By Ten-Faced Paladin
Chapter 6: Body and Soul
Ranma was busy practising in the dojo since early in the morning. He had a really bizzare dream concerning his girl half and Kuno. He was in his girl form in a giant pool of water and a Godzilla sized Kuno had picked him up. It didn't help that he was proclaiming his love for her while she was naked. Ranma had actually woke up screaming from that particular dream.
"This is just perfect," Ranma grumbled to himself as he went through his katas again. "The pervert is obsessed with Akane and now he's got his sights on me. Just freaking perfect."
He was interrupted from his muttering by Kasumi as she opened the dojo doors. Ranma stopped his katas so he could pay more attention to her.
"Breakfast is ready Ranma," she smiled. "The furo should be ready after you're finished too."
"Thanks Kasumi," Ranma smiled. "I'll be inside in a minute."
Ranma entered the household and sat himself down at the table. He didn't notice that Nabiki was sending glances his way. he was too busy making sure that his father didn't snatch anything from off of his plate. Akane did notice however and she was rather confused about her sister's actions. Nabiki never really seemed unsure about anything, until now anyway.
"Um...Ranma?" Nabiki asked at long last. "Mind if I ask you something?"
Ranma looked up from where he had his father's chopsticks at his mercy.
"Sure Nabiki," Ranma replied. "What?"
Nabiki reached into her schoolbag and pulled out a small number of photos. She looked at them before passing them over to him. Ranma picked up the photos and his eyes widened in shock. They were all photos of him...more specifically, her. They were all pictures of Ranma in his girl form with a in a number of positions where a large amount of clevage was showing. Like when Kasumi accidentally sprayed her with the hose or when she was taking her shirt off to go to the furo and forgot that she was in girl form.
"Hey!" Ranma frowned. "I'm asleep in two of these! Why'd you take these?"
"Nabiki has a few services at school," Akane replied. "She takes pictures of people for a fee."
"Really?" Ranma asked in surprise.
"Um...yeah," Nabiki nodded. "I just thought I'd ask you first."
Ranma looked at Nabiki and then back down at the pictures. He already knew that Nabiki was in charge of the dojo's budget. He also knew that there was no way he was going to freeload here. He was just hoping that he could get a job or something. Not participate in photo shoots of this caliber.
'Well, no one can say I have femenine modesty,' Ranma thought to himself. "I guess since you already took them you might as well. Thanks for asking though."
Nabiki saw the smile on Ranma's face and she felt a wave of relief. She didn't know why she felt that she needed to ask him in the first place. It was probably because he might end up being her future husband. That little thought almost brought a Kasumi-like smile to her face.
"All I want in return is a ten percent cut of this and all future events concerning me. Betting, pictures, info, whatever," Ranma smirked.
Nabiki broke into her own ice queen smirk. Now Ranma was going into her art. The poor boy wouldn't know what hit him.
"Five percent," she replied with a sly smile.
"Nine percent," Ranma offered.
Nabiki felt her smile grow. Ranma was defnitely ready to hold his own. This was going to be fun.
"Six percent," she pressed.
"Eight," Ranma replied without showing a bit of nervousness.
Nabiki and Ranma both looked at each other. Both of them had a confident smirk on their faces. They both were not going to back down and relent. Nabiki really started feeling nice inside. Here was a boy who could match her. Maybe not in intelligence, but when it came to craftiness, Ranma seemed to be ready to compete with her. With both of them having that kind of attitude, there was only one way to go.
"Seven," they both said at the same time.
"Pleasure doing business with you," Nabiki smiled.
"Likewise," Ranma smiled brightly, causing Nabiki to blush slightly.
However, Soun and Genma noticed and had their various reactions. Soun broke into tears about how his little girl was warming up to her fiancee and Genma grinned in anticipation of his retirement fund...er, the unification of the schools.
Ranma, Akane, and Nabiki were running for the school gates. They were held up by that old lady who splashed Ranma before. As they came closer, they saw the hentai horde coming at them again.
"Don't these pervs ever learn?" Ranma sighed.
"They never do," Akane growled.
Ranma and Akane raced forward at the hentai horde again. When they reached them, they battered the boys aside before any of them could even send out a proper attack. When the horde was dealt with, they could see Kuno running towards them.
"Attack!" he roared dramatically.
He didn't even make it close enough to slash at them once. Ranma and Akane leaped into the air and both of them planted a foot in his face. The swordsman was put to the ground in a slump and he had swirls in his eyes. Not to mention that he had shoe impressions on his face.
"Why'd you do that?" Akane asked sourly. "Kuno was mine!"
"We had a score to settle," Ranma replied darkly. "I'll explain later."
Nabiki was enjoying her drink as she went through the usual lunch that Kasumi made for her. It was good as always. She was also feeling pretty good. The pictures of Ranma's girl side would haul in a nice profit. Especially the ones where she was taking off her shirt. The perverts at the school wouldn't know what hit them.
Her attention was diverted from her business when a panda doll was plopped onto her desk. She blinked at it in confusion before looking up to see Kuno standing nearby, looking embarrassed for some reason.
"What is this?" she asked.
"A present," Kuno replied simply.
Nabiki picked up the panda and examined it. It was rather cute. She sighed before tossing the plush doll back into Kuno's hands.
"Sorry. Not my style," she asnwered.
Not entirely true on her part. She was just as much a girl as her sisters. She liked the odd stuffed toy now and then. She just didn't want one from Kuno. She'd much rather get one from Ranma. She'd definitely keep it if he had given it to her.
"I am not offering it to you, Nabiki Tendo!" Kuno replied sharply.
Nabiki started sipping from her juice box again as she turned her attention to Kuno. It helped to at least look like you were listening to him. That way, he'd leave that much faster.
"This sweet treasure I save for my pigtailed goddess!" Kuno exclaimed dramatically.
Nabiki immediately spit out the juice in her mouth. There was only one girl she knew that had a pigtail. It was all she could do to stop herself from both gagging and laughing at the same time. Unfortunately, Kuno was in the way of Nabiki's projectile juice.
"Now look what you made me do," Nabiki gasped, trying to keep her composure.
"What...I...made you do?" Kuno asked, shivering in anger.
Nabiki suddenly had an idea. Reaching into her bag, she pullled out the pictures and held up one of the least revealing ones.
"This your girl?" she asked with a smirk.
"Oh!" Kuno gasped. "So you do know of my goddess!"
"Yep," Nabiki nodded, spreading the set of pictures on the table. "A set of five for 3000 Yen. How 'bout it?"
Kuno grasped the pictures and gazed at them hungrily. Nabiki could swear she could see the perverted hormones churning in the air around him.
"She is so...so..so...defenceless!" Kuno huffed.
Nabiki just refused to comment as she counted the money Kuno had slapped onto her desk. Even if Ranma had given her permission to sell the photos, she still felt a little low about selling them to Kuno of all people.
"You're a real piece of work you know?" Nabiki huffed. "I mean, dropping Akane just like that."
"Dropping her?" Kuno asked. "Whatever do you mean?"
Nabiki glared at Kuno with her patented 'Ice Queen' glare. Everyone except for Kuno in the room swore that the temperature had dropped a couple of degrees.
"Don't tell me you're planning on two-timing her," Nabiki growled. "I can tell you that once the pig-tailed girl gets through with you for making a pass at her, Akane will beat you for good measure."
"Hmm," Kuno muttered. "You seem to know my goddess well. What do you know of her?"
"2000 Yen," Nabiki replied. Kuno eagerly slapped the money down. "Okay. She isn't intersted in guys. She's also a powerful fighter, which I'm sure you remember. If you want to give her that panda, then go to Ranma. He knows her better than anyone. So, are you going to two-time my sister?"
"Don't be vulgar," Kuno remarked. "Akane, who is so pure and tidy. The pigtailed girl who is bursting with healthy beauty. Both are just so precious that I cannot give up either. How can you call it deciet when I so openly wish them both?"
"I call it two-timing!" Nabiki snapped as she slapped more photos onto the desk.
The photos were not of Ranma this time. They were of Akane in her various workouts. Some of them depicted her breaking concrete blocks and others were were she was lifting weights or punching something.
"Set of five for 3000 Yen," Nabiki stated.
"Such ferocity!" Kuno gasped as he gazed at the photos. "Sold."
Nabiki collected the money and counted it. She already had to subtract Ranma's cut for the other photos and the information. She was happy to see that even with that, she was still making a healthy profit. Kuno had left the room in a hurry. He was clutching the panda tightly in one hand and the photos in the other. She watched him go and shook her head with a sigh.
"Gonna have to drag him to the nurse's office again." she sighed to herelf.
Outside, Ranma was eating lunch with Akane and her friends. They were all chatting and talking about recent events. Sadly Ranma wasn't fully up to speed with the conversation. Being on the road for ten years affected one's social skills and perception of recent events in a rather negative way.
He was munching on his bento when Sayuri noticed Kuno walking towards them. She looked up to Ranma who was sitting in the tree above them.
"Hey Ranma," she called. "Kuno's coming. I think he might want another fight."
"Then why's he holding a stuffed panda?" asked Yuka.
"Probably wants to give it to Akane," Ranma shrugged as he swallowed some rice.
"Ew," Akane shivered. "He can keep it."
"Yeah," Yuka nodded before smiling mischeviously. "You'd probably want Ranma to be the one to give it to you anyway."
"Yuka!" Akane snapped with a slight tinge coming to her face.
Ranma smiled as he leaped down from the tree just as Kuno came up to them.
"Yo Kuno," Ranma waved. "Wassup?"
"That's upperclassman to you," Kuno frowned. "I wish to have a word with you Saotome. Follow me."
With that, both boys took off for a more private spot. Ranma wasn't entirely sure what was going on but he was secretly hoping for another chance to kick Kuno's butt. He had been bored all day and really needed something to do.
The two walked to the side of the school and quiet reigned for a few moments. Kuno then suddenly tossed the stuffeed panda into Ranma's arms. Ranma couldn't help but stare at the stuffed toy in his arms.
"Now," Kuno finally spoke. "Tell me why I must give this to you."
"Come again?" asked Ranma, now thouroughly confused.
"I have been told from one Nabiki Tendo that if I desire to give this to my pig-tailed goddess then I should hand it to you."
"She did, did she?" Ranma sighed. He was going to have to tell Nabiki what happened.
"Now, how do you know my pig-tailed goddess?!" Kuno demanded sharply.
Ranma sighed. He had to consider the best way to get out of this. Usually he would have just kicked Kuno's butt again but the guy seemed to love pain. He'd have to use his head.
"Just forget about her," Ranma sighed as he turned to leave. "It's not like you could get her anyway."
"What?!" Kuno shouted. "There is no woman that can withstand the charms of Tatewaki Kuno!"
"She can," Ranma smirked. "Many men have tried and failed to gain her affections."
Kuno ran to Ranma and gripped his shoulders to turn him around. He looked ready to explode.
"Such men are unworthy of her!" he shouted. "Such a goddess could onlybe captured by a truly noble heart! A heart that beats within me!"
'This guy's delusional,' Ranma thought to himself before glancing at the panda in his hands. 'I wonder if Nabiki would like this.'
"Saotome!" Kuno called. "Tell me of my pig-tailed goddess! What must I do to win her?"
'Damn, he's desperate,' Ranma frowned. "Okay Kuno, I'll give you some info, but you're not going to like it."
"Any news of my goddess cannot be bad!" Kuno stated. "She is too wonderful to have any such blemish upon her."
Ranma felt a shiver run down his spine. If he did get near him in girl form then who knows what kind of perverted trickes he was going to try and pull. Ranma figured it was best to make it plain that 'the pig-tailed girl' was out of bounds.
"Sorry to say Kuno, but she does not desire men," Ranma finally spoke. "She's a lesbian."
"What?!" Kuno gasped. "Surely you jest Saotome! Such a beauty cannot have such tendancies!"
"It's true Kuno," Ranma shrugged. "I know that better than anyone."
Kuno's eyes narrowed as he had his own deluded form of relization. To him, the answer was so obviously clear. His goddess could not have such tastes. It was just not possible.
"It is all clear," Kuno spoke darkly. "My goddess has been enslaved by a foul sorcerer who wishes to keep her to himself. The fiend!"
"Huh?" Ranma gaped. "Did I hear you right?"
"Indeed Saotome!" Kuno nodded. "I beseech thee! You are a martial artist as well! We must join forces and rescue this fair maiden!"
"We do?" Ranma asked, now more confused than ever.
"Of course!" Kuno cried dramatically. "Oh how terrible. For everymoent we hesitate the pig-tailed girl is forced deeper into her loveless oblivion. What fiend would do this to such a goddess?!"
"You got me," Ranma shrugged. "Okay then. I'll..uh..start looking for her then."
"Indeed Saotome!" Kuno nodded. "We must act quickly!"
Ranma nodded and walked around the corner of the building. His mind was reeling. He was now officially conscritped by Kuno to 'rescue' his girl half. The guy was the poster child for delusion. No doubt about it. He was still considering the panda doll he had in his hand. He had given the flowers to Kasumi so he decided that this should probably go to either Akane or Nabiki. If they even wanted it knowing it had been in Kuno's hands.
While he was musing to himself, a student threw a pail of water out the window and it's contents splashed over Ranma. She shivered in rage about it. The timing was just awful.
"Saotome?" Kuno asked, hearing the clatter.
Ranam imediately stiffeneed and leaped into a nearby tree to avoid him. He looked around in all directions to see what had happened.
"Ah, Saotomoe is indeed honorable," Kuno grinned. "He has already set off in search of the goddess. I must show equal commitment!"
He slashed his bokken for added show,even if no one was there to see it. He did actually manage to cut the limboff the very tree that Ranma was sitting in. Actually, the very limb that she was sitting on. With a loud crash, both Ranma and the limb felll to the ground.
"Hn?" Kuno grunted.
He was greeted by the visage of Ranma tightening her belt. She had an annoyed expression on her face.
"My goddess!" Kuno gasped while leaping for a hug.
"Hold it buddy!" Ranma said sharply while she planted a fist in his face. "Don't touch me!"
"Of course," Kuno said sadly. "I know of your binding to a foul sorcerer. I beseech thee my goddess, tell me the foul sorcorer's name! Then I shall free you from your curse!"
"I am not cursed!" Ranma shouted heatedly. 'At least not in the way you think.'
"That's a matter of opinon," a third voice spoke.
Kuno and Ranma turned to see Nabiki standing there with an amused smile on her face. She was also holding a kettle of hot water.
"Ah, Nabiki Tendo," Kuno spoke in slight surprise. "Your timing is indeed perfect as I have need for your services."
"Really?" Nabiki asked with a slight smile, guessing who was going to be part of that request. "I'm all ears then."
"I have found that my goddess has been cursed by some fiend!" Kuno said in another dramatic tone. "I need you to assist myself and Saotome in tracking down this monster."
It was at that moment that Nabiki's mask almost broke into a fit of laughter. Ranma scowled at Kuno as he went into his shakespearian explanation of the foul beast who cursed his love. After he finished, he turned his attentions back to Ranma.
"Do not worry my pig-tailed goddess!" Kuno said while taking her hands. "Ranma Saotome and I shall destroy the fiend who has cursed thee!"
He then proceeded to run of with a srange laugh. It sent shivers down Ranma's spine. Nabiki just watched the entire spectacle with mirth in her eyes. Ranma turned to her with a confused loook soon coming over her.
"Did what just happen really happen?" Ranma asked in slight confusion.
"Seems like it," Nabiki smiled. "Seems like Kuno conscripted your boy half into saving your girl half."
"You aren't going to blackmail me or anything are you?" Ranma asked with slight fear in her voice.
"Oh, I don't know," Nabiki replied in mock consideration. "Maybe a date will help me forget?"
Nabiki then stopped herself. Her mask was suddenly at it's breaking point. Why did she say that? She usually went for the money. What the heck was wrong with her? Before she could even take it back, Ranma already was giving a reply.
"Sure," Ranma smiled. "I'll even give you some collateral."
"Huh?" Was all Nabiki could squeak out before Ranma pressed the stuffed panda in her arms.
"I know Kuno wanted to give it to me," Ranma spoke. "But I think it would have a better home with you than it would me. Pops would just tear it up calling me a weak girl anyway."
With that, Ranma took the kettle of water from Nabiki and poured it over herself as she walked back to the others, quickly returning to normal. Nabiki just watched him go, her mind reeling and the panda clutched in her arms. When he was out of sight, her mask finally broke. She squeezed the panda tighter and attempted to hide her face as it went into a gorgeous blush.
'I'm going on a date with Ranma!' a girlish voice in Nabiki's head squeled in delight.
Unknown to her, someone was watching. Akane's mouth was hanging wide open as she saw the exchange. She had snuck around the other side of the building to spy on Kuno and Ranma. She thought the exchange between them was funny, but seeing Nabiki ask for a date and then break out into a blush like that almost floored her.
How did Ranma manage to thaw her sister the ice queen?
To Be Continued
A/N: God! I finally did it! I am soooooo sorry for not updating sooner. Work is piling up at school and mid-terms are coming up. Free time I have not had a lot of. I hope you can forgive me though.