Tomboy Trouble

By Skye Silverwing

Disclaimer: Nope, I still don't own it.

Chapter 4: A Little Plot

To Akane's credit, she was the first to notice the absence of her Lover and the one she was being forced into engagement with. "Wait a minute…" she asked "Where did Ranma and Haruka go?"

The other two girls scanned the room, noticing for the first time that the subject of their argument had vanished, along with Akane's guest.

Soun and Genma also noted the pair's disappearance, but Genma merely smiled at his old friend. "See, your girl is so in tune with my son already that she noticed the moment he left the room." He said, "Call the priest; we can have them married by nightfall."

Soun frowned. "In order to do that, we must locate the boy." He said, "Quickly, Nabiki, put together a search party!"

"That isn't necessary." Ranma said, entering the room in male form. "I'm right here. I decided that Akane will be my fiancée."

Soun and Genma began to jump for joy.

Akane went livid. "Now listen here you-" she began, but was stopped by a hand on her shoulder. Turning, she saw Haruka standing there with a knowing look in her eyes. Catching on, Akane fell silent.

Ranma nodded. "I do have a few conditions, of course." He said.

Soun and Genma stopped dancing and turned on him. "What do you mean, Boy?" Genma demanded.

Ranma locked eyes with him. "I'm honor bound to marry a Tendo." He said flatly, "But I am also honor bound to marry Ms. Tenoh over there. She does not want it, and I don't either, but in order to honorably dissolve that engagement, we each need to be eighteen. This makes the first condition that I cannot marry Akane until my arrangement with Haruka is dissolved. That will take two years."

Soun turned an accusatory gaze on Genma. "Genma…" he said, "What is the meaning of this 'agreement with Ms. Tenoh'?"

Genma sweated. "Well, Tendo, old friend," he said in a placating tone, "Training Trips cost money, and I did some work for Ms. Tenoh's Father in order to build up some funds. When it came time for him to pay up, however, he demanded that my son marry his daughter with the money as the dowry. His claim is not important."

Haruka stepped forward. "The problem, Mr. Saotome, is that my father had a legally binding contract, signed by you, posted in the Registers Office." She said. "My father will never agree to dissolve it so that Ranma can marry Akane, but since I don't want to marry Ranma, I would happily agree to dissolve the contract when I turn eighteen, in exchange for Ranma serving as my Sensei in the Art."

Ranma nodded again. "That brings us to my second condition." He said. "I am taking on Haruka as my first student, with Akane assisting in her training."

Soun nodded. "That sounds reasonable." He said, turning to Nabiki, "I assume that such a contract would need to be dissolved before Ranma and Akane could be wed."

The middle Tendo nodded. "Absolutely." She said, "With such a powerful family on the other end of the contract, breaking it would almost certainly put Mr. Saotome, if not you, behind bars." She turned her gaze on Haruka, a speculative look in her eyes.

Ranma nodded. "My last condition is that Akane's training, as well as my own, need to be stepped up so that we can both be masters of our respective schools by the time Haruka and I dissolve the contract." He said. "That way, we can be ready to take over the dojo and train more students."

Genma nodded eagerly, but Soun winced. "I have not been able to teach since my wife passed away." The Tendo Patriarch said, bowing his head in shame. "I just don't have the will."

Ranma fixed the man with a stern glare. "If your School has no Master, then we cannot join the Schools." He said. "It is that simple."

Soun looked up, surprised at the simplicity of the statement then sighed in defeat. "I- I… Alright…" He said. "I will train Akane to be a Master of the Tendo School within two years."

Ranma nodded. "Good." He said, "Now, if you all will excuse us, my fiancées and I have some things to discuss."

With that, Ranma, Haruka and Akane left the room

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

When She, Ranma, and Haruka reached her room, Akane rounded on the other two, with an accusing look in her eyes. "Alright you two, start explaining!" she said angrily, "and it better be good!"

Haruka smiled. "Well, you see, Genma and Ranma came to my father about six months ago on their training trip." She said, "The two of us hit it off, and became fast friends, but Genma, that slimy jerk, saw our friendship as a means to scam some money out of my old man. He convinced him that Ranma would make a good husband for me, so that he could pocket the dowry and run." She clutched her hands reflexively, imagining giving a certain panda the beating of his life.

Ranma picked up the story. "Anyway, since Pops had no intention of keeping that engagement, he never told me about it." He said, "Ruka-chan's old man told her though and she was against it, what with being gay and all."

Akane flinched at the pet name, but neither of the others noticed.

Haruka nodded at Ranma's statement. "I wasn't into boys and the idea made no sense to me because I was way too young for it." She said, "The old man was serious though, and drew up the contract and had Genma sign it. I doubt that Genma knew what he was doing. In any case, when Genma ran, my father blamed me for running them off. It was about a week later I decided to be a Lesbian. My father kicked me out and denied me any of the family's money. I would have been forced to stop going to school and start working to support myself if not for the Scholarship I got from Meioh Industries."

Seeing that Haruka had gotten off topic, Ranma took over. "Anyway, when Ruka-chan recognized me, she came up with this plan." He said, "Ya see, you two really like each other, and I don't feel right getting in the way of that. Mr. Tendo, on the other hand, would never agree to it, as I'm sure you know."

Akane nodded.

Haruka locked eyes with her. "I figured that while he would not want you and me together, he would not bat an eye at you and Ranma together, because of that pledge." She said, "So I had Ranma make them agree to wait until the three of us are eighteen and can legally cancel contracts, so that they would not jump to get you two married, so then you have Ranma, the incredible fighter he is, as your 'fiancé' until the time is up, putting a stop to your boy troubles."

Akane looked a little surprised. "What about the training thing?" she asked.

Ranma sighed. "I figured that 'training Haruka' is a good reason for you two to be spending time together." He said, "Also, no offense, 'kane, but if your family style is half as effective as the Saotome style, your old man must have really cut back on your training, because I wasn't even using a tenth of my skills when we were sparring earlier, and you never even got close to hitting me. Of course, that could just be because you are weak in general."

Haruka winced.

Akane's face darkened as she accessed a special technique. "I'll show YOU weak!"

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

"I'll show YOU weak!"

A deafening crash echoed through the house.

Kasumi turned to Nabiki and frowned slightly. "Oh, my!" she said, "What do you suppose happened?"

Nabiki sighed. "Whatever it was, he probably had it coming." She said.

Meanwhile, Genma smiled at Soun. "Those two were made for each other, Tendo old boy!" he said.

Soun nodded. "Indeed they are, Saotome, Indeed they are!"

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

Around the same time, in a pocket dimension located Elsewhere…






The Death Phantom stared down at the girls who dared defy him. "I cannot lose to the power of the Crystals!" he shouted as the power surged up toward him.

The Elder of the two Princesses challenging his might glared up at him. "Evil Power," she yelled, her statement finished by her younger counterpart, "Be gone from this place!"

Then with one last surge of power, the two Princesses overcame the Death Phantom's defenses and their power surged over him.

"I, Death Phantom, the Ruler of the Darkness, will not be defeated!"

Even as he spoke, the power of the two Ginzuishous washed over him, giving lie to his words as it overwhelmed him and destroyed him utterly, going on to destroy his Dark Crystal as well.

The power then dissipated, leaving the two exhausted Princesses cradled unconscious in the arms of their friends.

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

Kasumi Tendo was up well before dawn the following morning, beginning her preparations for breakfast for her loved ones and guests. She enjoyed the silence of the morning and the calm it brought. As she set the meal to cook, she took a nice cup of tea and went to sit on the back porch to watch the sunrise in blissful silence.

The silence was suddenly broken, however, as a scream rang out, and a silhouetted form suddenly flew from the guest room window, landing with a splash in the koi pond. A moment later, a second form leapt from the window and charged to the edge of the pool, meeting the other at the water's edge and engaging in an exchange of blows with a fury she had not seen before.

Kasumi's first thought was that someone had snuck in and attacked their gusts in their sleep, and that someone had engaged the intruder in combat, but then the first form kicked the second one into the pond, and the light finally caught on its face and hair, revealing the deep violet hair and lovely face of Ranma's female form, even as the other form surged to the surface to reveal the powerful and fierce shape of Genma's Panda form.

As the two renewed their frenzied attack, the Eldest Tendo Daughter was struck once again by how odd a pair of guests they were, being up this early and training so hard. She had never seen even Akane fight that hard, and Akane was one of the best fighters she knew. Moreover, from the looks on their faces, this was really just a sparring match for these two, not a serious battle. They danced back and forth, moves flashing almost too fast for the eye to see, faces contorted in concentration, but not hatred. They were truly powerful martial artists, these two.

It suddenly occurred to Kasumi that the two of them were likely working up an appetite. Nodding to herself, she turned around and headed back into the kitchen to finish making breakfast.

It wasn't long before Nabiki came down, moving like something out of an old zombie movie. Kasumi handed her sister a cup of the fresh brewed coffee and prepared a second. After two coffees, Nabiki started to complain about all the noise. A few minutes later, Akane joined them, also seeming a bit irritated, though Kasumi wasn't sure if it was more about being woken up by Ranma's and Genma's sparring match, or the fact that she had not been invited to join.

A few minutes later, Soun arrived, glancing between the fight in the backyard and his youngest daughter indecisively, as if trying to determine if she expected him to begin training with her in the same way this very morning.

Apparently picking up on her father's indecision, Akane favored him with a smile. "Don't worry, Daddy." She said, "We can begin my training tonight."

Smiling at the look of relief on her father's face, Kasumi turned to call Ranma and Genma in for breakfast.

After a few minutes and a little hot water, the two newest members of the household joined the others at the table. As Kasumi finished serving the food, she was reminded of the fact that these two had spent years on the road by their poor table manner. It even seemed like they were dueling with their chopsticks, fighting it out over every morsel.

As they finished, Genma smiled at his son. "Pretty good, boy," he said, "Now I want you to get ready, because you start school today."

Ranma nodded. "I know." He said, "Furinkan High, Right?"

Nabiki nodded. "Same as Akane and me." She said, getting a mildly speculative look in her eye, "I am going in early, so Akane will have to show you the way."

With that, everyone broke and went their separate ways: Nabiki left, Ranma and Akane went to get ready, Soun and Genma went to play Shogi, and that left Kasumi to clean up after breakfast.

As the Eldest Tendo Daughter stacked the dishes to carry them to the kitchen to clean, she thought back on her thoughts that morning when Ranma had first burst through the window. She could not help but giggle at the thought that it could have been someone trying to kill her younger house guest.

After all, there couldn't be anyone out to kill Ranma, right?

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

Far to the East, a small ship cut silently through the water. Standing upon the bow of the ship was a beautiful girl with long, lavender her. She fingered the pair of heavy maces resting next to her and shifted slightly the pair of swords secreted at her side as she stared at the land mass ahead.

In this strange and distant land, she would find the one she sought. As the Island grew larger, she shifted her weight and reminded herself of her mission. "Ranma…" she whispered. "Die."

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

On a seashore somewhere, a small black pig pulled itself ashore against the weight of the heavy pack it dragged with it. As it lay down to rest, it whispered to itself. "Bwee…" it said, "Bwee, Bwee-wee!"

Which translates to: "Ranma… This is your fault!"

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

At an all-boys school in Kyoto, a girl dressed as a boy slaved away over a hot grill, practicing her trade as she had since the day her fiancé had betrayed her. She hid her pain along with her gender behind the sweat and strength of a chef and a skilled warrior.

She flipped the Okonomiyaki and in one graceful motion, flung it high in the air so that it landed with a soft plop on the plate held out by one of her fellow students. As she worked, she muttered a little under her breath. "Ranma." she whispered, "You will pay for all you took from me…"

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

At the gates of Furinkan, a young man of Samurai lineage held his wooden sword ready. Today he would have his vengeance, and would win the heart of the fierce tigress Akane Tendo by defeating the one who had managed to best her. His blood was nobler then some low-born fool, fresh off the streets to fowl the halls of this noble learning institution, and thus his victory was assured.

He held his head high and his blade higher. "Oh, my sweet tigress, Akane Tendo," he intoned to no one unparticular, "Today, the one who would dare try to take you from me shall die by my hands, in the name of the house of Kuno and all of my Righteous Fury!"

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

Akane and Ranma were making their way toward the school, Akane walking along on the ground while Ranma strolled casually along atop the fence that served as the barrier to stop pedestrians from falling in the canal that ran beside the street. They were talking companionably when Ranma suddenly sneezed three times, nearly tumbling off the fence in doing so.

This was followed immediately by another sneeze announcing Haruka's approach along a nearby bridge. Ranma and Akane both goggled at the sight of Haruka walking along wearing the girl's uniform for Furinkan high, and not looking very comfortable. Haruka sniffed hard and shivered. "How do other girls stand wearing this get-up?" she grumbled unhappily, "You can't even run in it without flaring the skirt and getting a draft up some very uncomfortable places."

Akane chuckled at Haruka's discomfort. "Most girls just learn not to run in it." She said. "If it helps, the skirt is actually relatively easy to fight in."

Haruka just winced.

Ranma cocked head. "Why are you even in that get-up, Ruka-chan?" He asked, crouching on the fence to take a closer look at the girl. "It doesn't look right on you at all."

A flying crescent kick sent Ranma tumbling backward into the canal. Akane landed lightly atop the fence and glared down at her would-be fiancée. "Don't you dare be rude to Haruka anymore!" she growled, "She looks great in that outfit, even if she does look better in a boy's uniform."

Haruka looked up at her girlfriend. "Umm… Akane?" she said, eyeing the girl. "As much as I enjoy the view, if anyone else sees it, I am going to get jealous."

Akane blinked for a moment before she realized what Haruka was talking about. A split second later, she "eep"ed and her hands flew to hold her skirt down as she dropped off of the fence, to prevent anyone from seeing up her skirt any more.

A slightly red faced Ranma pulled herself back onto the fence, looking somewhat like a drowned rat. She looked down at herself and sighed. "Oh, great. I can't go to school like this!" she said, gesturing at her feminine curves. "We need to find a place where I can get some hot water."

Both Akane's and Haruka's eyes were drawn to the purple-haired girl's figured and they then both noticed each other looking and blushed. "W-We can stop for some hot water at Dr Tofu's clinic." Akane said, trying to cover up her embarrassment. "It is on the way."

Haruka's head popped up. "You mean Dr. Tofu Ono?" she asked, "He is the representative Meioh Industries selected to advise me about my scholarship."

Akane nodded. "Dr. Tofu is our family doctor." She said, "Meioh Industries invested heavily in his practice a few years ago, though, and he has been serving as their liaison in the area ever since."

A few minutes later, Akane led them into a building with a clinic sign above the door. "You two wait here." She said in the waiting room. "I will go find Dr. Tofu." With that, she disappeared down the hall.

Ranma looked at her old friend. "So, why are you wearing that girls' uniform, Ruka-chan?" she asked, "Weren't you able to get an exception to that rule?"

Haruka sighed. "Yeah I got the exception," She replied, "but I got in a bit of trouble yesterday with this upperclassman named Tatewaki Kuno. He is really skilled at Kendo, according to Akane, and is apparently out for my blood after I beat her in a fight."

Ranma cocked her head. "So?"

Haruka sighed. "So, I talked with Nabiki," she said, "and it seems like the only one who has ever come close to besting Kuno is Akane, and all the guys who have tried ended up seriously injured. I don't think I can survive his challenge, so I am going to back out of it, on the grounds of being female."

Ranma frowned. "That is no reason to quit." She said. "It is rising to the challenges and beating them that make a fighter stronger. You have all it takes to bring down a fighter several levels higher than you if you set yourself to do it. If you are going to be my student, you have to accept that challenge, but not yet."

Haruka cocked her head. "Why not yet?" she asked, "If I am going to take him on, I might as well do it now."

Ranma shot her a wicked grin. "Two reasons." She said, holding up two fingers. "One: You need to be trained a little before you can take on someone better then Akane with any hope of winning, and Two: I want to take this Kuno guy on myself first."

Haruka thought it over for a moment and then nodded. "I suppose that makes sense." She said, "Tell you what; I am going to go change. You wait here for your hot water."

Haruka hurried off into one of the empty exam rooms to change.

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

A startled scream brought Akane running back into the waiting room, kettle in tow. She could not help but giggle when she saw a wide-eyed Ranma hanging from the door, staring at Dr. Tofu, who was smiling at the purple haired girl and gesturing with the arms of a medical training skeleton as though the skeleton was waving.

"I am sorry Miss," the Doctor said, "Betty does love to sneak up on people."

A sudden crash came from one of the nearby exam rooms. Turning as one, Akane, Ranma and Tofu rushed to see what had happened. Akane was first through the door and immediately took in the scene. "Haruka!" she cried, spotting her love kneeling on the floor with her pant legs only partially on and tangled around her legs, obviously having tripped her up as she had attempted to move to find out what Ranma had screamed about.

The cause of concern, though, was not Haruka's state of undress, but a number of bleeding wounds on her left arm from where she had clearly fallen on a tray of sharp medical implements- some of which were still impaled in the blonde's arm.

Dr. Tofu immediately moved to Haruka's side and began attempting to treat the wounds. "Oh, dear, Miss Tenoh," he said, "You seem to have hurt yourself rather badly."

Haruka merely hissed in pain.

He looked up at Ranma and Akane. "This is likely to take some time." He said. "You two should probably get to school."

Akane did not want to leave Haruka, but she did not want to be late for school either.

The choice was taken from her as Ranma knelt beside Haruka. "I've got this, Doc." She said, holding her hands out over the injury. "Hold still, Ruka-chan." A soft light began to emanate from Ranma's hands and wash over the wounds. In moments, the cuts began to close, and those that had implements still in them disgorged them. In under a minute, the wounds were gone completely, leaving not a scar to show that they had ever been.

Akane and Haruka looked on in awe, and Dr Tofu watched in intrigued silence until the healing was finished. Tofu was first to speak. "That is quite a gift, Miss…?"

"Ranma Saotome." The girl replied. "We ain't got time to get into it right now. Gonna be late."

With that Ranma grabbed both of the other girls by their hands and pulled them out the door, snagging the kettle as she went, barely giving Haruka time to pull her clothes the rest of the way on.

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

Nabiki waited patiently for the arrival of her sister and Ranma in her vantage point on the third floor of Furinkan High. She had decided not to leak info on the engagement to the school yet, but when the pigtailed boy arrived alongside her sister, it would not go unnoticed. She had already set up her agents to direct questions to her so that she could answer them… for a nominal fee, of course. Haruka was, however, the main attraction that morning.

Instead of his usual position in the tree behind the hentai horde, Kuno stood at their head, awaiting his duel with the blonde. It seemed that he still had yet to learn the truth about Haruka's gender. He also, by all reports, had been standing there since well before dawn.

The Rest of Akane's usual challengers stood ready to charge at Akane again the moment the lucky upstart was dealt with. Indeed, the bios that Nabiki had drawn up for Haruka were selling rather well, even though she had deliberately glossed over the girl's gender. Even so, the general consensus was that Haruka's win over Akane had been a fluke and Kuno would thrash her. There were those that honestly believed that by defeating Akane, the blonde "boy" had proven "himself" capable of beating Kuno, but their numbers were very low.

Nabiki herself, however, had hedged her bets. She had seen Ranma's spar that morning with his father and determined that not only was the pigtailed boy far out of her sisters league as a fighter, he would likely defeat the "Blazing Comet of Furinkan High". She also believed that Ranma would move to take on Kuno in Haruka's stead, given His "Sensei" status. As such, when she was creating the betting pools for the fight, she built in an option for another fighter to step in and win.

Nabiki grinned when she finally spotted them coming, and realized that Ranma was pulling both Akane and Haruka by the hand. There was no way Kuno was going to let that slide. Nabiki sat back and waited for the fireworks to start.

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

High above, a shape was silhouetted against the sun as it rose over Furinkan. He watched as the three martial artists moved toward the gates with a faint smile on his face. Indeed, if the events of this day occurred in the manner that he had foreseen, then the Senshi of Destruction would soon rise, and the world itself would hang in the balance.

He turned, the staff of time appearing in his hand as a portal opened before him, revealing the polished mask in place over his features, and the stylized symbol of Pluto at its center.

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

Somewhere outside of time, Setsuna Meioh's jaw dropped. She turned to glare at her companion before stepping directly up to him, stopping less than an inch from his face. "Just what the Hell was THAT?" She demanded, attempting to kill him with the sheer force of her gaze.

Skye Silverwing just smirked. "You didn't actually expect me to let YOU interfere directly in this, did you?" he replied. "Given the nature of our bet, you are lucky I am going to let you continue to guard the Gates."

Pluto glowered at him icily. "Are you accusing me of plotting to cheat?" she asked. Of course, she HAD been, but that was beside the point.

Skye smiled back at her. "Oh, I would never do that." He said calmly, "I just figured I would remove the temptation, and at the same time, free you up to watch me win the bet."

If it were at all possible, Pluto's glare would have gotten even icier. "I will watch IF you win, you jerk." She spat. Then she turned and stomped off.

Skye watched her walk away with a wry grin. "Don't worry, my dear," he said in a low voice, "you still have your own role yet to play in this little story."

.o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o. .o0o.

A. N. Thanks for reading. This chapter was a bit tougher to write since the longer Haruka is in play the more she affects the story. Next time, expect a battle with Kuno, a Daimon Attack, and the Awakening of at least one outer Senshi. As always, I love constructive criticism: Tell me what you think, give me ideas and help me make the story better.