Innocence of Mine
By Douglas Helm and "Tuxedo" Will Wolfshohl
Those characters that are original and the story "Innocence of Mine" are copyrighted ©2006 ShoujoFiction .com by Douglas Helm and Will Wolfshohl. Ranma ½ characters are copyrighted by Rumiko Takahashi.
This story and our many other stories reside at our Shoujo Fiction dot com domain. Comments are welcomed and encouraged.
Prologue - To Foreshadow Just a Little
In Nerima, a mother cradled her newborn in her arms and sighed before letting the nursery drift into silence. Her baby sniffled for a moment but remained asleep. She smiled down at her daughter. A slender finger reached up to gently caress a tiny cheek. The room was illuminated only by the streetlights and the few porch lights outside. In this darkness, the young mother rocked her child and allowed her mind to wander.
She wasn't quite sure when she became aware of the presence in the room. Slowly her head rose upwards seeking out the intruder and found a small bent form. Rivulets of white hair seemed to drift in the small air currents about the room. She felt instant fear and worry as recognition settled upon her. Her baby began to fuss.
"Peace," the voice said softly, sounding faint and tired, "Peace, Nabiki-chan."
"Kaji?" she inquired quietly. When he nodded, she continued, "I... I thought never to see your face again."
"And that was my intent, but I felt a need to say good-bye."
She felt a lump form in her throat. With an effort, the woman turned her attention back to her daughter. After the infant quieted, she raised her eyes again and regarded the ancient man. "I wanted to congratulate you on the birth of your daughter, Nabiki-chan. I was very honored to be able to watch you grow." Nabiki blinked in surprise. "Your mother would be so proud of you."
He nodded, gave her a little smile, and said, "Sayonara... Na-chan." And with that, he faded from the room. For the first time in years, Nabiki felt terribly lonely.
# # # # #
Chapter 1 - Butterfly into a Caterpillar
Nabiki Tendo moaned softly as she slowly clawed her way back to consciousness. Her brain felt muddied and slow. Even through the muddy haze, it seemed to sense that something was very wrong with its host.
Slowly, almost painfully, the seventeen year old's senses started reporting data. First to report were her shoulder muscles, which were stretched taunt and apparently supporting the rest of her weight. At first, she couldn't tell if she was lying down or standing. As more of the fog cleared from her mind, Nabiki realized that neither was the case - she was hanging. 'Where am I?' Trying to shift was useless because whatever was holding her wrists up were also restraining her ankles and legs as well. That "whatever" felt slimy, cold, ethereal.
Her senses of smell and hearing arrived next. The scents, which came to her, were humid, warm, and intense. At times, they were soft and gentle yet at other times, they were sharp, almost bitter. Sound did not provide many clues to her situation. Everything, save her own breathing, was vague, indistinct.
Her eyes slid open and blinked. Her mind took several minutes to try and piece together what she was seeing. The room itself was suffused with a reddish-orange light. The walls and floor were covered in black vines. But her opinion about the "vines" changed when they seemed to move on their own volition.
Looking at herself, her mind, now starting to come into full force, rapidly assessed two important points. Firstly, that she was completely naked and secondly, she was hanging spread-eagled apparently supported by the black vines. If she didn't know any better, Miss Nabiki Tendo would have said she was the victim in a hentai movie.
"Kami-sama! This has something to do with Ranma," Nabiki grumbled. There was no other explanation. Ever since the young martial artist and his sometimes-panda father arrived at their home, life had been chaotic. Her full attention was drawn to the floor as a loud, almost grotesque sucking noise began. She stared in wonder as the floor, apparently made of the same black vines, rose up in a pod shape and after a moment, fell away to reveal an elderly man.
"Konnichiwa Tendo-san," he greeted her in his soft, almost whisper quiet, voice.
"Kaji?" the teen questioned, "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Here? I wanted you to see my home... so we could properly meet. Alleyways are hardly conducive to good conversation." He smiled but it did not reach his eyes. He stepped closer. "You see, Nabiki-chan. May I call you Nabiki-chan?" She shook her head no. "As I was saying, Nabiki-chan, we have much... Oh so very much to discuss."
"Nani? What do you mean?" Nabiki demanded, not at all feeling the confidence that was put into her voice.
He smiled. However, this time it did reach his eyes, which glittered with anticipation. "Why, my dear young lady, you showed an interest in being cruel - almost sadistic."
"Nani? I was never cruel."
"Honto?" he asked, placing a time-aged hand on her cheek, "Have you forgotten all those little 'jobs' you had me do for you?" The middle Tendo daughter swallowed hard. "Now, how shall we begin?"
"By letting me go, Kaji."
"Perhaps... If you survive the advanced lessons." He smiled charmingly.
"My family will be looking for me," she warned.
"I'm glad you think so, Nabiki-chan. I'm looking forward to meeting..." There was a tense, almost painful, moment of silence before Kaji jerked away and grumbled out, "Iie! I just can't do it!"
"N-Nani?" Nabiki questioned after a moment of puzzlement.
"I just can't be evil! Even if you deserve it," Kaji almost practically wailed. The old man, or what appeared to be an old man, moved as if to sit down. He might have landed on the floor had not a mass of black vines moved and formed a crude chair. "Kami-sama! I can't even get the mood right!"
His captive's mouth twitched. 'Could there be profit in this?' "You're a demon, and you don't know how to be cruel, ne?"
"It's not my job."
Nabiki snorted in disbelief but then gave a yelp as something impacted her right buttock. She turned around and found one of the tentacles waving admonishingly at her.
"Now now, Mamo-chan, don't be impolite to our guest."
"Mamo-chan?" Nabiki asked, still looking warily over her shoulder.
"My assistant," Kaji answered while patting the vines almost affectionately. He got up and paced, the chair sunk back into the floor as he did so.
She watched the disguised demon pace back and forth for a few moments before remarking, "You have to have some of this right, Kaji. I mean I'm trussed up here naked. That hentai Happosai would..."
Kaji stopped then gave her a quick look up and down. "Uh... Gomen, that was Mamo-chan's idea." He blushed. "I have to admit you are quite lovely." The old man snapped his fingers and Nabiki gave a yelp of surprise as she was unceremoniously let go. She landed with a mild thump onto the floor of the room. She realized she was also fully clothed; albeit the frilly pink party dress, white socks with red bows, and black leather Mary Jane shoes that she was wearing would not have been her first choice.
"So what now, ojii? Taking me to your little great-granddaughter's birthday party?" she taunted, trying to gain the upper hand in their negotiations. Of course, no one could mistake the sexy teen for a child's playmate.
Kaji grinned. It was almost sad, yet playful sort of smile. "Oh, you've just given me a good idea." The young woman blinked in puzzlement so he explained, "You see, Nabiki-chan. You've been a pretty large pain in the ass for me... although not as big of a pain as some people have. Happosai is by far larger and demands more of my time than most."
"Honto? He does?" She had not realized the two had ever met much less had had dealings.
"Hai... He keeps breaking summoning contracts with demons and then they come to me to have it settled."
"You're an arbiter, ne?" she deduced.
"Hai, you could call it that," Kaji agreed, "Of the demon variety. As such though, I can't be... evil if you will. Still, there must be balance. Tit for tat. That sort of thing." He smiled ferally and this time, it wasn't very reassuring. "But I think I've found a way to pay you back some."
"Oh yeah?" Nabiki questioned while crossing her arms over her chest, "How?"
"Iie, Nabiki-chan. I'm going to place you under the authority of one of the people you torment the most, that being one Ranma Saotome."
"I see... You mean to compel me to fulfill our fathers' marriage contract, ne? Being his wife would be a pain," Nabiki remarked smoothly, "But I could handle it." She immediately began scheming to turn it to her advantage. 'Hai, I already have Ranma eating out of my hand.' And she had to admit, the young martial artist was handsome and respected. It was Ranma's lack of money or ambition that was the problem but, under her tutelage, she could mold him into something acceptable if she were forced to. First things first. 'This baka dress has got to go.' She felt like she was on display at some hentai cosplay convention. "Let's get this over with, Kaji. I assume you'll work it so my imouto will accept it and..."
"I'm afraid you misunderstand, my dear Nabiki-chan," the old man corrected, "Not his wife. His musume." Before the seventeen year old could protest, the demon raised his hands and snapped his fingers again.
# # # # #
Curses and struggles, by the young woman within, against the sentient vines encasing her betrayed nothing more than faint muffles beyond. Within its muted darkness, she could feel the change commence. 'Damn it!' She braced herself. It didn't hurt, at least not physically. In fact, it felt like gentle tickling as her skin flowed and rippled.
Her mind grew increasingly anxious. It was aware of her arms thinning, shortening, while her hands grew correspondingly smaller as well. She held up her hand in front of her face. She watched, as its slender manicured fingers became stubby, less elongated, losing their adult adornments. Her brain tried to deny what was happening as her legs started consuming less space within her vine prison, reducing her already average stature to something well below what a person of her true age should be. Her dress and her shoes already felt a few sizes too large. She prayed that it would stop; it didn't.
A moment later, the true horror of her situation came when she realized her firm mature form was losing its sensuous curves. Slowly, painfully, Nabiki watched with her inner eye as her chest flattened in such a way that it reminded her of balloons deflating. Her once perfect, and to her mind alluring curves, vanished as her body reverted back to that of her childhood.
Then the tickling stopped. Nabiki Tendo could not tell how young she was now. However, if the former cosplay outfit, which had morphed and shrunk into a set of pajamas, was any indication, she was of elementary school age.
After a time, she stopped struggling inside her cocoon. 'This is fruitless.' The middle Tendo daughter had never been the physical sort. That was her little sister Akane's forte. Nabiki had always preferred to entice others to do her bidding. That became easier as she flowered into womanhood but it wasn't just her body. She was no bimbo like Shampoo. No, Nabiki had always used her sharp calculating mind to affect. She reassured herself that child or not, she could devise a way out of this predicament.
That would have to wait. The transformation had been draining. Her mind felt unusually sluggish and sleepy. Deciding to rest for a moment to gather her thoughts, Nabiki closed her eyes and considered what she felt. It was hot... not warm. She felt oddly secure - safe was perhaps a better word. Shifting about, she drifted deeper into her thoughts. Hazy pictures came floating to her mind. Images that should not be real but they seemed to be real, nevertheless.
# # # # #
Slowly, Nabiki Tendo drifted back into wakefulness. She frowned slightly as she heard someone calling her. It sounded strange because no one usually called her. "Nabiki." The voice grew clearer. "You'll be late if..." The voice didn't continue as Nabiki jerked awake.
'Late!' the teen thought, 'I can't be late! Why didn't my alarm clock go off?' There were things she had to get done today before her classes at Furinkan High School began. She jerked upright but immediately regretted it. With a yelp of surprise, she toppled out of bed amid a tangle of arms, legs, and blankets. "Owie..." Nabiki grumbled as she rubbed her rear.
"Oh Na-chan," the voice cooed with both affection and amusement, "That's what you get for sleeping so close to the edge. Are you okay?"
"Hai." She tried to search around for the source of the voice but all she could see was a mass of pink. The mass quickly vanished as the owner of the voice pulled the bed clothing away from her. 'It was a dream!' Nabiki assured herself, 'I must have eaten some of Akane's cooking again.' She grimaced then.
"What's the matter?" Kasumi asked.
Nabiki went to say, "Nothing Onee-chan," but it came out as, "Nothing Mommy." Nabiki blinked, and tried to frown at her confusion, but her body seemed to think that it was a quite natural thing so didn't.
"Well come on, sleepyhead. We need to get you up and dressed. Your daddy's been waiting for breakfast since six." Nabiki found herself grinning and then giggling as Kasumi hefted her into the air and then into a hug. "Oh my, you're getting big." While one part of her mind, a part that seemed very alien to her, soaked up the warm feeling that being hugged was generating and returned the hug back.
Meanwhile, the rest of Nabiki's brain was recoiling at all the pink, light rose, and cream white theme in her once beautiful and organized bedroom. The only things she was able to really note before her sister settled her back onto her feet were that her desk was smaller and so was her bed.
"Now, Na-chan, go wash up and then come downstairs for breakfast. I'll lay out your fuku for later."
Nabiki obeyed the command, if only to be alone and ponder over what was happening. It was only as she stepped away from Kasumi that she noticed that her older sister was a lot bigger than she remembered. She only stood about waist-high to her sister. There was something else. The former teen frowned and stared hard up at Kasumi who was now busy making up the bed. 'She looks older,' Nabiki observed.
"Nani? What is it, Musume?" Kasumi asked while looking over her shoulder.
"Nothing Mommy," her voice robotically responded and then much to the Nabiki's annoyance, her young body skipped from her bedroom and down the hall.
# # # # #
Once in the privacy of the bathroom, Nabiki took the opportunity to examine herself. It was then that the full horror of Kaji's punishment struck her, or more precisely, the full horror only struck a small part of her brain. The majority of it wanted to know what the big deal was. Not only had she lost her womanly curves, not only was she as flat as a board, but by all outward indications, she had been regressed before puberty. If she had to guess, and Nabiki wasn't one for blatant guessing unless there was profit in it, she figured herself to be about seven years old. 'Iie, eight... Nani? Eight? Hai, that's right.' Although her recollections of what she looked when she really that age made her think she was freshly turned eight. 'At least, I'm not a baby.' That was some consolation.
A bigger surprise was her hair. It wasn't short and cut into an alluring fashion. Instead, she had very long hair that cascaded down to the small of her back. The former teen spent some time looking that part over. She'd never sported long hair, even as child. 'Damn you, Kaji!' It made her look cute, not sophisticated. Further examination was interrupted by a very urgent need to relieve herself. After that, she could hear Kasumi... Mommy calling her in a slightly irritated voice to come and have breakfast.
"In a minute, Mommy!" 'Kami-sama, I hate these baka things!' Nabiki grumbled to herself as she adjusted the rather disgusting, cavity-inducing pajamas into place before washing her hands. The pajamas were a single piece set that was warm and fuzzy. The legs ended about an inch up from her ankle and had little white flowers stitched about the hem. The buttons were large pink hearts, which fitted through equally large buttonholes. The worse feature about this set of pajamas was the fact that it had a hood that sported two floppy rabbit ears and the back had a fuzzy pink tail. 'At least they're soft,' Nabiki conceded as she pushed the last squashy button through its respective hole.
She left the bathroom and made her way into the dining room where the rest of the family was gathered for breakfast at a low table. Other than seeming bigger, her father and Genma looked normal, as did Akane except her hair looked like it did before she started wearing it short.
Her heart skipped a beat when she got to Ranma. The teenaged Ranma had always been something nice to look at but the adult, mature Ranma was in another class entirely. 'Sugoi! Maybe I was too hasty letting Akane have a free hand.' Before Nabiki realized it, she was running forward shouting, "Ohayo Daddy!" The twenty-something martial artist, apparently not puzzled by the declaration but instead expecting it, turned in time for Nabiki to wrap her small arms around his neck in a hug.
He hugged her back and rumpled the hair on the top of her head. She wasn't sure this was so bad. "My little sleepyhead's finally got out of bed, ne?"
"Da-ddy!" Nabiki protested then giggled.
"She's picking up Akane's habits," Kasumi interjected as she placed a glass of milk before daughter. "You've already missed five minutes of your favorite anime."
"Nabiki-chan, don't listen to your mom." Akane winked. "Being able to sleep in is a very nice thing. Just ask your dad."
The little girl, however, wasn't paying attention. Her eyes were glued to the television watching some stupid talking bunnies. Unfortunately, this really wasn't what the teen Nabiki desired. She wanted some answers but seemed helpless to get them. 'It's like flying in a plane with only an autopilot and nothing else,' the teen thought to herself. She was startled by a voice from inside her head, a younger one, who snapped, 'Shut up! We're watching Miko-chan!'
# # # # #
By the time the anime episode was over, the small part that had been Nabiki Tendo, seventeen year old, realized two important things. One, she'd managed to eat breakfast without noticing, nor even knowing, what she had eaten. Two, and to Nabiki's thinking, a much more disturbing revelation was that she absolutely loved bunnies, especially Miko-chan and her twin brother Niko-chan. They were so cute and adventurous.
Moreover, despite her fervent desire to go demand answers from the others, she found herself happily following her new mother out of the room then up to her room. There she noticed an elementary school uniform laid out on the bed. 'Safety pylon!' This was definitely not her expected (and reasonably fashionable) Furinkan High School wear. Nabiki mentally recoiled at the sight of it. 'Kami-sama! Don't tell me I have to wear that baka thing.' The younger voice, however, disagreed, 'We like it. It's really pretty!'
Her new school uniform was a four-piece affair. The blouse was a bright white. Over it was a vibrant yellow vest with green pips. The pleated skirt was a bright, eye-blinding orange. Topping it off was a yellow beret with what apparently was the school crest attached to its front.
Nabiki's ability to investigate what Kaji had down to her room was severely hampered by the fact that Kasumi was behind her brushing out her hair and putting it into two long flowing pigtails that poked out from either side of her head. The finishing touch was the addition of two while ribbons to hold them in place. 'Kami-sama, if anybody sees me like this, I'm gonna die!' Nabiki wailed to herself. 'Minako-chan likes our hair ribbons... and so do I,' the younger voice commented. The teen part of the youngster wanted to find a wall somewhere to bash her head against.
Much to Nabiki's chagrin, her mother stayed in the room to make sure she "didn't dawdle". This had the young girl blushing, and not because she was feeling for her modesty. The fact was that Nabiki was blushing because Kasumi had given the reason for staying in a disapproving tone. The little girl felt guilty about dawdling.
'This is baka!' Nabiki grumbled to herself, the younger voice remarked, 'No, it ain't!' As she dressed, she finally could take a moment to look about her room. It was certainly a little girl's room, and most of it was in a pink and cream white motif. A few stuffed animals, dolls, and other toys could be seen scattered about. There was a large stuffed Pikachu sitting on her pillow and as she looked at it, she couldn't help but grin - after all, it was after all her favorite.
"Better get going, Na-chan," Kasumi insisted, "Or else Akane won't walk to school with you."
Nabiki gave a yelp of surprise and ran out of the room at breakneck speed shouting, "Oba-chan! Wait for me!" She skidded along the wood floors and nearly fell down the stairs at the pace that she was taking them. The teen part of Nabiki inwardly cringed at the thought of the bumps and bruises she'd have but she was more than a little relieved when Ranma plucked her out of midair halfway through a fall and hugged her.
"Do it again, Daddy!" Nabiki shouted in a giggly sort of way and hugged her father.
"No time... You have a good day at school, Musume."
"Well," Akane remarked, "Get your shoes on, Nabiki-chan, or we'll both be late for school." The youngster squirmed out of her father's arms and scampered to comply.
# # # # #
Nabiki snuggled into her warm coat, pulled on her school backpack over it, adjusted her pigtails, and tucked her nose into the pink scarf she was wearing. 'What time of year is it? It's pretty cold and there's snow still around,' she wondered as she walked along with her sister. Although much of it was no more than frozen mud and dead grass. 'Well?' She prompted the young voice for an answer but it was too busy prattling to Akane about what she had to do at school that day.
"We gots math first thing, Oba-chan... and Masada-sensei always gives us quizzes on Fridays."
"Kinda mean, ne?" Akane asked. The eight year old nodded. "You should ask her to do it on Monday instead."
"Nuhuh, I couldn't do that!" Nabiki replied, sounding horrified at the mere prospect of such a bold thing. 'Why not?' the teen part of her demanded.
Either Akane was a mind reader or she wanted to know why her niece would react so strongly to such a suggestion. 'Wish she had a little more backbone,' Akane thought before asking, "Why not? I don't think she'd take your head off, Na-chan."
"Sensei's SCARY!" Nabiki breathed out, her breath came out in a visible cloud of frosted air. "She rides a BIG motorcycle!" She spread her arms out wide. The little girl then changed the subject, as if wanting to avoid any further mention of a math quiz. "Then we gots Japanese and then music."
Nabiki found herself listening intently to the small voice detailing her upcoming school day to Akane. 'Knowledge is power,' she proudly thought. This had been her motto throughout her seventeen years. At least, Kaji hadn't changed that aspect of her personality. However, she got a puzzled feeling back from what she was starting to know as her younger self. When they reached the school gates of Oizumi Elementary School, Nabiki hugged her aunt good-bye and then skipped into the schoolyard in search of her friends.
The teen Nabiki was thinking sadly of Yuriko and her other high school friends as she wandered by the various children meandering about, all wearing the same brightly-colored uniform as hers. 'None of my friends is here.' Then it was immediately countered, 'Hai, they are! They're in the same class as me.' She internally gritted her teeth. She really hated this "passenger in her own body" bit. 'Well, we're in grade three, ne?' She got the impression that her little friend would have liked to be in third grade. 'We're in Grade 2. Class 2-2 and... Ah shit!' The little girl froze in the middle of the schoolyard and looked around guiltily. 'Don't say naughty words!' the younger portion of Nabiki demanded, 'Or else you'll get us into trouble!' Fortunately, her friends spotted her and took her strange behavior as looking for them.
"Ohayo Na-chan!" one girl with pretty green eyes and blond hair called and waved, "Over here!" The youngster smiled and waved back before quickly skipping over to her friend. "So?" the little girl prompted. Upon getting closer, she noticed that Minako was taller than she was and sported a red hair bow in her golden locks.
"Nani?" Nabiki asked puzzled.
"Did you watch this morning?"
"Hai!" Nabiki chirped excitedly. "Niko-chan was very naughty today, Minako-chan. He..." She continued her critique as the pair walked toward their shoe lockers. The teen who was Nabiki Tendo sighed and resigned herself to listen to her younger self blather on about the pair of anthropomorphic bunnies. Well, it might not be that bad.
End of Chapter 1
Coming next in Chapter 2 - Unwilling Passenger
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