A traditional styled living room. Nerima-ward, Tokyo, Japan.
A father stood, tall and proud, arms folded as he faced out doorway leading into the spacious grounds, overlooking the training hall in his family's martial arts style and koi pond from the open door of said living room.
His three daughters, seated demurely and expectantly, hanging on his every word describing an event that could change their lives.
"I don't know."
Stunned looks from the girls, the youngest already angry. "You don't know who you've engaged us to??"
"I've never met him." The follow up statement only made it worse. Even the middle daughter, formerly the most enthusiastic about the arrangement was now looking at the father in disbelief. The youngest looked away in disgust.
I don't believe this.
There was a long, pregnant pause, the three girls staring at their father as though attempting to spontaneously develop telepathic abilities and force Soun Tendo to see reason. Or, in the case of the youngest, wishing very hard for him to drop dead seemed much more likely.
A fish jumped from the koi pond as the doorbell rang.
We've heard it, or variations on it, a million times before.
Think you know how it goes?
The sound of the bell stirred the Tendo family to action. Kasumi, the eldest, rose gracefully on cue.
"We have guests." She observed, wryly. Her father leapt ahead of her, all excitement and energy, like a child on Christmas, a liveliness to the middle aged man his daughters had not seen in many years.
"Genma! My friend! It's been so long!" he said, delightedly, rushing to the door.
"Ooh! That must be Ranma." Nabiki, despited being elegantly dressed in a formal kimono, rose to her feet in a flash and hurried after her father. Kasumi was considerably less energetic, but more dignified than her father and sister, and Akane, the youngest, was flat out reluctant, they walked behind the others to the door.
"I do hope he's older. Younger men are so...young." Kasumi commented about their intended fiance to Akane privately. Whatever Akane might have said in return died stillborn on her lips as an unusual exclamation from outside brought all of the Tendos up short, freezing them in their tracks.
The declaration was authoritative and baritone, and immediately coupled with a flash of light visible even from behind the door, and a crash.
"Stupid old fool, I told you to quit trying t' steal Bardiche..." Another voice, soft and feminine, entirely at odds with the rough, masculine speech it was using, carried through the sudden silence. "Well, it looks like he's out cold, I bet we could run off before they get to the door..."
A silence followed. Although the eavesdropping family heard nothing, the next response went on as though someone had replied to the unseen girl, and they were listening in on half of a telephone conversation.
"Do I hafta?"
"Fine, fine! I get it already! We have to apologize in person." She sounded reluctant. "Are you sure, though? What if we run out of time to..."
"Right, I gotcha. At least we can get some hot water here, maybe?"
The Tendos exchanged puzzled looks, the curiosity of what was happening just past their door overriding the rather thick and unpleasant tension of the abruptly announced engagement. Finally, when the eldest girl decided there would be no more to overhear, she opened the door cautiously, and the sight that greeted the eyes of the collective Tendo family was...'odd', to say the least.
A young girl, round about fifteen years of age, with long, LONG blonde hair, and sad, red-brown eyes dressed in a red Chinese top, black pants and slippers looked up at them. In the background, an unconscious, smoking panda lay prone on the ground. The blonde girl smiled nervously and waved at the collective family. "Hey. I'm Ranma Saotome. Sorry 'bout this...but can we talk?"
Akane was the first to recover, stepping forward, wide eyed. "You're a girl?"She asked the blonde.
Ranma winced. "Look, about that..."
Nabiki rolled her eyes. "Geez, Akane. What gave it away? Her chest?" Ranma's eyes tripled in size as Nabiki stepped forward and gently cupped the soft swelling pushing out at the front of the crimson kung-fu tunic. Nabiki's eyebrows rose sharply, and she brushed a lock of hair back over her ear as she leaned down a little and turned her full attention to fondling the newcomer's breasts through her top. "Damn. They're as soft as marshmallows, and perky-"
Ranma flailed a little, her cheeks burning and her eyes beginning to cross as a sudden wash of sensation began heating her up from inside. "H-Hey~! C'ja stop that??" She demanded, somewhat less convincingly than one might expect. This was entirely too much for Soun, who, upon discovering the long awaited Ranma was actually female, and being treated to watching his middle daughter molest said female, fainted dead away.
Bean Bandit Presents:
A Bean Bandit Fan fiction:
Fate, Stay Ranma
The entire situation with this 'Tendo' guy his pops had trained with could not be described in any remotely accurate way without involving the word 'cluster', Ranma thought. It had gotten off to a bad start, with the middle girl fondling his boobs (Bad might have been the wrong word for that, but it was definitely embarrassing.) and only gotten worse as he had tried to explain the curse.
He couldn't tell what Nabiki was thinking now, and the youngest, almost friendly at first, had turned icy toward him as he'd poured the hot water over his head and returned to male form. With that demonstrated, they'd done the same to the panda, and on becoming human again, the old man had woken up and tried to to get involved. Then the girl's dad had woken up, too, and they had made an official, joint announcement about the engagement. Everyone had immediately protested, and it had devolved into a loud shouting match that he had finally decided to deal with the only way he knew how, by tuning his father out. The only good thing about the situation was that he was finally male again.
Oh dear, they're celebrating the engagement again, Fate sighed. Ranma glanced at her. The blonde doppleganger for his cursed form that only he could see gestured quickly to remind him not to look at her too obviously. Ranma-kun, be more careful. They've already started looking at you strangely, and you want to get them on your side. I think their father might be a lost cause, though.
Ranma nodded rueful agreement, managing to avoid talking back to his companion, though he desperately wanted to. Things had gotten awfully complicated lately, but he was extremely grateful to have a friend to talk to, even if no one else could see her. Unfortunately, nodding at what was thin air to other people was the wrong thing to do if one wasn't paying attention to an ongoing discussion about your future martial status.
"See? He agrees to the engagement!" Soun exclaimed joyfully, and the youngest girl, Akane, shot him a poisonous look.
Ranma twitched violently, turning his attention back to the argument in progress. "Wait, what?? Hold on a second, I didn't agree to nothing!" Ranma insisted desperately, a suddenly adrenaline rush hitting him as he started paying more attention several minutes too late.
"Pervert." Akane accused.
"You just nodded when Daddy asked you to pick which one of us you wanted, Saotome." Nabiki chimed in. Her eyes were hooded, but you didn't have to be perceptive to pick up the malice in her look. Genma, off to Soun's side, nodded sagely.
"Who'd wanna-" Ranma began angrily, but abruptly, Fate moved into his field of vision and waved her hands sharply.
Ranma-kun, STOP. This isn't a fight! You can't get yourself heard by overpowering them, and getting angry isn't going to help.
"'Who'd wanna' what, Saotome?" Nabiki asked, coughing a little to try and get his attention as everyone was staring at him after pausing.
Apologize. Fate suggested. They don't cost you anything, and it might soften them up a little. Then explain yourself, calmly and reasonably.
Ranma grimaced and flushed, taking a deep breath and rubbing the back of his head nervously-he hated dealing with people by talking even more now that Fate had explained some social things to him. "Sorry. I was gettin' frustrated, and takin' it out on you. No offense and all, but I don't want to get married."
That set off pandemonium again as Soun and Genma both spoke at once.
"You MUST!" "Boy, it is a matter of family honor-!"
"Shut UP!" Ranma exclaimed vehemently, glaring daggers at the two men. "I'm only freaking sixteen! I got training to do! I life to live! And, in case you hadn't noticed, training in China cost me my freaking manhood! Are ya telling me this couldn't have waited until my life was straightened out?"
"He has a point, Daddy." Nabiki chipped in, giving Ranma a grudging nod. "We have lives to live, too. And that contract says that you only need to join the families. That could theoretically wait until our children are born, and we could arrange for them to marry."
Akane was still glaring at Ranma, but she couldn't help joining in. "Yeah! We don't even know him, and you want us engaged to this pervert on the first day?"
"I'm NOT A PERV-" Ranma began to insist hotly, but Fate patted him lightly. Pick your battles, Ranma-kun. Getting distracted could cost you the bigger argument. Ranma sighed and relented, giving up on arguing with Akane. "Fine. Yeah. She's right." He grumbled.
Kasumi nodded. "I must agree, father...this is all such a rush...is there something that you're hiding?" That managed to rattle the older men's cages, and Soun in particular looked rather flustered.
"N-Not at all! How could you think such a thing about your dear father! I only want what's best-"He gibbered, his eyes welling up. Genma placed a firm hand on the mustachioed man's shoulder.
"Girls, You have to trust we know what's best for you, and-"
"No, we really don't." Nabiki frowned. "But I propose a compromise. If you push this, we'll fight you every inch of the way. If you lighten up a bit, we promise to give getting to know him a fair shot."
"Wait, what?" Ranma interrupted, surprised and unhappy at this turn of events. "We need to get them to call this off, not put up with it!"
"They can make more trouble than will be fun to deal with, unless you want to apply for emancipation from your guardian." Nabiki pointed out, giving Ranma a severe look. "And my legal help doesn't come cheap."
Ranma gave Fate a helpless look, and Fate smiled sadly, shrugging her shoulders. She's right. Until you're eighteen, he can make things unpleasant. If you stand with the girls, you can watch out for each other.
"But what about you?" Ranma asked, concern coloring his voice.
"Who are you talking to, Saotome?" Nabiki inquired sharply, and Ranma realized he'd done it again. His father and the Tendos were staring at him as though he'd grown a third head.
"Um...Um..." Ranma stammered, flustered and scrambling around for something, anything to excuse his odd behavior.
Say 'you' Fate prompted.
"You." Ranma echoed quickly, relieved to have someone thinking quickly with him.
"What about me?" Nabiki challenged.
"You must have boyfriends or something that this will upset." Fate offered, and Ranma relayed her suggestion gratefully. The brunette looked briefly taken aback.
"Not so much." Nabiki admitted casually after a moment of surprised silence. "But it was nice of you to think of that, since Daddy clearly didn't." She added, her expression softening enough to give him a polite smile, and her father a venomous look, which he cringed back from. Hastily, Genma and Soun Huddled together, conferring back and forth rapidly. Finally, they broke, and presented a united front.
"Nabiki, we've decided your proposal is acceptable...provided at all of you make at least one effort at a proper date." Soun declared grandly. Ranma didn't much care for that, or the suspicious expression on his father's face, but with a warning look from Fate, he kept his mouth shut.
"Wait a minute-" Akane began angrily, but Nabiki shushed her with a wave.
"Quiet, Akane!" She snapped, then smiled brightly at her father. "Deal. Draw up the papers, Daddy, and we'll sign."
Even Fate boggled a little a that.
Later on, Ranma sat out on the porch alone, looking over at Fate, and running his thumb thoughtfully over the yellow medallion he'd discovered in China at the bottom of that spring-had it really only been a few months since then?
"I still don't like it. We need to get moving-you said yourself we don't know how long Bardiche can keep you like this..." He muttered.
Fate smiled softly. "I'm happy you're worried about me, Ranma-kun, but it's all right. We need to have somewhere to stay while we look for help, and this is less expensive than an inn, and safer than being on the road. Besides, you need some more friends. You've been alone for too long."
Ranma shrugged awkwardly. "Still doesn't mean I don't want to help. And if they can cure me and save you, then it's even more important to find them. What'd you say this friend of yours that could help was named?"
Fate blushed softly, looking out into the night sky, memories of a simpler, happier time before her 'death' flashing before her eyes. "Nanoha. Takamichi Nanoha."