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"Beneath A Crimson Sky"

All he could think about was, "if the boy dies so will I". The thought churned through the panda's head as he ran. Why did he make such an idiotic promise to his wife? If he came back without his son he was certainly going to have to hold up his side of the bargain. He wasn't quite ready to give up and slide a two foot long piece of razor sharp steel into his stomach thought.

Hope shined brightly when the local villagers told him of a temple in the mountains where it is said the monks can cure any disease and even resurrect the dead. It was a long shot, but the man knew it was his only shot. So, he picked up his son, who was danging on the verge of death, and hiked with him secured on his back the eighty or so kilometers into the mountains to find this temple. After several long days of travel, and many cold nights with little to eat he finally saw something in the mist. It was a huge building built into the immense wall of a great mountain. As he approached the monks in their gray robes came out and took the boy inside straight away.

The father was lead into a waiting area where he was given a meal and someplace warm to sleep. The monks spoke not a word to him and didn't answer his questions about his son until the next day.

Saotome Genma sat in the waiting area. One of the monks had come and said the head of their order would come to speak with him soon. His wait was not long. A tall man with a long beard that ran down to his waist entered the room. He wore a gray robe like the other monks, but his eyes shinned with power and authority. Certainly this had to be the head of the order, thought Genma.

"There is nothing we can do for the boy. He had already been turned." the man told him fluent Nihongo.

"Nani! But I was told you could cure any disease and even resurrect the dead!" Genma roared, but his expression was that of shock and horror. Shock over hearing his son was dead, and the horror of what he would face upon his return to Japan.

The old monk shook his head. "I am afraid you do not quite understand, what was wrong with your son was not an illness, poison or disease." he said.

"What do you mean?" Genma inquired.

The old monk turned and gestured towards the door. Genma's eyes widened as it opened slowly to reveal his son. A surge of joy raced through the man and he leapt forward to grab him into a great hug. He wasn't going to have to commit seppoku after all.

The old monk stopped him with one hand. It was amazing how strong the little man was. "Do not approach. He is young and doesn't understand yet what he might do. It is best that he remains so that we may train him." he told Genma.

"But, he has obligations, and we're supposed to return to Japan." Genma stammered. The old monk looked at him. Genma couldn't turn away, it was like those eyes were peering into the very depths of his soul. Little did he know that is exactly what they were doing.

"Fear not, your giri with the Tendo clan will be upheld." said the monk.

"How did you ..." started Genma.

"Return in one months time. After that he will be ready to go with you to Japan." said the monk. He leveled a stare at the balding man that filled him with a sudden irrational fear. "Do not return here until then." he told him.

Something about those words were so compelling. Genma did as requested, and though he tried many times to go against those words he could not for the life of him make himself do it. When one month passed he felt safe to return. He was escorted into the temple again by another monk to his son. Ranma had changed, he'd never seen his son look so fit, so powerful. It was a bit frightening in a way. Something about all of this was not right, all of Genma's instincts told him that, but there was his son with his backpack ready to continue their training trip. Yet, also despite this uneasy feeling this place, the temple, had a feeling of great peace about it.

The leader of the order came forward and handed Ranma something. Genma tried to get a good look at it and discovered it was a ring. A ring decorated by a band of red gems that completely encircled it. The value of such a thing, if the gems were indeed real, had to be very high. Yet as he thought about how to get it away from his son the balding martial artist suddenly heard a voice, the voice of his son, yet the pigtailed youth didn't move his lips.

"Don't even think about it Oyagi." he heard in his head, in his son's voice. Genma took a step back in shock.

He turned to old monk and roared, "What have you done to my son?"

The monk stood calmly and replied, "''We'' did nothing except aid you son. This path he is now on was chosen for him by another against his wishes, yet we have taught him a better way to travel it."

"You're not making any sense." said Genma.

"He doesn't know what happened to me, does he Hang Lee-sensei?" asked Ranma, this time by speaking aloud.

The old monk, Hang Lee, sighed and said, "No, but he is your father so he should be told the truth. Whether he accepts it or not is up to him."

"I don't understand." said Genma who was now looking at his son.

Ranma sighed, turned to his father, "Ok, think back oyagi to when we visited Josenkyo. It was the day after we got cursed and visited that crazy Amazon village. Remember it was a stormy night ..."

Chapter One

Nerima-ku was a small suburb of Tokyo, Japan nestled between Setagaya-ku and Adachi-ku. It wasn't a very large town, nor was it a particularly important one either. Like many Tokyo suburbs its streets were narrow, many were restricted to pedestrian traffic, but there were a few larger thoroughfares. Like most major cities on the main island of Honshu, Tokyo had to suffer through the long months of the rainy season that came just before summer. It was like the Kami themselves opened the windows of heaven and turned the faucets on full blast.

Most Tokyoites tended to ignore the weather. Having lived with the rainy season all their lives it just came as one of those things you just had to deal with like overcrowded stores, hentai groping young girls on the subway and congested traffic. People tended to just ignore these things until they became so much of a problem they had to do something about it. Well, they couldn't do anything about the rain. They did make a woman's only subway car so young girls wouldn't get groped on the way to and from school, and the government was promoting the use of public transportation for people who needed to commute to work or school. Many companies were offering employees work-at-home options.

None of these things crossed the mind of Saotome Ranma as "she" walked down the rainy streets of Nerima. Oh, she'd been groped a few times on the subway getting here. She did her part to reform a few of the hentai, especially the one who fondled her breasts from behind. He wouldn't have use of that hand for a month or so. No, her thoughts were on her father's.

Saotome Genma walked beside her. Despite the fact that Tokyo was a city that saw its fair share of strange things, seeing a Giant Panda walking upright on the crowded streets of Nerima scored high on most people's weird-shit-o-meter. To say that he was nervous though was a major understatement. Like saying that Osama Bin Laudin was a bad man. He looked over at his son turned daughter and shivered. She reacted rather well to learning the truth behind their visit to this city. Of course, he didn't say a word to her about it. She heard it in his mind, and that's what frightened him the most. There wasn't anything he could keep secret from Ranma, at least not since the incident in China. Genma was hopeful, at least Ranma hadn't turned down the idea and actually seemed rather excited about it.

Ranma knew why his father wanted to come to Nerima a long time ago. He knew the day he was reunited with his father for the first time. The baka had no mental defenses to speak of so he was like an open book waiting to be read. Problem was, most of what was there wasn't worth looking at. Most of Genma's memories weren't meant to be seen by most men and/or beasts. Ranma had hoped that his father had at least a passing idea of what sort of situation he walking into, but he didn't have a clue.

So, here he, she, was walking down the streets of Nerima soaking wet and headed for his father's best friend's home in order to fulfill family honor. The buxom redhead laughed at that. Honor, the fat baka had no concept of what honor truly was. If he did he wouldn't have done at least half the shit she knew he did either from his memories or from living with him on the road. Her oyagi was a first-class certified sonuvabitch of the highest order, and that was being generous.

What her father had in mind also wasn't really that much of a shock to Ranma either. She was used to being used by the baka, though recently things have changed and now she was well beyond his power to manipulate. She made it quite clear several nights ago that she would not take it from him anymore. The man literally almost shit himself. So, an iinazuke, eh? She liked girls, since of course she was really a he after all, and Ranma knew girls quite well. Not only did he become one with the application of cold water but unbeknown to his father he was also very familiar with the pleasures of women. The man really didn't know what happened that month back in China, he couldn't even begin to fathom the gravity of what took place there and what his son went through, nor did he really want to know.

"Oyagi, I'm only going along with this because it might be fun, and maybe this daughter of your friend is cute." she said out loud.

The panda held up a sign that read, "He has three daughters according to a letter I got from him four years ago." The man turned animal let out a sigh of relief. He was glad his son, uh, daughter was warming up to the idea. Perhaps things would turn out alright after all despite China.

She gave him a sideways glance and warned him, "Don't get your hopes up oyagi. What if they all got boyfriends or something? I ain't gonna make'm break up something special cause of some promise you two made a long time ago."

The sign in the panda's paw flipped around to reveal another message. "This is family honor. They'd have no choice." The creature actually looked smug despite the fact that most animals couldn't make facial expressions.

Ranma snorted out a laugh, "Like you're an authority on honor. HA! I kill me."

Genma produced another sign, "If they cared about the honor of their clan they'd agree to fulfill giri. Just as you must abide by the same."

The panda cringed at the sudden angry look in the redhead's eyes. "Like I said a few nights ago, I ain't gonna let you push me around no more. Understand?" She punctuated each word by poking him in the stomach with her finger. To Genma it was like getting stabbed with a red hot poker.

"If they love somebody else, I ain't gonna let this giri of yours hurt them." she added as she turned away and continued down the street.

"I know what its like to have someone force something onto you." she said so softly he almost didn't hear her.

On a small, simple street somewhere further away Tendo Soun sat at the family's kotatsu in the Tendo-ke dinning room. For a while he'd been sweating. He knew that his youngest daughter Akane probably wouldn't take this kind of news very well. She had a nasty temper and was almost always in "Boy Hating" mode. What she went through everyday at school didn't help things either and he did try to fix the problem but that only made things worse for his family. Akane's chief admirer had very good lawyers and he knew how use them. Besides, it was a good workout for her since she had become to volatile for him to actively train.

Before him sat his three daughters. His aforementioned youngest was Akane. She was a very pretty sixteen year old who was also probably one of the most popular girls in her school. The fact that a horde of hormonally charged teenage boys attacked her every morning to earn the right to take her out was testament to that. It was her chief admirer, Kuno Tatawaki, the only son of a rich Japanese family, who caused most of the problems in her life. He was the type who never listen to reason, lived in his own little fantasy world, and believed in his own disturbed delusions as fact. He was a legend in his own mind.

To her right sat his middle daughter, Nabiki. She was very beautiful Soun had to admit and looked especially good in the floral kimono she was wearing. Nabiki was popular at school for another reason than Akane. She was the bread winner for the family, and this sort of made Soun feel embarrassed. If you had a secret you wanted to protect or if you wanted to make a bet on Akane's morning battles then she was the one to see. In the Furinken High yearbook she'd likely be voted "Most Likely To Become a Yakuza Boss". Most boys were afraid of Nabiki due to her Ice Queen reputation. They weren't afraid that she'd beat them up, they feared Akane for that reason. No, they were afraid that they'd end up owing her money for the next decade or two if they messed with her. It was a real shame that most of the boys tended to overlook her. Nabiki had a figure most girls would die to possess and she was definitely prettier than her younger sister.

Sitting to the right of them was Soun's oldest daughter. Kasumi was his pride and joy, and the anchor that held his clan firmly in the river of sanity. Of his three daughters she favored their mother more. In fact she could almost pass for her twin sister. To say she was pretty would have been a "criminal" understatement. Her beauty wasn't just in her looks or her flawless figure but also in her heart and gentle soul. Just like her mother. Everyone loved Kasumi and wherever she went she brought a little bit of sunshine with her. Mists shrouding the gates to Heaven indeed. She even smiled like her mother did. Kami-sama did he miss Kimiko.

The news he just laid on them was beginning to finally sink in. Akane's first reaction was one of anger, no surprises there. Nabiki looked interested while Kasumi fretted about how old the boy was. He just got done explaining to them the giri to join the Saotome and Tendo Musabetsu Kakuto Ryu or Anything Goes School by way of marriage. One of them would become engaged to the son of his good friend Saotome Genma. The boy's name was Ranma. Nabiki had asked what Ranma was like but Soun didn't have any answers for her. He'd never met the young man before.

"Let me get this straight, you want one of 'us' to get engaged to somebody you haven't even met?" Akane asked him in an irritated tone.

"He's been training on the road with his father for the past ten years. Recently they pass through China." he told her.

Nabiki perked up at that. "Oooo, China."

With a derisive snort Akane replied, "So what's so big about going to China."

"Ara. I do hope he's older, younger men are so boring." Kasumi fretted with a worried hand on her cheek.

Nabiki had to smile. She hadn't been on a date with a boy since Junior High. "I just hope he's cute." she said while silently praying to the Kami.

"Too bad our ottosan doesn't know anything more about this Ranma." she added with an exasperated sigh. If their father was going to arrange an engagement for them she wished that he'd at least let them meet him first.

Soun was standing at the shogi doors overlooking the koi pond in the yard. He felt good, better than he had in years. At last he was going to be able to fulfill his beloved wife's dying wish. Perhaps, he thought, now would be the right time to tell them about that.

"That can be fixed, he and his father are likely going to arrive today." he replied turning to them.

"Oh wonderful." said Akane as she rolled her eyes.

He turned a serious look towards them and closed his eyes for a moment as he thought of a way to break this important piece of information to the three of them. If they knew this then perhaps Akane's attitude towards the idea might change, he hoped. Soun assumed Ranma was the same age as Akane, Genma had told him Nodoka was pregnant around the same time he found out from Kimiko that she was going to have their first child, and she was the only one of his daughters who still actively training in the martial arts. She was likely the best choice for him, but then he might choose an older woman. Nabiki was definitely very pretty and had a good business sense, and there nobody's heart was cold enough not to eventually fall in love with his beloved Kasumi. Prospects were good, the schools would be joined.

"There is something you should know." he said in a very serious tone. It caught their attention instantly. Even Akane was paying better attention.

"This engagement wasn't my idea," he continued when he saw he had their undivided attention. "It was your mother's final request. She made it before she passed away in the hospital after the accident."

Akane now had a very uncertain look on her face. Her mask of barely controlled anger was replaced by surprise and uncertainty. Soun knew that would get her, if she knew this was her mother's idea she'd rethink her opinion of the engagement in an instant. He was right. Akane's resolve melted like a candle in a blast furnace. If this was okasan's final death bed wish how could she not honor it. Despite her opinion about most boys Akane decided that she'd refrain from making any more final judgments after she meets him. Maybe, she hoped, he wasn't like the others.

Nabiki was already interested in the idea of an iinazuke. Her hope was that he was cute. So, he'd been living on the road a lot, which probably meant he was flat broke. That alone wasn't enough to deter her. A few years ago that would have shied her away from most boys, but as time passed an her loneliness increased she began to set her sights a little lower on he economic ladder. As long as he was a decent guy and cute she'd be happy.

Perhaps of the three Kasumi was effected by this announcement the most. Though she didn't show it, she felt torn up inside. This was okasan's final wish, her own personal preference for an older man would have to be thrown on the back burner, so to speak. Kimiko had made a request to her on her death bed that terrible day. She asked Kasumi to take care of the family no matter what it took. If becoming engaged to a younger boy was what was needed to help her clan she'd do it without hesitation. She loved her mother very much, thus she'd also honor her dying wish. If Akane and Nabiki passed on the engagement it would fall to her and she would have to accept or risk dishonoring her mother. She'd rather die than do that. There was another request made by Kimiko of her that same day, but it was one that Kasumi had to keep a closely guarded secret.

"This was okasan's idea?" Akane asked him, a few stray tears formed in her eyes.

Soun had a grave expression when he nodded in reply. "Hai. She and Ranma's mother Saotome Nodoka were best friends. She understood that joining our clans and our two Musabetsu Kakuto Ryu would help secure our future."

"Why didn't you tell us about this until now?" Nabiki asked him. She hated it when she was left in the dark about something.

"It was a part of the quest. She understood that some of you would resist the notion." he replied directing a look straight towards Akane. She closed her eyes and looked away trying to hold back the tears.

What Kasumi said next shocked her other two sisters and made them truly understand the gravity of the situation. "Then, one of us 'must' fulfill okasan's request or risk dishonoring okasan's memory, ne."

The last wall of resistance in Akane heart was blasted away at that revelation. Never ever would she allow her beloved mother's memory to be dishonored. Even if this Ranma was the worst hentai in the world she'd set aside her happiness if need be to honor okasan's request.

Tears welled up in the older man's eyes and he replied with a sob, "You three make me so proud."

Ding! Dong! Went the bell at the front door and the three sisters looked up with expressions ranging from excited interest to near absolute dread. Akane still looked very uncertain, but she steeled herself and followed Kasumi as she got up to answer the door.

Slowly Kasumi opened it and found herself face to face with the oddest couple she'd ever seen. The short redhead at their front door was definitely very cute, she had to admit. Like most Japanese girls she had a thing for boys with the boshimen or feminine look. But that wasn't what really surprised. It was the apparently tame giant panda standing on its hind legs beside the redhead that gave her pause.

The redhead spoke making Kasumi look at her. She found herself drawn towards those beautiful blue eyes. It was almost as if they were looking into the deepest reaches of her soul, which is exactly what they were doing.

"Sumimasen, is this Tendo-ke?" Ranma asked the very lovely young woman who answered the door. Kami-sama she's absolutely gorgeous, maybe this isn't one of oyagi's harebrained schemes after all, she said to herself.

"Hai. This is Tendo-ke. Are you Saotome Ranma?" asked Kasumi as her two sisters peer out from behind her. The redhead noticed them. Nabiki breath caught in her throat. If this was Ranma he was gorgeous beyond her wildest dreams. His beautiful blue eyes drew her in as if they were looking straight through her.

Akane couldn't take her eyes off the redhead. She'd met boshimen guys before and always found herself tongue tied until after they turned hentai on her. A few boys at school were considered hotties and every one of them was a member of the Hentai Horde that met her at the front gates of Furinken High every morning.

The redhead looked a little embarrassed, bowed and replied, "Hai. It's nice to meet you Tendo-san."

He's younger than me but seems so polite and mature. Perhaps there is hope, thought Kasumi. Soun pushed passed his eldest daughter and wrapped his arms around the "boy". Ranma's eyes went wide with surprise for a moment at being grabbed up in a hug by a stranger.

Soun sobbed, "Oh, it is so good to finally meet you, Ranma-kun." He gave the boy a gentle squeeze and his eyes suddenly shot open. Gently he gave Ranma a couple of gentle squeezes before pushing away to hold the "boy" out at arm's length. Soun started to back away with the most unusual expression on his face. Nabiki looked from her father to their visitor and examined "him" a little more closely.

How she missed the very noticeable pair of large bulges on their visitor's chest she wasn't sure. Tentatively she reached out and gave them a good grope. Ranma's eyes went wide at the bold move when her expression turn to a rye smile. Nabiki caught on instantly, she was the type who took stock in noticing things like this and let her hand fall away. They were real, there was no doubt about that, and worst of all they were bigger than hers, and she didn't wear a bra.

"You're, you're a girl." said Nabiki.

THUID! "ARA! OTTOSAN!" Kasumi gasped when Soun's brain decided to go bye bye that instant.

Sometime later he woke up to find himself on the floor. His eldest daughter sat at his head with a very worried expression on his face. To his left sat the "girl" named Ranma between Nabiki and Akane. Behind the redhead sat the giant panda looking rather well behaved for a wild animal.

"Ara. Ottosan looks so disappointed." commented Kasumi who herself couldn't help but feel disappointed as well. He, she, really did look cute.

Nabiki though wasn't happy one bit. She replied, "He's disappointed. Some iinazuke this is."

"Nabiki, he, I mean 'she' is our guest." Akane retorted.

"I ... I assumed my good friend Genma told me he had a son." Soun said out loud.

Nabiki reached over and grabbed a handful of Onna-Ranma. "Does this look like a boy to you?" she demanded.

"Not that I'm complaining or anything, but are you bi?" Ranma asked her. Nabiki's hand shot back as if she'd suddenly been shocked.

"Uh." stuttered Nabiki. Her brain decided to freeze up and she couldn't form a coherent sentence. Years of loneliness had indeed taking their toll on the middle Tendo sister. So much so that she'd begun to adjust her sexual preferences a bit. There was no lack of willing young ladies at Furinken she discovered.

Sensing movement to her right Ranma turned to see Akane holding out her hand towards her. "Hi, I'm Akane. You want to be friends?" she asked with a friendly smile.

Ranma nodded, "Hai. But I need to do something first." Akane looked puzzled at her as the redhead stood and faced the panda which appeared to be her pet.

"Hold still oyagi, don't make this difficult. They need to see the real us." she told the animal. They all watched as the girl closed her eyes and held her hands out towards the space above the panda's head. Ranma began to speak in a strange tongue none had of them had ever heard before. It was strangely beautiful and sing song-ish and the air seemed to reverberate with every utterance. Ranma's hands began to make intricate symbols in the air, and where her fingers traced there was a barely visible bluish light forming a complex pattern. It was like she was drawing something in the middle of the air with light!

"Kawaii." Kasumi breathed taking it all in. For some strange reason she thought she'd seem someone do something like this before, but couldn't quite place it.

Ranma finished what she was doing with a final forceful word. The faint blue pattern in the air produced two showers of steaming, hot water that splashed herself and the panda. It lasted for only a second but that's all that was needed. The change was instantaneous. Where there had been a voluptuous young redhead and her pet panda there was now a very handsome young, dark haired boy and an older man dressed in an off-white martial arts gi, sport-style strap-on glasses and a white head wrap.

"What the hell?" Akane shouted jumping back at the sudden transformation.

"SAOTOME-KUN!" Soun shouted with glee, leapt to his feet and grabbed up the balding man into a crushing hug.

"What? How? Who ... who are you, what are you?" asked a thoroughly perplexed Nabiki.

Ranma stepped back, went to his knees and knelled down before them. "Gomen-neiisai, I meant no deception but we had no control over our appearance." he said in an apologetic tone.

"Nani? What do you mean?" Soun asked as he let his oldest and best friend go before he turned blue.

"It's a long story, Tendo-kun." Genma said after finally catching his breath.

Akane felt betrayed and wore a mask of anger. "You're a boy?" she asked.

Ranma sat up and replied, "Hai. As I said I meant to deception but oyagi and I have an unusual 'problem' and we have no control over our appearance when it rains."

Akane didn't look like she was buying it, and he knew she wasn't just by sensing her emotions and her stray thoughts. "Maybe I should explain ..." he said and began to reply a heavily abridged version of what happened at Josenkyo. He left out other more important details, especially the one that had an even greater life changing effect on him than the curse itself.

An hour later they were at the kotatsu. Kasumi had brought out some snacks and the tea service. She truly felt for Ranma's situation. Imagine living with a genuine curse that transformed you from a boy to a girl with just cold water, and add to that the fact the curse turns you into a water magnet. In listening to his story she determined that he lacked a few well refined manners and definitely could learn to speak better Nihongo. He also seemed very polite and mature for his age. It also didn't hurt that he was very handsome too. She often found herself captivated by his bright blue eyes.

An all out war was raging within Akane's mind. One part of her wanted to label this guy a hentai because he can become a girl. What irked her more was that this "boy" looked gorgeous as a girl making her look frumpy. She could forgive that part, though she took it with a pinch of salt. He was polite but his manners could use some work. The best quality so far was the fact that he go nuts over her like the boys at school. Another Kuno he was not. He was handsome, and those eyes were so beautiful, yet she still had a hard time getting over the curse. Did he like boys when he was a girl or did he still like girls? Akane's narrow view on what made a person a hentai was very narrow indeed.

Nabiki was intrigued by the boy's curse. It was interesting, very interesting. Whomever ended up marrying him wouldn't be bored. The curse opened up all sorts of interestingly erotic avenues. She was making herself wet just thinking about it. The middle Tendo sister came to the realization that she was Bi a long time ago when she met Ai her first year at Furinken. Ai was a senior. She was beautiful, and she had unusual tastes. Many of the girls knew about her, and one day they invited Nabiki to join their little club. It had taken a little bit of convincing and a little bit of seductive persuasion before she opened up. A few weeks before graduation Nabiki lost her virginity to the girl at a party. They see one another from time to time. Ai left Furinken to attend Tokyo University. So, she had no problem with Ranma's curse at all. Her prospects seemed very good.

"So your problem isn't so bad after all." Soun said in a friendly tone slapping Ranma on the back.

He was about to introduce his daughters to him when Akane asked, "How did you make that shower of hot water?" Her expression was filled with suspicion.

"Oh that, I combined a water elemental and fire elemental rune spell. No biggie." Ranma replied.

Akane laughed, "Yeah right, tell us another fairy tale."

"Uh, sis, hello, he turns into a girl when he gets wet, and I can personally attest to the fact that the change is real." said Nabiki.

Akane was going to speak but did a perfect imitation of a goldfish instead.

Maybe Akane wouldn't be a good choice, thought Soun. Her attitude towards the boy was growing colder by the minute since he revealed his curse. He felt helpless to aid his youngest daughter through her problems. There was little he could do or was able to really do to really help her. His hopes would have to ride with Nabiki or Kasumi. Maybe one day Akane will meet a boy she likes. A father could only hope.

"Well, then, lets start. This is my youngest daughter, Akane, age sixteen. My middle daughter Nabiki, age seventeen, and my eldest daughter Kasumi, age nineteen." said Soun gesturing toward each girl in turn.

"Choose the one you want and she'll be your bride." he said with a smile directed at the pigtailed boy.

Ranma sighed and said, "I mean no disrespect to you or your daughters Tendo-san but it's not fair to make me choose so soon. It isn't really even fair to them either since we only just met and there ain't no way to know if it could work out or anything."

"Son, this is for family honor." Soun told him in a stern tone.

"Hai, I understand, but you gotta understand that I ain't gonna choose until we all got a chance to know each other first." Ranma replied in the same tone.

Akane's expression softened. He'd only just met them and he was showing concern for them over this. Maybe she was prejudging him unfairly because of Kuno no baka. She decided to hold off making a decision until she got to know him better. Nabiki was really starting to like this guy. He was showing a lot of respect for her and her sisters by doing this.

Kasumi was touched the most. She actually blushed. He was younger, yes, a bit unrefined, yes, handsome, definitely, but also a caring person too. She looked over at her sisters and wondered what they were thinking. Nabiki had a hungry look in her eyes. This make Kasumi worry. Nabiki had a tendency to become aggressive when she went after something she wanted. If she really wanted Ranma she'd pull out all the stops in order to snare him before she and Akane had a chance. The eldest Tendo sister had to think fast. Whom else was it who taught their middle sister all she knew about thinking fast on her feet. If it was a fight Nabiki wanted, a fight she was going to get. Akane though seemed to be waiting in judgment.

Genma roared, "You WILL fulfill family honor boy!"

He made a grab at Ranma to throw him into the koi pond but his hands grasped only thin air. Akane and her sisters watched in awe as the pigtailed boy seemed to literally blur as he moved. Before he knew it Genma was lifted up from behind by his son, one handed, and tossed into the pond head first.

When the panda surfaced Ranma said to him, "I said not until we had a chance to get to know each other and not anytime before that."

"He's good." Akane commented softly. She'd never seen anyone move like that before. Not even Kuno and he was the best martial artist she knew.

Ranma turned to Soun and said, "If you don't object I'd like to take a few days to get to know your daughters better. Maybe a day for each of them."

Soun looked at the pond and then back at Ranma. He was stunned. Never had he seen anyone move like that. Not even the ... gulp ... sensei could move that fast. He couldn't find the words so he just nodded in agreement.

"All righty then. Is that ok with all of you?" Ranma asked the three sisters. They all three nodded. He noticed a somewhat intense expression on Akane's face, Nabiki had lust in her eyes and in her thoughts, and Kasumi was blushing demurely.

"I noticed you gotta dojo out back." he pointed out into the yard.

Soun snapped out of his daze and said, "Feel free to use it anytime you want Ranma-kun."

"Arigato. I wanna get in some practice before it gets too late." said Ranma as he headed outside.

Akane got up and started to follow him. "Uh, would it be alright if I joined you?" she asked.

"You train?" he asked her.

"Yeah, Judo." she replied with a smile.

"Wanna spar?" he asked.

Her expression perked up. "Hai!"

"Oh I've got to see this." said Nabiki remembering how inhumanly fast Ranma moved a moment ago. If he was as good as he was fast this wasn't going to be a long bout. If he got into it with Kuno-chan at Furinken it was likely going to be interesting.

"Ara. Its getting late, I need to start dinner." Kasumi gasped after a quick glance at the wall clock and headed for the kitchen. Ranma watched her go and paid close attention to every move of her body. Despite her demure attire he could tell she had an incredible body. She also had a flowing grace that could only attributed to martial arts training.

He continued on to the dojo with Akane and Nabiki following behind. The building looked old, maybe a few hundred years old at least. Ranma stretched out with his senses and felt the place around him. He was going to be calling this place home for a while so he should check it out in case of problems. He found nothing he needed to worry about.

"Lets start." said Akane as she took a ready stance.

Ranma nodded and dropped into a defensive pose. He wanted to get a feel for Akane's skill level before initiating his own attack. The young girl came at him with a snap kick to the face which he dodged with immense ease. He didn't even have to move at full speed to avoid her.

"You're telegraphing your moves. Don't tense up before making a move. Concentrate on speed rather than on power or accuracy, those comes later." he told her as he dodged around her flurry of attacks.

"I ... I can't lay a finger on him." she panted in frustration and tried again. Ranma seemed to flow around her punches and kick like water.

"Come at me! Why aren't you attacking?" she demanded.

Ranma leapt high, flipped over her and landed on the far side of the dojo. "I want to see how good you are first." he said.

"I'm the best there is in Nerima." she told him with pride on her face.

Not anymore, thought Nabiki as she watched Ranma's form blur into motion. It took all of three seconds for him to put Akane out of action. She watched though it was painful she had to imagine. Ranma gave Akane what she wanted. He came at her, sidestepped out of the way of a kick that was aimed at his head and then did a leg sweep knocking Akane off balance. As she fell he twirled around and delivered a painful looking kick to her chest that sent her flying backwards. Akane yelled as she slammed against the wall and slumped to the floor.

Ranma was at her side so fast Nabiki couldn't follow his movements. "Gomen, I got a little carried away. When oyagi and I work out we usually don't hold back much." he said apologetically as he helped her up.

For a moment Akane was silent. She'd been beaten, by a boy. A single tear fell down her face. She hoped he didn't see it, but Nabiki did and she frowned. She knew what must be going through Akane's mind right now. Damn you Kuno-chan, and damn me for encouraging that baka. Sis, please don't hate Ranma for this.

"Ya got skill and power but ya lack speed and coordination. If ya work on them you'll be a damn good fighter." said Ranma critiquing her technique.

"You think so?" Akane asked looking back at him.

"Hai, if ya want I could help ya." he offered.

"R ... really?"

Ranma nodded, "Sure, we could start tomorrow morning if ya want."

Akane's face brightened up with a genuinely happy smile. He doesn't want to take advantage of me, he can beat me but he doesn't want to use me. He's so different from the guys at school. "I'd ... I'd like that. Arigato ... sensei." she replied with a respectful bow.

The pigtailed boy blushed and scratched the back of his head in a way both women thought was cute. "Uh, arigato. Sensei, hmmm, I could get used to that. Ne?"

"Nabiki, do you practice?" he asked the middle Tendo sister.

She shook her head. "Haven't so much as thrown a punch since I was five." she said.

"Does Kasumi?" he asked. That got a strange reaction from the two girls. They looked at each other and looked like they were about to laugh. They wondered what dear, sweet Kasumi would need to practice the art for.

"What makes you ask that?" Akane asked him.

He looked towards the house and said, "It's how she walks, how she moves. It's a gracefulness I've seen in other martial artists."

"I remember her training with okasan before she died, but that's all." Nabiki told him.

"Sumimasen, I didn't know." he replied softly.

Akane didn't reply. She sat down on the steps outside the dojo and looked up at the sky. Nabiki walked out of the dojo with Ranma and said, "Akane doesn't deal with it well, even after all this time. A drunk driver hit her car head on six years ago."

"Gomen. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings Akane-san." Ranma said the youngest Tendo sister.

"Its ok, at least I don't cry anymore when I hear people mention her. Kami-sama I miss her so much." said Akane. With that last part said she stifled a sob that threatened to escape.

Ranma walked down the steps and onto the lawn, he turned towards the two sisters. He looked them both in the eye and said, "Forget." The girls both blinked as if they'd suddenly woken up from a nap.

"What was I just saying?" Akane asked.

"You said you'd like it if I helped you train to improve your speed." he told her with a friendly smile.

"Oh, yeah, arigato. I can't wait. I've been waiting for someone to finally take me seriously as a martial artist." she said happily.

Nabiki asked, "How are you able to move that fast? I could barely see you."

"Lots of practice." Ranma lied with a smile.

Dinner was a lively affair. Genma discovered that Kasumi's cooking was just as good as Kimiko's had been. Ranma, they all discovered, could eat at a speed that rivaled his martial arts prowess. He gave thanks to Kasumi for such a wonderful mean. The compliment made the young woman blush furiously. Akane and Nabiki noticed and both decided to step up their efforts.

Kasumi showed Ranma to the guest room. It was down the hall to the right of the stairs and across from her room. He helped her get a pair of futon from the closet downstairs and carried his and his father's backpacks upstairs. When they were done Kasumi brought him a fresh towel and a small plastic pale with some washing supplies.

"Here, I thought you might want to wash up before turning in." she said with a smile.

"Arigato-gosaimasu." he said reaching up to take them from her. He suddenly sensed her mood change, he could hear her heart start to pound and felt fear wash through her mind. She gasped and he followed her gaze down to his hand which was on top the towel she was handing him. It was the hand he wore the ring on.

"What's wrong, Kasumi-san?" he asked her.

"The circle is life." she said after quickly composing herself.

It took a moment for Ranma to recognize what she was saying and he replied, "The crimson is the blood that flows."

"It is that which ties us together." finished Kasumi.

"You know what this ring means?" he asked her in surprise.

Kasumi nodded nervously, "Hai."

Sensing movement nearby Ranma took hold of her hand and drew her into the guest room. After sliding the door closed he turned towards her. The young woman was shivering where she stood and she had terror in her eyes. He couldn't stand to see a such a pretty creature in so much distress.

"If you know the ring and the ancient saying that goes with it you should also know that I'm no danger to you or your family." he said in an attempt to reassure her.

"Its been so long." she said softly.

"Nani?"

"Okasan, okasan was a Watcher." Kasumi explained to him. Ranma nodded and smile. He knew of the Watchers. They aided those of his kind by offering safe havens, information, and acted as the eyes and ears of his order watching out for trouble they needed to be aware of.

"I'm told she died in an accident." he said softly.

"She died at the hospital five hours after the accident. The doctors tried to save her but she lost too much ... blood." said Kasumi. She had a very sad expression on her face.

"Gomen." Ranma whispered. Kasumi flinched back after finding he'd suddenly came so close to her.

"I won't hurt you. I took an oath never to harm innocents." he told her and slowly he reached with his hand and touched her cheek. He started caressing her cheek gently marveling at how soft her skin was. Kasumi brought her hand up over his and closed her eyes and smiled.

"Gomen-neiisai, Ranma-kun. Its just been so long since ..." she started to say.

"Since you met a real live vampire. Or should I say a real 'dead' vampire." he replied with a laugh.

He could feel the fear and apprehension drain out of her to be replaced by a burning curiosity. She laughed at his comment. Kami-sama she had a beautiful laugh, he thought.

"Is your ottosan?" she asked.

"No, he's normal. Well, normal as in he isn't undead. But I wouldn't call oyagi a 'normal' human either." he replied with a laugh.

"Ara, then you haven't been one for long." she said in surprise.

"Actually I'm thirty years old." he told her truthfully.

Her eyes went wide at that in surprise. "Its complicated. As far as oyagi is concerned I've been undead for, oh, two and half months now, but in truth its been thirty years." he explained.

"How is that possible?" she asked him.

"The order has this temple in the mountains in China. Inside the mountain they have what I can only describe as a pocket universe. Don't ask me how they made it, but one year in there equals one day in the real world." he told her.

Kasumi gasped and then laughed, "Ara, that's awfully convenient."

"I made a lot of friends there, met a lot of interesting people, learned magic, learned all sorts of new martial arts techniques, and stuff like that." he said with a shrug of his shoulders.

A cloud formed over the lovely ladies' mood and she asked, "How did you become a vampire?"

He dropped his hand and almost missed the feeling of disappointment from the girl when he did. He sat on the floor and looked down at his feet. This was one thing he'd had a hard time coming to grips with. He was used to the curse but this one thing still haunted him.

"It was after I was cursed. Oyagi and I were camping down in the valley near Josenkyo." he explained to her. He sat down on the pile of futons and she joined him. He could feel the genuine concern in her feelings and in her expression. She reached up and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

"It was raining, so I was a girl at the time. I left our tent to go for a walk. I didn't go far." he continued. "I was out of sight of the camp when something hit me from behind. I tried to fight but whoever it was that knocked me down was stronger than anybody I ever fought before. I was dragged into a nearby cave. I ... I can remember his hands all over me, touching me in ... places."

"Ara. Ranma-kun, you don't mean that ..." Kasumi gasped in shock.

"Hai. He, it, raped me." he said with difficulty. "I can't recall much, I was knocked out most of the time. Eventually I gave up trying to fight and just lay there and let him do what he wanted. He blew off at least six times that I know of, I don't really know how many actually cause I was out most of the time. It was almost morning when he finally stopped, and that's when he bit me."

"Gomen-neiisai." Kasumi said softly and laid her head on his shoulder.

"He drank for a long time. I felt so cold, so tired." he went on. "When he finished he sat up and bit his own wrist and dropped some of his blood into my mouth. A few seconds later a felt like a fire had been set off inside of me. I guess that's what caught oyagi's attention and the attention of the Amazons. I screamed."

"The Amazons?" Kasumi inquired with curiosity.

"The Chinese Amazons, they're allies to the order. They found me and told oyagi where to go to get me help." he explained. Ranma didn't remember much of what happened during that time but the Amazon's matriarch, an old and impossibly small woman named Cologne came to the temple and apologized to him for her people not finding him sooner to stop whomever it was that attacked him. A few of his new friends in the order had vowed to hunt down the sonuvabitch who did it. Knowing how powerful these "friends" were the pigtailed boy wouldn't want to be that particular vampire when they found him.

Kasumi was wiping tears from her eyes when she said, "You suffered so much, and here I was afraid of you and ..."

"Its ok." he told her.

"No, its not ok. You've, you've been through hell." she said softly.

True, he told himself. Out loud he replied, "It ain't all that bad. I'm faster as a vampire, I got all these neat powers, I learned magic cause vampires don't have ki, and nothing can hurt me except for maybe a blade made of silver and very strong magic."

Kasumi suddenly thought over the day's events and what had been said. "That's why you didn't want to force a decision onto us about the engagements, ne?" she said as she began to unconsciously message his shoulders.

"Yeah, I don't wanna force nothing on nobody like it was forced onto me." he said.

I could get used to this, Kasumi though as she continued to lay her head on his shoulder. It was then that she felt something strange. Curious, she put her hand on his chest a move which made the pigtailed boy blush. She felt a "pulse".

"You have a heart beat." she said in surprise.

"I was surprised too. Vampires live off ki, we can't channel it so we gotta turn it into mana. That happens in our cells. Don't ask me how though, I still don't understand it." he explained to her. Kasumi listened intently to him, he had her undivided attention. "Blood in our bodies carries the ki we drain with the blood we drink around our bodies, our cells make it into mana and we can pool that mana the same way a martial artist can pool his ki."

"Father explained a little about ki to us when I was younger." she told him.

"And TV and movies got vampires all wrong. We don't fear sunlight and it can't hurt us though we are weaker during the day than at night but only just a little." he continued to explain. "We 'can' travel over running water, that would have been a pain, holy symbols have no power except in the hands of righteous people, holy water can't hurt us either except when a righteous person uses it, we don't turn into bats, and wooden stakes just piss us off more than they really hurt us."

"Ara." Kasumi laughed at that last part.

He'd never really talked to anyone outside of the order about all of this. Not even his father knew the whole truth about what happened the day his life changed forever. It felt good being able to get these things off his chest. To his perspective Ranma had been a vampire for over thirty years. In that time people can change, and he had changed a great deal.

"Not even oyagi knows all of this." he admitted. "You're the first person I've told all of this too outside of the order."

Kasumi smiled sweetly. "I'm glad you confided in me, Ranma-kun."

He looked at her and into her eyes. Kami-sama she's beautiful. This is one of oyagi's ideas I'm glad he didn't totally screw up. He could get used to looking into those eyes. There was innocence there that drew him in, and the feelings within her he could feel were warm and comforting. He knew she was falling for him rapidly. It had little to do with his charismatic aura, the power of a male vampire to sway the minds of human women. He long ago learned to control that power and decided not to use it here. If one of them fell in love with him he wanted it to be real and not forced on them.

"Ya don't got a problem that I'm like ... undead?" he asked her.

Kasumi giggled in reply, "I was raised around vampires. My mother was a Watcher before she passed on the responsibility to me when she died."

"So, your ottosan and your sisters, do they know what she did?" Ranma asked her.

Kasumi shook her head. "I'm afraid ottosan wouldn't really understand. He's strictly a traditionalist and I'm afraid he wouldn't understand the concept of the Order of the Crimson Circle."

Sighing Ranma replied, "Yeah, most people won't want to believe in good-guy vampires. Well, that is unless they're fans of that American TV show about a good-guy vampire."

"Akane-chan might have trouble understand also though Nabiki is a bit more progressive. Though, I urge you to please be careful when around her." said Kasumi.

"Why?" he asked in surprise.

Kasumi sighed and explained, "After okasan passed away ottosan lost the will to do anything. The dojo lost all of its students and we had no income except for what little money we had left from okasan's insurance money. As the eldest I took it upon myself to take over okasan's duties by cooking and cleaning." Sensing her darkening mood Ranma felt it was time to comfort her. It was only right to return the favor. Slowly he put his arm around her shoulders and to his relief the young man leaned into him an laid her head back onto his shoulder.

"Akane-chan took okasan's death almost as badly, but instead of breaking down emotionally like ottosan she became angry and lashed out at others for the littlest things. Nabiki-chan, I fear for her, she had to do what needed to be done to help our family survive but I'm afraid its taken its toll on her." she continued explaining. "I ... I know she hasn't plummeted far enough to actually sell herself for money, but some of the things I 'know' she has done to earn money for us just wasn't right." She remembered finding Nabiki's ledger one day while cleaning. Inside she discovered notes concerning her younger sister's activities. They included a list of extortions, money laundering, and even a protection racket. She wouldn't bring herself to believe Nabiki would sleep with someone for money, but she had no evidence of that either and Nabiki remained tight lipped on the subject. She did talk to her sister about what she found and was told by Nabiki that she had to do what she had to do or they would have been out on the street years ago.

"Your ottosan hasn't done anything to help bring in money?" Ranma asked her with a look of surprise on his face.

She shook her head. "Father is far too emotional to hold a job. He couldn't even train Akane actively anymore without breaking into tears. I fear when okasan died so did his spirit." A stray tear fell down her cheek.

"Gomen-neisai." he said softly.

The tears started coming more and more and Kasumi had to wipe her eyes. "I haven't told anyone this, I don't really have anyone that I can truly confide in. It breaks me heart seeing my family like this. I ... I ..."

Ranma couldn't stand it any longer. He hated seeing women cry, he couldn't stand seeing suffering in others. Gently he put his hand behind her neck and drew the young woman close. She didn't try to push away when their lips met. Instead Kasumi leaned into him and closed her eyes. The tears still came but she didn't break down into sobs. They stayed that way for what seemed like an eternity. When they parted the eldest Tendo sister looked into Ranma's blue eyes and then hugged him tightly around his neck.

"Do ... Domo arigato gosaimasu, Ranma-kun." she whispered. Please, please don't let this feeling stop, she cried out to the Kami in her mind. If he wanted to take her to bed she'd probably say "yes". To hell with whether or not it was appropriate.

"If its ok I'd like to help?" he asked her softly.

Kasumi said up and asked him, "Ara, you don't have to, you're a guest in our house." It was awfully sweet of him to offer anyway, she told herself.

"No," Ranma shook his head. "Oyagi has this nasty habit to taking advantage of people he's stay'n with. I won't let him do it here. Besides, I get paid pretty good by the order so I can afford to help out."

"Arigato." she replied softly.

Still holding her gently Ranma softly explained to her, "I really like you Kasumi-san. You're one of the most beautiful women I've ever met. And, you're one of the sweetest, kindest people I know." She blushed from the shoulders up in response.

"It wouldn't be right of me to not give your sisters a chance, assuming they want to. But, if I had to choose someone right now to be my iinazuke I'd choose you." he said honestly. He wouldn't mind being married to such a gorgeous woman.

Her response was to blush furiously and she replied softly, "You are a very kind and honorable man. I wouldn't want my sisters to loose out on a chance at happiness either." But it wouldn't hurt to give them a little friendly competition, she told herself with a smile.

"I can wait." she added softly and kissed his cheek.

They left the room together, Ranma carried the bathing supplies she'd given him. Nabiki was down the hall at her bedroom door. She quickly slipped inside to avoid being seen. There was no mistaking the deep blush on her older sister's face.

"Wow, oneechan moves fast," she told herself. "How can I compete with somebody like her. She can cook really good, she's more beautiful than I am, and she's really sweet on top of that."

"What the hell's wrong with me? Tendo Nabiki doesn't ever back down." she told herself resolutely. "Hope you like some competition oneechan cause I'm going to be the one to win him over." She closed her eyes and couldn't get the idea of having that redhead all to herself in her bedroom out of her head. Unconsciously she reached her hand into the front of her pants. If anyone had walked past her door they would have heard soft moaning coming from inside.

Kasumi showed Ranma to the furo. It sat attached to the laundry room. The toilet was kept separately accessible from the laundry room as well. It was common in most Tokyo area homes to keep the toilet and furo separate. The floor and walls were tiled with drains in the floor. A pair of faucets with water massaging shower heads stuck out from the wall. In front of each was a small wooden stool. The back of the furo was occupied by a large tub which was filled with steaming, hot water.

Ranma bathed in cool water which was the tradition among most Japanese, though the practice of taking traditionally western baths in the tub were becoming popular. She dumped her wash pale over her head to wash away the soap and shampoo and went to the tub. She stopped at the body length mirror to admire herself.

"Damn I'm hot." she said taking a sexy pose and examining her feminine attributes for what seemed like the millionth time. Having a girl's body had its conveniences she quickly discovered. Female vampires had a strong influence over the minds of men, just like male vampire could effortlessly sway the minds of women. There were other advantages that she could think of. Remembering them made a shiver run up Ranma's spine and she had to force herself to stay focused. The experience of being brutally raped and finally crossing over effected Ranma in ways not even his father knew or would ever truly understand. She hadn't told Kasumi about this particular side of her. It would be best to keep it a secret for now. Besides she felt that it would be a serious mistake to let her oyagi know that she had certain unusual sexual tendencies. She wasn't quite sure why that was but it had something to do with that area of his thoughts she had the most difficulty reading.

The familiar tingling feeling came as she lowered herself into the tub. As Ranma soaked his thought went to the three Tendo sisters. Kasumi was definitely the prettiest of the three. Beauty was only skin deep, he knew this all too well, but Kasumi was gorgeous above and below the surface. How she didn't have a boyfriend of her own already he didn't understand. A guy would have to be absolutely nuts to pass up a girl like her.

He didn't have time to get to know the other two girls that well yet. Nabiki was the second prettiest of the three. She definitely had a body and a cup size that rivaled his own female side. He didn't know her well enough yet to really form an opinion. She like her older sister sacrificed a great deal for their family. Possibly to the exclusion of any real social lives which was a pity because they both should have been actively dating people right now. According to Kasumi, Nabiki handled the family expenses. He'd have to talk to her before bedtime about his plan to help them financially. He didn't really have to eat but oyagi ate more than enough for the two of them. Ranma also noticed how the girl had been admiring his female side. That really didn't bother him at all, if he got intimate with her sometime down the road it wouldn't be the first time he'd done it with another girl in female form.

Akane was an anomaly he had a hard time figuring out. One minute he felt from her a burning curiosity, almost a desire to get to know him better, but every time something held her back. There was something dark and brooding deep within her mind and he found himself wishing he'd taken the time to examine it further. What he did get an impression of was the fact that Akane's outward appearance, her current personality, was just a mask. She was suppressing her true self. That wasn't a very health thing to do. Kasumi's own mind offered up a lot of clues as to what was wrong with the youngest Tendo. She was filled with anger over her mother's death, but there was something else there as well. That something was driving her anger to new heights and the only way she was able to vent it was apparently through the practice of the art. Akane was the only Tendo sister who still actively practiced martial arts. She wasn't that good at it but she wasn't bad either. Her skill level was about average, but she lacked focus and coordination. She put way too much stock behind power. It was like she'd been going up against unskilled opponents for too long.

His sensitive hearing picked up sound from the next room. Ranma reached out with his mind. It was Akane! His dangerous sense went off, something was screaming at him that it would be a really, really, really bad idea for her to find him in here. The door to the furo slid open and a very naked Akane strolled in. She paused for an instant, she could have sworn she saw somebody in the furo but it was probably her imagination. Her martial artists' senses weren't very well defined yet or else she would have sensed it when something unseen moved past her. Ranma took one last look at the youngest Tendo before leaving the room. He wasn't really invisible but as far as the young girl was concerned he might as well be. She did see him but it didn't register in her mind that he was there.

Man, she is cute, he told himself silently. She had to be at least a C cup, she wasn't small. It really wasn't right to spy on her like that. Her body wasn't perfect but she wasn't ugly either. Give her maybe two or three more years and she'll be gorgeous he told himself.

"What do you think so far, boy?" Genma asked his son. Everyone had gone to bed. Ranma could feel them sleeping soundly in their rooms. His father had already rolled out their futons. During the day he could feel his father's mood and that of Tendo-san. They were hopeful and every time he spoke to the girls that feeling of hope and joy increased. He decided that he'd do an investigation into this whole engagement business. Not that he didn't like the idea himself, the Tendo sisters were very nice, especially Kasumi. No, there was some unknown reason why his father and Tendo-san were pushing for the engagement so hard. He vowed to himself that he'd find the answer.

"Kasumi is very nice, and very pretty. I don't know the other two girls well enough yet but they seem nice." he replied.

The older man smiled, "See, this isn't so bad is it."

Ranma thought about it and replied, "Yeah, I gotta admit this is one of your better ideas, oyagi." The old man looked up to see his son moving towards the window to open it. He assumed he was just opening it to let some fresh air in but he saw the boy start to climb out.

"Where are you going?" he asked him.

Ranma glanced back. "Do we gotta go through this again?"

"Oh, that." Genma blanched. He looked away for a moment then asked, "What ... what about the girls?"

"They're innocents, oyagi," Ranma replied. "Its forbidden to drink from them without their permission and the only one of them who knows the truth about me is Kasumi-chan." He added the honorific without realizing it, but soon it would become common for him to refer to all of the Tendo sisters that way.

"Kasumi-chan?" said Genma, a somewhat hopeful expression appeared on his face.

"Don't jump to conclusion," the pigtailed boy warned him. "Her okasan was a Watcher and she was chosen as her successor when she died."

Genma glanced down at the floor. "Oh." he said. He knew what Watchers were. They'd stayed at a few Watcher's homes in China and in Japan the past month while they journeyed to Nerima.

"Besides, I only drink from lowlifes, and in a city this big there's bound to be no shortage of them." Ranma added.

"See ya in the morning, oyagi." he said as he climbed out of the window. Ranma summoned the latent power possessed by his kind and instead of falling down into the koi pond below he was hovering in mid air. He gave a wave to his father before soaring off into the night sky.

NOTES

This is an AU or Alternate Reality fan fic. These notes are mostly for people unfamiliar with Ranma ½, Canon Cops, and Knights of the True Fiance (KOTF). I don't see why I need to write these notes for the last two (those unfamiliar with this Anime/manga don't count), but they seem to have a hard time seeing the story for all of the words (its a take on the old saying "they can't to see the forest for all the trees"). First of all, the reason for the radical change in Ranma's personality is two fold. One, he's had a major life changing event happen to him, and two he's been a vampire for 30 years according to his own personal perspective. So in that amount of time anyone would change. Ranma's sexual preferences will appear in later chapters. As will secrets about the Tendo sisters too.

The comment about Women's Only Subway Cars is "true". The Japanese government is calling the groping of young women on the subways of Tokyo a serious epidemic and so they are testing out an idea of women-only subway cars.

Hai in Japanese means Yes.

Ara means "Oh my" which is one of Kasumi's favorite expressions. :-) Oh, and Onegai means "Please".

A Kotatsu is the low dinner table seen in many Anime, manga and Asian films. They sometimes have heaters under them and are lined with blankets to keep your feet warm.

Domo arigato-gosaimasu is a very polite way of saying "thank you" in Japanese.

Gomen-neisai is a polite way to "I'm sorry". It can also be said as gomen or gome.

Sumimasen mean both "excuse me" or "I'm sorry but excuse me" and is very polite.

Baka means idiot, retard, fool, stupid and etc.

Hentai can means pervert, can describes anything to do with sex as in Hentai Anime and/or manga for example, and can be a derogatory word for someone who is perverted. Note there are no "plurals" in the Japanese language, so Hentai can apply to one or more people at the same time.

Neko is the Japanese word for Cat.

A Genkan is the area at the front door where people respectfully leave their shoes when they enter a house.

A Furo is the bathing room in a Japanese house and is sometimes mistaken by many fan fic writers to be the word used for bath tubs. Also, its common for the toilet to be kept in a separate room like in the Tendo home.

Tendo-ke means Tendo Home or Tendo Household.

Misogi is the practice of throwing water on the walkway leading to your house in the symbolic act of cleansing away sin. Its a Shinto ritual. The old lady that splashes Ranma is doing Misogi. It also helps keep dust down.

Money notes: about 1,000 yen equals about $10. 10,000 yen is about $90 to $100. 500 yen is about $5. 120,000 yen is roughly $1,000. This is based off an online currency calculator