Tenchi and Ranma, Together Forever!?
Chapter 1: Beginnings.

Genma Saotome looked at the faded and tattered postcard in his
hand.

Coming soon.
Bringing Ranma.

A tear slid down his cheek. He had written it the day before he
and Ranma had arrived at Jusenkyo. That had been meant to be the last
stop on their training trip, after that Genma had planned to take them
back to Japan, and to the fiancee that was waiting there for Ranma.
The fiancee that Ranma now would never know about.

He'd had such plans. Ranma would marry one of Soun's daughters,
and Genma would retire to his well earned rest. All gone now, all his
plans dust, because his son had lost his temper and forgotten the true
way of the martial artist.

His mind drifted back to that day when all his hopes and dreams
had come crashing down. It had been foggy, he remembered that well,
so foggy that he had almost walked into one of the Jusenkyo springs
before he had seen it.

FLASHBACK:
We see the Jusenkyo valley, or rather we don't see it. The
entire valley is shrouded in a dank fog that cuts visibility to a mere
few feet. Three figures emerge from the fog. Genma, Ranma and the
guide.
"And this Sirs, is famous training ground of cursed springs, very
tragic and famous place."
"Not bad Pop, this place looks like it might actually be
challenging, this fog is great."
"O no sirs, fog is not part of training ground. Please, you come
to hut now, have nice cup tea, wait for fog clear, then I show you O
so tragic springs, yes?"
"Are you kidding? The fog's the only thing that makes this a
challenge." Ranma slipped the backpack he was wearing off, and
lightly leaped up to one of the barely visible bamboo poles.
Genma looked uncertain, he could barely see the poles. "I don't
know boy, maybe we should take the guides advice. A nice hot cup of
tea would go nice about now."
"Sure pop, you go right ahead, go rest your creaky old bones. It
must be a bugger to get all old and slow. I'll just practice by
myself." Ranma smirked down at Genma, who was rapidly turning red.
"Old!? Slow!? You asked for it boy. Prepare yourself, I'm
going to show you that these old bones can still kick your ass."
Genma slipped out of his own pack and leaped up to the pole opposite
Ranma." he felt a twinge of relief as the pole came into clear view as
soon as he got close. He turned and leaped at Ranma the instant he
touched down.
The guide was frantic and yelled up at the barely visible martial
artists. "O sirs, what you do? You not want to do that, better you
come down now. Yes?"
Ranma ignored the guide's frantic cries, and leaped to meet
Genma. They exchanged a flurry of blows before Ranma snuck in a
clever feint, followed by a kick, that sent Genma plunging into the
mist. Ranma smirked as he heard the tremendous splash Genma made as
he landed in the spring below his pole.
The guide heard as well, and barely backed off in time to escape
being splashed by the wave of water that washed over his former
position. The first splash was followed by a second as Genma leaped
back toward Ranma position.
Ranma was peering into the fog, trying to spot his father.
"What's the matter pop? Giving up already? Ahhh, what the hell is
that?" The last was screamed out as a massive black and white creature
came flying out of the fog straight toward him. Taken by surprise, he
reacted slowly and was knocked from his pole and sent flying backwards
out of sight by a powerful kick.
Having revenged his dunking, and shown the boy once again who was
boss, thoughts of hot tea crossed Genma's mind. He leaped lightly to
the ground beside the Guide who stared at him in shock.
Genma tried to say, About that tea, but all that came out was
"Growf." Genma lifted a hand to his mouth in shock, but before it
could reach its destination, he froze in shock, staring at the black,
heavily clawed hand that had replaced his own meaty hand.
"O too bad, Mr customer fall in spring of drowned Panda, very
tragic tale of Panda that drown there two thousand year ago, very
tragic tale. Now whoever fall in spring take on form of Panda.
Genma could only look at the guide in shock. The guide was used
to this reaction, and was about to lead Genma to his hut for a kettle
of hot water, when an explosion of voices yelling in some strange
dialect came through the fog.
The Guide turned pale, and grabbing Genma by a paw, dragged the
stunned and unresisting panda along behind himself as he made haste
away. As he was dragged along Genma became aware of the voices behind
them. He also could hear the sound of someone running towards them,
the sound of hurrying footsteps was intermixed every few seconds by a
splash, only to resume seconds later. The footsteps kept getting
closer and closer, until finally a small naked red headed girl, her
wet hair hanging practically to her knees, burst from the fog, and
immediately launched a flying kick that caught the stupefied Genma
under the chin and sent him sailing backwards into the fog, and
unconsciousness.


Genma sighed, Ranma in her eagerness to get back at him after
getting out of the Nyanniichuan, had in her rage, and blinded by the
fog, stumbled into a spring. When she had not changed any further
then she already had, she had thrown caution to the wind, and made a
bee line straight back towards where she thought Genma was, falling in
a dozen or so springs as she did so. Somehow the contact with all
that magic had frozen her in her cursed form.
The guide had no idea as to how it had happened, the springs were
not suppose to do that, they could not mix. At least not without the
body having years to adapt to one curse. Genma could go back in ten
years, and jump in the Nanniichuan, and might free himself of his
curse, but only might, it was no guarantee.
The guide had no idea if that would work on Ranma. He was very
evasive when asked. Genma suspected he was one of those people who
hated to admit they did not know the answer. He hated people like
that, they should be forthright and honest, and admit their short
comings.

Genma turned his attention back to his open back pack. He had
been looking for food when he had found the tattered postcard in the
bottom. It had been crushed up against a bundle of waxed paper jammed
in the bottom of his back. Now Genma's eyes were draw back to that
packet, and with a hand that visible trembled he reached in and picked
it out.
Unwrapping the outer layers he carefully unfolded the contents.
Various documents and letters, and most importantly, a document with
his signature, and Ranma's baby hand print. A copy of the agreement
with his wife to turn Ranma into a man among men, or commit Sepuku.
Genma winced, there would be no going home for him, not ever. With a
sigh he started to fold the documents back up. He was interrupted in
his task when a small scrap of paper separated from the main bundle
and fell to the ground.

Curious, Genma bent down and picked it up. looking at it he saw
that it was a napkin from a bar he, Soun and several of their friends
had frequented back in the old days. What was it doing here among his
papers?
Turning it over he read the writing on the other side. His eyes
widened in shock at the words there, and memory flooded back.

It had been the night he and Soun had agreed to merge there
families. Nodoka was expecting any day, and Kimiko would be due not
long after. Then an old friend who was seated with them brought up
the question.
"What if they both have girls?" He had said, after all, Soun
already had two, and the odds were fifty, fifty that Genma would have
one. So how would they merge their families then.
For a while the party turned depressed, but fueled by alcohol,
Genma came up with a solution. "You have a son. We'll marry our
children to him if we both have daughters." he said
Soun had objected, "We can't both marry are daughters to him.
Not legal I don't think." Soun was a little drunk by then, as
compared to the other two, who were very drunk.
It had been decided to flip a coin to decide who's daughter would
get married. Genma had won, and they had created an agreement on the
spot. Genma and his friend had written in the gist of the arrangement
on a napkin, and Soun had signed as a witness. Then they had preceded
to get even drunker in celebration, and forgotten all about it. Till
now.

Genma looked at the stained ripped document that was now worth
more than anything else he possessed. Because it meant a happy
retirement for him in his old age. He hugged the precious document to
his chest, and tears ran down his face and dripped off his chin.
Controlling his overflowing emotions, Genma turned and yelled at
the red headed girl soaking in the hot spring. "Ranma, come on hurry
up. We have an old friend to visit."
"You mean Mr. Tendo? About time, you said we were going to see
him months ago."
"Not Tendo, no. This is another friend. You'll like him, he has
a son a little older then you. I think you'll get along splendidly
with him. And if he's anything like his Father, Tenchi Masaki will be
very glad to see you.

Two days later:

"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR [Expletive deleted] MIND!!!!" Ranma screamed
at her father in disbelief. No freaking way am I marrying some guy.
You can forget that idea right now. I'm going back to china, there
has to be something we missed, and Shampoo must have gotten tired of
chasing us by now, I mean its been three months, how long does it take
someone to forget a grudge."
"Girl, you're not going anywhere, you have a duty to your family,
as the last Saotome of our family it is up to you to see that our
proud line continues."
"Proud line, yea right, were so proud we'll marry our sons off to
other guys just to fill our fat stomach. Well if you're so determined
to carry on the line, the zoo just got a female Panda in. I'm sure
they'd be happy to marry the pair of you. As for me, I'm leaving, and
you'd better not try and stop me old man." Ranma turned her back on
Genma and walked away, her hair fairly bristling with outrage, how
dare he, how dare he, how dare he. She was a guy, damit. How dare he
even suggest such a thing, the, the, the, PEVERT!!!

Genma watched as Ranma turned a corner and disappeared from his
sight. His gaze shifted to the pack laying in the middle of the road
where it had fallen after Ranma had flung it at him when he had
broached the idea of marriage. Ranma would be back, if only for her
supplies. Genma had better be ready when she did so. He looked
around, and spied a heavy roadside hedge, a field on the other side
would make a good campsite, and would give Genma some privacy for what
he needed to do.

Ranma cautiously peaked around the corner, ready to snatch her
head back if Genma was out in the open looking in her direction. She
felt a proper fool, stalking off like that and forgetting all her
supplies. She'd never hear the end of it. She would just sneak into
camp, snag the back pack when pop fell asleep, and get the hell out of
here. If she gave pop a week or so she was sure he would forget this
whole crazy idea, but until then she needed the supplies in that pack.
Not seeing anyone, Ranma came fully around the corner and
carefully made her way to the hedge behind which she could see a small
stream of smoke coming from the fire Genma would have made to heat his
evening meal. So far so good, she thought. Creeping silently along
she made it to the hedge, and brushing a few branches out of the way
peered through it at the campsite Genma had set up.
The sight she saw brought her crashing through the hedge and into
the clearing on the other side.
"Are you crazy?!? What the heck are you doing pop?!?"

Genma looked up from where he knelt in front of a clean white
cloth. A ceremonial knife griped in his hand. "I am restoring our
family honor in the only way I can, because of my mistake, are clan
will be no more. I must atone for my error." Pressing the tip of the
knife against his bare stomach, her gritted his teeth and pressed, the
blade sank an inch or two into his hard muscled belly and he hastily
placed a hand bearing a clean cloth against the wound to prevent the
blood that welled out from fouling his pants.
"No!!" Ranma screamed. Diving forward she grasped Genma's hand
and tried to pull the knife free. Genma resisted and the knife sank
another inch or so into his belly, drawing a pained gasp from the
stocky martial artist. Horrified, Ranma snatched her hands free of
Genma's before she caused him to finish the stroke that would end his
life.
"Please, don't do this." She begged. "You don't have to do
this."
"I must, I have no choice, there is no other option, you made me
see that, it is the only way." Genma said. Gritting his teeth, he
prepared to make the final thrust that would end his life and restore
his honor.
"I'll marry him!!" Ranma cried out. "If it means that much to
you, I'll marry him." She repeated in a faint whisper. "Only please,
don't do this pop."
"Do you promise? Will you restore your clan's prospects?"
"Hai," Ranma said, eyes lowered. "If it's that important to you,
I'll keep your end of the bargain with Mr. Masaki."

Genma agreed to forgo his suicide, but he refused to go to a
doctor. He pulled the knife free of the wound it had made, and
without removing the white cloth he had used to staunch the flow of
blood, bound it in place.
"A true martial artist must be able to ignore little scratches
like this Ranma. Why I've done worse shaving." Genma laughed and
then bit back a curse as he clutched his stomach in pain. He waved
Ranma off when she would have come to his aid. "I'm fine, you just
carry both our packs for the next few days and I'll be right as rain."

Genma looked up the road to where Ranma labored under the twin
burdens of both her's and Genma's packs. Making sure Ranma was not
looking Genma surreptitiously tossed the prop knife he had used to
fool her into a nearby ditch. It had been well worth the thousand and
fifty yen he had paid for it. The fake blood in the rubber handle,
the retractable blade, all had worked perfectly. Thanks to it, he had
passed the biggest obstacle to his happy retirement.

Ranma gritted her teeth. Stupid old man, why'd he have to do
such a stupid thing? Was he crazy? Well Ranma may have promised to
follow through on pop's promise, but she was only one side of the
bargain. This Tenchi guy still had to agree to marry her, and by the
time Ranma was through displaying her feminine charms, she would be
the last girl on earth he would ever want to share a room with, little
lone marry. Yep, she gave it a week at the most, then she'd be free
to start looking for a cure.


Tenchi and Ranma, Together Forever!?
Chapter 2: Meetings

Nobuyuki Masaki was performing his usual evening juggling act.
He was currently in the process of manipulating, one briefcase, three
plan tubes, filled with architectural drawing that had to be checked
by morning, one bag of take out, a set of house keys, one weeks worth
of mail, and finally, an open umbrella. His act had an unusually high
difficulty rating this evening, as there was a good stiff breeze
blowing that threatening to rip the umbrella from his hand, and leave
him open to the deluge of rain that was currently pouring down.

An avid audience of birds watched from the shelter of a near by
tree. Would he make it, or like last night, would he drop the take
out, spilling rice all over the front stoop. It was going to be
close. He had managed to tuck both the brief case and the plan tubes
under one arm, and was holding the bag of food and his umbrella in the
other hand. Carefully, maintaining his grip on every thing, he slid a
hand in his pocket and started to go for his keys. The birds leaned
forward, and then let out a piping cheer as the inevitable happened.

Damn, Nobuyuki cursed in a muffled voice, as a sudden strong gust
of wind wrenched his umbrella free of his hand. Then he cursed again,
as his desperate attempt to regain his umbrella, resulted in him
dropping his food, to the cheers of the audience, closely followed by
his briefcase and the architectural drawings. The only thing he
managed to retain, was the mail, and that only because it was gripped
between his teeth. Pulling his house keys from his pocket, he stooped
down to see what he could salvage.
"Here mister, let me give you a hand with that." A cheerful,
bubbly feminine voice said. Simultaneous with the voice, the rain,
which had been pelting down on Nobuyuki's body since the loss of his
umbrella, stopped.
Nobuyuki's ears pricked at what sounded like a pretty girl.
Looking up, he found himself eye to chest with a most attractive young
lady. Indeed, as he had guessed, she was very pretty, and very
healthy as well. He stared in bliss for a second, before lifting his
eyes upwards to look at the face of his benefactor. He was pleased to
see that the face of the small red head was every bit as attractive as
the rest of her. She was smiling as she held an umbrella out over
him.
Nobuyuki smiled back, and then realized that one of the reason
her state of health was so apparent, was that she was not sheltered
under the umbrella she was currently holding, but instead was being
soaked by the rain as she shielded him from the downpour. This caused
her clothing to cling to her very curvy body, and reduced their
concealment factor by a substantial degree.
"Thank you my dear," he enthused as he stood up. "But this will
never do. You'll catch your death if you don't cover up. Please,
come inside, and we'll get you out of those wet clothes." He grinned
widely at the little red head, who returned his smile, just before
vanishing.

She had not really vanished, she had merely dropped so quickly,
it had appeared that way.

"Wha" was all Nobuyuki had the time to say, before the space
formally occupied by the young girl's head was filled with a massive
black and white paw, armed with a most impressive set of claws. The
paw swished through the air with an audible ripping sound, as the air
protested being displaced so abruptly.
Nobuyuki followed the path of the paw through the air with his
eyes, and then wrenching them back around, he stared up in horror at
the owner of said paw, and yet further up. His eyes traced their way
over a massive fury body, up to a head as large as a keg, and armed
with a massive set of fangs. Strangely, there was a pair of
eyeglasses hanging off of one round furry ear.
"O please, mister, save me from that monster." the girl said from
behind him, her voice faint with fear. He felt her hands on his back,
forcing him to stay between her and the beast, that even now was
growling in anger at being denied its prey.
Nobuyuki did the only thing he could under the circumstances.

Ranma felt the body of the man in front of her go limp and
watched as he bonelessly slid to the ground, leaving nothing between
her and an enraged panda but thin air.
Ranma jumped back out of the way as her father once again lashed
out at her. "Hey pop, your friend is a bit of a wimp ain't he? I
mean, imagine fainting at the sight of you. Your so fat and slow a
little kid could keep away from you."
As Ranma mocked her father, she kept moving, dancing and leaping
around her father's best efforts to chastise her. "I don't know what
your so upset about Pop. I mean you wanted me to make a good first
impression, didn't you? It ain't my fault you only bought one
umbrella. If you'd gotten one for me, I wouldn't have had to take
yours."

Genma made no reply. Not even a growf. He was thoroughly winded
from trying to catch Ranma before she got to the Masakis', and had no
breath to spare..
He had made the mistake of telling her the address while they
were still some distance away, and she had taken off like a shot.
Genma was under no delusions as to her reason. She might have
promised to cooperate and marry Tenchi, but Genma knew she was not
going to do so without a fight. If he let her get to the Masakis'
ahead of him, there was no telling what she might do to dissuade them
from accepting her as a potential bride. Faced with this, Genma had
no choice in the matter but to make the best speed possible after
Ranma.
He had barely managed to keep pace with her, and the instant they
had reached the Masakis' and seen Nobuyuki standing in front of his
house, she had stolen his umbrella, leaving him exposed to the falling
rain.

Ranma watched her father's labored breathing with some
satisfaction. Much as she had initially disliked and hated her new
body, she had gradually become aware of how much faster she could move
in it. Faced with the possibility that she might be a girl for the
rest of her life, she had focused all her efforts on increasing that
speed, drowning her fear in an orgy of training. The results exceeded
her wildest dreams. She was so much faster then three months ago,
there was no real comparison. She knew if she were to face off
against her male body, she could clean it's clock. Whoever the girl
was who had drowned in the spring, she must have been chained
lightning in a fight.
Ranma easily dogged a half hearted swipe from Genma, and decided
she'd had enough fun for the night. The rain was icy, and unlike her
father, she did not have a thick coat of water repellant fur. Of
course, if her father did not give up this crazy idea, she might
acquire one in the not too distant future. The point was however,
that she was chilled to the bone, and was wanting a good hot bath.
"Come on Pop, give it up. Let's get your friend inside before he
drowns." Ranma said, gesturing towards the unconscious Nobuyuki, who
was laying face up on the front stoop, rain water filling his open
mouth. A steady stream of bubbles rose to the top of the little pool
of water, making Nobuyuki look like some particularly ugly fountain.
Glad for an excuse to stop, Genma merely grunted. He waddled
over and picked up Nobuyuki and slung him over his furry shoulder.
Ranma gathered up the various objects Nobuyuki had dropped, and
followed her father inside.

Once inside, Genma wasted no time in finding himself some hot
water, and Ranma went off on her own in search of the bath.

Nobuyuki woke to find himself laying on his living room rug.
Blinking his eyes, he wondered if he had dreamed the whole sequence of
events. Then the sound of someone eating drew his attention. Turning
his head, he spied a large man in a white training Gi stuffing his
face from a cardboard take out box he held inches away from his mouth.
The man's chopsticks were a blur and the sound of his chewing filled
the room. The sight sparked a memory in Nobuyuki's mind, and an image
from years ago rose up.

Scene: The school yard of a junior public school. A figure
recognizable as chibi-Genma is using his foot, pressing it against the
face of a crying chibi-Nobuyuki, to hold off the other boy as he
scarfs down his lunch.

"Genma?" Nobuyuki said, a questioning tone, half disbelief, half
dread, in his voice.
Genma took a few seconds to finish the box of take out he was
eating, then after setting it down, he jumped across the room and drew
Nobuyuki into a bear hug.
"Nobuyuki, you old dog!" Genma shouted as he hugged the astounded
man. "I haven't seen you in years. Not since my daughter was born.
Bet you thought I'd forgotten about our arraignment didn't you? Well,
no fear, Genma Saotome's word is his bond. I promised my daughter
would marry your son, and here we are, ready to fulfill my promise."

Nobuyuki was in a state of shock, the appearance of his long ago
acquaintance in the middle of his living room, after his encounter
with that monster outside, had left him a little slow on the uptake.
One concept did manage to filter through the flood of words Genma was
directing at him.
"Marriage?
"Tenchi and your daughter?
"What deal? I don't remember a deal. Beside's you have a son.
Nodoka wrote my wife and told her so."
Genma's face took on a tragic look. "You don't remember the
solemn promise we made to each other the night little Ranma was born.
O to think my friend has sunk so low as to forget the meaning of
honor. I wrote and told you we were coming. Don't tell me you never
got the letter?" Genma said in an accusatory voice.
"Well . . . no!" Nobuyuki said, putting his hand behind his head
and rubbing it. "I've been sort of busy. Don't check the mail much.
Not that much time. Sleepy when I get home from work, you know how it
is."
He cast his eyes around the room until he spotted the pile of
soggy mail that Ranma had dropped on the hallway table after carrying
it inside. Getting to his feet Nobuyuki crossed to the mail and
leafed through it until he found Genma letter. Opening it, he read
the contents with astonishment. He looked closely at a photo copy of
the original agreement between him and Genma. Finally he lowered the
pages and looked at Genma with puzzlement, "This is my writing, no
doubt, I'll take your word we made this deal, but Ranma's a boy, not a
girl, I'm sure of it."
Genma carefully schooled his features. This was the critical
point. He had managed to get Ranma's promise to go through with this
marriage, but he was under no delusions as to Ranma's real feelings.
His former son would do everything she could to sabotage Genma's
chances at a peaceful retirement.
He had been giving the situation much thought, and had come up
with a way to at least spike some of Ranma's plans.

Looking at Nobuyuki he let his face fall into an expression of
great sadness. "I'm sorry to tell you this Nobuyiki-san, but your
cousin has fallen ill. Nodoka was convinced she was going to have a
son. I thought nothing of it at the time, I merely thought it the
natural thing for an expectant mother to imagine their coming child to
be one or the other. I did not recognize Nodoka's obsession for what
it was. When Ranma was born, I was shocked that despite the obvious
fact she was a girl, Nodoka insisted on giving her a boys name.
That was only the first sign, and I shrugged it off, but over
time I came to realize that Nodoka truly believed little Ranma was a
boy. She referred to her always as a boy, all the letters she wrote
to her friends said Ranma was a boy. Every time she talked to a
friend, it was about her son.
"She refused to treat Ranma as anything other then a boy. I
tried to reason with her, but it was no good. I loved her deeply, and
foolishly went along with her obsession, hopping that she would
eventually come to her senses.
"I did not realize how grave my error was, until I discovered
that Ranma thought she was a boy as well. Not wanting my daughters
life to be ruined, I put my foot down, and insisted that Nodoka treat
Ranma as the girl she was." Here Genma grimaced, "That was a mistake,
Nodoka almost took my head off with the family sword, and Ranma's
reaction was not much better. Neither one of them would speak to me
for weeks."
Genma looked at Nobuyuki in desperation. "Please don't think
Nodoka was completely mad, except for that one blind spot she was
perfectly normal. Maybe if there had been other signs I would have
acted sooner." Genma shook his head, and covered his eyes with a hand.
"In the end, I did the only thing I could think of, I played into her
madness. I accused her of coddling Ranma, of turning him into an
unmasculine man. I told her that I was going to take him away and
turn him into a man among men." Genma turned away from Nobuyuki, who
was looking at him incredulously, to rummage through his backpack,
which he had pulled near. Finding what he sought, he handed Nobuyuki
his copy of the agreement he had signed with Nodoka.
"As you can see, I agreed that if I did not turn Ranma into a man
among men, I would commit Sepuku. I was willing to give up my life to
give my daughter back her life, but Nodoka insisted on adding a clause
that would include Ranma in the agreement. If I take Ranma back to
her, and she does not judge her to be a man among men, Ranma must kill
herself along side me.
"Even with that I hoped to restore Ranma to her lost womanhood,
if it meant we could never go home, then so be it.
"Nodoka's influence proved too strong, however, and she continued
to believe she was a boy. I hoped when she began to blossom, she
would no longer be able to deny the truth. For a while I thought I'd
guessed ritght. When Ranma started to change, she felt doubt for the
first time. She still denied it, but I could see her belief
wavering."
Genma looked at Nobuyuki, tears streaming down his face. "I was
so close old friend, another few months, and I truly believe Ranma
would have at last admitted the truth." Genma sobbed out loud. "But
it was not to be."
Genma lowered his face into his hand and began to cry bitter
tears. "So stupid. I was so Damn stupid!!" he cried into his hands.
Nobuyuki had been listening to him with a mixture of shock, and a
large dose of scepticism. This was not the first time he had been
witness to a Genma Saotome production. He knew his cousin Nodoka, and
this did not match that knowledge of her. Still it had been almost
sixteen years since he had last seen his cousin. A lot could have
changed. He would listen to Genma's story, but he would keep in mind
other times he had fallen for one of Genma's tales.

Lifting his tear stained eyes to Nobuyuki, Genma visibly brought
himself under control. "I was so close Nobuyuki. I had been training
Ranma, taking her to all the old training grounds, and teaching her
many of the ancient and lost styles. You can not deny your body and
become a good martial artist. I hoped that having to deal with her
body in such a comprehensive way, she would come to accept it.
"Then I heard of the Amazons of China, and my and Ranma's fate
was sealed"
"Amazons?" Nobuyuki asked, questioningly.
"A small tribe in China, where the women are all fierce fighters,
and the men little better then servants. I hoped that seeing them
would make Ranma realize that she could be a woman and a warrior.
Such hope I had. If it had not been for that cursed training ground,
all might have been well."
Overcome by his grief, unable to continue speaking, Genma fumbled
with the dishes on the table top until he found a glass of water.
Upending it over his head, he shifted form.

Nobuyuki reared back in shock as his old friend suddenly turned
into the massive beast that had threatened him on his own door stoop.
Falling backwards, he raised his hands in a warding gesture. The
beast made no move to attack however, instead it picked up a tea
kettle and dumped a stream of warm water over it's head. Nobuyuki
watched in awe as the beast became a man.
"What? How? I don't understand," he babbled.
"Jusenkyo," Genma said flatly. "The cursed training ground of
Jusenkyo. We had to pass through it on the way to the Amazon village.
"Whoever falls into one of those springs, becomes the creature
that last drowned in that spring. I fell in the spring of drowned
Panda, and you see what happens to me. Cold water changes me, hot
water reverses the change.
"Did . . . did Ranma . . .?"
"Fall in a spring? No!! If only she had. That I could have
dealt with. Instead, the springs provided her mind with a reason for
her female body. Even though hot water did not effect her, she became
convinced that she had fallen in the Nyanniichuan. That she had been
a boy, and now was cursed to be a girl. Nothing I have been able to
do has managed to convince her otherwise. That is when I remembered
our agreement. If Ranma were to get married, eventually she would
have to except the truth. Having a baby would leave her little
choice.
"But if she thinks she's a boy?"
"I've taken care of that, she may be delusional, but she has a
strong sense of honor. I've been able to convince her that she must
marry for the honor of the clan. The only hold I have over her is the
agreement that you and I made." Genma leaned in closer to Nobuyuki.
"Please, I beg of you, don't forsake me. You are my last hope, I fear
I might have to take drastic measures otherwise.
Nobuyuki was torn, he did not really want to marry his son off to
a crazy woman, but he had made the agreement, there was a certain
amount of honor involved, and she was a very nice looking girl. His
eyes glazed slightly as he recalled how she had looked with her wet
shirt plastered to her torso.
Tenchi had been a bit of a disappointment to Nobuyuki, he seemed
to have little interest in girls. Maybe an arranged marriage to a
beautiful girl would bring out his true Masaki nature. He sat up
straight and faced Genma, a resolute expression flowing across his
face. "I'll do it, for the sake of your daughter, I'll agree to the
marriage.
"My friend," Genma shouted lunging across the table and pulling
Nobuyuki into a rib creaking hug. Nobuyuki returned it with fervor,
Tenchi would be so happy that he had found him such a nice looking
girl. And so what if she was a little crazy, his mother had believed
some very strange things, and he had loved her anyway.
Their self congratulations, were suddenly interrupted by a male
voice coming from the direction of the bath.

"Nani . . . No way!"
"Tenchi?" Nobuyuki exclaimed in surprise, "He's not suppose to be
back from his grandfathers till tomorrow. What's he doing home?"

Tenchi Masaki had not slept for three days. Not since he had
snuck into a certain cavern, and come face to face with the legendary
demon that was sealed up inside it. So shattered had he been by that
experience, that the instant his eyes closed, the image of the demon
would rise up in front of him, and bring him screaming out of his
sleep.
His grandfather had noticed his lethargy, and tiredness, and had
told him to go home. Not in anger, as Tenchi might have expected, but
in concern. Sometimes he forgot how kind his grandfather could be.
So often in recent years he had been the rigid taskmaster who set
Tenchi to slaving every vacation. It was easy to forget that this
stern man had held him in his arms and wept with him in their mutual
grief. Tenchi for his mother, Yousho for his daughter.
So he had arrived home a day early to an empty home. He had
staggered upstairs, dropped his luggage in the middle of his room, and
had barely made it to his bed.
For the first time in three days, he managed to sleep for more
then thirty seconds. Thanks to the warm familiarity of his own bed,
he actually made it to sixty seconds. He spent the next six hours in
a half awake stupor. Every time he fell all the way into sleep, the
image of the demon would bring his out of it drenched in a cold sweat,
but his exhaustion was such that he never woke completely. At some
time he became aware of voices downstairs, but he did not have the
energy to let his father know he was home.
Finally during one of his periods of wakefulness, he became aware
of a pungent odor. Lifting an arm he sniffed. Wrinkling his nose in
disgust he realized the odor was coming from him. Hours of sweating
in fear had given him an especially fragrant bouquet. Giving up on
the thought of sleep, he decided to see if a hot bath might sooth him
enough to allow him to finally sleep.

Ranma looked up from the bath as she heard the door open. She
expected to see her father, instead it was a slender boy, about her
own age and height, or what once was her height, she corrected
herself, he was about ten inches taller then her at the moment. His
hair was cut short on top, but was left long enough in the back to
form a small pony tail. While he was slender, he had very good muscle
definition, he must train, she thought to herself.
She drew herself up in the bath and rested her elbows on the edge
of the tub, cupping her chin in the cradle her fingers made. To her
surprise, the boy did not noticed her. Careless, she thought. A true
martial artist should be aware of everything around him at all times.
However, she did note in his defense, that he seemed bone weary. She
had been in a similar situation enough times to emphasis with him
slightly. Most recently while fleeing a certain homicidal amazon.
Then she realized that this must be the boy her father meant her
to marry, and any sympathy she might have had fled. Her expression
hardened, and she looked at him with new eyes.
He still had not noticed her, and as she watched, he tossed the
towel he had wrapped around his waist aside and sat down on the
scrubbing stool. Filling a bucket with water, he upended it over his
head, shuddering as the cold water cascaded over his body. His eyes
widened, with the shock of the cold water, and he reached down to pick
up a bar of soap, and froze. He stared in shock at the small girl who
was glaring at him from the tub.
"W. . . wh. . . who, are you?" he stuttered, clapping his hands
over himself.
Ranma snorted in derision. "Don't bother, it ain't like you got
anything I ain't seen before, and a lot better then what you got to
boot...
I'm Ranma," she stood up in the tub and Tenchi hastily averted
his face, but not before Ranma saw a thin tendril of red run out of
his nose. Again she snorted, this time in disgust, and stepped out of
the bath. Walking across the room, she picked up a towel and wrapped
it around herself. Opening the door she exited, but before she slid
it shut, she turned back and said, "I'm your new Innazuke." She slid
the door shut, and Tenchi stared at the shut portal in shock. Then he
started as the door opened and Ranma stuck her head back in. "O, by
the way, I'm a lesbian too." Then she slid the door shut once again.
Tenchi stared at the door flabbergasted for a minute before
finally finding his voice
"Nani? . . . No way!"

Out in the hall Ranma smirked, she was not sure what a lesbian
was, but the several boys who had called her that in the last month
had acted like it was something pretty terrible. Of course Ranma had
flattened them, rather then asking for an explanation of the term.
Just because she did not recognize the word, did not mean she did not
know when she had been insulted.

Later Ranma lay awake in the bed Nobuyuki-san had given her and
Genma. She had shamelessly eavesdropped on Tenchi's confrontation
with his father. If you could call it that, she snorted to herself,
confrontations between Ranma and her father usually resulted in
various contusions and lacerations. Tenchi's argument with his father
was more verbal, and seemed to consist of Tenchi protesting and
Nobuyuki cheerfully ignoring said protests. Tenchi would ask what his
father was thinking, and Nobuyuki would go into raptures describing
the blissful life Tenchi would have with his lovely new bride.
Ranma had soon realized that Tenchi was not about to out and out
refuse the engagement, and Nobuyuki was not about to listen to his
protests on the matter. So it looked like her plan, such as it had
been, had failed.
As she lay there, she began to feel uncomfortable, while she had
been annoyed at Tenchi wimping out on her, she could hardly blame him
for not doing what she had not done. She was beginning to suspect
that her father had tricked her. He was a little to lively for
someone who had stuck a knife in his belly only a few days before.
She should face him down again, but she kept remembering the dark
blood that had soaked the cloth Genma had held against his wound, and
her resolve to confront her father faded away. Besides, she had given
her word. God how could she have been so stupid. She had panicked,
she admitted that, the thought of losing the only family she
possessed, had frightened her badly. That's it. It's not like I love
the old fart or nothing, I just didn't want to be left alone is all.
Still, she was damned if she was going to marry some guy. So
what was she going to do. One thing she had noted about Tenchi's
argument with his father. Not once had he badmouthed her. Despite
her behavior in the bathroom, not once had he said anything nasty
about her. Not even when his father started to praise her good nature
and cheerful disposition. Ranma laughed to herself remembering how
she had to fight to keep from laughing out loud at that point, and
giving away the fact that she was nearby and listening in.
Ranma, rubbed her chin as she thought. Tenchi wanted this
marriage as little as she did. Maybe the thing to do was to put her
cards on the table. They could always use the horse defense. Mind
made up, she got out of bed, and crept out of her room.

Tenchi supposed he should be grateful. This was the longest he
had gone without a nightmare, or a daymare for that matter in three
days. Learning that he had suddenly acquired an innazuke, and a
future father in law who changed into a Panda, had completely driven
thoughts of Yousho's demon out of his head. Well at least till now
anyway, and even now it seemed a distant threat compared to this much
closer situation. The problem was, she was obviously being forced
into this by her father, and that was too bad. She was the sort of
girl Tenchi had always wished would notice him. Well, she had noticed
him alright, but not in any of his dreams had Tenchi imagined his
dream girl remarking on his deficiencies as a man. Still, he could
not help but remember how she had looked, and he wondered if she was
thinking of him right that moment, even as he was thinking of her.

The sound of his door sliding open brought Tenchi away from his
thoughts of what Ranma might be thinking. He looked over at the door
inquiringly, only to go wide eyed as the very girl he had been
wondering about, slipped into his room. With her back to him, she
looked both ways down the hallway, and then came the rest of the way
into the room, sliding the door shut behind herself. Tenchi opened
his mouth to protest her invasion, but before he could even get a word
out, she was across the room and had a hand clapped over his mouth.
"Shhhh," she whispered, "I don't want to be interrupted. You and
I have some business to discuss."
"Nani?" Tenchi said, keeping his voice low. Her remark in the
bathroom about Tenchi having nothing she hadn't seen before came back
to him. Combining that with the thin t-shirt she was wearing, and it
was not long before a slight trickle of blood started to flow from his
nose.
Ranma did not notice, she was to busy trying to think about what
to say. Sneaking around the matter had gotten her nowhere. She
turned to Tenchi and grasping his pajama top, pulled his face to
within inches of her own.
"Look, I don't care what our old men cooked up, I ain't going to
marry you, got it. That story Pop told you is full of shit. I ain't
a girl, I'm a guy, and I did so fall in the Nyanniichuan. Pop should
know, he's the one that kicked me in.
Ranma noticed that Tenchi had a rather glazed look in his eyes,
and she relaxed the grip on his top, fearing she had cut off his air.
"Look, this is the way it happened," she said, backing away from
Tenchi and sitting herself down on the foot of his bed with her legs
crossed.
Tenchi pinched his nose to stop the blood lose and listened as
Ranma told her story. She covered how Genma had dragged her to
Jusenkyo, and the foggy condition. She did not try to hide the fact
that she taunted her father into fighting her. She described with
some glee how she had managed to get the better of her father and slam
him into the spring below where they were fighting.
Tenchi was having some trouble following her story, Ranma was
very into using body language, and her chest bounced quite a bit as
she described the fight with her father, Tenchi finally with much
regret closed his eyes, so he could focus on what she was saying with
no distractions.
"Well, when Pop came bursting up out of that fog, you could have
knocked me over with a feather. All I could do was stand there and
stare as the old fart who was guiding us spouted off about how these
were cursed springs, and how Pop had fallen into the spring of drowned
Panda.
All I could think of was to get the hell out of there, but I was
to late, Pop came at me, and the next thing I know, I'm sailing
through the air surrounded by nothing but fog.
"I mean, I couldn't see a damn thing, I didn't know up from down.
Then I spotted a pole, and made a grab for it. Almost made it too,
but this monkey comes flying out of the fog, and 'smack', right into
me." Ranma punched her open hand with her fist to demonstrate the
impact. "He used my head for a spring board, and the next thing I
knew, I was splashing down in a pool.
"Man that was weird, I could feel my body twisting and changing,
and I knew I'd landed in one of those cursed springs, but I didn't
know which. The only thing I could think of was getting out of there
quick as I could. Problem was, that monkey had shoved so hard, my
foot and one hand had driven down into the mud at the bottom of the
pool. There was a lot of old Bamboo down there, and my Gi got tangled
up. I might have drowned, but I'm a lot smaller now then I use to be,
and my Gi was almost falling off by itself. I slipped out of my
clothes and made it to the top. Course the first thing I did was take
a deep breath, and that's when some jackass on shore threw a cup of
water straight in my face. Instead of air, I ended up swallowing
water. Shit, I came closer to drowning from that jerk then from when
I was trapped underwater.
"I was some mad, I'll tell you. I came out of that pool looking
for a fight. Some guy with funny hair tried to distract me by shoving
a banana in my face. Well I went up and over him, and gave him a boot
to the back of the head while I was at it. Last I saw of him, he was
splashing down in the same pool I'd just come out of, serves him
right.
Anyway, soon as I was clear of those goons I headed back the
towards where I thought Pop would be. I really wanted to discuss my
situation with him. Guess I got a little too mad, because I didn't
watch where I was going, next thing you know, I come out of the fog,
and I'm right on the bank of another pond, couldn't stop in time and
in I went. Well I just about shit myself, let me tell you, but
nothing happened, I crawled out the other side just the same as I went
in. About then I figured that once you take a dip, the pools don't
work no more, so I forgot about being cautious and just booted it back
towards Pop.
"Must have fallen in a dozen springs before I finally found him,
and gave him a good pounding, but that didn't do me no good, I was
still a girl. The guide, he wanted us out of there quick, and he
hustled us out of the valley talking a mile a minute. Half the time
we didn't have a clue what he was talking about, but one thing we
picked up was that hot water would cure the curse, temporarily. Soon
as we heard that we stopped and lit a fire. The guide, he didn't like
that at all. All the time we were heating water he was pissing and
moaning about this being very bad, and we should not waste time. We
could of cared less, all we wanted was our own bodies back. Pop got
the hot water first, I wasn't eager to be no guinea pig, and sure
enough it worked. Pop turned back into a man, I damn near scalded
myself dumping the whole pot over my head."
Ranma stopped talking for a minute, up till now she had been
rattling her story off like a machine gun. Hardly stopping for
breath. Now she sat there looking at the bed sheet. Tenchi cracked
an eye, and looked at her sitting there, a dejected look on her face.
"And?" Tenchi said, an inquiring tone in his voice.
"Obvious, ain't it, it didn't work. I must have heated a dozen
kettles of water, and none of them worked, I had blisters from the
heat for days afterwards. I might have hurt myself bad if Pop hadn't
wrestled me to the ground and tied me up. He carried me the rest of
the night, until the guide figured we'd come far enough." Ranma
trailed off, and just sat there looking into space, caught up in her
own thoughts.
Tenchi had been listening to her for a good five minutes, most of
it with his eyes closed. He found that without the distraction of her
body, it was easy to think he was listening to a young man. Ranma' s
voice and speech pattern was masculine. Tenchi found himself
believing her story. He had seen her father transform with his own
eyes, and with that proof of magic, he found it easy to believe Ranma
was really a guy in a girls body.
As long as he kept his eyes away from her more obvious feminine
attributes. That is. Resolutely he kept his gaze on her face,
concentrating on the sad, and lost expression that it showed. As he
looked at her closely for the first time he became aware of her eyes.
Startled, he blurted out, "you're eyes! There just like mother's!"
Ranma snapped out of her funk and look at Tenchi in surprise.
"Well, that's a new one" she said snidely, "Most guys tell me my eyes
are special, and the windows into my soul, all sorts of garbage like
that. Ain't no one ever said they looked like his mother's."
"But they do! Look like my mother's I mean, and like my
grandfathers too, I guess, They both had the same color eyes."
Now Ranma was interested. "Really, I ain't never seen anyone
else with eyes just like these, and let me tell you, it's a real pain.
Guys can't say things about your body in public, so they all look for
something safe to say to you. Most of the jerks started spouting
poetry and whatnot about my beautiful eyes. Gets to be a real pain,
let me tell you, especially when it's not your eyes their looking at.
Got so I'd thump any guy that started a sentence with, 'You're eyes
are like'. Well I guess there had to be other people with eyes like
this, after all the girl who drowned in the spring had them. Funny
they live in Japan though. Did your family come from China?"
"No, I don't think so, at least not in grandfathers line.
They've been looking after the Masaki shrine for seven hundred years."
At the mention of the shrine, Tenchi went white, as the vision from
the cavern once again reared it's ugly head.
"Hey man, you alright?" Ranma asked, "you look like you've seen a
ghost."
"You could say that." Tenchi said with a rather weak grin.
Tenchi proceeded to fill Ranma in on the legend of the Masaki
Shrine, and the experiences he had suffered through a mere three days
before. Not being able to say anything about what had happened had
not given him anyway of getting it out of his system. Now after the
story Ranma had told him, he was comfortable enough she would not
think him crazy to tell her everything.
Ranma gave him a cheer when he told how he had tricked his
grandfather and stolen his keys. She listened raptly as he described
his decent into the cavern that had opened up when he accidentally cut
the wards. She gasped when he described the desiccated corpse of the
demon, and how it rose from it tomb to clutch at his face. He brushed
by the part where he screamed like a child and fled the cavern in
panic. Instead saying he had shaken free of the demon's grasp and
beaten it to the entrance, barely managing to reconnect the wards
before it could escape.
When he was done she sighed in contentment and said, "great story
Tenchi, wish I could have been there with you."
Tenchi was startled to say the least. "You do!?" he asked
incredulously.
"You bet, sounds like it was a blast, did you get in any good
wacks when the demon grabbed you?"
"Wacks!? Wacks!?" Tenchi shouted. "This was a demon, a demon
who crossed mountains with a single step, who destroyed countless
villages before my ancestor stopped it with his magic sword, and you
ask if I got in any good wacks. No! I did not get in any good
wacks!"
"Ok, ok, don't have to bite my head off. And keep it down will
you. Last thing I want is for my Pop to find me . . ." A sudden
sound caused both Tenchi and Ranma to slowly turn their heads to face
the door. Both afraid of what they were going to see. Their worst
fears were confirmed, both of their fathers were standing there,
beaming at them with the joyful expression only possible to the truly
drunk. Turning to each other Genma and Nobuyuki each raised a large
bottle of Sake, and made a toast.

"Tenchi and Ranma. Together For Ever!"


Tenchi and Ranma, Together Forever!?
Chapter 3: Demon and devils, O my.

Vacation was over, and like fish returning to their birthplace,
students from all over Japan were converging on their schools.
Traveling down the alleys and lanes, converging on the main streets,
and forming a solid mass, as different in reaction and behavior as
they were similar in appearance. From above a witness would have seen
many different reactions to the prospect of the first day of school.
From the students who were eager to renew old acquaintances, to the
students who had 'heard' about their new teacher, and were not looking
forward at all to making their acquaintance.
But even in this mass of humanity moving at different speeds and
with varying degrees of enthusiasm, the casual onlooker would have
found their eyes being drawn to one particular pair of young people.
It was not that the boy was unusual, he was very not unusual, and
in any other company, would have passed without a moments notice being
taken, but his companion, now she drew the eye. It was not just her
clothing, though that was certainly enough to attract attention. The
black pants and red shirt were most unusual attire for a young girl,
and despite the looseness of her shirt, it was not difficult to tell
through the thin material that she wore nothing under it. Many a boy
on their way to school, walked into a lamp post, or if they were
unlucky a fire hydrant, upon noticing the girl, and taking the time to
give her an appreciative glance.
But even that was not the first thing that drew the eye. Was it
her hair, a brilliant red, done up in a heavy braid that fell down the
small of her back and reached nearly to her waist. That braid danced
and swayed as the girl capered with all the appearance of great joy.
But even that, despite its rich and unusual color was not what first
drew the eye to the girl. What in the end caused every eye to look
their way was that the girl was doing her capering on the top of a
narrow fence nearly seven feet in height.

Tenchi looked up at the small girl dancing along the top of the
fence, and could not help but smile. Ranma seemed to radiate joy, and
just being in her presence drove some of the dark shadows that had
recently been haunting him away. He turned his gaze away from her,
and said in a half joking tone.
"I don't know what you're so happy about. Missing school is no
big deal to you. From what you told me, you've missed more than
you've attended. Aren't you afraid you'll grow up ignorant and poor?"
"Don't got to worry about that. I'm going to marry a sucker, and
he'll support me in comfort. Ain't that right sucker? Tenchi just
snorted.
"Besides, It ain't missing school that's got me so happy, that's
just icing. It's what your old man did to pop yesterday." Ranma
exuberantly leaped high into the air, and managed two and half
somersaults before landing, one handed, back on the fence. With a
little shove she flipped back to her feet. "Yep, your pop got the old
man real good."
Tenchi's mind wondered back to the day before. His father had
just returned from work, and over supper, had brought up the subject
of school.

"Nani? You mean Ranma does not have a single school uniform.
That's no good, she won't be able to attend till she gets at least
one."
Genma looked a little embarrassed. "Well, Masaki, you know how
it is. We've been on the road for the last ten years, spare money is
hard to come by, all we had went to keeping us fed, and to pay for
transportation. I don't suppose you could lend us a hand until I get
my feet under me."
"I can do better then that," Nobuyuki enthused. "I checked the
notice board at work, and there's a vacancy in the janitorial staff.
I put in a good word for you, and if you go in with me tomorrow, I can
practically guarantee you'll get it."
Genma felt a little panicked at the sudden, and unexpected,
prospect of working, but he had long ago learned to keep such things
from showing on his face. "That's sounds wonderful Masaki," he said,
but then he let his face fall in seeming disappointment, lifting a
finger he shoved his glasses up the bridge of his nose, and said in a
serious voice. "But alas, I can't afford to be away from my daughter
at this time. This is a very unsettling point in her life, and I have
to be there for her. The job plus the commute would mean she would be
alone from the time she got up, till the very late at night. You
understand don't you?"
Nobuyuki's face went stiff, and he turned himself away from the
table, and away from Genma. Crossing his arms over his chest, he
snorted in derision. "Don't lie to me Genma. I know exactly why you
don't want to take this job."
"Cause he's allergic to work." Ranma whispered to Tenchi as she
raised a glass of water to her mouth.
"It's because you don't trust my Tenchi with your daughter's
virtue."
Ranma sprayed water all over the table, and her father, who had
facefaulted across the top of it.
That's not it. Ranma would never . . . Genma hastily scrawled
on a sign, which Nobuyuki did not see, as his back was turned to
Genma. Ranma, meanwhile, was trying to expel the several ounces of
water that had run down her windpipe.
Tenchi was big sweating, this was only the second time he had
witnessed Genma's transformation, and it was going to take awhile to
get use to seeing an enormous black panda popping up out of nowhere.
Then Ranma's distress became apparent, and he swatted the choking girl
on the back in an effort to get her breathing going again. His father
ignored them and kept on talking to Genma.
"If you can't trust my only son, my heir, my reason for life, the
last reminder I have of his dear sweet mother. Well, if you can't
trust him, I don't know how I can continue to support this marriage."
Both Tenchi and Ranma, who had finally recovered her breath, perked up
at this.
Genma big sweated, then after a minute he wrote, You say all I
have to do is show up with you, and I have the job? He held the sign
out in front of Nobuyuki.
"My friend. How could I have ever doubted you?" Nobuyuki cried,
spinning around and jumping to his feet, he embraced Genma, then
looking over the shoulder of the seated panda, he winked at Ranma and
Tenchi, who's faces had dropped into expressions that seemed to say,
'I knew it was to good to be true.' Later on Ranma had realized just
what Nobuyuki had maneuvered her father into, and had been laughing
ever since.

"Man, I never thought I see the day that someone put something
over on the old man like that. Serves the old fart right. I hope he
enjoys his days mopping floors and scrubbing toilets."

Tenchi big sweated, and wondered what Ranma would be saying if
she had witnessed Nobuyuki's meeting with Tenchi after supper.

After taking a little while to think about the conversation at
dinner, Tenchi had come to realize just how much his father had
praised him. He had been filled with happiness and pride. It was
doomed to be short lived however. Tenchi had been on his way upstairs
to get his books ready for school the next day, when he had met his
father in the hallway. Looking both ways to make sure he was not
observed, Nobuyuki had sidled over to Tenchi and given him a small
box.
"I've done my part son, now make your father proud. Just be
careful." Nobuyuki had wiped a tear from his eye, turned, and marched
away. Tenchi had looked after him in puzzlement. Then he had looked
at the small box in his hand, and seen it was a box of condoms. His
chin had sunk to his chest, and he had moaned, "He never changes."

Tenchi decided it would more then likely be a good idea not to
mention that box to Ranma. Instead he asked, "So, what do you plan on
doing today?"
"Don't know, just bum around, get to know the area, find out
where the soft touches are, that sort of thing. You want I should
meet you after school?"
"That's fine, I need to pick up some food. Knowing dad, the only
thing in the house is likely old take out."
Ranma snorted, "Not likely, not with pop there. There is no such
thing as leftovers when he's around."
Tenchi wisely kept his mouth shut, not knowing the meaning of the
word leftover must run in the family, if the way Ranma had eaten last
night was any indication. Just as Tenchi's train of thought reached
that station, the school gates came into sight. "Well, here we are.
Enjoy your day."
"Thanks, I will." Ranma said with grin, and with a final wave of
her hand, jumped from the top of the fence, to the roof of the
building across the street, and from there, out of sight. Tenchi
sighed, and for a moment wished he could follow her, in more ways then
one, but then responsibility reared it's ugly head, and head down, he
trudged through the gate, and into the school.

"Gee, thanks mister, you sure are sweet."
The boy behind the bakery counter smiled at the bubbly little red
head, and wished his shift was over. "It's nothing," he said. "How
could I let a cute girl like you waste away from hunger?" Then
looking around to see where his boss was, he leaned over the counter,
and said. "If you come back at nine, I'll take you out for a real
meal. My parents are away, and I happen to know they have a pair of
steaks stashed away in the freezer."
"Oooo, that's sounds great." The kawaii girl said, but then her
face fell, "but my fiancee can't make it tonight, could we do it some
other night?"
The counter boy face faulted. "Aa, no, I don't think so, my
parents will be back tomorrow."
"O, too bad, maybe some other time. Bye."

Ranma walked down the street stuffing her face with the contents
of various boxes. Buns, cookies, meat pastries, all disappeared down
her throat. For awhile she had been afraid that her new neighborhood
was going to be a bust in the food scamming area. It seemed as if
every booth was maned by sour old farts that never smiled, let alone
gave away food to cute little girls. Then a couple of hours ago, most
every booth had suddenly been maned by young boys, and ever since
Ranma had been making out like a bandit. She had made out so well as
a matter of fact, that she was almost full, almost. Suddenly an
altercation drew her attention.
One of the old skinflints that had shooed her away earlier was
yelling at a boy dressed in a yellow shirt with green pants tied
tightly to his legs from the knees down. He had a shaggy mop of black
hair that was barely controlled by a yellow and black head band.
There was something about him that seemed familiar, and Ranma moved
closer in an effort to hear what the fight was about.
"You little punk. You think it's funny playing stupid jokes on
busy men? You ask where Nerima is and I tell you go south. What do
you do? You go west. Then you have the nerve to show back up here
fifteen minutes later and ask me the very same question. Well boy,
why don't I just call an officer? I'm sure he'd love to help you go
where you need to go. RIGHT TO THE HOOSGOW!!"
"Nani?" The black haired boy exclaimed, backing away from the
furious old man. "But I didn't do anything. All I did was ask for
directions." He looked like he wanted to curl up and die. His face
was blazing red, and he kept darting looks at all the people the old
mans yelling was attracting.
"Asking for direction? Playing jokes on an old man why don't you
say? Well I can play jokes too boy. Like the one where I tell the
officer I caught you stealing food from my booth."
"O dry up you old fart!" Ranma said. Both the old man and the
shaggy haired boy turned in surprise to look at the source of the
interruption. The old man with anger, the boy with gratitude. "You
go ahead call the cops and tell a lie like that, and I'll tell them
how you copped a feel while I was in here earlier." While the old man
turned red and began to sputter incoherently, Ranma grabbed the hand
of the black haired boy and dragged him away.

Several minutes later they arrived at the train station. "There
you go, you just buy a ticket, and you'll be in Nerima in no time."
The black haired boy had been silent the whole trip to the train
station, now he tried to thank Ranma for saving him. Tried, but
without much success, he was mostly incoherent, and did not seem able
to look Ranma in the eye. Ranma was pleased however to note, that it
was not because he was too busy looking at another portion of her
anatomy.
In the last three months she had come to recognize the several
types of boys in her age bracket. By far the most common, because
they went out of their way to meet her, were the brash type who hit on
every cute girl they saw. Ranma enjoyed manipulating them, and had
ended up with many a free meal as a result. They always had to push
it however, and Ranma almost always ended up breaking something
fragile, which seriously compromised the prospects for more free food.
Far rarer, because they never approached her, was the terminally
shy types. Ranma was only aware of them because of the way they
tended to peep at her from around corners and behind bushes. They
could be distinguished from the common garden variety peeping tom by
the fact that their faces were generally a bright crimson. Ranma was
very found of them. They tended to leave boxes of chocolates and
flowers where she would be sure to find them. The flowers she
trashed, but the chocolates disappeared rapidly down a completely
different disposal system. The best thing about these boys was that
they never got up the nerve to try anything, and as such remained a
constant source of candy for as long as Ranma was in their area and
gave them the slightest bit of encouragement.
This was obviously a prime example of the species. Ranma looked
away from him, taking in the sights around her, waiting for him to get
himself together enough to say thank you, and maybe slip her a little
something for her trouble. There was an ice cream vendor at the train
station, and a cone would hit the spot right about now. To bad he was
leaving on the train, he looked like he might have been good for all
sorts of no strings attached gifts. Then her eyes fell on the station
clock, and she suddenly realized why the food booths had suddenly been
filled with young guys. It was six o'clock, school had been out for
two hours.
"Sorry, got to go!" she shouted at the black haired boy, already
several feet away and accelerating. Her sudden hasty retreat jarred
the boy enough that he managed to get out. "Wait, at least tell me
your name."
"Ranma, Ranma Saotome," she called over her shoulder, just before
vanishing around the left hand corner.
"Ranma, what a sweet name." The rather bemused boy said, then his
eyes flew open and he shouted in shock. "Ranma Saotome!?" He took
several steps after the departed girl, but then rationality reared
it's head. "Hold it," he said to himself, "Ranma's a boy, and that
was a girl. The only way that could be Ranma would be if . . . he . .
. had . . ." Suddenly the boy's eyes widened again, "Jusenkyo" he
whispered to himself. Then he screamed, "Curse you Ranma, how dare
you play with me like that! I will have my revenge!"
He rushed off intent on catching the fleeing girl before she got
to far. Reaching the corner he turned right, and kept going . . . . .
and going . . . . . . . . and going.

A few hours later filming on a climatic scene in the galaxies
most popular soap opera was interrupted as a strange biped ran across
the set, destroying the main support column as he did so.
"I don't believe it, that's the third time this month!!" The
producer, and main sponsor, screamed as he oozed out of the wreckage.
"Get me the galaxy police, I want that barbarian caught."

Ranma heaved a sigh of relief when she saw that Tenchi was not
waiting at the gate. Tenchi was a nice guy, but he was a little bit
of a pushover. She'd been afraid he'd have spent the last two hours
waiting for her. Hopefully he'd seen she was not coming after a short
time and was at home now. She started in that direction, and the roof
of the school exploded. She whipped around and stared at the smoking
building in surprise, and then she saw two figures moving in an
unmistakable pattern on the roof. A grin crossed her face and she
began to race across the yard towards the school. O boy, o boy, she
thought to herself, just what I need to make this a perfect day, a
fight.

Up on the roof of the school, Tenchi was running for his life.
The demon from the cave had followed him, and now in the guise of a
cute girl named Ryouko, was intent on revenging herself on Tenchi for
the crimes of his ancestor Yosho. He dodged left, just in time to
avoid being fried by a bolt of energy that blew a large hole in the
roof. Suddenly the steady stream of force bolts stopped, and Tenchi
ducked behind a roof vent to catch his breath, then remembering the
way the demon had cut one of the other vents in half, he rolled out
from behind it, looking frantically for the demons present location.
What he saw caused him to freeze in shock.
A small girl with waist length red hair done up in a single braid
was facing off against the demon.
"Ranma, get out of there!" Tenchi yelled. "It's the demon from
the cave."
"This is the dried up old mummy you told me about?" Ranma asked
in surprise.
Tenchi big sweated at the look Ryouko shot his way. "Dried _ Up
_ Old _ Mummy!" she hissed from between clenched teeth. A ball of
energy formed in her hand, and then when she closed her hand tightly,
it extended into a glowing sword. Once she reached that point
however, Ryouko did not seem to know which person to attack. Then
Ranma took the decision away from her.
"Demon? Then I guess I don't got to worry about hurting you."
Ranma said. Ryouko looked surprised, then gestured for Ranma to give
it her best shot, smiling a fang filled grin as she did so. The smile
disappeared quickly however when she only just managed to fade out of
the path of Ranma's kick. Ranma cursed, and just barely managed to
duck under the glowing bar of Ryouko's energy sword as she
materialized behind Ranma. Tenchi watched in amazement as Ranma and
Ryouko proceeded to put on a dazzling display of agility and speed.
The demon would throw a force bolt, and Ranma would be long gone
by the time it got to where she had been. Ranma would throw a kick or
punch and Ryouko would fly above her attack, or fade from sight and
reappear close behind Ranma. Ranma soon learned to move quickly when
the demon faded, and was generally no where near the place that Ryouko
appeared, but she kept up the tactic, trying to guess where Ranma was
going to be when she reappeared.

Ranma stood panting, looking at the figure of the demon who was
leaning against the side of the stairwell, smirking at her. She was
not even breathing hard. Ranma on the other hand had to use all her
will power to keep her legs from trembling, she was down to her last
chance, she had strength enough for one more try, and then she was
done for, which meant she had better make it count. Damn her, she
thought, how the hell does she do that disappearing trick? Is it an
illusion? Does she have some way to make herself invisible? Maybe
she's moving so fast I can't see her do it. Naa, that can't be it, if
she were that fast the fight would already be over. Ranma started to
replay the fight in her mind, trying to find a solution to the current
deadlock..
One of the prime tenets of the Anything goes school of Martial
Arts, was observation. Ranma could recount move for move, second by
second, a fight she had been in weeks before, now she applied that
ability to her current fight, replaying every move the demon had made,
looking for a weak spot. Then her eyes widened, and she called up
every instance where the demon had pulled the vanishing trick.
She's not moving her body when she shifts between locations Ranma
thought to herself. What ever position her body is in when she
vanishes, she's in the same position when she reappears. Right down
to the most miniscule tensing of muscles. That eliminated the
possibility that she was moving in such a way as to render herself
invisible. Now the big question was, could she see what was going on
when she was traveling from place to place. Ranma was pretty sure she
could not, but there was only one way to find out for sure.
"All right demon, this is where it ends."
"All rested?" Ryouko said, giving a yawn before moving away from
the stairwell, and towards Ranma. "Good. I was getting bored. Let's
finish this so I can go back to playing with Tenchi."
"O, I'll finish it alright, but the only ones you'll be playing
with are your fellow demons in hell." Ranma said as she started her
rush. As had already happened many times before, Ryouko vanished just
before Ranma's blow could fall.
As soon a she faded Ranma began her windup. Spinning in place,
she used every muscle in her body, and the last dregs of energy in
them, to accelerate her foot to where she estimated the demon's head
would be when she reappeared. It was a show boat move, something
Ranma would never use in a fight, it was impossible to do it without
telegraphing your intent well before it could land. If the demon
could see in her invisible state, then Ranma was toast, if not, well,
she was in for a very rude awakening.
The demon appeared, bare inches away from where Ranma had
estimated, easily close enough to correct her foots trajectory. With
a sound audible for several hundred feet Ranma's shoeless foot crashed
into the demons chin, causing her head to whip to the side and forcing
her to take a step backward in order to stay on her feet.
Ranma let out an yell of accomplishment as she let the follow
through from her kick carry her around in a circle until she was again
facing the demon. Her victory cry died in her throat, and her eyes
bugged out as she saw the demon straightening up, to all appearances
non the worse for having been hit by the most powerful blow Ranma had
ever thrown.
Lifting a hand to her chin, the demon wiggled it back and forth
slightly, then using her thumb, she wiped the corner of her mouth.
Holding her thumb in front of her face she looked at the tiny smear of
blood on it. Then she grinned broadly at Ranma. "Nice move red." She
said mockingly, then her smile turned sinister, and she rubbed her
fist in the palm of her other hand. "Now it's my turn."
Ranma just stood there, unable to move, she had given it
everything she had, had delivered a perfect blow, one that should have
finished the fight, and all she had done was amuse the demon. What
was worse, she had temporally depleted her reserves, the fight had
taken a lot out of her, and the effort she had just expended had left
her utterly drained. Given a few seconds to rest, she would be able
to recover. It did not look like the demon was going to give her
those seconds. She stood there, arms hanging a her side, lacking even
the strength to make a token defense, as the demon drew back her fist,
but before anything could happen, she felt herself being picked up by
the waist and carried into the stairwell.

Tenchi took the stairs three at a time, barely fazed, thanks to a
healthy jolt of adrenaline, by the hundred and fifteen pounds of
curvy, but very muscular, red head in his arms. Ranma just hung there
limp, offering no objection to being manhandled. Suddenly an
explosion at the top of the stairs blew them off the steps and sent
them tumbling head over heels down to the lower hallway. They rolled
up against the far wall with a thump. For a moment Tenchi sat there
waiting for his head to stop spinning. Then a voice from above
galvanized him.

"Don't hurt yourselves," the demon's voice mocked. "I want to do
that myself."
"Still want to stay and fight?" Tenchi asked from his position on
the floor beside Ranma. Ranma just looked at him blankly. Tenchi
groaned, Looks like it's up to me, he thought, Ranma's out of it.
Dragging the unresisting girl to her feet by one hand, he looked
around wildly for someplace to hide. Spying the open door to the
science classroom, he headed towards it, pulling Ranma along behind
him.

Tenchi quickly, but quietly, slid the door shut and hunkered down
beside Ranma, below the level of the windows lining the hallway. He
held his breath as he watched Ryouko's shadow move across the far
wall, and then sighed in relief when she failed to discover their
presence.
"She playing with us." said a quiet voice beside him.
"Huu," Tenchi said, turning to look at Ranma. The vacant look
had disappeared from her face, and had been replaced by an expression
of deep thought, she looked like she was in pain.
"I said she's playing with us. I thought she had a few tricks,
but was nothing special. The way she took that kick . . . she could
take us anytime she wanted. So, she's playing with us. But why?"
"Maybe she wants to make me suffer, she is out for revenge for
Yosho's locking her away all those years ago after all."
"Hmm, maybe, but there might be something else. Then she
straightened up, her face taking on an excited look. Tenchi!" she
exclaimed, "you said the magic sword was nothing but a mass of rust,
despite the hilt looking good. Where's the hilt?"
Tenchi was puzzled, but he answered Ranma's query. "In my book
bag. It's probably still in my desk where I left it. Why? What good
is it? The rest of it fell apart back in the cave. I only kept the
hilt because I was in such a hurry to get out of the cave I forgot to
put it back."
"Which is probably why the demon is walking the halls right now.
I bet you anything the magic is in the hilt. I thought it was awfully
funny when you said it was still in perfect condition after seven
hundred years. I may not have much education, but I've heard a lot of
stories in the last ten years. It's sometimes seemed like pop went
out of the way to take me to places where weird stuff happened a long
time ago. You, the sword, and that demon are classic. Descendant of
demon killer awakens demons, demons do nasty things, then just before
he gets killed, he discovers his legacy and destroys demons. If I've
seen it once, I've seen it a million times." Ranma laughed out loud,
"We ain't got a thing to worry about."
Tenchi laughed along with her, "That's great, you've really seen
this sort of thing before? I thought that sort of thing only happened
in stories these days." A sudden explosion caused Tenchi to revise
his statement, "I mean, I didn't think they happened all the time, so
you've seen demons in real life before. That makes me feel better."
"Well, not in real life, but just about every anime I ever saw
always worked that way. Let's go get that demon!" Ranma started
towards the door, only to be brought up short by Tenchi catching hold
of her arm.
"You mean to say," Tenchi hissed at her, "you expect me to risk
my life because it always turned out ok in the anime. Are you crazy?
Those are real energy blasts she's throwing, not drawing's on an
animation cell! . . ." suddenly Tenchi's eyes glazed over, "the energy
blasts, every time she draws energy, the gem on her wrist glows. I
forgot about them, their in the legend too. She gets her power from
them, all we have to do is get them off her, and she's powerless."
Tenchi laughed out loud. "It's so easy," he enthused.
"Right, and how do you plan on getting close enough to get a hold
of them." Ranma said in a quelling voice.
Tenchi held up a finger, his face radiant, but then he big
sweated and dropped his chin to his chest, "I never thought of that,"
he said. Then he lifted his head and sniffed the air. "Do you smell
that?" He said. Then he pointed frantically at a pile of rubble under
one of the holes Ryouko had blown in the roof. "Gas, the explosion
has broken one of the gas lines, we have to get out of here. One
little spark, and we'll be history." Tenchi grabbed one of Ranma's
hands and started to drag her towards the door. She jerked herself
free.
"Would you stop doing that! I ain't a girl! I can look after
myself!" She shouted at Tenchi, then her eyes widened in shock, and
she slapped a hand over her mouth. It was too little to late.
"There you are, you naughty people. Did you really think you
could hide from me?"
Ranma and Tenchi looked around the room frantically, trying to
find the source of that mocking voice, then they both saw her at the
same time, their hair stood on end, and their eyes bugged out in shock
at the sight of Ryouko's head, sticking out of the wall, for all the
world like some sort of macabre hunting trophy. Then the head smiled
at them, and with a shudder they watched as her body moved into the
room along with her head, passing through the solid wall with casual
ease.
"No way!!" Tenchi moaned, "she can walk through walls." Then his
eyes widened as he saw Ryouko beginning to draw energy into her hands
again. "Stop, there's gas," he shouted. To the apparent bewilderment
of Ryouko.

Tenchi and Ranma raced down the hallway, trying to put as much
distance as possible between them and Ryouko.
"I can't believe I used that old gag," Tenchi said. "Look! Out
the window."
"I can't believe she fell for it," Ranma said in return.
"O shit!!" Ranma cried, looking behind her at a wall of flame
advancing down the hall towards them. "Run like fuck, she shouted.
To late as it turned out. The pressure wave in front of the blast
picked them both up and tossed them like leaves down the length of the
hallway, barely in front of the wall of flames that accompanied it.
Tenchi did a face plant and slid fifty feet on his chest, Ranma
gracefully turned her body in mid air and tucking herself into a ball,
rolled with the impact, bouncing to her feet as soon as she stopped
moving.
"Well, that's that," she said. "One barbecued demon, hold the
sauce." Beside her, Tenchi clapped his hands in prayer, and then
looked sheepishly at Ranma.
"Sorry, old shrine habit. It's too bad, she was sort of cute."
"Cute!! Cute!! Are you crazy. Cute. I don't believe it.
Maybe if you like girls who could wrestle gorillas, who would as soon
cut you in half as look at you. Cute, for gods sake, I don't believe
you, she just tried to kill you." Unable to continue, Ranma turned
her back on Tenchi in annoyance. Crossing her arms over her chest,
she glowered at the flickering flames that were illuminating the
hallway with a ruddy glow. "Cute." she muttered again in disgust,
then "Boys" with all most as much disgust.
Ranma's eyes suddenly widened, and spinning in place she caught
Tenchi's arm and dragged him into a mid hall stair well. When he
would have protested she clapped a hand over his mouth and gestured
towards the hall they had just left. She mimed fangs, using her free
hand's fingers held over her mouth.
"Nani, you don't mean?" Tenchi whispered. Then he big sweated
when he heard coughing coming from the direction of the flames,
followed by a voice yelling out. "I will never forgive you!!"
"We're doomed," Tenchi moaned. But for some reason Ryouko did
not appear immediately at the head of the stairs, and they were able
to make there way down them and into a lower hallway without
interference.
Tenchi led the way towards his home room, and once there, he
found his book bag in his desk, right where he had left it.
"Great," Ranma said, when Tenchi showed her the hilt of Yosho's
magic sword. "I was right, look at the condition it's in. It could
have been made yesterday. I bet these jewels in the handle are the
source of the magic."
"Actually, their Ryouko's. Yosho used the sword to take them
from her, I remember the legend."
"That must be what she's really after then, we have to keep it
away from her."
"No!" Tenchi said firmly. "Not we, it's the sword and me she's
after. You get out of here, I'll hold her off until you're well
away."
Ranma glowered at Tenchi, then she reached out and grabbed his
collar, and with a yank, pulled his face down level with her. "Just
what the fuck are you trying to pull here, I say when I go or stay,
what the crap do you think I am, a girl."
Tenchi blushed, and letting his eyes drop slightly, said. "Well
actually, it's just, well . . . yes. But just for a minute!" he
hastily said, "it's just your shirt, it's sort of, well, it made me
forget for a minute."
"What about my shirt?" Ranma said, looking downward. Then she
cursed slightly, she had not come through the battle unscathed, and
her shirt was much the worse for wear. Her breasts were clearly
visible through the various rents. "Damn it, and I just got this
shirt, shit, that un-cute mummy is going to pay for this." When Ranma
had looked downward, she had retained her grip on Tenchi's collar, and
had inadvertently dragged his face down into close proximity with her
breasts. When she looked back at Tenchi, he was blushing heavily, and
had a slim streamer of blood trailing down from his nose. She looked
at Tenchi's face for a second, then followed his gaze to her chest.
"Pervert!" she yelled, in disgust, shoving him up against the
classroom wall, "I told you, I'm a guy, don't go turning weird on me.
This stupid engagement is bad enough, with out you acting sick. I
thought you believed me when I said I was really a guy."
"I did, I did," Tenchi hastily affirmed, "It's just . . ."
Anything else he might have planned on saying was drowned out as the
outside wall of the classroom blew in.

Once again Tenchi and Ranma raced down a hallway, only this time
instead of the blast rolling down the hallway after them, a series of
individual blasts, shattered the exterior wall, one right after the
other. Each one next to the previous, herding them down the hallway.
"Bitch!" Ranma cursed. "That un-cute mummy is playing again, she
wants us outside where there aren't so many hiding places. When we
get outside, I'll distract her, you use the sword."
Tenchi was too winded to reply, but he gripped the bag in his
arms tightly, determined not to lose their last chance at living
though this. He wished Ranma had listened to him and snuck out the
back, but remembering how well she had fought on the roof, he was
comforted by her presence beside him, and was glad she had stayed.
They raced out the front door together and managed to make it through
the gate, before Ryouko caught them.
Tenchi was jerked backward as Ranma grabbed the back of his
uniform and put on the brakes. Tenchi came to a stop about one foot
in front of Ryouko, who just stood there smiling at him. Tenchi
frantically scrambled backward, while Ranma took advantage of the fact
that Ryouko was focusing on Tenchi, to sidle out to the side, trying
to move around behind her. She did not really expect to succeed, but
if she could draw Ryouko's attention, then Tenchi might have a chance.
She was not expecting what happened.
"Don't be scared sweety pie. I won't hurt you." Ryouko said,
totally ignoring Ranma, then with no warning swung her sword full at
Tenchi.

"Nooo!!" Ranma screamed, how could she have been so stupid, the
demon had only wanted them to show her where her jewels were. Now
that they had recovered the hilt, she had no further use for them.
Ranma started forward, sick with fear and self loathing. There was no
way she could get there in time, but she could at least try to cause
the demon some pain before it killed her.
She was still several yards away when Ryouko's sword impacted on
the book bag Tenchi held between two hands in a futile effort of
defense. Then the sword that Ranma had witnessed cutting through
every thing in it's path, stopped. A brilliant glow of energy flared
up from between Tenchi's hands, and Ryouko was flung backwards a dozen
yards.
All three of them watched in amazement as the glowing hilt to
Yosho's legendary sword hovering in mid air. Ryouko was the first to
recover. "Impressive," she said, then unleashed a barrage of energy
bolts at Tenchi, all of which flowed around him and the hilt doing no
harm to either.
Ranma's heart, which had been sick with dread, leaped back to
life. Yes, she thought, I was right, the magic is in the hilt. She
watched in glee as Ryouko launched an attack at Tenchi, only to be
brought up short when a glowing bar of energy sprang from the hilt in
Tenchi's hand to match the demon's weapon, and parried her sword.
Then she felt a spurt of admiration as Tenchi launched a furious
counterattack. It looked chaotic, but Ranma could make out an
underlaying sword style she was not acquainted with. That surprised
her, "looks like Tenchi has hidden talents," she mused to herself.
Then a scream of fury from Ryouko made her realize that she had
better start to play her part. Apparently Tenchi had called her a
monster and she had taken grave exception to it. Well anger bred
carelessness, time to take advantage of that. Darting forward, her
body low to the ground, she snatched up a rake that some one had
carelessly left laying on the ground. She whirled the rake in an
intricate pattern around her body in order to attract Ryouko's
attention to herself, when she got it she lashed out with a vicious
blow that Ryouko could not possibly ignore, she hoped.
With an angry growl Ryouko knocked it aside with a casual elbow
that bent the heavy iron handle almost in two, and then snapping a
hand out, she fired a force blast at Ranma that picked her up and
smashed her into the nearby fence. Where she hung limply, the breath
knocked out of her.
Tenchi felt the sword twist in his hand, and suddenly he was
being pulled along behind it as it dragged him towards Ryouko. With a
hiss it swung through the air, and cut off the hand Ryouko still held
extended towards the fallen Ranma. Slicing it cleanly off her arm
just behind the jewel imbedded in her wrist. Tenchi watched in horror
as the severed hand flew through the air and vanished in a puff of
flame. The jewel that had been attached to it bounced several times
before exploding in a fierce, but localized explosion.
"Yatta," Ranma yelled from where she was just getting to her
feet. "Way to go Tenchi."
Tenchi did not share Ranma's pleasure. He was looking at Ryouko
who was standing there with a sad look on her face. Blowing out a
puff of breath she said sadly, "Oh well, another battle lost. My
miserable lot." Then she blinked as she noticed for the first time
that she was missing an appendage.
Tenchi felt he had to say something, "I'm sorry! It was the
sword, I didn't mean to cut your hand off." Ryouko blinked at him.
Then she smiled, and for once, it was not a mocking or derisive smile.
Holding up her shortened arm she touched a finger, that trailed sparks
as she moved it through the air, to the stump. Then pressed the stump
to the palm of her remaining hand. Drawing it back, she showed that
she now had a brand new hand where had been only a charred ruin.
Tenchi applauded enthusiastically, but trailed off sheepishly as
he saw the look Ranma was directing at him. "Geez Tenchi get a grip.
She was ready to kill you a minute ago."
Tenchi held the back of his head with one hand, and laughed
nervously, "But she's helpless now. Isn't she?"

Ranma started to tell Tenchi to finish the demon off, but
stopped, now that Tenchi had the sword she was no threat, and she
looked so sad. It had been a good fight, it would leave a bad taste
in her mouth if they were to end it by killing the demon girl, but
what were they going to do with her if they didn't. Ranma was not
looking forward to herding her back to the Masaki shrine so Tenchi
could seal her back up in that cave. But what else were they to do?
Ryouko took the decision out of their hands. She bowed to them,
or rather to Tenchi, said, "Farewell," and sank out of sight into the
ground.
Tenchi and Ranma looked at each other. "Do you suppose she's
gone for good?" Ranma said, a wistful tone in her voice.
"I don't know, I'm just glad we all survived." Just then what
remained of the school exploded with a force that almost threw them to
the ground. Tenchi looked in horror at the remains of his school,
then he started to head for home at a rapid pace. "Let's get out of
here. I don't want to be here when the police and fire trucks
arrive." Ranma nodded her agreement, and they both headed for home.

Ranma sighed in relief as she made her way towards her room, It
had been a good fight, her strategy had worked, it was too bad she
couldn't have thrown the final blow herself, but the sword was
Tenchi's ancestor's, so it was unlikely it would have worked for her,
but at least she had come up with the solution. Suddenly she heard
Tenchi cry out in shock. With a groan she turned and started back
towards his room. What now, she thought. Then she suddenly snapped
fully awake, the demon, is she back? She rushed towards Tenchi room,
ready for anything, a smile on her face.


Whew, well that's another one done. To think I originally saw
this one ending after Sasami and Aeka were introduced. I just can't
seem to compress my stories.
Real life has slowed my output down a lot, but I will keep
plugging away at this. Lots of replies will no doubt encourage me to
write faster^_^ hint, hint.

Many thanks to my Pre-readers.
Tzigane
Wade Tritschler
Jim Nutley
Green Eyes
and Eimii, the lovely Pain Magnet, who had better get going on
SHOTR, if she does not want to find out just how magnetic she
is. ^_^

Till the next chapter.
T.H. Tiger