Disclaimer: The characters of Ranma ½ belong to Rumiko Takahashi, and not me. I am writing this story for fun and won't be making a penny off of it. Some Things are Just too Ridiculous By Lioconvoy
Chapter Five: Questioning the present and the past
Jun sat next to Chojiro in the vice-principal's office. They had spent the entire first period just sitting there while Kazami-san talked on the phone. He tried not to listen in, but it sounded like she was making arrangements for him and his friend to transfer to Tomobiki. It was understandable; they couldn't remain in Furinkan while the rest of the school was female. The two of them had been sitting silently long enough; he was curious what was on his friend's mind. "I'm glad it's over."
"No kidding." The former captain of the Go club frowned. Although he was by no means a pervert…there were things he wanted to do with his restored body. The entire two months he was stuck female he took care not to do anything inappropriate so to avoid the wrath of Mai, but now that he was male…. He needed some stress relief. "Think they'll give us the rest of the day off?"
"I don't know." The former Kendo Captain personally wouldn't mind not starting at Tomobiki till the next day. Still, if they did have to start at their new school today, he'd try to do something about Mendou. In truth, he at first he thought his underclassman deserved what happened with the Tomobiki eleven, but he thought they'd stop after a month. Since it still continued, he no longer held his original opinion.
"So, you going to be joining Mendou?" Chojiro was not expecting the look of surprise on his friends face. "Come on I've seen the way you've looked at Tatewaki lately."
It was true; he had at times looked at his successor and been impressed at her. But it wasn't because he liked the girl Taki had become. He was impressed that she was finally maturing. He had known Kuno since his second year of middle school and he had constantly tried amend his younger friend's view of the world. "It's not like that."
"Sure it's not. Hey, just because I have Mai, it doesn't mean I don't notice other girls. I just limit how long I look at them. 'Taki' is beautiful, and you have an in." His girlfriend used to not be as possessive, but she didn't take well to him being a girl. The two months cause a sharp change in their relationship, but Chojiro still loved Fujisaki, and hopefully with his manhood restored things might go back to the way they were.
"Taki is a guy. I don't see her as a girl." His relationship with the fellow Kendo practitioner had always been brotherly. Yes, he liked the changes in Kuno since she became a girl, but the last thing Jun would ever do was to try and convince her that she should stay female.
"The two of you may go home now. Tomorrow you will start at Tomobiki." Mito put down the phone. It had taken forever for her to convince the Principle of Tomobiki to take her two males. The vice-principal sighed, she'd have to have a talk with Kuno.
She couldn't do it anymore. As important as education was, trying to understand what went on this morning was more so. Was she responsible for what happened to the male students of the school? How did Jun-sempai and his friend regain their manhood? Quickly she stood up to leave the classroom. She needed to go somewhere where she could think.
"Kuno where do you think you are going?"
"To the principal's office." It would seem her behavior of late made the teachers forget just who she was. A quick stare into the eyes of the old man caused him to cower.
"Very well. Go ahead."
Nabiki watched Taki leave and she wondered just what she was up to. It had been awhile since her former male friend used whatever power she had over the teachers. What was she up to?
Soun probably should have changed his clothes before leaving for the Zoo. Although he never worried about wearing his dogi in public, he never wore shoes with it. His old friend may have had no problem walking around bare foot all the time, but the concrete was hot and it had taken all morning to finally able to convince the zookeeper that Genma was not Gen-Ah. However, he had to tell the zookeeper of Genma's curse. "We had assumed you took off afraid of your wife."
"She doesn't know I turn into a panda. I can easily hide in plain sight." The zoo may have been a safe place but it was nice to be free. The Saotome patriarch could only put up with so much bamboo.
"Actually I told her about both your curse and Ranma's yesterday. I didn't find out about your pledge to her until afterwards." Maybe Nodoka wouldn't have his old friend and her son take their lives. Soun just couldn't see her doing it.
Furinkan high actually had several principal's offices. One on each floor, one in a hidden basement, and one hidden beneath the pool. She never could understand why her father put an office under the pool, getting to it was quite difficult and one often ended up flooding the office in doing so. This was the one on the first floor by the Kendo Club room. Twice before Tatewaki had come here to think, both occasions were after her transformation.
Now that she was here she needed to try and figure out just what had caused the two restorations this morning. Akane had not been involved, she was. Why had her victory over Mai-sempai changed the judgment of the goddess? Or was it, as Nabiki and others suggested, she had been the one to place the curse upon Akane Tendo. Had the powers that cast the curse broken its hold over Jun-sempai and Chojiro-sempai?
"For only a man is truly worthy of her and if one cannot best her then he is no man." Were those the words that started the curse? Each male who fell before Akane Tendo the next morning were not men upon defeat. It was hard to believe her words had such power, but…, maybe.
"It is possible in the future I must be mindful of what I say." If her words had caused all this, what could she do to rectify the situation. What could she say that would break the spell upon the entire student population?
For the past two months she believed that victory over Nabiki's little sister would restore her, but such a victory was not needed for either upperclassman this morning. Why was that? They had not met the conditions of the curse she placed upon Akane. No words were spoken between the start of her fight and its finish. Mai-sempai wanted to challenge Akane, but she stood in her way. The two did battle and in the end she was victorious over the schools strongest fighter. It made no sense that her own victory brought about the cure for Jun-sempai, and Chojiro-sempai.
Her thoughts were interrupted by an unexpected knock at the door. Who besides her knew of this office? Pressing a button on the desk she sat at, she unlocked the door to allow whoever the visitor was in.
"So you are in here."
The vice-principal. Of course, Mito Kazami would know of where her father's offices were. As always Kazami-san appeared older than she naturally did. She was dressed in old-fashioned sweater, a long black skirt, and flat heeled shoes. Her hair had grays placed within it, but truth be told the grays among the black were false. The vice-principal was in fact her mother's underclassman, but without effects she looked not much older than the third year students of Furinkan. "I am busy, what do I owe this interruption."
Mito quickly made her way to the desk then patted her superior's child on the head before messing up her hair. "Forgive my interruption, oh noble Kuno, but it is important that I speak with you."
"Aunt Mito, I truly hate it when you do that." Letting a smile upon her face, she didn't miss out on the vice-principles sarcastic tone. Although no blood flowed between them, during her father's absence, the older woman would often check in on herself and her sister at home. For this reason she insisted on being referred to as their aunt. Before her transformation she use that name begrudgingly, but lately she had been getting along with the older woman a little.
"I know, which is the reason why I do it. You've put me in quite the spot. Because this is Nerima no one has questioned what had happened to the male students, but now that two of them have been restored; parents are going to start asking why not their own child." There were more than a hundred rumors going around among the adults as to what happened at the school. From a student's poor cooking creating a virus that stole the manhood of the young, to a curse placed upon Akane by her grandfather. The former was what the Tomobiki principal believed and he was worried that the two students she was trying to transfer were carriers and could infect his students.
"I do not know what to say. I now accept that it was I who placed the curse upon Akane Tendo, but I do not know why it was broken for only Jun-sempai and Chojiro-sempai. I am quite sure that only a victory over the youngest Tendo should be the curse's only cure."
"Well, like before you didn't cast the spell on purpose, so it may not be stable." Yes, Mito was aware the schools situation was Tatewaki's fault, but she'd rather the hundred rumors than a single student getting blamed for everything.
"Like before? I have cast such a spell before?" When was this? 'Taki' was not aware of any such happenings.
"Er, no the spell before was different, …and I'm not supposed to talk about it." The vice-principal said too much. Well maybe, maybe she should say a little more. Reaching over the younger woman she pressed the button to open the door. Then she made her way to it, but before she left, turned and said . "You inherited your nobility from your father, but not your magic."
Ranma sat at the Tendo dining room table with his mother as the two of them discussed both his own life and also the lives of his sisters. He was looking forward to meeting them after the school day was over. Still that was a long way off, as it wasn't even lunch time yet. "So they know about the Neko-ken?"
"Yes your uncle Makoto mentioned it accidentally while were watching over a neighbor's cat. Koneko is also of afraid of them, although she didn't become afraid until after she found out you were." If not for the fact she had already cried her daily allotment of tears, she might still be crying; after ten long years she and her son were united and there were no problems between them. He didn't seem to have an ounce of hatred for what she had done. Truly, he was a man among men.
"She's the one who braids her hair like mine right?" He was starting to remember Koneko, she was always following him around when he was little.
"Yes, she looks up to you and loves hearing your uncle talk about you." Her fourteen year old daughter idolized to both Ranma and Makoto. As she got older she took the family art more seriously and she was always studying whatever her uncle brought back. "Hiichi and Mizuni will likely challenge you this afternoon."
"I'd really rather not fight with them." Although the pigtailed boy accepted girls could be strong, he really didn't like fighting them.
As Kasumi passed through the kitchen she was very pleased to see things be so civil between Ranma and his mother.
The last half hour she spent wondering when she had ever cast a spell before. What had Kazami-san meant? Pacing along the back wall of her father's office Tatewaki tried to think of anything she may have said with the same manner as the spell she placed on Akane.
"Fellow students, it has come to my attention that a number of you have taken interest in the fierce tigress that is Akane Tendo. If you wish to take out Akane Tendo then you must defeat her in combat. For only a man is truly worthy of her and if one cannot best her then he is no man. Hear me, for I shall accept no other terms, prove yourself a man or do not bother the pure and tidy Akane Tendo."
That speech cursed Akane, but she never made such a speech before; she couldn't think of anything she may have said to a similar fashion.
"For only a man is truly worthy of her and if one cannot best her then he is no man."
After repeating the curse again, what her 'aunt' said as she left finally sunk in. She had received her nobility from her father. But she received her magic from… her mother. Then it hit her harder than any blow she had ever received. The spell she cast before, it had been six years ago.
"Go away and never return."
Tatewaki closed her eyes as several tears escaped them. Was that her previous spell? Did she exile her mother? That day six years ago, she didn't remember what it was about, but she and her mother had disagreed and in a fit of anger she shouted those words.
She and Kodachi both assumed their mother left because she was a commoner and not truly worthy of their father. If not for the last two months, maybe she'd still feel that way. Now she knew that her father, despite his noble blood, was no great man. Three years ago he left for a teacher's conference in Hawaii and had yet to return.
Was it her fault their mother left? Although neither openly blamed the other, after that day the she and her sister did not get along. She assumed, maybe, that Kodachi did indeed blame her. Since her transformation, however, Kodachi looked up to her.
Her little sister viewed her transformation as an evolution. Just as Nabiki named her Taki, her sister given her a female name as well; to Kodachi she was Takiko. The two names were similar, but she didn't truly care for either.
Now that she was female Kodachi enjoyed spending time with her. At one time her twisted sister would test new poisons on the older sibling, now she cooked her meals without poisons, hoping for praise from 'Takiko'.
"For only a man is truly worthy of her and if one cannot best her then he is no man."
Her thoughts had been trailing away from their intended path. She needed to understand what happened this morning. She needed to figure out that if this was her fault, how would she fix it? Her magic came from her mother. Focusing her mind she decided there was something she needed to say. She needed to say it with all the force of her pervious spells.
"I wish my mother was here!"
Nothing. She thought that possibly if she purposely cast a spell she might have some feeling, some additional understanding of it. But she felt nothing.
The middle Tendo sister did not quite understand why she found herself in the vice-principal's office. She had a feeling she wouldn't be spending her lunch with Taki, but she was worried why she might be spending it with the vice-principal.
"I'm sorry to pull you out of Lunch. I know you normally spend it with Taki, I was hoping you could do a favor for me."
"What sort of favor?" Now Nabiki new better than to try and milk a member of the school faculty, but she was curious of what she might be able to get away with. Did the vice-principal just refer to Kuno, by her nickname for him?
Mito sighed, she was aware of the second Tendo sister's personality. Still, the short haired girl was the only friend Tatewaki had that she knew of. "I visited Kuno earlier and I noticed she did not bring a lunch. Will you deliver her lunch to her please?"
"Okay." That was a favor she wouldn't mind doing for free; she was a little worried about Taki. It was sort of strange the way Kazami-san talked about Kuno. Did Kuno's power over the teachers come from a friendship with the vice principal? "But I don't know where the principal's office is."
Kazami placed a folded piece of paper on her desk, then reaching into a bag by her feet, pulled out a bento and placed it beside the note. "Follow the map, and then I suggest you destroy it. The location of that office is your payment, but I suggest you do not share it."
"Yes ma'am." Nabiki took the map and Bento off the desk, and then examined the map. It looked like it led to a wall near the Kendo club room. "Is it hidden? How do I get in?"
"Just knock on the wall. Taki has it locked from the inside." The vice-principal watched Nabiki nod in understanding and then the leave the office for her destination. Mito smiled, glad that Tatewaki's Tendo classmate accepted her task. Maybe a friend could be of help to the former male.
There was no way his old friend was a man among men. After telling Genma that Nodoka knew of his curse he offered their services to the zookeeper to help catch Gen-Ah. Soun sighed, it normally took a full week to capture that cunning panda.
Knocking again. Was it her 'aunt'? Opening the door she was surprised to see it was Nabiki waiting to enter the secret office. "Nabiki-chan I'm afraid I am not in the mood for a photo session today."
"That's not why I'm here Taki. The vice-principal sent me with your lunch." She knew the school had a few secrets from Kasumi, but she had heard the Principal's office was somewhere under the pool. It was too bad she didn't know how to open the door from the outside; this office could be used for a few things.
As the second Tendo placed the large bento on the desk, 'Taki' knew it had not been the one she left in the classroom. Still the vice-principal was wise in sending it, she was starting to get hungry. "Thank you, Nabiki."
"You're welcome. It looks a little big for one, mind if I join you?" Akemi and Suzue would gather up whatever information was running around as usual, so it wasn't like she needed to be out among the student if she wasn't taking pictures.
"I do not know if you would want to. I must challenge your sister this afternoon." However the magic worked, whatever happened this morning, restoration was possible and she needed to try and regain her manhood. It might place a rift between her and her new friend, but maybe it would be easier to feel the magic she possessed as a man.
"Well you would have yesterday if she had come to school, and I'm sure if Fujisaki-sempai hadn't challenged her this morning, you would have then as well. I'm not worried about you hurting my sister, and… I meant what I said this morning. It would cut into my profits, but I wouldn't mind you being a guy again." She hoped she wasn't blushing, it was unprofessional. During class she had spent a little time thinking about her earlier statement. If Kuno's personality remained the same when she became male again, he'd definitely be a good catch.
Tatewaki wondered if her face was becoming as red as Nabiki's, her cheeks felt a little warm. Being female had definitely changed her, before she admired the physically strong, but the middle Tendo sister was mentally strong and now she was attracted to that. "Very well then you may join me."
"So do you have any idea what happened to Izumi-sempai, and Shindo-sempai?" Given Taki's red face, she had to be blushing herself. Maybe the former boy wasn't the only one changing, that she did not like. She watched Kuno open the bento and then hand her the top tray saving the lower for herself. It seemed the two trays were identical, did the vice-principal plan on her and Kuno eating together? Taki then handed her a pair of chop stick and started eating. The former boy seemed phased, that she found curious. "You're not surprised by this?"
"No, I am not. Aunt Mito is always teasing me." Continuing to eat, she couldn't help but notice Nabiki was just staring at her rather than eating herself. "There is no blood between us, but she looks in on my sister and I. She insists that we refer to her as our aunt."
"Oh." She started to dig in to the tray in front of her. That not only answered her current query, but her earlier one about the vice-principal's familiarity with Kuno. Well, now it was her turn to share something. Was Taki going to pick the subject or should she?
"In school the two prevalent rumors regarding what happened are: that I cursed Akane, or that Akane is the goddess I claim he to be and she passed judgment upon those of us who failed to best her. However there is one rumor among some adults that it was your grandfather who cursed Akane. Do you know how that came about?" It was something the vice-principal had mentioned to her once. Although she now believed herself the source of the curse, 'Taki' was a little interested in the rumored alternate source.
Really? She didn't know the adults had their own theories for Furinkan being an all girls' school. She really only paid attention to her fellow students. She mentioned her father's past to Ranma this morning, even if he wasn't paying attention, she might as well tell Kuno. "The Tendo and Saotome families have been trying to unite for several generations. Until now, both families have only had sons. My grandfather tried to marry my father to Ranma's by having my father raised as a girl."
"Your father attended school as a girl?"
"Up until he was twelve. Then Ranma's grandfather figured out what mine was up to and my dad got transferred to an all boys' school on the outskirts of Nerima. I guess some of his classmates knew it was him. My sisters and I were told about it after we found a picture of him dressed in a girl's Kimono, with our mother." She and Kasumi took after their mother, but from the picture, their twelve year old father looked almost exactly like a twelve year old Akane.
"I see." Taking another bite from her lunch, Tatewaki thought about the question her friend asked before they were sidetracked. Had she really figured out anything about what happened to their upperclassmen? "The only thing I understand now that I did not before coming here this morning, is that I truly am a sorcerer most foul. The words I spoke during the assembly two months ago did indeed curse your sister. However I am still at a loss as to why that curse lost its power over Jun-sempai and Chojiro-sempai."
So Taki was finally answering that question. She didn't think the former male was a foul sorcerer, but she had always believed that Kuno had cursed her sister. It was interesting to know the sword girl could accept that now. "It's not like you said anything during or before the fight, and even if you did, what could you have said to release them from the curse?"
"Yes, and that is what vexes me so. I'm am quite sure my magic requires the spoken word, but as no words were spoke until after the fight and restoration, I do not understand what returned our upperclassmen to their true selves. That is why I must challenge Akane today. Maybe, should my own form be restored, I will have a better understanding." She had spent half the day in thought and that was the most she had come up with.
"Well, if you're stuck on that, maybe you should return to class now."
"Yes, maybe I should." Finishing her tray, 'Taki' started cleaning up. Once Nabiki finished hers they would return together. She could not accomplish anything more here for the time being.
Genma smiled at his genius, the zoo's panda was taking his bait. Both Soun and the zookeeper had laughed at his idea for trapping Gen-ah. And the panda was going after the picnic basket he left lying on the trap. The sad thing was now he would need a new excuse not to see Nodoka.
Since this morning, most of the day had been fairly uneventful. A few girls had asked while she smiled upon Izumi-sempai and Shindo-sempai, but mostly the day had been like any other. Akane had to frown as she exited the school building with her three friends. Waiting for her outside was Kuno in her Kendo attire. "You want to fight?"
"I apologize, Akane Tendo, but I must." Her male body was her true form. The only thing that came of her time alone in thought was that perhaps in her restored form she would understand her magic greater. With her wooden sword ready Tatewaki waited for Akane's friends to move away from her.
"Please, Akane, just fight Kuno." Nabiki stood a safe distance away. A part of her wouldn't mind Taki losing, but another wanted to see the male Kuno. The later part was a little afraid that when once again male Kuno's personality might revert to its previous state, but she hoped it wouldn't.
The youngest Tendo daughter stepped away from the school building and her friends, and then got in a ready stance. She was caught by surprise when the sword girl's weapon was suddenly in her face. She just barely caught it before the blow connected. This wasn't like Kuno, she normally allowed her to strike first. Taking advantage of the fact her hands had captured her assailant's primary weapon, she tried to kick Kuno. But the older girl freed herself and her weapon before the kick could connect.
"Kuno's not holding back is she?" Yoshinori had watched the previous fight Kuno had with Akane, and although she was certain the older girl was trying to win, she could also tell she wasn't going all out. This time was different.
The youngest Tendo was now holding her left arm after the sword girl had struck it. Hikaru saw the pain in Akane's eyes. "Kuno's going to win."
She could hear he friends' comments, and Akane had a sinking feeling they were right. This fight was harsher than the one she had with Kuno before. All it took was one good blow and she had an easy victory over her upperclassman. Wincing in pain, she received another blow from the sword, both arms now hurt. Kuno was faster and stronger than she was. Thinking about her fight with Ranma, the only reason she had beaten Kuno before was because the older girl had been holding back. Another blow was coming; fighting the pain in her arms she again caught the sword. "I surrender."
Kuno brought back her wooden sword. Victory was hers. Closing her eyes, she waited a moment for her restoration to come. She heard what sounded like popping noises and then bewildered male voices. Her body was unchanged, but … opening her eyes she noticed that some among the spectators were changed, smoke fading from around them. "Why?"
Nabiki looked around, from what she could see, everyone who had changed back was a third year, and they were a part of the group that Akane attacked, and not those who had attacked her. Why they were freed from the curse she didn't know. She wanted to comfort Taki, but her classmate took off quickly. Maybe she should leave her friend be for now.
-"Takiko" and the nick name "Taki" come from the main character of Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden. That Takiko is also a fighter so I thought her name would fit for a female Tatewaki Kuno.
- The next chapter will be back with Ranma, to find out what Kuno does check out the third side story.
-Although it should be obvious by this chapter, Kuno and Kodachi are aware their father is the principal of Furinkan.
- The fight in this chapter is only the second real fight Akane has had with Kuno, it was a simple kick to the face that transformed him originally.
Getting to know the extras:
Since I was trying to make this story as ridiculous as possible, it has a lot of extras that I've created to fill various roles. Here I'll try to give a brief summary of those characters.
- Mito Kazami: The vice-principal of Furinkan, Mito has been acting as the principal since Principal Kuno left for Hawaii. She's a year younger than Mr. Tendo and went to the same school as him when he was living as a girl. She's also close with Kuno's mother. Because of her youthful appearance she makes herself look older so she is respected in school. While in school, she's ever the professional, but outside of school with her aged look shed she acts more like her apparent age. An earlier version of this chapter mentions her relation to an established Ranma ½ character, but I think I'll keep it a secret until it becomes relevant to the story, feel free to guess though.