I'm not sure if I ever posted this on a forum, but if I had I'm pretty sure that it has been through some changes. Many thanks to James Axelrad for his help with this.
First half of Chapter next of Rebirth of the undomesticated equine.
"Carter…" Jack greeted with a smile as he looked down at his watch.
Rolling her eyes as she already knew what the man wanted to know the blonde major replied, "No Sir, I haven't heard from Ranma yet. School only just ended a little while ago."
"I still think we should have a party… Something with Cake?" Jack shot back.
"I don't know sir, Ranma seemed really nervous this morning before Cassandra got there to take her to school.
Shrugging Jack replied, "It's just first day jitters, Ranma will be fine… The kids been through a lot and this is nothing compared to some of those things."
"I don't know." Sam replied uncertainly, "Maybe we should have let her go as a him."
Shaking his head the somewhat silver haired colonel stated, "Out of our hands, those butt licking toadies in Washington won't allow it. And I even see their point, if the doohickeys fail we risk…"
"I know sir… exposure…" Sam finished with a sigh, "I just wish there was more we could do to help her… him…"
"Me too… Carter… Me too…" Jack added softly as he set a hand down upon the Majors shoulder, "But for now it's all we can do. Besides the kid's pretty resilient, just needs to get his mojo back."
"I suppose…" Sam stated rather skeptically.
Glancing over to the redheaded girl riding shotgun in the car with her Cassie couldn't help but sigh sadly. "Things had been going so well… Well at least until third period, I don't know what happened there and Ranma still won't tell me… I'm pretty sure that it wasn't first day jitters… Maybe a little bit but she seemed fine for JROTC and Home Ec. Something must have happened between her Math class and the tutoring sessions…" Letting out another sigh as they neared the turn off to the 2 lane highway that would take them up to the mountain the brunette asked, "You want to stop for some ice-cream? My treat?"
"No…" Ranma fired back rather sullenly, "I just want to get back to the base so I can spend some time as a guy."
"Ranma? Please tell me what's wrong… Did something happen after we split up this morning? You were awfully quiet during lunch too… I thought that you were just nervous and all…"
Despite the fact that she already knew that she could trust the other girl Ranma was still having problems forming the words. The reasoning for it was not her passable English but rather the embarrassing subject matter behind her foul mood. Sighing because she knew that talking about it would help, thanks in part to her sessions with Doc McKenzie Ranma muttered, "I'm a guy…"
"Uhm… Okay?" Cassie replied unsurely, "I know."
Staring down at her fists Ranma tried to continue, "I'm a guy who's wearing 3" clunky heeled boots, tight tan slacks and despite the fact that I am wearing two shirts neither of them make me look any less girly."
"I thought you liked the clothes? I mean I made a few suggestions but I didn't know that it would bother you this much… I thought you liked them…" Cassie replied feeling more than a little guilty as she wondered if she had pushed the sometimes girl into getting clothes that she didn't want.
"No it's not that…" Ranma answered feeling like a heel, "I don't mind any of the things you picked out for me. Well except for those thongs… Stupid perverts and panty lines" Ranma added with a mumble knowing while she wasn't limited to wearing one specific kind of undergarment as long as she chose to wear the nicer slacks in her wardrobe she was pretty much stuck with them. She didn't really understand herself in the matter as the slacks had been her choice and she could have easily went with looser jeans or a multitude of other options. And it wasn't because she was dressing overly feminine as she did not own a single dress or skirt at the at the moment. It was more of a case of her wanting to appear confident and despite her difficulties with actually feeling that way as of late she felt that a confident person wouldn't dress shabbily or like a bum. It's just that now as she was sitting in Cassie's newly acquired car, technically still belonging to the brunettes mother, she realized that perhaps she would have been better off dressing down in something more plain and ambiguous.
Despite herself the brown-haired girl could not help but giggle at the last part as she caught the redhead trying to adjust herself from the corner of her eye.
"Why anyone wears these things I'll never know… It's like all they want to do is climb up there and just when you think they can't wedge themselves in anymore, it's wham… Up there some more…"
Reining in her light laughter at the sullen look the redhead was giving her the brunette asked, "So is that what's wrong? You know you don't have to wear them if you don't want to, we just picked you out an assortment of different styles so you could try them out."
"No… It's not that… Well sort of." Ranma sighed again while shuffling her gaze down to her feet before adding, "I thought I had been doing fine, but once I left you…"
After watching her best friend walk away to go to her own third period class Ranma nervously rechecked her schedule despite knowing that Cassie had brought her to the right room. So far things hadn't been that bad for the sometimes redheaded girl, sure there had been a few whispered comments but nothing that she hadn't been able to block out thanks mainly to Cassie's presence. Now though she was on her own, without a crutch and walking right into the lion's den. Reaching up to straighten up her glasses Ranma steeled her nerves before entering the classroom and moving straight to the teacher's desk.
Unfortunately for her, that's when things started to fall apart for her because almost as soon as she entered the room her heel got caught on something, causing her to stumble and lose her grip on her books sending them sliding across the floor.
Red-faced over the fact that she was a master level martial artist whom had managed to lose their footing on a smooth floor the sometimes girl tried to retrieve her items before she called too much attention to herself. It was a lost cause because the moment she squatted down to retrieve the closest book the whispers started.
"Wow… Check out the new girl…"
"Dude she's wearing a thong…"
"Man I would tear that ass up…"
At first Ranma managed to block them out with the thinking of perhaps they were speaking about some else. Her delusion was not to last though as the next bout of whispers confirmed her fears.
"I heard that she's Chinese or something…"
"Yeah she talks with this funny accent…"
"Screw how she talks man, check out that rack on her."
Sighing sadly Ranma fruitlessly tried to tug down the back of her shirt to cover the very small line of exposed flesh only to realize that her actions were only spurning them on, only now a few girls could be heard offering hushed criticism.
"Why is she even bothering…."
"I dunno… but do you see the way your boyfriend is staring at her?"
"What a skank… Probably needs a green card or something…"
"I dunno… She could be adopted… I think I saw her out shopping last week with this old guy and his wife… And Becky, Fraiser's former best friend… Saw her this past weekend at the DMV with Fraiser when she was getting her license."
"I thought she wasn't talking to any of her friends anymore… Even heard she broke it off with Dominic a few weeks ago…"
"Hello… I said former best friend…"
"Who cares… She's just a loser… Sides Dom was too good for her."
"You don't think that Frasier dumped Dominic this tart? Do you?"
With her nervousness temporarily forgotten Ranma tried to mull over the fact that Cassie had had a best friend before herself. Sure it would make sense because the girl had been on Earth for four years but Ranma had never really thought about it before. But now that she did the idea left her feeling unsettled and wondering if she had been the reason why Cassie had broken off her previous friendships. Of course her current line of thought was put on temporary hold as yet another boy chimed in, a bit louder than the others.
"No way that chicks a lezbo…"
"Oh my god you moron, she'll hear you…" Chided one of the girls voices from before.
"So… What's she gonna do about it? Suckie suckie long time?"
"I'd let her call me Joe and give her five dollars for that." Another voice called out.
"Me so Horny…" the male voice from before called out in a clearly fake stereotypical accent eliciting several snickers, muffled laughes and a few more catcalls from throughout the room.
Charles Bransen was an elderly teacher a few years away from retirement and while he usually gave the kids in his classess a bit of leeway before the bell rang he had managed to hear the last few comments directed at the girl. After sparing the new girl a brief glance to make sure that she was okay the elderly man switched his attention to the rest of the class and sternly commanded, "All right that's enough, Smith, office now and the rest of you take out your books and go over chapter 5, we're going to have a little pop quiz in five minutes and if I hear so much as a peep before then you all will fail… And I don't think some of your classmates will appreciate the blemish on their grade." He was bluffing but it did serve to silence the class which was his intention. Turning back to the girl whom was now approaching him while fumbling with a folded sheet of paper he asked, "Now miss, is there a reason why you're disrupting my class?"
They had been just words and she had not even really understood everything that they had implied about her but the boys mocking tone of voice and fake accent really told her all she had needed to know. Despite herself she couldn't help it as her stomach twisted and churned with what was being suggested of her, only to be made worse when the muffled snickers started. Feeling an onslaught of humiliation mixed in with no small part of self-loathing Ranma tensed, she didn't need this class. Sam had told her that she didn't have to go to school yet if she wasn't ready, and standing there frozen in place as her eyes threatened to mist over she realized that she was far from ready to meet the outside world.
"Young lady?" Charles called out again somewhat impatiently as he realized his earlier question was going unanswered only to immediately regret it as he noticed the girl tense, looking like she was about to bolt out of the class at a moment's notice. Sighing as he stood from behind his desk with the intention of giving the girl some time to compose herself he gently prodded, "Why don't we step out into the hall for a moment so we don't disturb the rest of the class."
Ranma nodded reluctantly, forcing herself to follow behind the teacher and not shove him aside in an effort to escape the room.
Stepping out into the hall Charles waited patiently while the girl nervously shuffled out. Once she had cleared the doorway he in turn closed the door to offer them some privacy before turning to face the girl while putting on his most grandfatherly face to ask, "Are you going to be alright?" Not hearing a answer forthcoming he continued with, "Mr. Smith is a bit of a trouble maker and what he said was uncalled for and inappropriate and for that I apologize." Putting on a slightly sterner visage he added, "Now am I to assume that you are a new student?"
"Yes sir…" Ranma answered meekly after a few moments hesitation, "I just started here today…"
Nodding while he held out his hand Mr. Branson requested, "The office didn't let me know that you were starting today so I'm going to need to see your schedule."
Unable to stop the slight shaking in her hands Ranma nervously reshuffled her books in one hand while holding the small slip of paper with the other.
After retrieving the schedule and glancing over it with his aged eyes Charles replied, "Okay, everything looks to be in order here… Unfortunately, I need to report this incident involving Mr. Smith so I'm going to have to send you to the office as well so you can make your statement to the principal. This school has a zero policy concerning harassment and Mr. Smith was out of line." Noticing the almost relieved expression that fleetingly graced the girls face he added, "I'm not sure how long it's going to take but you might miss the rest of class. I would like to suggest though that you take a few minutes to compose yourself before heading to the office."
Exhaling a breath she hadn't realized she was holding Ranma tried not to show just how grateful she was to escape the leering and judgmental eyes of her would be peers. Secure in the knowledge that she wasn't going to be retuning to school the next day she afforded the man a small almost nonexistent smile before turning to make a break for it, only to pause in further embarrassment as she realized that she had started off in the wrong direction.
"Young lady…" Charles called out, "You're going to need a pass…"
Flushing as she awkwardly turned to wait for the teacher to fill out a hall pass for her Ranma began to feel anxiety creeping over as she realized that there was a possibility of having to confront the boy sent to the office before she would be allowed to leave for the secure confines of the mountain.
With her uncertainty and anxiety growing with each step Ranma slowly trekked down the hall with the hopes of stalling the almost certain confrontation off. Pausing as she neared a washroom the sometimes girl considered going inside to take the teachers advice to compose herself a bit before going to the office. Sure she wasn't in tears at the moment but with her current fluttering emotional state she could start any minute.
Just as she was about to open the door to go inside she caught sight of the placard on the door and stopped, realizing she had just been about to enter the boy's bathroom. Sighing in depression as the little placard seemed to throw her part time male status back in her face and mock her Ranma slowly leaned into the wall while hugging herself as tears started making their way out of her eyes.
"It's not fair… I'm a really a guy… why can't I just be a guy… I wouldn't have to worry about guys leering at me… skin tight clothing… What type of underwear… Wouldn't be so short… It's not fair…" The redhead lamented, ignoring the muffled noises coming from the washroom. Slinking down the wall until her legs were curled into her chest the distraught teen slipped deeper into her depression as she realized she was crying, something that just served to reinforce her whole mental image of being a weak little girl.
Just as she was lowering her head into her knees Ranma heard the bathroom door slam open just seconds before she felt someone collide with her sending her over onto her side. Ashamed at being caught in such a position the redhead blearily opened her eyes and stared across the floor at the person whom had tripped over her while trying to block out the mocking laughter that taunted her so.
Slowly she began to move, her eyes not leaving the back of the boys head as if she was waiting for him to just turn around to lay into her. Much to her surprise though he didn't turn around right away, favoring instead to quickly scramble to his feet and start dashing down the hall as if someone was chasing him.
Ranma continued to watch him go, disbelief clear on her face as her expectations went unfulfilled. Then though as if the boy was privy to her thoughts, just as he reached a intersection in the hall, he quickly shot a look back at her drawing the sometimes girl's attention to the fact that the boys hair was thoroughly soaked along with a good portion of his shirt.
Confused by the lack of verbal accusations Ranma slowly climbed to her feet, still trying to block out the mocking chuckles that were forcing themselves into her head.
It was only when she was about halfway to her feet that she realized that the laughter was not a figment of her imagination.
"Ahh… That was great… and made a bit of money too…" Jake Smith muttered to himself as he shoved a small handful of bills into his pocket. "Stupid Asian bitch probably got me suspended anyway so it's not like one more small infraction matters…"
With a growing sense of dread Ranma finished climbing to her feet as she recognized the voice from before.
"Hello… What do we have here?" Jake said to himself with a smile as he realized his good fortune.
Not wanting to believe what her ears were telling her Ranma turned around hoping that she was just imagining the whole thing.
"It's you…" Jake announced happily as he smiled evilly.
"…Me…" Ranma stuttered anxiously while taking a step back.
"I'm so happy to run into you here…"
"You are?" Ranma gulped uneasily as she took another step back.
"Oh yes… I needed to thank you…" Jake continued while forcing the girl to back up into a wall, "You know… For getting me kicked out of class… I just thought I should show you a bit of gratitude… That's all…"
Gulping as she realized she had allowed herself to be trapped between the wall and the large over six feet frame in front of her Ranma knew that gratitude was the last thing on the boys mind, especially when he placed his arms on either side of her to block any attempts at a escape.
"Now… Now… No need to be in such a hurry…" Jake taunted as he leaned in close, "I just want to apologize for what I said back in class, I was just joking around."
Ranma stood with her back frozen against the wall, feeling trapped and unable to move.
"I'm not such a bad guy… Honest." Jake tried smoothly, "You'll see…"
"I'll see?" Ranma parroted back unsurely as she became even more uncomfortable with the way the boy was leering at her. It reminded her a little too much of the way that one NID agent had looked at her while he had slowly cut away her clothes. Sure her eyes had been closed for most of it but at the end right after she had heard Cassie's scream she had seen the look of lust in the man's eyes right before it had turned into something else, shock… fear… surprise at losing his hand…
Those looks didn't matter though, sure they continued to haunt her but somehow now those looks paled in comparison to the fleeting glimpse of lust she had gotten from the man before she had reacted.
"Oh yes… Once you get to know me on a more… Intimate level… I'm just a big soft teddy bear."
Ranma flinched away from the other teens face wincing as the boys coarse hot breath trickled across her skin. Desperately she tried to not panic, but the entire situation was just forcing the memories of what had happened in the woods onto her.
Jake smiled when he caught a glimpse of the girls hand starting to curl up like she was going to take a swing at him. Laughing at the idea that such a petite girl could actually hurt him he prodded, "Ohh… Are you going to take a swing at me… I'm hurt… you should be careful, a pretty girl like you could chip a nail or hurt yourself trying to throw a punch."
Ranma stopped in alarm as she un curled her hand, the boys words having drawn her back into the present, thus preventing herself from unintentionally repeating her actions and literally ripping the boy apart. "This isn't back then… I'm not out there… It's not the same thing…"
"You know… You shouldn't hide behind these glasses." Jake stated as he used one hand remove Ranma's glasses, "You have such pretty eyes…"
"Give them back…" Ranma growled suddenly.
"Or what?" the large teen mocked.
It was like a switch had been flipped in the redheads mind as she glared angrily up at the large boy. Moments before she had almost lost control to her fears but now she was somehow pushing them aside to focus on the boy in front of her. She knew that she couldn't use her 'meta-powers' to take Cassie's gift back. But that didn't mean that she was completely powerless either.
"Is the weak little girl gonna cry? Wanna go home to your mommy and daddy to hide under your bed?"
"Weak…" Ranma muttered in disbelief, Teal'c had proven to her in their spar that she wasn't weak. That there really wasn't that much anyone without a weapon could do to hurt her. But in a moment of realization she realized that despite the Jaffa's efforts she had been continuing down the same path, cowering in upon herself because she was afraid. Afraid of what she knew she could control based on her own actions. And now that same fear was letting the boy looming over her exploit that weakness and turn it back onto her.
Firming her resolve to make an active change within herself, the current girl calmly unfurled her hands and warned, "I'm not going to ask again. Give them back…"
"Naw… I think I'll hold onto them a bit longer if you don't mind." Jake replied curiously as he wondered what she would try.
Now while Ranma knew that she shouldn't hurt the other teen too badly there were also a few other things to take into consideration. Of the most prominent of those there was the matter of what would happen to her should the Jack and Sam find out about it. She was supposed to maintain a low profile and not try to pull undue attention upon herself. Yet at the same time she was at a loss at how to deal with the situation. Back before she had been cursed the answer would have been simple, now though she realized that she had too much to lose.
However just because she could not demonstrate her complete skills on the obnoxious teen she was a master martial artist and had several more subtle options available to her. With that thought in mind the small slip of a girl decided to make her move and stepped down lightly on the boy's foot.
"Oooouuchh…" Jake yelped, "You little bitch…"
Well lightly for her anyway.
"Ohh, I'm sorry mister… I didn't see your foot there, here let me help you." Ranma replied innocently as she made a move that to if someone was watching they would think that she was just trying to steady the larger boy as he hopped around while clutching his foot.
- SLAM -
"My head…" Jake groaned out as he lost his balance and slammed head first into the wall.
"I'm so sorry mister… I'm really trying but I'm just a weak little girl… And you're just so big and heavy." Ranma added with an increasingly faux accent as she swiped her glasses away from the boy in preparation for the finishing move.
- WHAM - THUD -
Wincing at the slight bounce the other kids head had done when he slammed into the ground Ranma added while switching to a thicker even more stereo typical accent, "Oh no… Mist'a you aw wight… Me sooo sowwy… Me go get nurse…" After double checking with a glance to make sure she hadn't really hurt the kid too badly the teen started to make her way to the office but not before muttering to herself, "Perhaps the leg sweep was a bit too much."
Hearing a low moan from behind her Ranma shook her head and replied, "Nah…"
"Oh my god Ranma… Are you okay?" Cassie fretted worriedly as she quickly alternated between watching the road and looking at her friend while looking for a spot to pull over.
"I'm okay… It's just been a long day… I don't feel good… I probably just need a bit of guy time…" Ranma answered tiredly, with holding the fact that she really just wanted to go sleep for a week.
"If you're sure." Cassandra replied while mentally resolving herself to talk to Ranma about her prior friends and what happened to cause the split. She knew she needed to do it soon just so her friend wouldn't feel guilty about it but at the same time she realized that right now there were other more pressing matters at hand. "Did you get in trouble?"
"I don't know. I hope not." Ranma replied quietly, "I gave the note the teacher gave to the principal he asked me a few questions but I left out what happened in the hall. He did stop by to give me a letter while I was with the tutor though so maybe the other guy said something… I dunno… The principal told me not to open it and give it to one of my guardians."
"Did they try to call?"
"No… Not that I know of anyway." Ranma responded, "I just hope that I can go back tomorrow."
"You want to go back?" Cassie questioned dubiously. Thinking that if her first day of school had been like Ranma's then there was no way she would even consider going back.
"Yeah… I'm not really sure why but I think it's something I need to do…" Ranma stated out loud before mentally adding, "I have to prove to myself that I'm not weak, that I can handle this."
Feeling worried and now knowing that Ranma was sharing those worries about the contents of the letter Cassie suggested, "Ranma, why don't you let me deliver the letter to Sam while you change?"
"I don't know… I mean shouldn't I be the one to deliver it?" Ranma questioned back not really sure if she could bare the disappointment in Sam's eyes if she had managed to get kicked out of school on her first day.
"Well technically… but Sam can be pretty hard to track down sometimes and she might have had to go off world… I just figured I could find her and bring her to your room there while giving you a chance to change…" Seeing the worried look her friend was giving her Cassandra added, "I'm sure it's just about the incident in the class room, the principal would have said something otherwise… I think…"
Ranma nodded and replied with relief evident in her voice, "Thanks… Cassie…"
Stargate Command several minutes later
After leaving his XO to her devices while they waited for Ranma to get back from school Jack roamed aimlessly through the halls. Sure he had paper work that he could possibly catch up with but the anticipation he was feeling for Ranma and his first day of school was serving to be a more useful distraction, more so than his gameboy. After a while of wandering though he realized that Ranma would probably stopping by the infirmary first as the current girl would most likely swing by with Cassie before running off to his on base quarters to change both gender and clothes for a little bit of training.
With an actual direction in mind Jack briefly glanced down at his watch wandering if perhaps he should track down some of the others too. Fortunately for the other three members of SG1 the man decided against tracking them down as he wanted to catch Ranma before the teen had a chance to run off and train.
"Doc… Carter…" Jack greeted as he stepped into the infirmary only to realize that his blonde major had beat him there, "So that project you were going to finish up in your lab is done?"
"Ah… No sir…" Sam replied guiltily at having been caught in a slight misrepresentation of the facts. Sure there was a project she was working on and yes it was nearly done but it at the moment she was still waiting on the simulation reports before she could go any further with it.
"Colonel, what brings you here? Don't I usually have to drag you down here?" Janet asked already knowing the answer.
Taking his gaze off of his teammate Jack shrugged, "Well… It's been awhile since I've been blinded with your little pen light and I was feeling a bit nostalgic."
"Uhuh…" Janet clucked in disbelief before adding, "And I suppose that the fact that Ranma should be back from her first day of school any minute now has nothing to do with it."
"Oh was that today?" Jack asked while feigning ignorance, "I hadn't realized."
Rolling her eyes at her CO's antics Sam announced, "Don't let him try to fool you he knows, it's all he's been talking about all day."
"Hmmm… Well take a seat and make yourself comfortable Colonel." Janet replied while motioning to one of the vacant beds, "I'll be right over for my long awaited attempt at blinding you with my little pen light." Moving over to shuffle through one of the drawers the petite red haired doctor prompted, "So these memory problems have been going for how long?"
"What memory problems?" Jack asked unsurely.
"hmm… That's not good…" Janet stated clinically as she pulled out a little tape recorder before continuing, "Note patient is apparently suffering from short term memory loss."
"He knew that it was going to be Ranma's first day yesterday." Sam added helpfully.
Shooting his XO a mock look of betrayal Jack questioned, "Et Tu Carter?"
"Correction Patient seems to be suffering from both long and short term memory loss." Janet amended while pulling out a rather large Maglite flashlight before adding to her blonde cohort, "Sam I might need you to hold him down for me while I check his pupils for any sign of brain damage."
"Hey now…" Jack protested while waving off the intimidating petite redheaded doctor, "There's no need to bring out the big guns. I was just fooling around…"
"Patient seems hostile and might require sedation." Janet added not even bothering to speak into the small recorder.
"Uhm… Is everything okay?"
"Phew… You're a life saver Cassie…" Jack sighed in relief before glancing back at the menacing doctor and adding, "I definitely owe you one."
Smiling at her daughter as she set the Maglite aside Janet asked, "How was school?"
"It was okay." Cassie shrugged nervously, dreading over the contents in the letter she was carrying.
"Just okay?" Jack asked from his position on the bed.
"Well…" Cassie shuffled awkwardly, "Everything went well up until third period…"
Noticing the letter in her daughters hands Janet asked, "Did you get in trouble?"
Shaking her head in denial the brunette sighed, "No… But there was an incident… "
"An incident?" Sam questioned worriedly wondering if her niece had accidentally lost control of her newly found powers.
"You didn't do anything… You know… With your mind and the magnet thingy's did you?" Jack asked in concern.
Shaking her head rapidly the teen answered, "I wasn't there."
"So did something happen with Ranma then?" Sam asked worriedly.
Nodding her head as she stepped up to the blonde major and presented her with the note Cassandra replied, "Ranma told me about it… It wasn't her fault…"
"It's okay Cassandra, I'm sure that if it was serious they would have called into the switchboard." Janet replied as she stepped behind Sam's shoulder to get a glimpse of the letter.
"So where is Ranma anyway?" Jack asked as he hopped off the bed.
Not wanting to tell them that she was buying Ranma a bit of time by giving the note to them thus insuring that they would at least have a few minutes to calm down before confronting Ranma about what happened Cassie replied, "Ranma went to change back into a guy and get some training in before dinner."
"Uhm… Okay…" Sam drawled out as she opened the letter and began to read it.
Cassandra fidgeted nervously as she stood there watching Sam open and read the letter. Noticing the miniscule beginnings of an angry frown the Brunette felt it necessary to help plead Ranma's case as obviously the letter must contain details about the confrontation in the hall. Clearly nervous about speaking the teen licked her suddenly parched feeling lips and started, "It wasn't Ranma's fault… He… She was just going to the office like the teacher told her to… But the guy… Jake… He came out of the washroom and saw her. Ranma tried to get away but she's not allowed to show how strong she is and she got pinned on the wall by the guy… She really tried to get away but he wouldn't let her and she thought he was going to do the same thing that the NID had tried in Minnesota…" Feeling a dam beginning to burst from the pressure of keeping what had actually happened secret for so long the brunette was unable to stop herself as she continued, "He was cutting off her clothes and touching her and she couldn't move… And… And… The guy in the cave… I couldn't fight him off… he was toying with me… Pinning me… I tried… I tried…" Cassandra floundered as she finally broke down into tears and letting out the pent up shame and frustrations that had been stewing within her since the event had transpired.
"Cassie… Hun… It's okay…" Janet hushed as she rushed forward and took her daughter into her arms. She had known that something of the sort had happened but she hadn't pried into it, in the hopes that her daughter would tell her when she was ready. Sure she had Cassandra seeing a trauma counselor under the guise of the general events that had happened but despite that effort her daughter seemed closed off to the outside world with the exception of herself and SG1. Events over the past weekend had began to make it look like her daughter had finally started to recover but Janet realized belatedly that it had just been subdued due to Ranma's presence as the first night that the sometimes girl had stayed at Sam's her daughter had once again climbed into her bed.
"I'm sorry momma… I'm sorry…"
"Shushhhh… It will be okay honey… You'll see… It'll be okay…" Janet comforted softly while stroking her daughters back unaware that the two members of SG1 had left the room.
"Carter…" Jack huffed slightly as he rushed after the Blonde major. "Carter slow down would you…"
"Sir?" Sam offered back as she picked up her pace.
"Dammit Carter… We don't even know what really went on…" Jack fired out as he matched his XO's pace.
"We know enough…" Sam huffed back while dodging around a few airmen.
After glaring at the airmen for getting in the way Jack tried to reason with his major with, "Alright fine… Let's just say we know enough about what went on this afternoon… What then?"
Spinning on her heels while coming to a complete stop the furious blonde major ranted, "I'm going to pull her out of school… That's what… We get tutors… Hell, I'll tutor Ranma by myself if I have to… There's no way I'm letting him go back there after this, not after all that she's been through… Assaulted like that in school and the principal didn't even have the nerve to call me and tell me about it personally…"
"Carter…" Jack tried unsuccessfully to cut off the major's rant before raising his voice and repeating himself, "CARTER…"
"…He'll be lucky if he can get a job as a lunch lady in a federal prison once I get done with him… And that student… Oh is he in trouble… I'm… I'm… not sure what I'm going to do yet… but I'm sure it will be something to make him think twice before even looking at another girl…" Sam trailed off as she realized just how close she was to being insubordinate to her commanding officer.
Running his hand through his graying hair Jack sighed and questioned, "Don't you think we should find out what really happened before you condemn the principal to a life in little white smocks?"
Blushing at having gotten carried away and still angry about what Cassandra had tried to explain to them Sam replied, "Yes sir, sorry about getting carried away like that."
"Eh… No problem Carter, Ranma has a tendency to grow on you rather quickly…" After a moment of silent consideration Jack added, "Bet you didn't think that I was going to be a voice of reason when you woke up today."
"I don't know what you are talking about sir, you are always the voice of reason around here." Sam stated with a playful insincere tone.
A few minutes later
Wrapped in a towel Ranma sighed as she sat down on the edge of the bed still female despite the fact that she had just taken a rather hot shower. Sending a half hearted glare at the small desk in her quarters where the small Avatar pendant and the dry bar of water proof soap were sitting the slightly damp redhead sighed again.
"Well so much hoping that it was a onetime fluke…" Ranma thought to herself, "Why did it have to be today of all day's… Couldn't it have happened last week before I started school… And for that matter why am I only getting this now I thought Sheila said that this was a monthly thing…" Pulled out of her musings by a knock on the door the teen tiredly called out, "Come in."
Hearing Ranma call out Jack swung open the door and politely held it open for his XO and was about to follow her into the room when he was blocked by the majors arm grabbing onto the doorframe. Not having looked past her yet to notice the towel clad girl on the bed Jack grumpily protested, "Carter… What gives?"
Maintaining her grip on the doorframe to prevent her CO access Sam looked over to the slightly wet currently female teen on the bed and said, "Ranma isn't dressed yet."
"Well why'd she tell us to come in?" Jack grumbled as he turned away from the door, "We're not mind readers here… though I suppose it's only a matter of time until one of us can."
Temporarily ignoring her CO Sam apologized, "I'm sorry Ranma, we can come back in a few minutes once you've had time to get dressed."
"SAM WAIT…" Ranma called out slightly desperately right before the older blond had finished closing the door.
Leaving the door only cracked slightly open so as to not give anyone passing by a free show Sam turned back, "Yes?"
Flushing in embarrassment at what she was about to ask the teen continued, "Could you come in here for a second please?"
Starting to whistle a little tune Jack paused just enough to offer up, "I'll just wait right here then."
A few moments later
Hearing the door open behind him Jack paused in his whistling once again, upon hearing the sound of approaching boots he asked, "So is everything okay?"
Pausing briefly to address her CO Sam replied, "Yeah, everything is fine, I'll be right back."
"You'll be right back? I thought we were going to talk to Ranma about what happened in school?"
"We are… I just have to go get something from the infirmary first."
"Is Ranma hurt?" Jack asked in minor alarm as the only thing he could conceive Ranma needing from the Infirmary would be bandages or the doctor and since the Major had implied something rather than someone he was leaning towards bandages.
"No… Ranma's fine…" Sam stated carefully before adding, "It's just she just needs something from the infirmary… For you know… Girl issues…"
"Girl issues?" Jack questioned as a look of understanding crossed over his face causing him to let out a somewhat awkward, "Girl issues… Right then… I'll just wait right here then… Yep… I'll just wait right here until after you get back… Just me and the wall here…"
Shaking her head while managing to stifle a slight giggle over the colonel's antics Sam replied, "I'll be right back sir."
An hour or so later
"Well that's that…" Jack stated with an air of finality before adding, "But if there are any more issues with that kid at school I want you to tell a teacher or at the very least your JROTC instructor, Lieutenant Biggs, I know he's kind of young but he spent some time at the SGC before he was injured on a mission. You can trust him, he's a good man and I've already asked him to look out for you."
"We had a Master Sergeant Kyle today…" Ranma stated before adding, "But Cassie did say she usually had a different instructor for the class."
"Ah… Well that explains that, he was supposed to introduce himself before class…"
Stepping in where her CO had left off Sam added, "It's not that we don't trust you to be able to take care of yourself. And even though you handled the situation, it's not something that you should have had to handle. If that student bothers you again I don't want you to risk confronting him even though you can take care of him we'd much rather have the teachers take care of it, it's part of their job and it might draw undo attention to yourself if you are constantly there when he gets hurt."
"Well that… And this isn't like you're old school where you had to fight for bread… Honestly a bread feud… That's just…" Jack chuckled lightly as he envisioned two kids in a badly dubbed kung fu movie battling over bread, "Actually now that I think about it… I'm pretty sure I've seen that somewhere…"
"But it was good bread…" Ranma defended herself weakly, "Besides the guy was a great sparring partner. We were supposed to have one last spar before I left for China but after waiting three days for him my old man jumped me and by the time I woke up we were already at the coast…"
"Well…" Jack started as he thrust his hands into his pockets, "I think Carter has some work to get to before she can leave for the day… And I'm pretty sure that you probably want to go get some kicking and punching in before you leave… So we'll just get going now. Unless there was anything else on your mind?" Snapping his fingers as he spun to leave Jack added, "Oh and I was going to offer but seeing as you're having 'Girl Issues' this weekend probably wouldn't work since you can't change back right now." After giving a slight pause so he could gage the redheads reaction he continued, "But next weekend I figure that we could spend some time running around outside of the base… You know just us guy's… If you want… No pressure…"
"But I thought that I wasn't allowed to?" Ranma questioned back.
Shrugging Jack replied, "You have that soap stuff… Until we get another one of those thingy's from area 51 we'll just have to be careful."
"What about…" Ranma tried to sputter as her mood lightened at the prospect of being a guy outside of the mountain even if it was for a limited time.
Waving off the teens concern Jack stated, "Let me worry about the toadies in Washington…" Then glancing over to the clock in Ranma's on base quarters he added, "But I do need to get going so… Carter…" Stopping just shy of leaving the room Jack paused again and shot out, "Oh… hang in there sport…"
"Hang in there sport?" Sam questioned as she followed her CO down the hall.
"Well duh… Girl issue's… Hello…" Jack fired out carelessly.
"Sir?" Sam questioned dangerously, "What's that supposed to mean?"
Backpedaling lest he face the Major's wrath Jack hurriedly replied, "Well he's a guy… So… This has to be… Difficult… Yeah difficult for him."
Stopping in mid stride the blonde Major realized that her Colonel had a very good point.
The following Friday
"So are you excited about this weekend?" Cassie asked as she unlocked the car and threw her bag in the back seat.
"Yep…" Ranma replied, having followed suit before claiming the passenger seat.
"Did Jack tell you what he had planned?"
"Nope. He said he wanted it to be a surprise."
Smiling as she started up the car Cassie replied, "Well whatever it is I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun. Jack's a pretty cool guy… Hey do you mind if I make a quick stop?"
"I wanted to swing by my place so I can change out of this uniform. We can swing by Sam's too so you can change if you want?"
"No it's okay, no sense in changing twice." Ranma shrugged back causing his friend to give her a rather odd look. "What? Do I got something on my face?"
"Uhhm noooo…" Cassie drawled out slowly. "I just figured that you'd want to change out of that… You know because…"
"The skirt?" Ranma replied before continuing at her friends nod, "Well this morning… But I don't know… It's not so bad… I mean, it's part of the Uniform, your mom wears one every day and Sam wears one occasionally…"
"I know, but you didn't have to wear one today, Lieutenant Biggs said that since they didn't have a slacks in your size you could wait a few weeks before wearing the uniform to school."
"I know," Ranma sighed, "But over the past week and a half I've done a lot of thinking… I just want to fit in at school and not wearing a uniform on the one day a week would make me stand out more… Sides, since this is on loan from your mom I still technically don't own a skirt."
Nodding the brunette asked, "It's just with what happened that first day I just thought that you wouldn't be… You know… Comfortable wearing a skirt at school."
After pausing to consider her answer the redheaded teen incased in the standard light blue short sleeved dress shirt and blue skirt with all the markings of a Airforce JROTC student replied, "As I said it's a Uniform… School isn't that bad… Sure the first several day's were pretty rough but for the most part I was only having problems in third period and that was mostly because of that Smith guy…"
"Ooh… Right… I heard he got in school detention for a week for mouthing off to a teacher on his first day back from being suspended." Cassie interrupted before adding, "At least that's what I heard…"
"Yep, me too…" Ranma replied not mentioning that it had in fact that it had been herself whom had told Cassie earlier in the week. Leaning back in the seat and stretching out her arms the shorter teen added cheerfully, "But none of that matters right now, cause it's the weekend, I'm not PMS'ing anymore and I get to spend all weekend as a guy off base."
Sgc a short time later
"Hey mom, is Jack around?" Cassie greeted warmly as she followed Ranma into the infirmary.
"Right here kiddo." Jack stated warmly as he stepped out of the small washroom wearing his full dress uniform.
"Hey Jack," Ranma announced happily before asking, "Would it be okay if I worked out for a bit before we left?"
"Yeah… About that…" Jack stalled before noting the perfect distraction entering the infirmary dressed in her dress blues.
"Sir did you have a chance to talk to Ranma about tonight?"
"Not yet…" Jack supplied while glaring at his newly arrived 2IC.
"What about tonight? Are we in a hurry?" Ranma asked in confusion before she noticed that both Jack and Sam were in their dress uniforms, "How come you guys are wearing your dress uniforms? Are we going somewhere? Cause I should probably change so I don't get anything on Cassie's moms skirt."
"Ranma… About tonight…" Jack started off slowly, "Something came up and I'm going to have to cancel."
Feeling dejected over Jack bailing out on her the redheaded teens shoulders slumped while she sighed out, "That's okay Jack… I need to try to catch up on my training anyway… I don't want to lose my edge you know…"
"Ranma…" Jack tried as the teen started to leave the room, "It's not like that… Carter back me up here."
Blocking the crestfallen redheads path so that she couldn't leave Sam added, "It's true, we have to go off world for a funeral of one of our allies."
"I wouldn't call them 'allies'…" Jack grumbled quietly, "Bunch of holier than thou…"
"Sir…" Sam chastised with a roll of her eyes, "They have their reasons for not trading technology to us…"
"Look… All I am saying is that maybe next time we hold off on helping them out for a bit… You know, sort of a you scratch our backs we save your butts deal…" Jack shot off before turning his attention back to Ranma. "The funeral is in a few hours and we won't be back until late tonight but that still gives us all day tomorrow and Sunday to hang around doing manly guy stuff. So what do you say? Still wanna hang out with this old man?"
Ranma sighed in relief, glad that the older man was not just trying for a polite means to get out of their planned weekend together. "I'm guessing that Sam is going too?" Ranma asked despite having already arrived at that conclusion based on what her gaurdian was wearing.
"Yes, I'm sorry Ranma but…" Sam started before shooting her Colonel a look daring him to disagree before adding, "But the invitation was to all members of SG1."
"I'm sorry to hear that Aunty Sam…" Cassie interjected politely before switching to, "Does that mean that Ranma is staying here tonight?"
Resisting the urge to mutter teenagers at the way that her niece had managed to switch gears Sam nodded and answered, "I already asked your mom, she said she was okay with her if Ranma wanted to spend the night at your house." Switching her gaze back to the redhead Sam continued, "It's up to you, of course, but Janet has to come in tommarow morning anyway so you can ride back here with her in the morning to meet up with the colonel."
"Come on, it'll be fun…" Cassie pleaded with a smile.
Despite the fact that she had already moved past Jack having to cancel on her tonight Ranma still managed to slowly drawl out a resigned, "I guess… I mean… I do have this nice and lumpy bed here… Food whenever I want it…" holding back a smile she continued, "Plenty of bland grey scenery to help me pass the time…"
Later that night
"You should wear the cape…" Cassie stated from her position on the couch as she looked up from having just finished painting her toenails on one foot. Trying to not stare too long at her currently plutonic girlfriend lest her mind start wandering to other thoughts concerning the tight somewhat revealing blue and red super girl themed pajamas the redhead was wearing she added, "It's part of the whole ensemble you know."
Uncurling her feet out from beneath her as she temporarily set the paperback book she was reading down in favor of stretching herself out, Ranma huffed, "Uhh uhn… Not going to wear it…"
"Why not?" Cassie asked as she grabbed Ranma's book and started to use it to fan her toes.
"It's dorky looking." the redhead answered plainly while making a slow half hearted grab to retrieve her book.
"Is not…" Cassie shot back while flipping the book over to read it's cover. "A dummies guide to first aide? What's this for?"
"Give it back…" Ranma whined slightly in embarrassment before making a lunge for it.
Not yet wanting to give the book back Cassie leaned to the side and extended her arm trying to keep the book away from her friend until she could get a better look at it. Unfortunately she had forgotten that while Ranma was considerably shorter than her the petite redhead was insanely quick when she wanted to be, so in a last ditch effort to keep the book away she tried levitating it with her mind hoping that there were staples or something in it so her powers could keep it aloft. Then to further that goal, just as the redhead extended herself over her she reached out and grabbed the smaller girl by the waist, pinning her in a hug.
"Hey… No cheating…" Ranma whined before pausing to stare at the simple paperback book floating in midair, "…Err… Cassie?"
"Yeah…" the taller of the two replied somewhat reluctantly with a sigh as her face flushed from the confusing mix of emotions that were being brought forth from the clumsy embrace.
"How sure are you about your abilities? You know the electromagnet thing…"
"Pretty sure…" the girl answered while valiantly trying to advert her eyes from her friends in the hopes that by not looking at the shiny blue orbs she wouldn't focus on them and thus break the mesmerizing spell they were starting to weave upon her.
"Well it's just that that book is a paperback held together by glue."
"huh… Wait… Are you sure?"