her against his chest.

"Don't worry, I won't let you fall," the Lord of Desire smiled reassuringly.

The trip to Furinkan was over far too quickly for Mara's liking, but Ranma didn't seem too fazed by her protests when he landed lightly just inside the gate.

"You know what they say about good things, Mara-chan," the pigtailed Saotome smiled.

"Yeah, but you know, it was nice to be held in your arms like that," Mara pouted cutely.

"You make it sound like it's not going to happen again anytime soon," Ranma said in a slightly hurt tone. "Don't you like me?"

"Of course I like you, Ranma," the blonde insisted. "I'll prove it!"

Mara stepped up to Ranma and engaged him in a lip-lock/glomp combination that would have made a horde of amorous Amazons jealous.

Five minutes later, as the kiss was ending, Tatewaki Kuno entered the school grounds with his usual arrogant strut.

"What's this? An unknown woman on the hallowed grounds of Furinkan?" he asked rhetorically. "I cannot allow her to go unescorted, lest the unsavoury Saotome get his filthy hands on her! Fair Maiden!"

"What? Who are you?" Mara asked as she turned around to face the newcomer.

"I am the great Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High!" the kendoist announced.

"Oh," the demoness shrugged before turning her attention back to Ranma.

"Fair Maiden, it is not safe for you to walk in Nerima unescorted," Kuno insisted. "The foul sorcerer Saotome would ensnare you for unspeakable debauchery in his harem!"

"He would?" Mara asked half appalled, half excited by the notion.

"Yeah, but only if you wanted to take part in said 'unspeakable debauchery'," Ranma answered, stepping into Kuno's line of sight.

"Saotome, you foul wretch!" the kendoist growled. "What manner of depravity are you planning to unleash on this innocent flower?"

"I'm not that innocent," the blonde interjected with a grin.

"WHAT? The fiend has already taken advantage of you? Intolerable! Have at you!" Kuno screamed as he drew his bokken.

"Not today, dumbass!" Ranma grinned as he fell into a stance. "And not any other day!"

As the enraged kendoist swung, he blinked when the hit failed to connect with Ranma.

The Lord of Desire held the wooden blade in a vice-like grip as he stared his attacker down. "You think you're some kind of samurai? Well, shall we see how you'd fare on the field of battle?"

"What?" Kuno demanded as he disappeared in a flash of light.

"What did you do to him?" Mara asked.

Ranma turned to face his infernal friend. "He sees himself as a noble warrior, so I thought it would be nice to see just how good he is. Here, look at this."

The two supernatural beings looked at the vision that the Lord of Desire had conjured in the palm of his left hand.

Kuno found himself lying face up in a courtyard.

"Where am I?" he asked the seemingly empty space.

"You there!" a retainer bellowed at the delusional kendoist. "How dare you interrupt such an important archery contest?"

"Contest?" Kuno repeated as he rose to his feet. "Where am I? This is fault of that fiend Saotome."

"Saotome?" a finely dressed man asked the man on his left. "Did you make this man fall from the sky and interrupt today's proceedings?"

"No, my lord," a raven haired man of about 25 answered respectfully. "I must humbly apologise, for my skills fall far short of making people appear from nowhere."

"I see," the lord of the manor smiled. "So then, stranger, what is your name?"

"I am Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High School, rising star of the kendo world," the displaced student answered pompously. "Who might you be?"

"How dare y-" Saotome was cut off from his protest by a hand gesture.

"I am Reiji Utsunomiya, daimyo of Shimotsuke province," the nobleman replied. "I see that you are carrying a bokken, I take it you think of yourself as something of a modern day Musashi? How very droll. Yoshikawa."

"My lord," a brown-haired man replied with a bow.

"You will have a practice match with our visitor," Utsunomiya instructed. "It has been a while since I last saw you defeat a man with a practice sword."

"By your command, Utsunomiya-dono," the swordsman bowed respectfully before preparing himself for his latest task.

"To challenge the Blue Thunder with a sword is as foolhardy as naked honey gathering," Kuno arrogantly shook his head. "Prepare yourself for a swift defeat."

Yoshikawa blinked audibly. "If you say so, Kuno-san, but I am not familiar with the exploits of the 'Blue Thunder of Furinkan High School'. However, despite having slain over a hundred of my lord's foes on the battlefield, I know that perhaps you could be skilled opponent and should not be underestimated."

As the two swordsmen faced off, the archery contestants stood down, waiting for their lord's orders.

"Surely this newcomer must be a skill opponent to challenge Yoshikawa-sama so brazenly," the younger of the two archers commented.

"Perhaps," the older one mused. He winced when he saw the mysterious challenger take a powerful but simple hit to the forearm. "Then again, perhaps he is merely an idiot?"

"You managed to land a clean hit, you are skilled," Kuno acknowledged. "Perhaps it is time for one of my finest techniques. Strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike-strike!"

The warrior dodged the rapid thrusts from his junior opponent without too much trouble, though his kimono was looking the worse for wear, the air pressure having made several tears in it.

"Not too bad, but that attack won't see you to victory on the battlefield, or even today," Yoshikawa stated.

The senior combatant charged his foe in the somewhat stereotypical samurai fashion.

"You will have to do better than that," Kuno smirked as he reacted to what he thought was going to happen.

Unfortunately, Yoshikawa's signature move wasn't the simple charge and slash that the high school student was expecting. Instead, the battle-hardened warrior jumped to his right and jammed his bokken into the left side of Kuno's ribcage.

The transported kendoist slumped to the floor before jumping up and declaring "I fight on!"

Yoshikawa frowned, but launched into another assault on his opponent, this time opting for a series of rapid strikes to the head, back and arms.

Moments later, Kuno fell into unconsciousness.

"Wonderful, Yoshikawa, absolutely wonderful," Utsunomiya applauded.

"My lord, what shall we do with him?" a frowning Yoshikawa asked as he looked at his kimono.

"Hmm, he provided me with some amusement, I suppose, so just take him to the local village and leave him there to fend for himself."

Back at Furinkan, Ranma turned to face Mara. "So then, do you think I should bring him back?"

"Meh," the blonde demoness shrugged, "if you really want to, but I can think of a much better way for us to spend our time together."

"You so naughty, Mara," the Lord of Desire mock scolded as his lady friend traced patterns on his chest. "I love it. Let's go inside and see how much fun we can have."

As the two immortals entered the building, the Tendo sisters arrived. The oldest of the pair noticed the absence of school idiot.

"Hey, where's Kuno?" Nabiki asked, the lack of her biggest customer was slightly unnerving her.

"Who cares, I'm just glad that I don't have to deal with him for once," the muscular girl snorted. "He'll turn up, he always does. Let's just get to class."

Ranma's homeroom went silent the moment the pigtailed youth walked in holding Mara's hand.

"Good evening," the blue-eyed immortal greeted with a cheeky grin. "Today is my last day here at Furinkan. After today, I'll be leaving for all sorts of fun with Mara here,"

"Another one, Saotome?" a voice called out from the crowd. "You're getting as bad as Kuno says."

Ranma snorted. "You make it sound like I'm a manwhore. Understandable enough, what with how Nabiki pimped me out and sold dirty photos of me."

"But what about Akane?" Daisuke asked as he got off his desk.

"What about her? We're no longer engaged, who she's going out with is none of my concern. But," the Lord of Desire added, "I'll know if someone's forcing her to do anything she doesn't want to."

"How come?" asked his friend.

"He knows all about people's desires," Mara grinned as she hugged Ranma. "And he can grant any that amuse him in any way he wishes."

"Like what?" a brave soul piped up.

"Who wants to see Kuno float in the air above the teacher's desk?"

A few hands slowly went up.

"Ok then," Ranma said as he snapped his fingers.

A bruised and battered Tatewaki Kuno appeared over the teacher's desk. The injured youth started to rotate slowly, the motion waking him up.

"What manner of sorcery is this?" he demanded.

"Middle of the road stuff, Kuno, nothing too foul or villainous, it is early after all," the pigtailed immortal smirked. "By the way, did you enjoy your duel with Yoshikawa?"

"What? How did you know about that?" Kuno shouted angrily. "I knew it! You were behind the whole thing!"

"Yawn-fest," Ranma said as he rolled his eyes. "Time for you to go to your class, Kuno."

As the suspended student started to float out the doorway, Akane Tendo entered the room.

"What's going on here?"

"My fierce tigress!" Tatewaki gushed. "Unfortunately I am indisposed right now, but rest assured that as soon as I get down, I will smite the demonic wretch Saotome!"

"Quiet, you," the Tendo heir said as she batted the bane of her existence to one side. "What's going on, Ranma?"

"Hi Akane," the pigtailed youth waved. "This is Mara, she's my new assistant."

"What does she 'assist' you with?" Akane asked with narrowed eyes.

"That would be telling," the demoness winked saucily.

The Tendo heir's blood pressure started to reach dangerously high levels. "Y-y-you…"

"Calm down, Akane, you're no longer his fiancée, remember?" Mara explained with an infuriating, at least to the youngest Tendo, smile.

"Yeah, but..." Akane was cut off by the arrival of the teacher.

"What's going on here? Why are you here, Miss…?"

"She's with me," Ranma explained. "That's all you need to know. That and the fact that I'm leaving Furinkan after today."

"Ok. Take your seats, everyone."

In Nabiki's classroom, the middle Tendo daughter was considering what to do to get revenge on Ranma.

She was surprised to hear that Ranma was actually attending school that morning, though it was with a beautiful woman. 'Mara, judging by the description I got from Chiaki.'

The middle Tendo daughter's thoughts were interrupted by Kuno stumbling into the room.

"That foul sorcerer has gone too far," the delusional student complained loudly. "First he ensnares and corrupts an exotic maiden, then he has the gall to use his most villainous magic to date in an attempt to incapacitate me."

"Kuno, I'm only going to tell you once, shut up and sit down," the teacher sternly instructed.

The Principal's son acquiesced but he was still clearly unhappy about the whole situation and a number of students could have sworn that they heard the sound of cogs and gears whirring from his head.

"Nabiki Tendo, I require your talents."

The brunette in question faced her easiest mark. "For what?"

"I need to know how Nerima's unsavoury menace has regained its strength and insidious powers so quickly and what can be done to vanquish him once and for all," Kuno explained, managing to somehow sounding noble despite his dishevelled appearance.

"I can't say for certain, but I heard that Saotome is in league with a devil of some sort. I could find out some more, but I do have expenses, you know," Nabiki replied with her usual poker face.

"But of course," the less than immaculate kendoist acknowledged as he reached for his wallet.

Ranma's homeroom teacher looked up from his desk. "Saotome, why is that girl sitting on your lap?"

"Because it'd be distracting, not to mention unfair, if she sat on my face," the Lord of Desire replied with a straight face.

"Oh, ok," the teacher nodded. "What?"

"I said that people might hate me if Mara-chan was sitting on my face," a bored Ranma stated.

"I can't say that I approve of this behaviour!" the bespectacled man huffed.

"I didn't seek your approval. And I never will."

The class went deadly silent. Yes, Ranma had certainly flaunted rules in the past, namely the ones governing uniforms and fighting, but he had never directly challenged a teacher that hadn't threatened him first before.

"Principal's office. Now," the teacher ordered.

"Good call, Sensei, I want to speak with him," Ranma smiled. He gave his infernal girlfriend a quick squeeze. "Hey, Mara, do you want to watch me in action?"

"Of course, I love to watch you in action, Ranma," Mara said in a stage whisper as she licked Ranma's left earlobe.

"You keep that up, and I'll have to give you a bare bottom spanking," the pigtailed immortal laughed.

"A bare bottomed spanking? I like the sound of that," the sexy blonde purred. "This class is so boring, you know."

Looking around, the two eternal beings smiled at the results of their little game – the females in the room were all wearing atomic blushes, while most of the boys had passed out from blood loss from their bloody noses.

"Well, that's for later," Ranma decided. "Let's go shove a pineapple up the Principal's fundament."

Principal Kuno sat frowning in his office. He wasn't expecting Ranma to be back so soon, and this new girl of his just screamed "trouble".

"I betta deal wit' da keikies," the tanned man said as he checked the batteries in his favourite pair of clippers.

The door burst open to reveal Ranma, clad in his black outfit with Mara in tow. There was something drastically wrong with this situation, but that was to do with the look of malicious intent on the pair's faces.

"Principal, I've been wanting to have words with you for some time. You even think about touching Mara's hair, and I'll use those clippers to cut your balls off. Got that?" the pigtailed visitor asked.

The dark skinned man gulped nervously. "Y-y-ya can't threaten me."

"He only warned you," Mara corrected as she locked the doors shut. "Now, I believe that you tried to take advantage of Ranma when he was weakened. Care to say anything in your defence?"

"Have at you!" a voice declared from the closet in the west corner of the room.

"Kuno? What are you doing in that closet?" Ranma asked, trying not to allow his smirk to affect his otherwise calm demeanour. "Are you trying to find the right time to come out?"

Mara's giggle was like music to her boyfriend's ears. "How long have you been in the closet, Kuno-kun?"

"You do realise that this makes lots of sense, what with his attitudes to women," the blue-eyed immortal mused.

"What?" the two Kunos demanded.

"Yes, I think that several therapists would agree that his narcissism is merely a mask, designed to keep his true feelings and appetites away from the public view," the blonde nodded. "Tell me, Kuno-kun, did anybody touch you in your special areas when you were a child?"

"That's an outrageous accusation!" the principal shouted as he thumped his hands on his desk.

"That sounds rather suspicious if you ask me," Mara said in an aside to her companion.

"And it would make sense with Kodachi…" realisation dawned upon Ranma's face. "You sick bastard! What did you do to your own daughter?"

"That was her mother!"

"Pardon?" the immortals chorused.

"Did you just blame your deceased wife for your failure to raise well-adjusted children?" Mara asked in a tone that promised much pain for the man obsessed with all things Hawaiian. "Because if you did, then you're going to a very special layer of hell."

The Principal gulped.

"I think we can take that as a 'yes', Mara-chan. Since my job is to grant desires, and a number of people want to have new principal, how should we go about it?"

"Hmm," the demoness hummed. "To be honest, this whole sordid affair is making my stomach churn. Let's just get this over with as quickly as possible."

"You're absolutely Right, Mara-chan," Ranma smiled as his girlfriend and clicked his fingers. The older Kuno disappeared in a puff of blue-grey smoke just as Tatewaki fell out of the closet.

"What have you done, Saotome?" the kendoist demanded.

"Dealt with your troublesome father. Now, if you'll excuse me, Mara-chan and I want some fresh air."

To be continued…

That seemed like a good place to end this chapter, so it's the end of the chapter.

This was pre-read by Chi Vayne, as per the norm.

Yes, the scene with the closet was inspired by that episode of South Park.

I haven't yet decided upon the catalyst for Nabiki's punishment, though I have decided what one part of said punishment will be.

Any questions should be directed via a review or comment on my livejournal as my main email is out of action at the moment.

Until laterer comes.