In my Arms, In my Heart

Chapter 7

Hitting the Fan

Maid Café
20 minutes later

The bustle of the girls milling about serving created an odd tension in the room.

Ranma was watching Yuko carefully hand out drinks to people. Helping her out with some light pointers on the table numbers and also how to balance the tray, the redhead could not help but notice the way she carried herself to swing her hips a little more seductively than she does at school.

Raising her eyebrow, Ranma continued to serve tables in the meantime, again realising that there was one table in particular which would require some form of control through her drink crushing technique.

However, before she got the red tray from the counter with their second order, her sensitive hearing picked up a voice came from that section which made her blood freeze.

"Oh my… Did you just touch me?"

Hands still on the tray, Ranma could only turn as he saw Yuko talking nicely with the group of boys, each of whom were enjoying the extra entertainment.

"Well, we pay for the service, so we deserve some tips also." One boy said, laughing loudly.

Swallowing down her fear, Ranma began to walk slowly to them, only to see Yuko's shoulders shaking.

"Huhuhuhu…" The movement was due to her laughter, "Children need to be scolded when they break the rules." Her hand reached into her pocket, "In my house though, there is only one law."

The flash of silver reflected into Ranma's eyes as the knife slashed out, and tore onto something at the table.

"Disobey me, and you die."

The can, impaled through by the knife, leaked beer onto the table.

"And my rule to you is, don't grope anyone here again, or else…"

Twisting the dagger cruelly, the metal sheared apart as the flood of liquid sprayed out. Flicking her knife outwards, the droplets scattered all over the table and its occupants.

Licking the flat side of the blade of any excess, she smiled before weaving it swiftly into its inoffensive form and hiding on her person.

"Am I understood?"

The white faced boys yelled and scrambled to get out of the café much to the bemused gazes of the other customers, who didn't see or hear the rest of the conversation.

Yuko turned cheerily and went to the counter where the manager was only looking at her now.

"There's a spillage at Table 4, can I borrow the tea towel?"

"Sure, here," He handed it over to her, "If there's any on the floor, the mop is in the staff room."

"Okay!" Skipping back to the desk, she began to wipe up the mess after returning with their trays and drinks.

Ranma took this chance to help her.

"I saw that…" She spoke surreptitiously, "Wasn't that a bit much?"

"Not really, senpai…" Her grin was stretched out wider, "They weren't hurt, except for their egos maybe, and perhaps a need to clean their clothes." Her face was marred by a cute frown, "Did I do something wrong?"

Sighing, the redhead shrugged, "Next time, don't scare them so much, the boss wants them to come back one day."

"Well, if they do, they'll be sure to behave this time." She finished cleaning the table up, "Isn't that what preventative measures are for, to stop things from happening before they do happen?"

"True, but it did already happen, so you didn't really stop anything…" A cheery ringtone interrupted Ranma's reply, "Shouldn't you get that?"

Yuko smirked and nodded, "Be right back, senpai… I have to take this."

Going back to the staff area, she pulled out her mobile phone as the door closed.

The slight bell chime announced the arrival of a new patron, to which Ranma smiled mechanically.

"Hello there and welcome to –" Gawking at the girl, Ranma scooted over to her, "N-Nabiki… What are you doing here?"

"Need your help, I'm doing a spot of investigation now and require some specific skills only you possess."

"Not now!" Shushing her, Ranma waved her arms to get her to leave the café, "Yuko is working here, if she sees you –"

Eyebrow piqued, Nabiki waved her off, "Got it, I'm leaving, but meet me outside in five minutes, no later." She promptly left the place and went to the corner out of sight from the glass pane.

Sucking in a deep breath, Ranma spun round and walked back to the main area to find the owner sitting there.

"Hey boss, is it okay if I cut my shift a little early tonight? I'll make it up tomorrow."

After standing up and checking the café, he nodded, "Sure, seems to be getting quieter for the evening, you can head off Ranma."


Rushing to the staff room, she opened the door only to find Yuko snarling at her, her clamshell phone closed up hard and creaking beneath her fingers.

"W-Woah… What did I do, Yuko?" Ranma nearly leapt out of her way as the angry girl stormed outwards, before turning to face her.

"Nothing, senpai. Just got some very bad news indeed." She hid the phone in her pocket again, "Are you going home for the day?"

"Y-Yeah, I've got some things to do." Inwardly, she was trying to determine how to get out of the room without Yuko seeing.

"Aah, that's good news." She clapped her hands together, "I'll take care of the place while you're gone."

Silently sending a prayer to the remaining customers, Ranma jogged out the side exit and met up with Nabiki, who was silently tapping her foot.

"Come on, this way..." She pulled the redhead away from the café towards a side street, "Take me up, now."

Her tone broached no argument, so Ranma did as told, landing lightly on the roof above.

"What going on, Nabiki?"

"Something odd is going on at my work, there's a person who is using a different taxi company each week to go somewhere, and is claiming it from company expenses. Tonight is the night of the next taxi, and I want us to go find out who it is, and why they are covering themselves up like this."

"I see, so you want to go investigate, right?"

She nodded in response, "I'll need you help to follow the taxi, sure it can't really go fast enough on the roads when they're this busy, but I don't exactly have the stamina to run for a long time."

Ranma grinned, "Challenge accepted, we'll follow it on the rooftops, should be easy enough since it's dark already and not many people would think to look up there for anybody tailing them."

"Good, let's go to my work now, the taxi should be leaving in five minutes."

Jumping into the redhead's arms, Nabiki smiled as Ranma leapt forward towards the tall building of her company.

As they were going there, Ranma spoke up amidst the wind rushing against them, "So, what do you think you'll find?"

"I don't know, but I'm sure it's something illegal, which would mean that the CEO needs to know about it, probably trade secrets, who knows?" Her smirk returned, "Perhaps I could blackmail that person, learn more juicy info, or just turn him or her in to the police."

"Be careful, Nabiki." Ranma warned with a lower tone of voice, "Some people are not what you expect... Like Yuko..."

Ranma recounted the knife and beer incident in the café.

"Crap, sounds like another loony has found us then." Nabiki chuckled, "Looks like you always attract them, Ranma."

"Yes, I have the best luck ever..." She replied sardonically, laughing to herself.

"Still, that luck got this loony to find you." She rubbed Ranma's supporting arm gently, "So it isn't all bad."

"Yeah, you're right, you wouldn't be here now if it weren't for the mad coincidences in my life." Ranma leaned down and kissed her quickly on the forehead.

"Oh Ranma, so forward of you!" She giggled coquettishly, covering her mouth.

"Not really," She grinned back, "This is forward." Stopping just a block away, Ranma brought her head up to her own and kissed her lips, first lightly, then pressing in deeply, before moving away, "So, was that satisfactory for you?"

Nabiki was flushed and trying to breath calmly, "Y-Yes..." Swallowing her desire, she nodded, "Lust aside, let's get back to our task, then we can continue this further."

"Right." Getting straight down to business, they leapt the final street to see a taxi begin to pull away from Nabiki's building.

"Damn, we didn't see who it was, but at least we can follow it." She muttered, before nodding at Ranma, "You know what to do."

"Yep, let's go."

Calculating the distances needed, Ranma started on a parallel path to the taxi route on the buildings beside it, always keeping it slightly in front in case it turned at corners.

"This is odd, Nabiki." Ranma said, "It's going around corners at the last minute, as if the driver doesn't know where he's going."

"It's possible, maybe it's a new place he's never been to and he's relying on his GPS?" She wondered in response, "Or could the passenger not know where the place it and is checking a map?"

"Even then, you would guess they would only turn at big roads, then slowly get into the smaller streets to get to their destination." Ranma frowned at another sudden turn, "It could be something else entirely."

"What do you mean Ranma?" Nabiki looked at the blue eyed girl.

"You said so yourself, it happens once a week, and the person uses different taxi companies, if it is something illegal, they wouldn't want anyone to know what he or she is doing."

"That's true..."

"So, what if the person from your work is doing this on purpose, making the taxi man turn at strange corners to get rid of any followers on the road?" Ranma paused as the taxi waited at some red lights.

"That has to be it..." Nabiki furrowed her brow, "This person is extremely cautious, which must mean they're paranoid about someone finding out what they are doing." She lowered her eyelids to try to focus in the backseat, "This has to be something big."

Soon, the tall buildings went away and they were nearing a dark section of the city with fewer lampposts and brightly lit shops.

"This area is dangerous." Ranma noted unnecessarily.

"They must be stopping soon..."

The taxi parked a minute later at the side of a dingy building, and movement was heard from inside, presumably getting the invoice for the work related bonus. A person got out of the taxi, covered with a large overcoat as they entered the building using a key.

"Couldn't see who it was..." Ranma muttered, "They had the collar up."

"Let's get closer..." Nabiki ordered calmly, as Ranma landed like a feather on the building next to it, and checking the back.

"There's an emergency ladder there, let's go."

Softly, they went down and moved through the steps to find a window they could enter as it was slightly ajar.

"No one's in this room, there are three people downstairs though." Sliding the window open, Ranma slid in first and then helped Nabiki down into the room.

"Thanks Ranma." She whispered, "Let's try to get as close as we can to the people downstairs."

"Let me look around first..."

Ranma began to hop from room to room on that floor, checking for weak floorboards and possible routes, only finding a decrepit staircase which would undoubtedly make loud creaking sounds if they stepped on it.

About to give up, she saw an odd metallic door, before grinning widely.

"It's all about luck in the end."

A minute later

The old apartment building had been abandoned for a long time when the owners could no longer afford the mortgage, Given the poor area, it remains in negative equity to this day, so even though the banks now technically own the building, they couldn't sell it without making a substantial loss.

Therefore, it was left to rot away, since maintaining it for the future made little economic sense, and security guards cost money too. The countless homeless people sometimes met up and used it as a warm place of shelter for the night.

However, for this evening, another type of gathering was underway.

A scarred businessman spoke harshly, "So you're telling me that this is all you have for me today?"

A whimpering voice responded, "I-I'm sorry, there were some audits made of the books, it's harder to syphon than it was before the -"

Another, more brash individual with muscles to show for it interrupted, "Who cares about the money, do you have the files that we wanted?"

"Y-Yes, they're on this CD."

"Sato, check them now." The businessman declared.

"On it." The CD was inserted into the laptop as Sato scanned the files, "No viruses, good." After a few more minutes, he has finished skimming the details, "Yep, forecasts and pricings for the next month are here."


"Is there anything else you need for the next time, Mori-san?"

"Yes, we need the following." The man with the scars handed over a piece of paper to the man, who began to quiver more.

"This is a lot, Mori-san..." He smiled, "I'm assuming the rewards will be greater."

"Of course, I'm a reasonable man." Clicking his fingers, Sato opened up a suitcase with numerous bills of yen all bound by paper, "This is payment for this job, and a small down-payment for the next."

"Excellent..." The man fanned through the notes checking they were the same, "Pleasure doing business with you, Mori-san." He adjusted his glasses after doing the inspection.

"Same here, Kimura."

Both men smirked, unbeknownst to the fact that they were being watched from the far wall.

The old lift shaft no longer had the lift itself due to an unfortunate accident years ago, all that remained was the high tension cable inside, the metallic doors were only open a fraction, but the low ambient light did not illuminate the two pairs of eyes watching them through the crack.


"You know him?" Ranma whispered under her breath.

Nabiki nodded, "He's my supervisor. A pervert and entirely creepy, even touched me today."


Ranma cracked her feminine knuckles, only for Nabiki to put a finger to Ranma's lips.

"Don't get emotional, I got out of it fine. At least I have something to go on at work now to uncover what he's up to."

"Hold it..." Ranma held up her hand, "There's three more ki signatures outside..." Her eyebrows angled downwards, "Strange, I recognise one of them."

The front door burst inwards and the room was now surrounded by three men holding pistols.

"What the hell is this?!" Mori yelled, "Did you set us up, Kimura?!"

"N-No!" He could see the tall musclebound man aim his gun at him, "Wait!"

Sato reached for his firearm, but was picked off by one of the other two, the bullets peppering his legs and arm.

The tall newcomer spoke, "Don't try anything stupid." The two remaining stood still, Mori growling audibly, "Your friend will be fine after a nice visit to the hospital. Unless you wish to join him?" He smiled widely, his missing teeth ever evident.

"What do you want?" Mori asked, "Is it money? I have plenty of that."

"Please, if this was about money, we'd have killed you and taken it." He put the pistol away, "It's more to do with the principle of the matter." Cracking his knuckles, he approached the twosome.

"W-What do you mean by that?" Mori stepped back, growing more nervous and agitated by the casually violent movements from the tall man there.

"See, there is protocol to follow when you do some form of industrial espionage. We don't mind that so much, it's more the handling of illegally obtained funds that our boss isn't so happy with." He grinned again, "We deserve a cut of that."

"No... You're Yakuza, right?" Kimura fell to the ground, "Please, I haven't done anything to upset you!"

"Sadly, you have, and you need to pay the price for that." The burly man turned to Mori, "Likewise with yourself, we'll be taking that money now, or you may leave with a few less fingers if you really want to take it. Keep your pathetic documents, we have no need of them."

Mori kicked the suitcase to the ground, letting some of the notes fall out, "Do as you wish. I'll be going." He saw Sato get up and join him. Mori turned to his former conspirator, "Have a good afterlife Kimura."

They left the building escorted by the two other guards, leaving Kimura and the brawler together.

"Oh God... Oh God... No, please..." He cowered in the corner as the shadow loomed overhead, only for a metal shriek to pierce the silence.

"Now, now, we can't have any unlawful killing around here." Ranma hopped out of the now ruined lift doors and strode up to them, "Didn't think I'd see you again so soon." She smirked arrogantly, "Do you need another reminder of who's stronger around here? Has your finger healed yet?"

Gently massaging the small splint on one hand, the rumbling chuckle began, "Heh, you sure get around, girl." The bodyguard from the alley spun around to face her, "True, I can't beat you in hand-to-hand, but can you outrun a bullet?"

The pistol was aimed for her head, and Ranma shrugged, "Fine, be that way..." Fading from sight completely, she laughed, her voice echoing around the area, "Now, the real question is can you hit an invisible target?"

The guard paused, trying to ascertain her location, before her face appeared right in front of the barrel.


Firing once, he lowered the gun, seeing that she was still standing there, the bullet still spinning freely between her two fingers, before she winced and dropped it.

"Ouch! That's really hot!" Her reddened fingers were sore from the intense friction as she blew on them to cool it down.

"What the hell are you, really?" He asked, holstering his gun.

"Told you before, a martial artist, the best there is." She jerked her head at Kimura, "I get that you let the shady businessman go, but why punish this guy here? He was only stealing some company stuff, nothing you should get mad about."

"Listen, girl..."

"The name's Ranma, man." She said pointedly.

"Fine, my name's Goto, happy?" He spat on the floor beside Kimura, "His shady dealings, while appreciated in our noble profession, are contrasted with his obsession."

"Obsession?" Ranma peered at Kimura, "What about? He seems like someone who stays indoors a lot?"

Goto ground his teeth, "This man has an unhealthy penchant for young girls, and beating on them also." He crunched his foot on a discarded can on the ground, flattening it completely, "He's already been blacklisted from our establishments for 'damaging the goods'."

"I see…"

Ranma turned from Goto to face Kimura, her lips twitching upwards, and began to step towards him at a very slow and measured pace

"So, you like to play hard with the ladies?" Ranma felt her skin heat up as her blood rushed faster to her muscles, as they prepared for battle.

"N-No! Th-They just like it when they are treated that way!"

Ranma shook her head, her teeth visible now and her eyes burning, "I suppose they were a little too weak to resist your advances, right?" She glanced back at the burly man, "Goto, I know you smoke, hand me your lighter."

Frowning slightly, he searched his suit pocket and pulled out one. It was one of the newer models which when activated looked more like a blowtorch instead of a slow flame.

Grinning wider, the redhead tucked her other hand into her sleeve.

"You know... I always wondered if I would ever have a reason to use some of these things with me, but now I'm glad I kept some."

She grabbed the table bell from the now abandoned reception area of the old hotel and poured a specific black powder into the upturned cup. Heating it up with the flame, the metal began to smoke as the dust began to burn away.

"Still, if anyone deserved this, it should be you... Kimura."

The powder was now red and emitting fumes of its own.

"It's ready..."

Her eyes now gleamed with the red sparks floating above the metal bowl as Kimura stepped even further away from her.

"Wh-What the hell are you going to me y-you weak little girl?!"

Goto tutted loudly as the lift doors shook from a small tremor in there, "What are you going to do him, Ranma?"

"Nothing much." The smell rising from acrid steam began to tickle the noses of everyone present, "Just show him how strong a weak, little girl can truly be…"

Kimura began to panic when Ranma vanished from sight and scrambled to the wall, before leaping to the side for the exit.

That was up until he felt a burning sensation on his back.


His high pitched scream made Goto snort as he struggled to hold back a chuckle, just as Ranma appeared beside him.

"Now, he won't ever harm anyone again…" She folded her arms and stood there with a dark smirk.

"You… You burned me, you bitch!"

Kimura tried to feel behind him for the burn mark on his back, before giving up and running at Ranma, unleashing a punch to her face.

As the impact hit her, she didn't flinch nor register the attack, instead angling her head to look at him from the side of his hand.

"What that supposed to hurt me?" Her curious tone was teasing.

"B-But… I…" Kimura stepped back again, feeling his fist shake of its own accord.

"That's interesting…" Goto walked forwards and spoke to him, "If you can put a bruise on my face, I'll give you all the money in that case, and we'll never bother you again…"

Kimura spent a few seconds thinking about it, seeing the large amount of notes daintily fluttering in the breeze only tempted him further.

"Fine!" Taking another running start, he let loose of Goto with both hands clenched together, slamming it down on his head.

"Hmm, most intriguing, barely a tap, and I'm guessing that this is your full strength now…" Goto stood up again, since he crouched down before for Kimura to be able to hit his face.

The now voice stricken Kimura began to looks at his hands, his eyes widening and irises becoming pin pricks.

Ranma growled, "Get the hell out of here," Casually pointing at one corner of the room and blasting it with a miniature Moko Takabisha, "Or the next one won't miss…"

Fleeing, and screaming all the way, Kimura left the building dodging the other henchmen who didn't try to stop him.

Sighing to herself, Ranma walked over to where the ash was deposited on the floor, before grinding it into the dirt and scattering it to the winds.

"So, now that he's dealt with…" She turned to Goto, "What are you going to do now? Are you going to stop me from getting out of here?" She peered closely at him to discern if he was preparing for a fight.

"And lose spectacularly? Not a chance…" He lowered his gaze at the floor, "What exactly was that?"

"Not telling… I also made sure you're not going to be able to use it again either." She levelled her gaze at his two friends, "I don't exactly agree with your activities though, I hope I don't see anything happening around me, or else I may need to take action of my own."

Goto folded his arms, "Is that a threat?"

The redhead took three steps forward so she was staring up at his face, half a metre separating the two.


She started glow faintly as the blue ki seeped out from her skin.

Goto halted his movement, waiting for any attack from Ranma. None was forthcoming however and her open warning was left there in the air.

"Come on, we're done here." Goto called out to the other two, "Keep tabs on Kimura and report to me if he does anything else suspicious."

Watching them leave the premises, Ranma silently let out a breath she was holding, "Well, that could've gone worse."

The lift doors squeaked a little as Nabiki slid out, "What the hell were you thinking, Ranma?!" Her face was flushed, her frown making her features seem even sharper than usual, "Do you want to get killed by the Yakuza, or what?"

Ranma waved her off, "Relax, we have an understanding now, they're not going to do anything obvious, but at the very least, they now know there's someone here who will defend people if need be." Her grin was tinted with excitement brimming from her eyes, "Perhaps someone will want to challenge that in the near future."

"Do you realise what you're risking?!" Nabiki began to pace around in front of her, "They'll kill you if you go too far!"

"They won't kill me." Ranma stopped her in her movements, gently taking her arms away from her wild gesticulating, "Nothing can stop me. At the very least, I can run away." Her smile was calm, "I wanted to send a message, but it was directed at the leader of their group. I want them to contact me directly."

Nabiki paused at the contact from Ranma, "They know where you work... You want to meet him, the boss?"

Ranma nodded, "How else can we get allies, or at least, get the backing I need for the dojo?" The sincere eyes didn't waver, "I'm not out to start a war, I just don't want to be considered as something worthless, I'm much more of use to them if I'm not against them."

"A neutral party then..." Nabiki considered this, holding her chin in thought, "You're not out to become a policeman, nor a member of their group, you simply don't want them to think they can safely ignore you or your activities."

"Exactly," Ranma clicked her fingers, "With this, they can stay out of my way, and vice versa."

"But... why?" Nabiki asked a pertinent question.

"Because I'm Ranma Saotome." The redhead put her hands on her hips, "And I'm not going to let myself be forgotten that easily. If the first people to hear my name are from the underworld, so be it."

Nabiki grinned back, "My, my, such high aspirations, that is a little intimidating, even for me." She kicked her foot on the dusty floor, "So, did you do what I think you did to Kimura?"

Ranma beamed savagely, "You'll see soon, just watch..." Doing a quick search of the nearby area, she frowned, "There's one of them left outside. I don't want to risk ourselves yet, so we're going to have to go out the same way we got in."

Walking back to the lift, Ranma grabbed Nabiki by the waist, "Stay close."

Bouncing off the edge of the lift shaft, she propelled herself between each floor until she reached the fourth floor, the open door waiting for them.

From then, it was a simple matter to begin roof hopping onwards to their home, "Nabiki, I think it's time I trained you on determining if you're being watched."

"Little do you know, Ranma, that I can already detect people with their ki." She smartly replied.

"Perhaps, but those guards back in China were people who are naturally strong, and not trying to hide themselves. Also, how can you detect a specific type of person who is watching you among a group?"

"I guess there's more to this ki than it lets on." She sighed in response, "What about my basic training though?"

"We'll incorporate it, somehow getting you to predict my next move by the changes in my ki. First it'll be obvious, but I'll slowly make the level lower and lower until the changes are slight."

"Fine, I suppose I can live with that." She changed the subject, "So, you said that Yuko is working at the café now?"

Ranma shook lightly, "Yeah, she's worse than I thought. You should have seen her face, Nabiki... She was like a different person..."

"Maybe it's Jusenkyo, she could have been soaked by water recently..." Nabiki pointed out seriously, "Spring of Drowned Sociopath?"

"Perhaps more along the Psychopath line..." Ranma joked back, "Problem is, this is how she always was, I doubt it is anything special like drugs or Jusenkyo."

"Which makes her all the more dangerous..." Nabiki continued, "I get it, we need to be careful around her."

"No, you need to be more careful." Ranma stared at her, "I can look after myself, but you, I don't think you have had enough training yet to defend yourself against someone like her."

Nabiki was about to protest, before she huffed in annoyance, "Fine, you're probably right."

"Don't worry, I'll teach you some knife-disarming techniques when we get home, then we can work on some other movements."

"Great, looking forward to avoiding a battle to the death!" Her joyous smile was mocking, much to Ranma's grumpiness.

"No need to be so sarcastic, it doesn't hurt to be prepared."

"I know, I'm just teasing you, Ranma." She gave her a peck on the cheek, causing a slight stumble as she jogged across one of the last roof tops.

"Gees, stop surprising me like that, I may have to leave you on one of these places and see how you like it!"

"You wouldn't dare." Nabiki narrowed her eyes suspiciously.

Ranma retaliated with a look of her own, "Oh really?"

Pausing at the last home, which was only a storey high, an old abandoned shop in a poorly lit area before the woods began to their cottage, Ranma released Nabiki and leapt away from her.

"Now, how would the great Nabiki Tendo deal with this?"

Ranma jumped down as you would a single step on a staircase. Landing without so much as a tap on the ground, the redhead stared up at Nabiki.

The Tendo looked around the barren roof, "Nothing here except for a trapdoor." Trying to pull it up, she noted it wouldn't budge, "Locked, as expected."

She checked the area beneath the shop, to see nothing except road and pavement, "No soft landings either, unless..."

Looking ahead about five metres was the edge of the road, but also the beginning of nature, the grass here still quite unkempt.

"You leave me no choice, Ranma..."

Going to the other end of the small roof space, Nabiki started her run up, by levering her foot on the upturned edge, before pulsing forwards and running. It was only ten metres, not a long distance, and one that seemed all too short when she found herself leaping high into the air, with nothing but air beneath her flailing legs.

"Wow..." She whistled, "Would be nice to travel like this..." She spoke to the person who rushed up next to her, "Don't you think so too, Ranma?"

"Nabiki, you idiot!"

Pivoting their bodies, Ranma managed to land whilst cradling Nabiki, the former's feet tracing in the ground from the sudden burst and forced landing.

"Don't do that!" She breathed, before lowering Nabiki and checking for any injuries, "You know I was joking, I wouldn't leave you up there..."

"I know, Ranma..." She touched her cheek, "I just wanted to know what it was like, to take a leap of faith and know that somehow I would land safely." She patted the errant hairs from her lover's face, "True, this time you were here to catch me, but one day I hope I have the strength to do what you do."

"Keep training and you will." Ranma grinned, and held her hand for a moment longer before they walked up the hill into the trees, "Come on, let's get home and eat, I'm starving!"

"Sure…" Nabiki climbed onto Ranma's back this time since they were out of sight from the city, and the redhead flew into the branches, aiming for their little home.

Elsewhere in the city

Kimura shook again, the fear of seeing the pistols pointed at him, the threat of death.

And then when that short girl burned his back.

"I'll show her, that arrogant whore." He turned and saw a dark alley, where a woman stood, her mini skirt riding too high to just be a normal clubber.

"I see, I need to let off some frustration now…" He went up to her, and she angled her head at him.

"What do you want?" She took another long drag of her cigarette, "My rates are cheap, give me your preferences and I'll give it to you, hard."

"Oh, I think I'm going for a freebie today." He grabbed her arm and twisted it, only for her quizzical face to contort in annoyance.

Her arm never moved, only his own hand glided around her skin like it couldn't grip anything. She edged it away from him and he was unable to hold her, "No need to play tough, my 'sponsor' will be here soon, you don't want to be on his bad side."

"To hell with that!" He punched her in the stomach, waiting for her breath to leave her.

However, she wasn't winded at all. In fact, the only change was her incredulous expression.

"Look buster, I don't know what your game is, but you're getting on my nerves. Now, piss off before I ask him to teach you a lesson."

Pushing him slightly, she walked away, failing to notice that he flew several metres away into the back wall, unable to stop his motion.

"Wh-What the hell…?"

Struggling to his feet, Kimura felt his hands shaking and the pain that coursed through his body from the fall, and the light touch the prostitute inflicted on him.

"It hurts…" He felt his wheezing from the strike and clenched his fist, "Ranma… You… You're going to pay for this, somehow…"

Stumbling to his feet, Kimura went home to plan his revenge.

But first, a good night's sleep was necessary, and some painkillers.

Author's Notes

Took some time for this instalment. Though, we're finally getting things heated up finally after 7 chapters.

Hope this was enjoyed by all!