Cat-Scratch Fever, the Bet. Expansion Set v.2.1
by Gregg Sharp based on Rumiko Takahashi's situations/characters.

why a further expansion of Cat Scratch? i heard that Tagan-san was dropping this
from the continuation, hence the further expansion here. Expansion Set stories
are just Bet fics where they're fleshed out a bit more, and it's all meant for
temporary amusement. Ain't no Higher Meaning here, folks, just a tale of two
kitties. There is a definite chance of one or more of these variant characters
from this story showing up in A Very Scary Bet, and possibly other fanfics if
someone wants to use them.

stone provided by DragonBard

----------------------------------------

"How about this timeline here?" Toltiir indicated one dull grey strand that
turned black abruptly. An indication that the portion of the timeline viewed
turned dark and nasty.

"What's the divergence point?" The smith looked curiously at it. He didn't want
to modify a timeline that actually turned out happily.

"Looks like its when that Tatewaki Kuno fellow has gotten his hands on the
Wishbringer. A fourth class magical object capable of granting Limited Wishes.
It certainly qualifies as divergent..."

------------------------------------------

"Ranma, have you no shame?!" Akane slid the door open, glaring at the "couple"
within. How far was he willing to go in order to lose this curse anyway?

Genma wept in the hallway. "You sadden your father, boy..." Genma didn't add
that it was mainly because he wouldn't be able to use the Wishbringer to end his
own curse in a similar manner.

"A-ka-ka-kane Tendo," stammered Kuno. Here he was with one of the two women that
he was pursuing, and lo- the other showed up! No doubt consumed with jealousy
that he should lavish his attentions on the pigtailed girl.

"What's SHE got to do with it?!" Ranma looked up from where she was sitting.
Ranma was sure of it, a little bit longer, she'd get that sword from him, and
then be free of the curse to turn into a girl!

Kuno sighed, thinking how jealous Akane was of the pigtailed girl. "What a pity
that my two loves cannot get along better. Fear not, I shall date with you
later."

"You wish," said Akane, striking Kuno.

"What an excellent idea," thought Kuno as he landed.

"Stay OUTTA this, Akane!"

"Are you THAT desperate to stop being a girl?!" Akane shouted in Ranma's face.

"I wish that the pigtailed girl and Akane Tendo would love me forever, forsaking
all their arguing and jealousy!" Kuno, still prone on the floor raised the sword
Wishbringer above him.

"Your wish is my command."

----------------------------------

Toltiir blinked. "Well, I'm not the expert on things like that, but let me give
that timeline my official 'Screwed Up Big Time' stamp." He hadn't seen too many
that turned out worse than this one.

There was the sound of several Ranma fans being violently ill as the scene
continued. For their sake, it isn't detailed here.

"I can see why you would want to change this one," Hephaestus remarked. "Look,
boy type Ranma isn't under the compulsion but whenever he changes..."

"I had no idea Tatewaki was into some of that stuff. Let's do his slaves a favor
and get rid of THIS timeline, what change did you want to make?"

The Greek god of smithcraft chuckled. "Personally? Personally I LIKE Susano-o's
entry over there. Sure, Ranma's dead, but Shampoo gets Magni and I get a cute
okonomiyaki chef...(try having to deal with Aphrodite for a few years without
really valuing traits like loyalty and intelligence) but for the purposes of
your 'BET', I'll have to go with this juncture here."

--------------------------------

Doctor Amano Miyabe was trying a new route home, something he frequently did,
when he saw what appeared to be a feral child in a gi. While there were many
things one could expect to see in Japan, feral children were not on that list.

He blinked as a slightly overweight man came running after the child, and, his
curiosity piqued, the doctor followed.

It was one of those cases where curiosity saved the cat.

--------

"Frankly, Mister Saotome, I'd be MUCH happier if your son was no longer in your
custody. Putting your son through this sort of torture is inexcusable. Since you
HAVE agreed to get him through treatment, I'm not going through legal
proceedings. We'll try a few different types of treatment, see what's most
effective, and because we're catching it so early, there is a good chance of
recovery."

"But will he retain the Cat-fist?" Genma frowned. If it weren't for the
uniformed police officers, he'd take the child and run. Still, if the treatment
could have Ranma use the Cat-fist techniques at will instead of only while
insane, this could prove beneficial after all.

Doctor Miyabe's glasses gleamed dangerously and a vein could be seen throbbing
on his forehead. "Excuse me. Do I understand you to say that you value your son
learning this particular technique so much, that you would rather he remain
insane and liable to regress to
an animalistic state at any time than take the chance that the cure would remove
said technique?"

"Well, when you put it THAT way." Genma Saotome shut his mouth. He could always
try again if Ranma forgot the technique.

------------

Ranma stretched and blinked as his father went off about yet another training
ground. This one didn't look special at all, being a number of bamboo poles
stuck into a number of springs. Ranma curled a lip. These were obviously cold
water springs, but the presence of these mists indicated that there were hot
springs elsewhere.

"Feh, if I need a bath, fatherrrrr, warm waterrrr would be sooo nice," Ranma
purred at his father. Balancing exercises against HIM? The old man wanted to
lose, didn't he?

"You very strange one, no, sir?" The Jusenkyo Guide looked at Ranma, there was
something about the boy that just seemed to suggest some not-quite-domesticated
animal. There was a sense of barely restrained wild power and savagery present.
Ranma actually made the Guide nervous. "This place very dangerous, nobody use
now. Is more than one hundred spring here, and every one have own terrible
tragic legend."

"How about you tell us when we visit the hot springs? Got anything to eat around
here?" Ranma was hopeful. Training was training but a long hot soak and a good
meal- now THAT could get his enthusiasm up.

"Ranma, follow me." Genma leapt to the top of one of the poles. Ranma was a
moment later but a thousand times more graceful.

"Oh Sirs! What you doing!" The Guide watched as Ranma came to a stop over the
Spring Of Drowned Virtuous Man.

"I won't go easy on you," Genma promised. Like he ever did. He'd learned long
ago that his son was fully capable of making kitty litter out of even excellent
fighters. WHEN the lazy boy could be motivated, that is. He was much more likely
to be found snoozing in a sunbeam.

Ranma grinned and reached within to touch his feline nature, that spirit which
seemed to be a part of him yet also apart. The Cat purred a little as it stirred
to life.

The Guide watched as Genma and Ranma launched towards each other. "Please Sir,
Very bad you fall in spring!"

Genma landed in a spring with a mighty splash as Ranma twisted past him in
midleap, moving with feline grace as the other Self began manifesting.

Ranma idly landed on the top of another pole and began to clean his hand, bored
already.

The panda caught him largely by surprise, and he leapt back three sets of poles.
Grinning that the game was not over yet, Ranma launched himself when the
realization penetrated that he was now fighting a panda.

The hesitation was enough, and Ranma fell down.

"OH NO!" The Guide yelled in anguish. "Not 'Spring Of Drowned Tiger'! Terrible
tragic story of tiger who drown there, 12,500 year ago. Now whoever fall in
spring take body of..."

The tiger moved out of the spring, black fur dripping water, green eyes flashing
with the desire for VENGEANCE! It's mouth opened, revealing LOTS of very sharp
teeth to go with the really big two that were out front.

"...really big damn predator," finished the Jusenkyo Guide at the same time that
he remembered that some Jusenkyo curse victims went a little crazy upon being
cursed. He started sprinting for the imagined safety of his cabin.

"Urk?" The panda went dead still as it saw the tiger looking at it. "Death,"
promised those green eyes. "Lots of hurt," promised those sharp white teeth.
"Very bad for YOU that I fall in spring," announced those razor sharp claws as
they extended with an audible schnick!

Genma realized that the predator looking at him right now outmassed even a giant
panda by nearly double. He was also vaguely aware of the Jusenkyo Guide's hut
door being closed and locked somewhere behind him. Genma turned to flee.

By the time that Genma woke up, he realized that he had a large number of
bandages covering most of his body, had been returned to human, and there was
Ranma in human form who looked VERY unhappy with him. A vague memory of being
batted around like a ball of yarn by the kitty cat surfaced.

"Crrrrrazy old man," Ranma said, getting up and leaving his father behind.

"Uhm." Well, Genma admitted to himself. Maybe 'The Training Ground of Cursed
Springs- Jusenkyo' hadn't been a good idea after all.

---------------------------------

Eyecatch#1:
T-chan is being lectured to by an angry Akane and rolling his eyes. A moment
later he spits P-chan out of his mouth who bounces off the Ranma 1/2 logo
changing it to read "Cat Scratch Fever." P-chan bounces off screen followed by
Akane chasing after.
T-chan spits out a few bandanas before grinning sheepishly at the camera.

---------------------------------

"Ahhhgggghhhh," Nabiki backpeddled as a HUGE cat came into the room, followed by
a panda a few moments later. Not that many really noticed the panda when
confronted by the massive predator who was regarding the occupants of the room
with a curious look. Everyone backed away, even Akane, as the creature before
them sniffed at the three girls.

Akane reached over, grabbed the edge of the table, and brought the table down as
hard as she could over the beast's head while it was examining a cringing
Kasumi. The only visible result was a rather large crack appearing in the table
at the point of impact.

The tiger glanced back with a vaguely amused glance at Akane, then, quite very
deliberately, licked the face of the eldest Tendo daughter.

"Uhhhhgghhh," Akane managed.

Kasumi started to faint, then looked into the cat's eyes. "Oh my." She seemed to
be seeing something unexpected in those green depths. Or maybe it was just the
sort of thing that a bird saw upon looking into the eyes of a large and hungry
cat.

"You think it's tame?" Nabiki managed as the welcome realization that she wasn't
the Lunch Special began to register. A sudden image of herself on a plate with a
side order of fries was banished back to last night's nightmare.

The tiger stopped his current activity, a deep rumble that bore some vague
resemblence to a purr while rubbing his cheek against Kasumi's shoulder, to
blink green eyes at Nabiki. Nabiki went into the same "bird looking into cat's
eyes" freeze as she realized that the cat didn't seem hungry, but more amused.
More to the point, she was getting the impression that she was being asked to
take part in the joke, as opposed to being the butt of it.

"Uhm," Kasumi began, "would you mind letting me go? I've got to fix supper
soon."

"It's a tiger, Kasumi, it can't..." Nabiki ran out of words as the tiger backed
off of Kasumi, resuming the basso purring noise as it rubbed against her one
final time. ...understand...?!"

"Quick, Kasumi, run for it! I'll cover you," Akane looked around. She needed
something heavier than the dining room table. Martial arts background to the
side, she was WANTING a fully automatic high caliber weapon.

"No way," said Nabiki as something clicked. "I've seen pictures of these but the
colors were all wrong. That's a smilodon!"

"What's a smilodon?" Akane asked, thinking that maybe she should get one of the
practice swords out, or a spear? The term sounded familiar, but who could
concentrate on such things when a big predator was about to make lunch meat out
of your family?

Soun was still a terrified lump whose hair was sticking out at odd angles and
didn't answer.

Kasumi brushed herself off, pleased that the big kittycat hadn't shed on her,
and stood up. It *was* a big kitty cat, and a guest, so she had duties. "Oh my,
Mister Smilodon, would you like some milk?"

"...but sabretoothed tigers are supposed to be extinct," Nabiki managed as the
big cat nodded enthusiastically at Kasumi, then followed her into the kitchen.
"...they're certainly not supposed to be..." Nabiki fainted, her mind having
just gone into overload as she realized that the tiger had just ANSWERED her big
sister.

The panda was waving around a sign that read [He LIKES her, now our schools will
be joined.] Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your view, no one was
paying attention to the panda other than to note that the tiger hadn't eaten the
panda either and the bear looked like a much more plentiful food source than any
of the humans present.

For his part, Ranma just wondered what the big fuss was about. This one had
smelled WONDERFUL and was obviously the cook. The short haired girl had REEKED
to his sensitive nose of some artificial scents that she used. The youngest girl
was all sweaty and had an "angry" scent to her. The father smelled of
cigarettes, bleah. He'd obviously chosen to approach the right
person now, because he was getting FOOD! (Always an important consideration.)

Soun Tendo twitched, looking around the corner as he watched his eldest daughter
pour a big saucer of milk for their houseguest. Said houseguest butted her hip
with his head, purring in a deep bass thrum, before beginning the task of
lapping up the milk.

"AH HA!" Akane had found a sufficiently heavy object and came running up with
her heaviest dumb-bell, only to be confronted with her elder sister scratching a
VERY contented looking 1300 pound + tiger behind one ear. An ear flicking on the
tiger somehow communicated to her: "I know where you are, what you're planning,
and I am NOT concerned."

Suddenly the dumb-bell didn't seem nearly large or satisfying enough...

-----------------------------

A half-hour later, Akane was still shaking a little as she prepared to use the
furo. She'd grabbed a naginata from the practice weapons, charged into the
kitchen to rescue her sister, and found herself in just a little over her head.
Okay, a LOT over her head. Before she'd known what was going on, she'd been
disarmed, knocked to the floor, pinned by this colossal furry beast laying down
on her and then it had*licked* her! Probably tasting her to see if she was worth
eating. Kasumi had coaxed the stupid thing off of her but she'd felt thoroughly
humiliated by the entire event.

Not only had she been defeated, but the stupid animal had treated her like she
was an unruly kitten or something. And *worse* had been that while pinned and
staring up into those eyes when they'd been poised a few inches away, Akane
realized she had *felt* like an uppity but helpless kitten.

Akane slid the door open, deep in thought, then stepped back as some guy walked
past her.

The feelings she'd had, being held helpless by that animal, knowing that if it
so chose, she'd lose face in a literal manner was horrifying. That her sister
Kasumi could get the tiger to do almost anything she wanted it to was another
Deep Thought. How...

Akane stopped as she lifted the rinsing bucket. Her mind went into replay mode.
That had been a naked guy. A very well built naked guy. A very well built naked
guy who'd walked past her. While she was naked. In her own bathroom. He'd even
nodded at her with some cheshire cat grin as he moved past her.

Akane lowered the rinsing bucket as she dropped the matter of large carnivorous
beasts for this new problem. She screamed.

----------------

"AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa!"

Ranma blinked at the scream, shrugged, and turned back to the two young ladies.
"Anyway, that's how it is. Sorry if you were freaked out by it, but the change
from one form to another is triggered by cold water and finding hot waterrr to
change back isn't that easy when you don't have any hands, y'know?" He frowned
slightly, realizing he was getting stressed and beginning to roll his "r"s
again. A bad habit, he knew.

"Oh goodness gracious." Kasumi held a hand in front of her face. "That's
terrible."

"Yeah, well, could be worrrse. The worst one, I think, is that 'Spring of
Drowned Carp' over there. Man, you get hit with that one, you ain't going
nowhere." Ranma chuckled. "And ever since the Catfist training and Doctor
Miyabe's sessions, I've had a little feline nature to me anyway."

"This gets more interesting every minute," quipped Nabiki. Still, wheels were
turning as she considered the possibilities. Animal trainers made some heavy
money, and she could see herself as the tiger's "trainer" or agent relatively
easy.

"Well, no problem, this isn't so terrible after all." Soun patted the young man
on the shoulder, then backed off a little at the look in the boy's eyes. He was
a little scary.

"Huh?" Ranma said, reaching for a rice cracker as that youngest girl went
running past the doorway with her dumb-bell. Strange family.

Soun blinked. "That _was_ my youngest daughter Akane, she's sixteen. This is my
eldest daughter Kasumi, she's nineteen. This is my next youngest daughter,
Nabiki, she's seventeen. Pick any one you want, she'll be your new fiancee!"

"THERE YOU ARE!"

Everyone looked over at the doorway where Akane stood, holding a baseball bat in
one hand, and hurling a dumb-bell at the strange boy who had dared to sneak into
her bathroom.

Ranma was so surprised by this that he didn't block it.

"Oh dear," Kasumi picked up a glass of water, considered briefly, then tossed it
on the unconscious boy. That she wanted to see the transformation was at least
part of the reason.

The tiger shook his head as he awoke, then looked across the room at Akane. That
had HURT. Lips pulled back in a snarl that showed lots of white teeth. Well, if
she were going to act like a kitten that needed to learn some discipline, then
she could be treated as such.

"Th-tha-that boy," Akane stammered, her eyes getting large. "He saw me naked.
He, I, he's some sort of monster!"

Genma nudged Soun. "I don't think Akane is the wisest choice here." Genma's
survival instincts had become much more honed since Ranma had started utilizing
his feline qualities. He didn't think that Ranma would HURT Akane, but best not
to seek too much conflict.

"Too bad. Well, that still leaves Nabiki and Kasumi." Soun had thought that any
of his daughters really needed someone. Kasumi needed a life beyond the house.
Nabiki needed to fixate on something besides money. Akane needed to be able to
open up and relate to someone. Still, Soun could see where this young man's
casual laid-back manner could either open Nabiki's cold
mercenary heart or get Kasumi to consider opening her horizons a little more.

Ranma had just started to go over and show Akane what he thought about being
called a monster when he felt this indescribably delicious sensation.

"There, there, T-chan," Kasumi scratched the tiger behind one ear, noting the
rumbling purr and closing eyes as the tiger began to lean into her hands. "I'm
sure Akane didn't mean to be so mean to you. You're a good T-chan, aren't you?"

Nabiki smirked at the obvious pleasure showing on the tiger's face, and began
stroking the fur down along the spine of the big cat. "Akane can be mean and
violent, but she doesn't mean anything by it, Ranma."

"Urrrrrrrrrrr," said T-chan, who would just about agree to anything at that
point. Dinner would be ready soon, he was being scratched and petted. He could
come in out of the rain. Yes, this wasn't a bad place after all.

"'T-chan'?" Akane looked incredulous and hefted the bat. She was ready for him
this time.

Kasumi nodded. "T for tiger and chan for cute!"

Nabiki privately disagreed with calling the tiger cute. Handsome perhaps.
Striking or impressive, certainly. A sudden image of little "UFO Catcher" style
dolls of T-chan came to mind and she grinned. Cute. Merchandising. This could be
interesting. "Well, Daddy. I'd say that Ranma here couldn't choose one of us
right now. He can't even talk in this form."

"Urrrr." Heck, he'd take both of em. Not as fiancees, maybe, but Ranma
considered the two of these girls to be wonderful material as friends. Oooo,
especially with Nabiki finding that spot right over the hips. "Urrrrrrrrr!"

Akane looked at her two sisters, the pervert/monster, the two fathers and came
to an
inescapable conclusion. "You're all sick."

"Growl," replied T-chan, not particularly liking the name but deciding to
tolerate it for the moment at least.

"I'll get you some hot water," said Nabiki after a few minutes when it became
obvious that Kasumi wasn't going to offer anything of the sort.

"Oh my," Kasumi realized that the ruff of fur over T-chan's breastbone was
another of those areas where a little scratching produced a nearly overwhelming
reaction.

Nabiki poured the hot water on T-chan, and Ranma stood up.

"What do you mean calling me a pervert!" Ranma demanded of Akane. "AND what do
you mean a monster! It's a curse!"

"You looked at me in the bathroom, you lech!"

"Hold it! YOU walked in on ME!"

"It's different when a girl looks at a boy! Lech! Peeping Tom! Pervert! AND you
turn into a monster! That makes you a pervert AND a monster!"

"They're already a perfect couple," mused Soun aloud, proving that he had some
pretty weird ideas about relationships.

"Whatta ya mean, couple?" Ranma rounded on the two. "Look, I admit that turning
into a tiger is somethin' I can live with until we find a cure, but she's
calling me a monster for crying out loud. AND a pervert. Give me one reason I
shouldn't just leave here and go back to China, and you know I can do it too."

Genma was under no illusions there. If Ranma decided to leave, there wasn't much
that could hold him down. Rescue came from an unexpected source.

"Please forgive my sister. She's a very sweet girl, if a violent maniac."

"Oh GOOD, Kasumi. That makes a LOT of sense." Nabiki sighed. "The question is
how are we going to feed you if you stay, I'd say that your tiger form probably
can sock away a month's worth of food at a gulp."

"Well, if I eat in human form..." Ranma started to think. "I get by on a lot
less food. But I've noticed I start feeling kinda weak if I don't eat in tiger
form every so often. I could go on training trips out into the wilderness every
so often. A deer or two ought to do me for meals then."

"Camping?" Nabiki thought about it. It had been quite awhile since they'd done
anything like that. Ever since Akane had gotten lost at Ryugenzawa, in fact.

Kasumi smiled. Neither she nor Nabiki particularly liked "roughing it" but an
image came to mind. Her in her tent, having just used a little bit of cold water
to change her companion into a great big warm body that could be snuggled
against without it being improper. She could have her own pet, T-chan, without
having to go through many of the problems normally associated
with pet ownership.

"Actually, Ranma, if you wouldn't mind," Nabiki said as if just thinking about
this. "I might be able to find a few ways where we can make enough money from
your curse so that you could pay rent and cover those food bills."

"Nabiki, Ranma and his father are guests." Soun's voice was quiet but carried
with it a strong disapproval.

"It's okay, Mister Tendo." Ranma decided to ignore the one girl who was back to
glaring at him. He'd rather not bother with hostility. "IF I stay here, then I
ought to at least cover my expenses, I s'pose. What'cha got in mind?"

"I'll think about it, Ranma, okay?"

"HEY! Do you expect me to stay under the same roof as that... that..."

"You're overreacting, Akane," Nabiki rolled her eyes. "Just because he's a guy.
What'd he do, leer at you? Make a pass?"

"Well, no," Akane admitted. "In fact he, er, kinda actdlkeheddn'trllyntice."

"I'm sorry, Akane, I didn't catch that."

"He acted like he didn't really notice," Akane grumbled and tried to look
elsewhere.

"Oh my. That's terrible." Kasumi sounded sympathetic.

"Huh?" Ranma didn't understand this. How could not looking at this angry tomboy
be terrible?

Nabiki suppressed a grin. She'd been ignored for so long, at school all the boys
wanted the little princess. Kuno overhearing Akane complain about the lack of
suitable sparring partners had sparked the morning battles, proving that even
good things often went bad. Now here was someone who just plain wasn't
interested in Akane, and who COULD potentially be interested in herself. 50-50
odds on it, and she'd placed bets on odds like that before.

The discussion continued but Nabiki didn't pay much attention, withdrawing into
herself in order to consider the possibilities here. The guy was mainly a dumb
jock, that's all. Just kind of laid back most of the time, though he could get
VERY nasty if angry, or all cute and fuzzy when he wanted to be playful. She
could find the right buttons to push and get his loyalty in very short order. So
far he'd acted VERY feline, even in human form he had mannerisms that weren't
out of place on his feline form. A pattern started to form in her mind.

Ranma could make Nabiki a LOT of money with his cursed form. If she walked one
path, she could make a lot of money off his curse by ruthlessly exploiting and
manipulating him. Animal trainers and their acts made BIG money. Not to mention
what kind of funds she could pull in to various paleontology groups. If she
trapped him away from hot water, how would anyone know that the tiger wasn't
really a tiger?

A pure black sabre-tooth, green eyes glinting, white teeth gleaming. Used as a
symbol for a product, the ad agencies could fork over big bucks for an image
that powerful. Nabiki thought of the possibilities for one of those off-road
vehicles, call it the Sabretooth or something like that. Show Ranma's cursed
form leaping and running through the forest. Fast, powerful, capable of handling
anything that nature threw against it. Morph to the vehicle. Yeah, that'd sell.

Nabiki idly noted that Akane was yelling at Ranma again, returning to the
argument that seeing her in the nude was equal to him being a pervert and that
he turned into something big and dangerous meant that he was a monster. Ranma
started arguing back until Akane splashed him with cold water, giving her the
last word. Nabiki thought it likely that Akane was just feeling
flustered, upset, and had just had her pride dented. EVERYONE knew what had
happened in the kitchen. He hadn't taken Akane seriously as a fighter at all.
Not that he seemed to take much of *anything* seriously.

The REAL problem, Nabiki decided, was to go for short-term profit and ruin any
chance of a friendship OR put herself in as the fiancee of choice and as the
Agent, make large amounts of money off her to-be-husband gradually and with a
bit more work?

She glanced at where Kasumi had just announced that she needed some things at
the market. Maybe some fresh cut bamboo for the panda. Extra food was mandated
with the tiger in residence. T-chan somehow got underneath her then stood,
causing her to grip him as if she were riding a horse.

The tiger then took Kasumi on a ride to the market. Nabiki blinked as she
realized Kasumi's squeal had NOT been the expected burst of terror.

Nabiki and the others sprinted to the street to watch the big cat and big sister
go down the street at a high rate of speed, bounding over obstacles.

Sweet, innocent, housewifely big sister Kasumi was holding tight as the tiger
RAN. The sound that Nabiki could hear wafting back from the two was
...laughter?!?

What do you do when a tiger bigger than most Japanese cars decides it's a good
evening for a run? Nabiki blinked then answered herself. You get the heck out of
its way...

Plan C it is, Nabiki decided. Get Kasumi to marry Ranma, then be the
agent/sister-in-law who kept those huge sums of money coming in.

Though if big sister didn't play her cards right, then Nabiki could move in to
the vacancy. She found herself hoping that Kasumi DID fumble this particular
ball.

----------------------------------

Kuno looked at the beast standing next to Akane Tendo and wanted a bigger
bokken. Or a daikyu. Or live steel. "Akane Tendo! I shall save you!"

T-chan thought this guy HAD to be joking,right? A sound thwack from the bokken
impacting his skull convinced the martial-artist-tiger that this guy didn't have
a clue.

A casual swipe turned the bokken into thin slices of wood. The second swipe had
retracted claws but enough force to knock the kendoist back twelve feet.

Ranma had already been having a poor day. Getting splashed on the way to school,
growling at the little old lady who'd splashed him, only to have the obviously
senile old woman start thwacking him with a rolled up newspaper and telling him
that he was a "bad doggie." T-chan's green eyes glittered as they swept the
assembled throng, causing the crowd that usually attacked Akane Tendo in the
morning to decide they had business ELSEWHERE!

"HEY! That was MY fight!" Akane grumbled. Not that she really wanted to fight
all those perverts but she hated this weirdo butting in. Now people would think
that SHE was weird for being associated with him.

Ranma sighed. Why did he have to go to school anyway? He just wanted a nap, or
to chase some birds or something. Or see what Kasumi had in the oven. He thought
he'd smelled barbeque sauce simmering on the stove before they'd left. He licked
his chops.

Unfortunately he was looking directly at Tatewaki Kuno when he did that. The
Blue Thunder's life passed before his eyes. (He tuned it out halfway through.)
Nonetheless, Kuno was prepared to go out with a fight. It was the samurai way.
Only Kuno watched instead as Akane and the tiger both went into the school, the
tiger growling softly as it did so.

Odd, the way the growl was pitched,it sounded similar to the way someone mutters
under their breath.

"Kuno!"

Tatewaki Kuno looked up to see Nabiki Tendo leaning out of one of the windows.
"That's my sister Kasumi's pet, you really shouldn't try to injure it."

"Ah," Kuno smiled. "A pet to the sister to Akane Tendo? Well then, I shall
withhold my righteous anger until later." Besides he had to take care of
pressing business now.

The Blue Thunder went to change clothes before class. Lucky he kept a change of
underwear in there.

------------------------------

The door to the classroom slammed open. "RANMA SAOTOME! I WILL NOT ALLOW IT!"

The class looked up as an enraged kendoist stood in the doorway, once again
wearing his kendo garb.

"YOU ANIMAL! How dare you engage yourself to Kasumi Tendo as a ruse to pursue
the fair Akane?!"

Ranma blinked. "Huh?" He frowned, realizing he was saying that a lot lately. Why
would he be pursuing Akane anyway?

"I KNEW IT! You PERVERT!" Just another guy trying to get inside her panties,
Akane had KNOWN it all along. This was part of the reason she hated boys, they
were so sneaky and couldn't take a hint and wouldn't leave her alone.

Ranma blinked again. "Say what?!" Ranma dodged the bokken strike that sliced his
desk in half. "This is no place for a fight, Kuno. If you want to fight, follow
me!"

"And so I shall!" Kuno watched Ranma tumble overhead then start into a lope once
he hit the hallway. Kuno followed, though it penetrated that his opponent seemed
to have an oddly fluid stride that suggested one who could run for hours before
slowing.

"This is GREAT!" Sukotto exclaimed, leading the rest of the class in the chase
just behind Akane.

"Oooo!" Mio exclaimed nearby. "And the winner gets to date Akane!"

Unnoticed by anyone, Ranma and Akane both made faces at that comment.

"Don't run in the hall!"

"Yes, Coach!"

Ranma saw an open window and smirked. "Here's a shortcut, follow me!" He leapt
out the window with uncanny grace.

"Fear not!" Kuno exclaimed, jumping out with somewhat less grace.

"Hey," yelled Coach Kumida. "We're on the Third Floor!"

"No problem," smirked Ranma.

"Ak!" Kuno summed up his own opinion of the situation.

"IDIOT!" Akane said from her position at the window.

Sukotto turned to Sanjuro. "Boy, lucky there's a pool there."

"Lucky he says. Oh well," grumbled Ranma and reached for the Cat. He snapped his
body into a roll and twist, and touched down on the side of the pool, perfectly
dry. He stood up, arms proudly held out. "Ta da!"

Kuno's splash sent water everywhere.

Everyone stared at the reappearance of the tiger that had accompanied Akane
earlier.

"Cool, a werewolf!" Sukotto stared down at the big, wet, creature that was
apparently beseeching the Heavens with a "why me?" look.

"Funniest looking werewolf I ever saw."

"And how many werewolves have you seen? Not counting the movies, they always get
proportions and stuff wrong."

"Well..."

"People, people, if you want answers, you KNOW who to go to." Nabiki smiled at
the crowd. "Five hundred yen."

Three hours later, Ranma was getting so tired of getting splashed with different
temperatures of water that he was ready to bite the next idiot who thought they
just HAD to see the transformation up close.

As if on cue, another splash of cold water occurred and T-chan closed his eyes,
counted to three and turned to give someone a thorough chewing out.

"Oh, he IS SO CUTE!"

T-chan blinked and regarded the small group of girls with a puzzled expression.
'Cute'?

"Oooh. I bet you're hungry. Hey, I've got an extra pork bun!"

"Oh wow! Hey, you suppose this cutlet sandwich..."

"I got some of this mystery meatloaf? You suppose he can eat that?"

"I don't think it's meant for HUMAN consumption..."

T-chan watched as the table in front of him was being piled high with food.
Maybe this wasn't entirely bad, after all.

Kuno stared from across the cafeteria. A werewolf? Kasumi Tendo had a werewolf
for a pet? This foul cur Saotome would pay for using an innocent girl's desire
for a pet to get close to the fair flower Akane Tendo. But where was the Blue
Thunder to get a silver bullet in Japan?

------------------------------

much later:

"Water!" yelled one of the onlookers. "They've cracked the very earth!"

"Even worse! It's the water fountain!"

Ryouga held the umbrella to block the spraying water, then looked to where his
opponent was landing.

The low growl being emitted by the ton of Pleistocene killing machine in front
of him was causing water to dance.

Green eyes flashed and a single point of light seemed to dance on one of the
long white fangs hanging down from the cat's jaws.

"w-w-wait a sec." Ryouga looked at the monster coming his way. It made the giant
boar he'd faced earlier look about as offensive as a puppy dog. "Where's....
Ranma?"

The tiger snarled, somehow communicating something like: "your move, d' you feel
lucky, punk?"

"Ra..Ra...Ranma?"

The tiger didn't answer, merely standing ready.

"It's not fair! Do you call that a curse?" Ryouga began pulling bandanas off,
each one revealing another one on underneath. "Why couldn't you have a curse
that makes you helpless?!"

Akane turned, "I'll get some hot water! You can't fight him like that, you'll
kill him!"

"Akane, no!" Nabiki yelled from the tree she was crouched behind.

SNAG! A black blur moved along the ground, making leaps that a real sabretooth
would have envied. In its mouth...

"PUT ME DOWN! YOU ANIMAL! YOU BEAST! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW UNDIGNIFIED THIS
LOOKS!"

Gently dropping Akane on the roof, Ranma leapt back down and sprinted back to
where he'd last seen Ryouga. Remembering Nabiki's words about needlessly
insulting her younger sister, Ranma avoided his usual sight gag about having a
bad taste in his mouth.

Nabiki lowered her camera. She doubted that Ranma had even realized that
carrying Akane like that had given a large section of the audience a quick
glimpse of her panties. She wondered how much Kuno would pay for THESE shots.

------------------

"C'mon, Ranma, fight me for real!" Akane looked down at the sabretooth snoozing
in the dojo and wondered how she could get him to spar with her. She really
needed to work out some aggression right now. She'd splash him with hot water
but the hot water heater seemed to be broken again. Strange how that kept
happening.

"Zzzzzzzzzzzz." T-chan's legs kicked out as his dream self chased a butterfly.

"Don't fake it, Ranma, I know you're awake."

"Zzzzzzzzzzzz." He didn't particularly want to catch that butterfly, it was the
chase that was important.

Akane leaned over the sleeping tiger. How to wake him up. Well, he DID have an
appetite. "Oh look, Kasumi's made cookies..."

WHAM! The tiger was out and running before he'd even fully woken up. Ears
flicked back and forth as he sniffed the air. Cookies? Even barbarian martial
artist sabretooth tigers liked chocolate chip cookies.

Disappointed, Ranma let his tail droop. It had just been a dream. Ranma moved
off to sulk.

Behind him, Akane was lying on the floor, entertained by all the little birdies
flying around and around her head. Pretty birdies...

----------------

*click-whirrr* "Aw, don't they make a cute couple," Nabiki said to her sister as
she circled the two sleeping figures. *click-whirrr* *click-whirrr*

"Nabiki, it's just not right..." Akane shook her head. Obviously Kasumi had just
fallen asleep there next to the tiger, and was now laying half-on, half-off of
Ranma's tiger form. It just struck her as being wrong to let this go on. After
all, Ranma could roll over or something and crush Kasumi or impale her on one of
those long fangs.

From the tooth-rattlingly deep rumble from the tiger, he was content. From the
peaceful expression on Kasumi's face she rather enjoyed a quick nap on a thick
fur blanket. Akane wondered about that mysterious little smile, but wasn't sure
she wanted to know.

Nabiki was grinning. Oh yeah, this would be a part of a professional photo
layout. "The Lady & The Tiger" or "Beauty & The Beast" or something like that.
Happy little yen signs floated past Nabiki as she tried to get a variety of
angles. *click-whirrr* *click-whirrr* *click-whirrr*

With some of the other pictures she'd gotten of the couple (during one of her
frequent sabotages of the hot water heater to make sure there'd be a tiger in
the tank,er, house) this could be a truly interesting pictorial worthy of
international publication.

The contrasts alone were fascinating. Kasumi's pale skin against the black fur.
The simple housedress and the gleam of ivory fangs.

An ear flicked. A flash of green eye tracked Nabiki briefly. He couldn't move or
he'd disturb Kasumi, and for some reason that was just not something he wanted
to do. He told himself it was because she was nice to him, he would tolerate
this indignity. Yeah, that was it. Of course, if she ever saw him as something
besides her pet T-chan, he'd be able to get rather more affectionate. Somehow if
he showed up uncursed, she ended up accidently splashing him within an hour.

"Kasumi, this isn't proper behavior," Akane said in a normal tone of voice,
instead of the previous whispering.

Kasumi stirred.

Nabiki and "T-chan" both glared at Akane.

"Oh, I need to get dinner ready." Kasumi scratched her T-chan behind one ear
briefly before getting up to go wash up.

The tiger returned to glaring at Akane. Nabiki merely muttered something under
her breath and went off to wait for a more opportune time.

-----------------

T-chan was snoozing lightly on the roof when a gymnast almost tripped over him.
Looking up, he saw the Black Rose for the first time.

Kodachi wondered what this odd black lump was, on the Tendo roof, when it
abruptly unfolded itself and stood before her.

"Ohohoho... oh dear. Uhm. Nice kitty?" Kodachi's pony tail was sticking straight
up. Not that she was concerned about this, oh no. She was fearless after all.
Large carnivores didn't bother her in the slightest. That Akane Tendo's pet
looked like something that could make handbags out of Mr Green Turtle was not at
all worrisome. Now if she could just convince her knees of that. "I DO have to
admire your coloration... Yet I must now attend to the problem of Akane Tendo."

"Feh!" The tiger sat, yawned (displaying an impressive range of sharp cutlery),
and seemed to think for a moment. Some girl carrying a large mallet was going
after Akane? His first impulse was to chase her off, but every time he
interfered in one of Akane's fights she got mad at him. Nah, it was probably
something that violent girl had brought on herself anyway.

Seeing the tiger lay back down, Kodachi noted NOT to come back this way and
proceeded with her mission. Just as soon as the butterflies in her stomach
settled down. And her heart started again.

A few minutes later, T-chan noted the departure of the gymnast, followed shortly
thereafter by Akane calling for Kasumi as Akane's room was filled with black
rose petals.

"Feh!" T-chan repeated. He hadn't realized that the battle of the mallet
wielding women would make more work for Kasumi. He'd have to remember that next
time he saw the girl.

-----------------------

"Roguespierre! Roguespierre!"

T-chan/Ranma turned a long-suffering gaze to Akane and clearly was asking "Why
me?"

"Umf, umf," Azusa Shiratori kept trying to pick him up and carry him off. She
needed a forklift. (Of course, if she had gotten a hernia she would have just
named it Rachel.) "C'mon, Roguespierre, Azusa's gonna take you home."

Ears flicked back. It was clearly a "yeah, right, what kind of drugs are you
on?" look.

"What a charming pet you have here," Mikado came sliding up next to Akane.

Ranma snorted, then went off to find P-chan. Someone would have to tell him that
his girlfriend was getting hit on by this Mikado creep. Not that Ryouga had told
Akane he was her pet P-chan, but Ranma was anticipating the day with pleasure.
Where the girl who called him a Beast (among other things) found out she'd been
sleeping with a BOY.

Though everytime P-chan tried to spend the night with Nabiki or Kasumi "to
protect them", it became difficult not to bat P-chan around the yard a few
times.

In a way, Ranma was glad he was in his cursed form now. His big, wide, paws made
gripping the ice fairly easy, and he'd never seen the appeal of ice skating. Ice
cream yes. Ice skating no. Feh. He hoped Kasumi would show up soon. SHE would at
least offer to share some hot chocolate.

And if this guy tried making the moves on Kasumi, well, he'd make an interesting
scratching post.

-----------------------------------

"You stupid MONSTER!"

"HEY!" Ranma bared teeth at the girl. "How was *I* supposed to know? I thought
you werrre drowning!"

"So you jump into the water and try to haul me out?! What did you think would
happen! And that was a NEW bathing suit!"

"Prrretty damn flimsy material, if you ask me. I..." SPLASH!

Akane lowered the bucket. "Shut up, Ranma! I don't want to hear any of your
stupid excuses! And that rolling r crap is driving me nuts."

T-chan glared at her for a moment, then started forward. He quickly backed Akane
up against a wall.

Akane eyed the mouthful of sharp teeth grinning at her. "Ranma! You don't have
the guts! If you do ANYTHING to me, you know what'll happen!"

T-chan's tongue came out. Starting at the chin, he licked up Akane's face,
ending with her bangs lifted almost straight up. When he retracted his tongue,
the bangs remained in place.

"ACK! PHTHTHHHTH! Cat germs! I've been slobbered on! AhhhhhhhH! Doctor Tofu!
I've got cat germs! Somebody get some antiseptic. Akkkk! Pew! ICky!"

T-chan snickered a little as he leapt over the wall. T-chan Special Attack: the
dreaded Washcloth Tongue!

----------------------------

"HE'S LAZY! HE'S GREEDY! HE'S SNEAKY!"

"Yeah," said Nabiki, agreeing with her sister but not seeing what the problem
was. "You still haven't said why you hate Ranma so much."

"He's constantly eating," Akane stopped as she stared at the rice cracker in
Nabiki's hand. "Uhm, he's so catlike even when he's not..."

Nabiki blinked and nibbled at her cracker. "Go on."

"He's got this ...really irritating smirk..." Akane's voice kept trailing off
and she was now staring at Nabiki's usual smirk. Oh dear.

"Yes?"

"Smug. Self-centered. Uhm, er." Akane hadn't realized how similar Ranma and
Nabiki were until now. Ah, here we go. "He doesn't take anything seriously!"

"So he likes to get playful? Really, Akane, I was hoping you weren't just
holding that first impression against him still."

-----------------------------------

"Ohohohoho," Kodachi laughed, using typical Crazed Noblewoman laugh #4. "You
shall not interrupt my vengeance upon Akane this time, tiger!"

T-chan snarled.

"This is *MY* fight, Ranma. STAY OUT OF IT!"

Nabiki watched from the sidelines as Kodachi threw a large bag of something, but
not at Akane. Instead she threw it at Ranma/T-chan's feet.

T-chan warily poked it, and when it didn't explode, started sniffing.

"Uh oh," said Nabiki as she began interpreting the odd expression coming over
the big cat. "That's not what I think it is, is it?"

"Now that your 'guardian beast' is neutralized, Miss Tendo, we can commence our
battle."

"Meeple!" T-chan exclaimed, or something that vaguely sounded like that.

"AKANE! RUN!" Nabiki started looking for cover. The sound of Kasumi locking and
barring the doors to the house was quite audible.

"Don't worry, I can take her," Akane made a "muscle" gesture.

Nabiki found an open window. "AKANE! THAT WAS CATNIP! Remember what happened
when Kasumi gave him that catnip mouse?"

Akane stopped and turned pale. If the amount of catnip had *anything* to do with
the degree of reaction. "Later Kodachi. 'Only a fool fights in a burning
house.'"

"Mrrrrrrooowwwwwww?!"

Shampoo hopped into view. "What going on? Is something wrong with airen?"

"Mrrruuuuuuurrrrrowwww!"

Akane found herself plucked out of her mid-dive to safety through the window.
Her pleading, panicked, eyes briefly met Nabiki's. Nabiki merely winced. No WAY
was she going to get involved. Akane squeaked as she realized no help from that
quarter. "RANMA! NO! DON'T!"

Kodachi watched her opponent being carried around by the scruff of the neck and
generally being treated like a ball of yarn. "Well, I never expected..."

T-chan noted the presence of another playmate. Could there be more? Oh joy!

Nabiki waited a few minutes, then snuck a few quick pictures. T-chan kept
rounding up his "kittens" and grooming them. Akane would pay good money to have
these pictures not shown, but Nabiki suspected the Kodachi and Shampoo shots
would more than dwarf those sums.

----------------------------------

Ranma was in boy form again, though deep in thought. Kasumi AND Nabiki seemed to
prefer his cursed form, which he didn't really mind that much, but it made a lot
of things difficult.

Akane didn't seem to want much to do with him in either form. She kept calling
him an animal, a beast, and other things. Pfeh, like he could help it when he'd
grabbed her school uniform in his teeth, then jumped over that fool Kuno.

How was he supposed to know that it was an old uniform? How was he supposed to
know that it would come apart under the strain? How was he to know that she had
some sort of nudity hangup? Such an uptight girl... Pfeh.

That Doctor Tofu guy, he seemed to have something for Kasumi, but can you trust
a guy that falls apart like that? Putting his feline instincts away for a moment
(more difficult than it sounded), did he want to stand in the way of these two
getting together? Could this Doctor Tofu make her happier than he could?

Nabiki, well, she had a certain catty aspect to her. No doubt she would make an
interesting mate, and he'd smelled her excitement on more than one occasion when
there'd been a fight or when he'd protected her. She just wasn't into snuggling
though, or very affectionate. Ranma's own feline side was quite openly
affectionate.

Now this amazon girl had shown up, and just because he'd beaten her in a fight,
she was ready to marry him. Except that someone else wanted to marry HER, and
that person had now kidnapped Kasumi.

He'd given Doctor Tofu a half hour lead. This would decide him. If Doctor Tofu
was able to rescue Kasumi, then he'd simply choose someone else. The next best
cook (an important consideration from Ranma's point of view) was Shampoo, then
Nabiki.

Ranma checked the time. The half hour was up. Time to go and see. Of course, if
Kasumi was harmed, he'd have to find this "Mousse" guy and shred him. Ranma just
hoped he wouldn't get tagged with water, he wanted to be able to come to the
rescue in his uncursed form for once.

------Mimir's Well--------------

"So Kasumi is rescued by Doctor Tofu?" Skuld sat back and watched curiously.
"Which means that Ranma lets this be a Kasumi+Tofu timeline and backs off on the
eldest Tendo. How does _she_ feel about that?"

Aphrodite sneered. "The girl doesn't even know of the drama taking place around
her. Ranma remains T-chan, her big fuzzy pet as far as she's concerned. Well,
*I* have a curious point to address. What of that pizza slut you like?"

"Oh, Ukyou? Pretty standard introduction, I think." Hephaestus ignored the jibe
and gestured causing another section of timeframe to come into view. "Up until
*here*."

--------------------------------

"He'd always have one hot n' ready for me..." Ranma stopped and sniffed again,
his explanation to Shampoo momentarily interrupted. He frowned. "Okay, so maybe
you're *not* my old buddy Okonomiyaki Ucchan."

Ukyou stopped the upswing on the spatula. "Whatta ya mean by *that* crack?"

"The Ukyou *I* remember was a boy." Ranma's eyes flicked over to the spatula
wielding boy briefly and he considered the other. "Unless you went to Jusenkyo
too, you're a girl."

Ukyou snarled. "Care to explain that?"

"How can Ranma tell? Ukyou look like boy to me. Ah, that right, Ranma tell by
scent!"

"Huh?"

----Mimir's Well---------------

"Huh?"

"Even now he's running the Neko at a 10% level, that includes the attentuated
senses that his cat-self is feeding him information on." Hephaestus looked a
little smug.

--------------------------------

"You broke your promise, and left me behind." Ukyou growled with a fist
clenched.

"Ukyou wanted to learn Anything Goes style and follow Ranma and father?" Shampoo
nodded as she puzzled it out. It might not be accurate but it sounded good to
her. "Ukyou must be very dedicated martial artist!"

"Uhm, thanks." Ukyou wasn't entirely sure what was going on. A thought started
occurring to her. He thought that she'd been a guy? His old buddy Ucchan? He
didn't seem *nearly* clever enough to be pulling off a scam. "Hey? You mean you
don't know?"

"Just as well you didn't come with us, Ucchan," Ranma kicked his father. "If you
had, he probably would have trained *you* in the Nekoken and dragged you off to
Jusenkyo as well."

"Huh?" Ukyou repeated. "What's that?"

Akane decided to be helpful. "You obviously don't know Ranma. Since the Catfist
training at least, he's more cat than man."

"HEY!" Ranma glared.

"That was a compliment," pointed out the boy-hater.

"Oh yeah. Thanks Akane." Ranma shrugged.

"More cat than man?" Ukyou blinked. What were they trying to pull?

"Shampoo show." A little cold water, and T-chan was now glaring at Shampoo.
"Shampoo sorry, airen, but friend need to know how close she come to getting own
curse, yes?"

Ukyou's eyes bugged at the sight of a grumbling tiger replacing her target of
vengeance.

------Mimir's Well--------------

"All this is well and good," said Ares with a diffident wave. "But a hero is
measured by his enemies, is he not? Measured against a mere pig and a duck, your
tiger is merely a limp-wristed pooftah!"

"Pot. Kettle. Apparent reflectivity index." Hephaestus grumbled. "You want
enemies, take a look a little further ahead in the timestream."

--------------------------------

"We've got him now," exclaimed Ti.

"Tiger claw necklaces, tiger fang gloves, tigerskin amulets," said Ri Chie with
a grin.

"Made from one of the longtooth cats, a thousand times more potent than from a
modern tiger." Perm readied a double handful of throwing knives.

T-chan backed up and eyed the six Amazon huntresses, especially To Ga with those
damn darts. This didn't look good at all.

Two figures leapt down, blocking the Amazons from their prey.

"Ukyou, you should leave now. If you fight Amazon womans and lose, it bad. If
you win, it worse." Shampoo tightened her grip on her bonbori and tried to
center herself.

"Not a chance, sugar. Ranchan's *my* fiance and ain't gonna be ground up as some
ingredient in a male virility stew." Ukyou whipped her spatula around to block a
dart thrown by To Ga. "Uh uh. None of your poisoned darts *this* time."

"For now. Allies." Shampoo agreed.

"We seem to do this a lot lately," grumbled Ukyou in reply. "Allies until
Ranma's safe."

T-chan growled. He could take care of himself, damn it.

"Shampoo, stand aside. We are on official business for the village. This takes
precedence over your claim to a husband." Perm met Shampoo's steady gaze. "You
know what those old men in Beijing will grant our village for philtres and
potions of such potency. We needn't fear the tanks or troops for another century
at least."

"Shampoo no care. Shampoo love Ranma, will fight!"

"Be reasonable, Shampoo. You're the village Champion, but if you do this, you'll
be exiled. Even your great-grandmother can't help you then." Perm's voice was
cold and confident.

"Shampoo repeat that no care about that. You no get past Shampoo without fight."

"Same here, ya ain't getting to Ranchan without going over me." Ukyou moved
slightly so as to give Shampoo more room. "This cat's not for you, go find your
own."

"The spring doesn't work that way. Most people falling in just turn into a
normal tiger. Some come out as Siberian, others Bengal, only one who knows the
Catfist comes out like Ranma did." Perm frowned, conflict seemed inevitable and
yet she was reluctant to start. "There are no other sabretooths. Be reasonable,
Shampoo."

"Shampoo love Ranma. No be reasonable." Shampoo frowned. That hadn't come out
like she had intended. Damn Japanese language, couldn't they talk Chinese like
civilized people?

T-chan finally recovered from hearing Shampoo declare her interest so bluntly.
It was one thing to hear it, another to declare it while all you held dear (her
status as an Amazon) was in peril. Why couldn't anyone else be that
straightforward? He growled and reached for the Neko, increasing the amount of
submersion in the Nekoken from 20% to 60%. He didn't hurt women, but here were a
group threatening two friends. He might have to make an exception.

"Come on guys, there has to be a reason this doesn't work." Ukyou was trying
reason, an unfamiliar weapon for the area. "Otherwise you could have just
trained someone in the Nekoken, dumped 'em in the spring, and had lots of
sabretooths by now."

"Most who try to learn it, don't survive the Nekoken. Enough talk." To Ga
whipped another three darts towards the obstacles.

Ukyou blocked, only to leave herself open to Ri Chie's twin mace attack. Shampoo
found herself blocking throwing daggers from Perm, and trying to defend against
Ki Tei's warclaws.

As Ukyou staggered back, one of To Ga's darts stuck in her arm.

"Nooooo!" Ukyou plucked it out as quickly as she could but was under attack from
Ri Chie again. "Sorry, Ran..."

T-chan leapt past the paralyzed Ukyou, a deep growl erupting as he targetted To
Ga. She sent a set of darts at the tiger that came apart in mid-air.

Shampoo's bonbori managed to connect with Ki Tei's head, then she began to beat
down Perm's tiger-spear.

"Oh my? T-chan?" Kasumi and her sister stopped walking forward as the scene at
their front gate became a free-for-all. All thoughts of a quick trip to the
market were swept aside.

Nabiki whistled at the sight of Ranma facing off against four Amazons, with
another Amazon on the ground and a final one fighting Shampoo.

A bonbori smashed past the spear with enough force to throw Perm into the wall.
Shampoo turned, to see an arc of darts coming her way. She moved her maces to
block.

"Oh my!" Kasumi looked over at Nabiki who was gazing at the heavens and
wondering why this sort of thing kept happening to her. Kasumi carefully removed
the dart that had ricocheted and started dragging her stiffened sister out of
the battle zone.

"How dare you attack my sister like that!" Akane came charging out of the house
as Kasumi reached it.

The eldest Tendo daughter sighed as she finished setting Nabiki up in the living
room. Then she turned around, went back out into the combat zone, and began
dragging the Akane statue back into the yard. While looking at her two paralyzed
sisters, she briefly considered what to do with them. If it was at all like the
last time, they'd be living dolls for several hours.

Kasumi went back out again, this time dragging Ukyou into the house. "Oh my,"
she repeated. "Ukyou, are you gaining weight?"

There was no answer, of course, but Kasumi imagined that Ukyou's eyes bugged
just slightly at that observation.

Kasumi turned to the doorway to see one of the Amazons standing there, a dart
held between her fingers. "Oh dear."

"SAOTOME!" After a few seconds, Perm called out into the apparently empty
street. "I know you're out there. We've got Shampoo and your outsider women!"

Akane couldn't talk, but growled at being included in that number.

Ri Chie responded to the growl by pinching and pulling at Akane's cheeks. Then,
in a burst of inspiration, forced Akane's mouth open, pulled her tongue out and
left to go rummage around in the kitchen.

"SAOTOME! SURRENDER AND WE'LL GIVE THE ANTIDOTE TO THE VICTIMS. RESIST AND WE
*PLAY* WITH THEM FIRST."

"Play?" To Ga looked puzzled. "This venom freezes voluntary muscle control. What
kind of games do you have in mind?"

"Idiot. It's not what games I'm thinking of. He'll come up with all sorts of
nasty things without me having to get specific. It's psychological warfare."

"Ah." To Ga nodded. No wonder Perm was in charge.

"What if he's gone to get reinforcements?" Ki Tei held her head, and stared at
the motionless Shampoo. She was thinking of dozens of ways of avenging herself
on the helpless champion.

"Who? Cologne won't interfere. The gymnast? The swordsman? That wanderer? Those
two fools of fathers? No, the tiger is still nearby, trying to figure a way to
rescue whichever one is dearest to his heart. Now, let us prepare."

P-chan snuck up the stairs only to discover T-chan had changed to Ranma and was
stealthily creeping forward.

Ri Chie returned to the group and swung a bottle of Tabasco before Akane's eyes.
"You managed to land a good punch on me, outsider. Maybe I should repay you?"

"Leave that one alone," Perm commanded. "Let's see, now which is the tiger's
favorite? Ki Tei, *what* are you doing?"

Ki Tei looked up from what she was doing. "Playing dolly?"

"Is this the worst torture any of you can come up with?" Perm sighed. "Now stop
playing around, the tiger will try to sneak in and launch an attack. When he
does, we will have him!"

"I've got it! Xi Fang Gao." Ki Tei smiled at Perm, pulling the necessary shampoo
out.

"Xi Fang Gao? The memory sealing technique? What good will that do?" Ri Chie
didn't get it, but was still debating if she should empty the bottle of hot
sauce into Akane's mouth. She hadn't realized that paralysis drugs could be so
much fun.

"We do it once, they forget tiger. We do it twice, they forget we were here. We
do it a third time, they forget own names. That way they won't ever give us any
trouble."

Perm shrugged. This was enough of a sign that Ki Tei immediately started on her
pet project. "Whatever, killing nonwarriors doesn't exactly sit well with me
either. To Ga, you want to help Ki Tei out with it? To Ga? Rai Shu? Miao Yin?"

Everyone looked up to the empty stairwell, at the empty patio, and towards the
now silent kitchen. "Damn. How come nobody heard anything, that tiger weighs at
least a ton!" Perm was incensed, they were too close to victory.

Ranma took a deep breath and reduced his submersion in the Neko to a bare
trickle. This was dangerous but those three were where they could hurt their
prisoners. The Amazons had made a mistake that others around him also tended to
do, which was thinking of him as T-chan and at least emotionally forgetting that
he was actually Ranma Saotome, martial artist.

Silent, he waited as long as he dared, going for the next most dangerous
opponent first. Perm fell, his punch to her stomach almost reaching the spine.
Spinning, he avoided Ki Tei's thrust with her warclaws and kicked out to her
face, hard. If he was going to have to fight women, he would at least make it a
quick battle.

Ri Chie fell twenty-nine seconds later.

------------------------------

"I'm still stiff," announced Nabiki.

"Ranma got serious problem now," sighed Shampoo as she tossed another tied-up
Amazon down like a sack of potatos. "Ranma is outsider male, and has defeated
Amazon womans in group combat. They no try to take you as prize now."

"Oh dear, that's right. They'll want you as a husband now." Kasumi frowned ever
so slightly at the small group of Amazons.

"They can just forget it," Ranma suggested. "I already got someone I like."

Four heads snapped up at that comment.

"You jerk! YOU'RE the one who put my sisters in danger! This sort of thing never
happened before you showed up!" Akane glared at the insufferable boy. Yeah, he
rescued them, but if he hadn't been here there would have been no need for
anyone to be rescued. If he married Nabiki or Kasumi she'd be related to him.
Ick!

"Don't worry, Akane. I wasn't talking about you."

"Oh, just go back to being T-chan, you're much less irritating that way." Akane
turned on the hose, spraying the boy. "Why don't you just leave and take your
problems with you?"

T-chan spat water out of his mouth and glared at Akane.

"Akane, it's not Ranma's fault that martial artists and hunters and scientists
and all manner of crazy people keep attacking him and getting the rest of us
involved." Nabiki frowned, that hadn't come out nearly like she had intended it
to.

T-chan frowned. She had a point. His presence was putting them in danger.

A gunshot formed a punctuation mark to that thought.

"Urk!" T-chan staggered at the unexpected blow.

A few moments of observation revealed Tatewaki Kuno, atop a roof, reloading some
ancient teppo style gun. He raised the gun again and fired a second time. T-chan
went down. Just the sight of the would-be samurai with a rifle was enough to
startle his audience.

"At last!" Kuno's voice echoed off the buildings around them. "I have freed the
beauteous Akane and her sisters from the foul domination of the Beast! Akane
Tendo, come leap into my arms!"

Akane frowned and started forward. "See if he's all right. I've got something to
discuss with the Blue Thunder there."

Ukyou started forward but was stopped by Shampoo. "Akane need do this herself.
She feel humiliated, useless, need to let frustrations out."

Ukyou nodded at Shampoo's comment, Akane's expression indicated that she had
some issues with Kuno-sempai.

Nabiki came running out of the house with hot water, only to find Ranma changing
back to his uncursed form without it. And slowly, very slowly. "Uh oh." The
sound of Kuno-sempai being repeatedly beaten in the background was ignored.

Kasumi looked up, tears beginning to track her cheeks. "Oh, Nabiki, I think he's
dying."

"It can't be, not Ranma. He always wins, even when he was stuck as T-chan."

"Great Grandma make big mistake that time." Shampoo shook her head in
rememberance. Warriors don't weep. But then she wasn't an Amazon any more, was
she? "Ranma no go."

"Ranchan?" Ukyou stroked the head as he reverted to human. The head moved limply
to her touch.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" A woman screamed to the heavens. Nobody who had heard that
thought that Shampoo was only after a husband due to law or some desire to win
Ranma as a trophy. It was the wail of someone whose heart had just been cut out.

Kasumi stopped and felt along Ranma's chest. A moment later and she was wadding
up her own apron to stop fresh bleeding from the wounds.

Ranma shuddered briefly as he tried to breathe, the task made more difficult by
being hugged from all sides.

------------------------------

Ending animation: "Stray Cat Strut" by the Stray Cats,
with a few changes.
Scene: full moon in background, block walls and houses.
"Ooooh Oooh Ooooh Ooooh
"Black furred stray cat sittin' on a fence."
T-chan leaps up and starts strutting
proudly along atop the fence.
"Ain't got enough dough to pay the rent."
Nabiki is counting money as the tiger
passes behind her.
"I'm flat broke but I don't care,
"I strut right by with my tail in the air.

"Stray Cat Strut, I'm a ladies man,"
Passes a group of Chinese Amazon
huntresses,
"A feline Catsanova...
Mousse and Ryouga on the street
Mousse & Ryouga: "Hey man, that's sad."
"Get insults thrown at me from my mean old man,"
Passes Genma-panda who's waving signs
around.
"Get my dinner any way that I can..."
Brief flash to a scene of T-chan cuddling
with Kasumi.
Goes back to the fences, where he uses
Kuno's head as a springboard to cross the street.
"Yeah, don't cross my path, now."

"I don't bother chasin' mice around,
I slink down the alley, lookin' for a fight,
Howlin' to the moonlight, on a hot summer night!"

Comes to a spot of fence where T-chan
sits down and sways back and forth to the beat, eyes
closed and grinning.

"Singing the blues while the lady cats cry,
Wild stray cat, you're a real cool guy,
I know you can be just as carefree and wild,
Cause WE got cat-class and we've got cat style!"

Camera pulls back revealing Nabiki,
Shampoo, Kasumi, Ukyou, small group of Amazons,
Cologne, Kodachi, and to the sides Akane, Genma, Soun,
Tatewaki, Tsubasa, the Big Game Hunters, and Nodoka
Saotome.

---Mimir's Well-------------------

"So how's it turn out?" Bast grumbled at Hephaestus. This timeline was one she
approved of, but she'd been disappointed before. Certainly that scene with Kuno
firing silver bullets was not what she had expected.

The craftsman smiled. "Watch this, a mere two years later."

-----------------------------------

Cologne smiled as she looked over the photograph, then turned her attention to
the letter that had accompanied it.

"Dear Great Grandmother,

"I'm currently living in a city named Vancouver in a country called Canada. Ranma
says hello. We were married in a nice little Western ceremony last year.

"We sold some things we found in this jungle way to the South (I heard it was an
Amazon "rainforest" and was naturally curious) and got a loan, and we set up a
Chinese restaurant and martial arts dojo. In following Amazon tradition, it is
called the Cat Cafe. Hopefully you can come visit sometime. We keep so busy that
it is difficult to get away now. Map is on the back.

"Things are very nice here. Other than the occasional dojo destroyer, rival restaurant
ninja, occasional attempts from some idiots trying to start a Triad over here, and
having to go drop everything to go help out someone who's been kidnapped by a magical
prince, or attacked by a demon, or had little metal wastebaskets trying to exterminate
them, things are pretty calm and peaceful here.

"I've even made friends with a couple of people! One is a very nice girl who is a
professional demonhunter, and the other is one of those magical girl types. I guess
the TV was wrong and they are not solely confined to the Tokyo region.

"Things are very busy, though. Working the restaurant takes most of our time. Not
all of it, though. Oh, and great great grandmother is going to have to add another
great in there. Funny stick says that I am pregnant. Unfortunately, Ranma is being
an idiot. Insists I can't do any heavy lifting or get in fights, or even... Ranma
can really be an idiot sometimes.

"Most people in city very busy. So have started new 'Fast Food' line for people who
want to eat in middle of long running fight scene or something like that. Grab rice
bowl and still have time to fight off weird midget clones!

"Oh, front door bell jangle. Sound like large group. Got to stop here.

"Your loving great-granddaughter,

Shampoo Saotome"



-END-

fade to black
T-chan: "Rowwwwww!"
Shampoo: "Bie Bie!"

==================================

OMAKE OMAKE OMAKE OMAKE OMAKE OMAKE OMAKE

Turning the other cheek, an omake by GreggSharp

---------------------------------

Akane is standing next to Ranma and giving her "cute" smile to the camera.

"Now, it's come to my attention that some of you don't accept that the violence
I commit upon Ranma is justified by his actions or particularly nice." Akane
smiles again at the camera, one eyebrow raised as if in inquiry. Her tone
suggests she's addressing children.

Ranma snorts. "Well, it's definitely uncute!"

WHAM!

Akane puts down the barstool she's just used to slam into Ranma's face and sits
down on it, smiling again at the camera. "As you can see, this is entirely
"Three Stooges" violence. No actual pain or harm done."

Ranma's down out of camera field but manages. "Yeah right!"

WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!

Akane tosses the mallet aside and smiles again, using a tone one would use to
explain something to a difficult preschooler. "Whether I use a mallet..."

WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!

"or a baseball bat..."

THUNK! THUNK! THUNK!

"or an archery set..."

SCHNNNICK! SCHUNK!

"or a razor sharp katana..."

"urk! can someone call Doctor Tofu?"

CRACKLE! ZZZZZZZZZAP!

"or even hundreds of thousands of volts, it doesn't hurt Ranma a bit because
it's all cartoon violence." Akane shrugs. "Besides he's got it coming for
calling P-chan a filthy pig."

[help] a tiny sign, smouldering slightly, appears at the bottom of the screen.
Akane stomps down on something out of sight a few times and the sign disappears.

Akane smiles again. "I hope this has made everything perfectly clear."

Akane leaves. A few moments of blank screen before a thoroughly beaten up, cut
up, arrows protruding from him, Ranma uses the barstool to crawl up into the
camera's view. He blinks a couple of times at the camera, then begins removing
arrows.

"Not real? Doesn't hurt? Doesn't matter? None of the bombs or blades or special
attacks or anything? After Jusendo and all? None of it?" Ranma stops and blinks
at the camera again. "Then why do I have something against hitting girls?"

Picking up a large mallet, Ranma (still bearing a few bruises and cuts) grins at
the camera. "Okay. Now who should I see first? Akane or Nabiki?"

After a few moments he nods and runs offcamera to the right. "Oh, Nabikiiiiii!
I've got something special for you today!"

"Well, give it here, Saotome."

"Okay. Since you asked for it."

WHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAMWHAM! WHAM!

"Oh, Akane! I've got something for you to express my affection!"

"Really Ranma?!"

WHAMWHAMWHAM!

"See folks, whether I use a mallet..."

"R-R-Ranma?"

BLAM!

"Or a mouko takabisha..."

"b-b-but you don't?!"

WHAMx100

"or a kachuu tenshin amaguriken, it doesn't matter!"

"medic?"