Silken Vail

Author Notes: Thanks for all the reviews and to anyone interested I'm seeking proof readers. Read and Review, Thanks.

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Chapter 2

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Ranko chewed her lip as she walked along beside Akane, the tension between them was so thick that passerby's avoided eye contact. Last night had been an adventure when Akane had walked in on her in the bath. It was luck alone that her back had been turned when it happened.

Afraid her cover was blown she had exploded at Akane covering herself up and yelling about perverted girls peeking on her in the bath. Needless to say the entire house heard and came to investigate. By the time she had dressed she found Nabiki teasing Akane who's face was so red with embarrassment it could have matched her shirt.

Of course Akane denied everything but since it was Ranko's voice heard screaming and not her own all the fingers where pointed at her. It didn't help that Nabiki kept pestering Akane about what she saw, demanding 'details' after she was done teasing her. For the rest of the night Akane refused to even acknowledge Ranko's presence and never once looked in her direction at dinner. Today seemed no different.

After she had awoken to the smell of breakfast, she was informed she was going to be attending school. At first the thought bothered her but the more she thought about it the more she was happy with it. Now was a chance to make new friends and meet people who knew her only as Ranma, the boy. Not Ranko the girl who acted like a boy.

So here she was, walking down the street with Akane towards the school with school bags in hand. Apparently Nabiki ran on ahead and happily left Akane with the task of showing Ranko her way around the area. Akane wasn't the least bit happy about it and had barked at her to follow before heading off. They haven't spoken since and Ranko was silently glad of it.

The silence allowed her to think about her biggest problem to date, yes even bigger then 'that' one. She shivered at a misty memory she quickly pushed away. Her problem was this. She was a girl, she engaged to another girl, this girl did not know she was a girl and she also seemed to be dead seat on the engagement.

It was as if Nabiki had decided everything was final and simply expected her to follow suit, fat chance. She would keep up appearances for now and try and not think to deeply about it. It's not like anything was actually going to happen between them and she had better things to do like focusing on being a boy. If she distracted herself with meaningless paranoia then she was sure to slip up somewhere.

"I hate boys…" Akane growled suddenly causing Ranko to blink. It was certainly a random comment but before she could ask its meaning Akane picked up speed and began speeding towards the school gates that had just come into view.

"Huh?" Ranko confused gave chase at a slightly slower pace, when she arrived at the gates she was stunned to find Akane barreling her way into a mob of boys. All of whom looked as if they belonged to the sports and fitness clubs as they wore their equipment like battle armor

"Ranma, Hurry up or your going to be late for class." Nabiki called down indifferently but looking up Ranko could see a sly smirk.

"What about Akane?" Ranko waved at Akane but looked back now it appeared her concern was not needed, half the boys already being 'dealt' with. It was surprising to find that one of the Tendo girls was actually skilled in the arts but it didn't look like Akane had much talent beyond the basic training.

"Don't worry about her, this happens every morning." Nabiki replied neutrally and the students that sat at windows in classrooms that watched seemed bored and uninterested in the event as well.

"Ever morning?" Ranko made a face. "Must have a lot of enemies or something…"

Uninterested with the fight herself, Ranko strolled into the school yard and avoided what remained of Akane's opponents… that was until she noticed an imposing figure standing behind a tree nearby. From the way he stood he was very skilled and there was no doubt he was well above Akane's level.

"Honestly every morning…" Akane sighed and whipped a single bead of sweat off her forehead, finally defeating the last of the boys.

"What a boorish lot" The hidden figure suddenly spoke. "Evidently each of them intends to ask you out Akane, on the dawn that he finally defeats you."

"Oh… Upperclassmen, Good morning." Akane drawled out in exasperation.

"And now Akane Tendo, might you fight with… huh? Who are you?" The figure stepping out from behind the tree brandishing his wooden kendo sword paused momentarily as he nearly toppled over Ranko who has stood right before him.

"Hello." Ranko beamed up at the boy who was half again taller then herself.

"Ranma what are you doing! You're going to get hurt." Akane gasped.

"Saying hi, what's it look like?" Ranko rolled her eyes at Akane and looked back up at the older boy just in time to see him level his bokken threateningly before her.

"You are being quite familiar with Akane. Tell me who are you to speak so casually with her, answer me."

"I'm…" Ranko began before suddenly being cut off.

"Ah! But it is the custom to give ones own name First! Fine then, mine I shawl give." The boy took a self empowering stance and puffed his chest.

"My name is upperclassmen Kuno, Junior group E. Captain of the kendo club, undefeated new star of the high school fencing world, but my… muph!" Kuno's long winded speech was suddenly brought to a halt by Ranko's foot planted in his face.

"Ranma Saotome." Ranko sighed hands in her pockets with her foot still in Kuno's face. "You talk too much."

"Very well, challenge accepted." Kuno's eye twitched as he mumbled from behind Ranko's foot just before brining is sword down in a deadly slash. Ranko grinned and back flipped out of the way and distanced herself several meters.

"Hey somebody's taking on Kuno!" A random student shouted and in seconds the schools windows where packed with faces eager to witness the show. "Talk about dangerous!"

"Ranma!" Nabiki shouted down and from the tone of her voice she wasn't at all happy. Ranko just winked up at her.

"Tell me, what is you're relationship with Akane Tendo." Kuno demanded as she took a ready stance.

"Relationship?" Ranko scuffed; this guy must really be hung up on Akane. "I'm just staying at her place till… whoa!"

"Under the same roof as Akane!?" Kuno sprang forward almost to fast for Ranko but it only made it that much more enjoyable as she was able avoid it causing the attack to obliterate a section of the school's outer wall. The sight made grin from ear to ear.

She had fought so many skilled men but they never took her seriously but this guy however wasn't pulling his punches and it sent a thrill of excitement through her. It's about darn time someone recognized her skills and was willing to test them.

"I forbid it! I shawl not allow a scoundrel such as you soil the sacred home of the lovely Akane Tendo!" Kuno cried as he dashed forward and swung at Ranko once more.

"Ha!" Ranko laughed as she once again dodged the attack but instead of retreating she pressed her own attack. Diving forward towards Kuno's feet with a hand stretched out she waited till it connected with the ground before using her momentum to spin and bring her body from ball into a vertical pillar with both her feet rocketing towards Kuno's face.

To both her disappointment and satisfaction Kuno leaned back avoiding the attack. Not finished yes, Ranko pushed herself into the air spinning and whipping out another kick towards Kuno's upper chest which was blocked by his raised sword. However the attack was enough to push him back a few feet and allow Ranko escape from the counter attack which splintered the ground with a downward slash.

"You're not bad." Ranko grinned brightly; maybe there wasn't a reason to hold back versus Kuno after all. Kuno gave no reply as he began a quick succession of thrusts and slashes, all of which Ranko avoided with expert dodging. She couldn't help but laugh happily not remembering having so much fun in a long time. The sudden ringing of the school bell stole her amusement.

"Crap I'm late." Ranko gasped and took advantage of a small opening in Kuno's defense to hop from the ground and rebound off Kuno's sword and over his head. Unfortunately Kuno had not been paying close enough attention and thrust forward just in time to plant his face in Ranko's knee. The result was a pained moan from Kuno just before he collapse backward stiff as a board still holding his sword high, knocked out.

"Sorry!" Ranko called over her shoulder and high tailed it inside. She didn't want to be late the first day! She hadn't even registered yet! Rushing through the halls in a panic she looked for the head office.

"Wow that new guys pretty good knocking Kuno out and all." A boy commented as he continued to look out the window at the fallen Kuno.

"Looked to me like Kuno knocked himself out." Another boy commented and received a few agreements from nearby students.

"Oh look, its starting to rain." A girl spoke, everyone watching as Kuno was soon soaked by the downpour.

"Think someone's going to drag him inside?" The question was replied with indifferent silence. After several moments everyone turned away from the windows to listen to their teachers call attendance.

In the school yard Kuno twitched several times before springing to life with a battle cry swishing his sword around only to find nothing. Confused and disoriented at finding nobody around he sheathed the blade and entered the school soaked. It seems his opponent had felt the true power of Kuno and had fled in cowardly fear. Alas Kuno could not hold a grudge against such men as they who measured their worth against his and found themselves wanting. When next they meet he would respectful accept their admission of defeat.

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"That looks painful." Nabiki spoke dryly and pointing at Kuno's nose which was swelled to twice its normal size

"This is nothing." Kuno puffed his chest in pride till Nabiki's pointing finger lightly poked the tip of his nose.

"Eeee!" Kuno slapped his hands over her and put his head to the desk trembling painfully.

"Liar." Nabiki smirked. "So why where you fighting with Ranma Kuno-baby."

"Don't call me that." Kuno glared for several moments before straitening, fully recovered. "I will now allow any man to shelter himself under the same roof as Akane Tendo!"

"Oh, it was about Akane then?" Nabiki tilted her head, her cheeks cupped in both hands with an expression of having an amusing little secret.

"Tell me Nabiki. Who is this man that resides under the same roof as Akane?" Kuno demanded.

"It will cost you." Nabiki grinned.

"500."

"1000." Nabiki held out a hand making Kuno's eye twitch. After several long moments he deposited the sum in her hand.

"Ranma is staying with because of an arrangement made between our fathers." Nabiki smiled.

"What sort of arrangement." Kuno's eyes narrowed.

"Oh you know… the arranged marriage kind." Nabiki smiled evilly as Kuno's eyes bulged.

"I… I will not allow it!" Kuno shot to his feet disrupting the entire class promptly being nailed din the forehead by a piece of chalk.

"Kuno stand in the hall!" The teacher yelled.

"Yes sir." Kuno replied dumbly and left the room.

"Mmmm, maybe I should of told him who was marrying Ranma…." Nabiki grinned even more evilly. "This could prove to be amusing though."

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Ranko stood sweating in the hall from all the girls who stared at her in versus degrees of hunger when she had entered the classroom. She was going to have to be careful here, very careful! Theses girls seemed more like animals then humans, at last at first glance.

"This is all you're fault." Akane growled at her.

"My fault? I didn't ask you to stick around and watch." Ranko shot back causing Akane to bristle with anger.

"I had to make sure you didn't get hurt." Akane humped and turned away.

"You make sure I don't get hurt?" Ranko blinked then began to laugh. "That's a good one Akane. If I wasn't there that Kuno guy would have beat you."

"Hardly." Akane said hotly. "I fight him every morning and I ALWAYS manages to defeat him before school starts unlike someone here."

"So what's that all about anyway? You have a lot of enemies or something?" Ranko asked as she idly spun her water filled buckets about.

"Kuno told them… "If you wish to take Akane out Defeat her! I will permit no other Terms!" so now every morning him and the rest of those 'boys' try and defeat me." Akane huffed.

"Well you know." Ranko smirked. "When a guy fights a girl he tends to let up a lot."

"Don't underestimate me." Akane growled but before she could continue Ranko let out a shriek ad dodged a bucket full fo water.

"Hey what's the big idea?" Ranko demanded.

"Kuno?" Akane blinked.

"Never Ranma Saotome. I shawl never accept your engagement to Akane!" Kuno yelled brandishing his sword threateningly.

"What? Engagement?!" The class exploded overhearing the fight in the hall.

"How could you Akane! And you said you despised men!" A few girls pouted and seems overly upset at the news.

"Wait you got it wrong!" Akane barked.

"I ain't marrying anyone!" Ranko growled but apparently no one cared to listen. Narrowly she avoided an attack from Kuno which her poor water buckets she had just become friend with lost their lives.

"Stand your ground!"

'This is no place to fight!" Ranko called over her shoulder as she bolted down the hall. "Follow me.

"That I shawl!" Kuno gave chase along with Akane and the class. All the noise soon brought the rest of the classes on the floor flooding out into the hall.

"Lets take this outside! Follow me!" Ranko spying an open window leaped through it without a second thought.

"Fear not, I follow!" Kuno declared honorable and took the same leap only have his eyes bulge out in shock at falling from the third floor.

"Ack!" Ranko's eyes bulged similarly as she noticed that the only thing below her was a large pool. This isn't good! Not good at all! She desperately thought but saw no way to avoid it and with a monsters splash her and Kuno entered the pool.

"Hey look, Kuno's coming up!" A boy at the window shouted as Kuno a few moments later floated to the surface face down

"Where's Ranma?" Another asked.

Ranko panicked as she looked down at her chest which had suddenly become very definable under her soaked clothing. If she climbed out now there was no doubt someone would recognize her as a girl. She had to think of a way out of this! Looking up at the surface to see a floating unconscious Kuno an idea popped into her head. That might just work…

Swimming up below Kuno Ranko used him as a shield and began swimming to the edge of the pool. When she climbed out ti would look like she's helping Kuno instead of trying to hide her assets. Once she was out she could simply make a beak for it. To bad she hadn't taken note of Kuno's abnormal ability to revive nearly instantly.

"Ranma Saotome! I fight on!" Kuno cried as his arms captured Ranko in a bone crushing hug… and his hands… Ranko's face went scarlet as Kuno's hand seemed to perfectly grasp her bound breasts and he squeezed… hard.

Kuno didn't have time to register what he was grasping as Ranko reached behind and grasped his head. Using all her strength she rocketed them both from the water and slammed Kuno into the concrete ground head first before slipping away over a fence and disappearing from sight.

"Wow did you see that?" A boy gasped.

"That must have hurt." Another boy nodded.

"Who would fo thought that Ranma guy was so strong?"

As the spectators began to gossip among themselves, Nabiki who had been watching the fight closely narrowed her eyes. There was something she saw that didn't fit right though she couldn't tell what it was her 6th sense was blaring loudly. There was something she witnessed here of interest to her, but couldn't put her finger on it. Well she would just have to find where Ranma ran off to and figure it out.

Kuno lay crumpled on his back, his mind working as he concentrated. Yes… he was not mistaken. He had just had a woman in his arms… But how was that possible if only he and Ranma had entered the pool … What foul sorcery or magic was at work here… His mind continued to crank out fabricated truths until finally he came to a conclusion. Ha! It was so simple but if it where truly the case then…

"Ranma Saotome! I shawl not allow you to abandon this duel!" Kuno bolted to his feet with fire burning in his eyes which was quickly quenched as marched forward and slipped falling back into the pool. Perhaps today will be a draw Kuno decided as his head hit the bottom knock him out once more..

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"Darn it I'm sure someone saw…. They must have." Ranko growled as she wringed her shirt out. It seemed as if gallons of water had collected in it.

"Saw what?" Nabiki's voice filtered up from below. Ranko stiffened, could she see her? Peeking over the side of the branch she saw Nabiki wandering around the base of the tree trying to see up past a few other branches.

"Hey I'm nearly naked up here!" Ranko growled in hopes Nabiki really couldn't see the fact and slipped her shirt on in a flash. It still hung heavy but it would have to do.

"Oh… really?" Nabiki purred from below. "Oh I don't mind, we are fiancée's after all."

"Well I do!" Ranko gaped and blushed horribly, how shameless could Nabiki get? She truly didn't want to find out. Hopping down she made a angry face.

"What are you doing here anyways?" Ranko demanded.

"I came to check on you." Nabiki replied looking Ranko over.

"Why?" Ranko frowned. "It's not like we are friends."

"You just jumped out of a third story window and you're right. We are not friends we are fiancée's." Nabiki smiled sugar sweet. "I don't know about you but around here when people jump out of third story windows they die. I just wanted to make sure my fiancée hasn't gotten himself hurt."

"Humph! You sound like Akane." Ranko turned away. "If you haven't noticed I can take care of myself."

"Yes I did notice." Nabiki purred right into Ranko's ear making her jump and cling to the side of the tree like a terrified cat. Nabiki blinked at her then began to laugh loudly.

"W…w…ww.what do you think your doing!?" Ranko stuttered and demanded over Nabiki's laughter.

"You're so cute" Nabiki laughed louder. "The look on your face is priceless."

"It's not funny!" Ranko yelled in anger but only made Nabiki laugh harder. Ranko growled and hopped off the tree walking away.

"Where are you going?" Nabiki smiled finally calming down.

'Home." Ranko replied loudly still angry.

"Schools not over yet." Nabiki warned but seeing Ranko give no indication she cared, Nabiki sighed.

"Well here goes my perfect attendance." Nabiki smiled as she followed Ranko. She wasn't going to let him out of her sight till she figured out what it was about him that itched at the back of her mind.

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End Chapter 2

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