AN: #performs a necromatic ritual# "it's ALIVE It's ALIVE!
AN2: bit of time skip.
AN3: for some reason I couldn't help the first part of the chapter, sorry.
AN4: I hope I am balancing some issues characters have, w/o overwhelming bashing.
Chapter 4: The rival arrives!
It had been a month since Ranma, Lenneth, and his father arrived, and things were starting to settle down, or at least stabilize. The situation was tense and everybody was reflecting on the changes to their lives.
Ranma had only one thing stopping him from going insane about the situation in the house. Lenneth, his first true friend. Sure they got on each others nerves at times, after all they cant exactly get away from each other, but that same situation made them close. It didn't hurt that they had developed a mindscape, and taught each other. Their friendship was as solid as a rock... even if Lenneth forced him to pay attention in class.
Lenneth was happy that she got to walk around, and learn some new stuff. After all coming from an entirely different world means she would've been clueless in this one. Ranma, in some ways, reminded her of her first human friend, in others, he irritated the hell out of her. Then again, many humans do, and he at least tried. She 'shuddered' at what being in his father would've been like, and glad she could walk around in the real world.
Kasumi was upset at the situation, although she didn't show it much. Their guests, whom her father was looking forward to coming over a month ago, have brought discord into her home. Their table manners were also deplorable, although male-Ranma was improving rapidly, and female-'Ranma' had always had good manners. Their father on the other hand was the worse of the three, and seemed to be behind many of the compromising situations that Ranma found himself in. She also disliked how her sisters were acting differently from when the 'three' came to the house.
Nabiki had mixed feelings about their guests. On one hand she was very suspicious of 'Lenneth', and wanted to find out exactly what she is. She didn't buy the alternate personality part a bit, they were just too different. There was also the fact that they appear to talk to each other, and have great influence over each other, which while not unknown seems odd. This is especially true when she overheard a comment that Ranma had learned techniques from the second personality. She didn't want to pry, mostly because Ranma had shown no hesitation in hitting her sister, not that she thought he'd hit her.
She had an idea that, after sharing it with both Ranmas, brought in fistfuls of cash, and was completely legal. She would be their manager for a modeling company with a straightforward contract that was virtually impossible to misinterpret, or exploit. She made five thousand yen in two weeks, and three photo shoots, at a twenty percent commission. Her one hurdle to this plan at the time was her reputation, but the ironclad contract, as well as making Lenneth a real identity, made a wobbly but stable and profitable working relationship. The next shoot, a formal wear one, would double her profits due to the reputation of her clients. She was content, and not selling her sister's photos for relative pocket change.
Akane's temper hadn't improved, but hadn't deteriorated either. The lack of morning fights had made things easier to tolerate. She hadn't been happy at first that the 'pervert' had taken residence in her house, and was upset at the thought of what he was doing to that girl's poor body. She was also angry at the ease she was defeated. Her anger at her house guest's interruption of her morning fight had abated though after all, she couldn't expect a martial artist to not fight back when attacked. The sheer damage that the redhead had inflicted on the boys made it unlikely that they would attack again, and she was easily able to claim self defense as the boys had attacked en mass leaving a bunch of angry parents demanding explanations from their children. She had decided that she wanted the group gone, but her father was too spineless to send them away. At least Ranma had been reasonably respectful, unlike his father that had been stealing the occupied sign from the bathroom when one of the four teens was in there.
Soun had a problem. Ranma hasn't been showing the least interest in any of his daughters, and the same was true about his daughters towards him, well not romantic interest. Normally he wouldn't care as long as the pact was fulfilled, but the anger, simmering resentment, and/or distrust between the girls and the sole part time male, had him reconsidering. His dear friend was making things worse. Removing occupied signs when someone was in the bath, pushing Ranma on one of the three discreetly, and other problems. Sighing he took a long look at the life he was living since his wife died... and a faint guttering spark was born. It would take time to see if it would ignite. He dragged himself out of bed and took the possible first step to turn the spark into a roaring inferno, and was soon in the dojo working his way up through the Tendo style.
Genma also had a problem. His son wasn't getting close to any of the girls, although since he started to work on his hand to hand instead of relying on the tricks he somehow learned his skill was skyrocketing. It was almost as if he was sparring with and/or teaching another. He still mixed in his techniques, but they were complimenting the hand to hand. Shaking his head he want back to the main problem, the relationships between the girls and his son. The middle Tendo was the closest to his son, but she was more using him to make money, and a solid chunk of it, then marring him. His tricks to show the three what they could get, as well as show his son what he could get, backfired horribly. Fortuitously for the pact they focused on him instead of his son. He then saw something that got his mood up, something he had been expecting to see since the first night he was here. His friend practicing, and went out to join him... he didn't want to get lightninged for throwing his son out the window... again... for the thirtieth time in a month.
The three school aged children left the tension in the house, and headed towards the school, only to find a teenaged boy wearing a yellow shirt, spotted bandanna, black pants, and kung-fu slippers shouting. As they approached the school his shouts became clearer.
"Where is Ranma Saotome? Where is that coward?" The young man yelled.
Ranma, for once still male even after passing by the old woman whom always seemed to be washing the sidewalk with a bucket and ladle, wondered what that was about. A mental 'kick' later from his mental tenant, jolted his memory, he recognized the bandanna
"Ryoga," the male muttered, while wondering about the coward comment. He then walked to meet his old rival. Then louder he said, "Ryoga, what do you mean calling me a coward?"
the boy span around, and snarled, "You ran from our dual!"
Ranma's eyes twitched, he had, during his time with the amazons, learned some dueling etiquette. "You mean the dual you forfeited due to not arriving anywhere near the proper time? The one where you arrived over three days late? That dual? I read up on some of the rules, and the most lenient gives a participant one hour to get to the location. So you are the coward."
The other teen, upon hearing the argument started getting madder, and this was helped along as everyone agreed with the gender-bending teen. "Stop making excuses you coward! I arrived four days after the appointed time and you weren't there! Thanks to your cowardice I've seen HELL. NOW DIE!" He then threw his umbrella at the other boy, whom dodged and growled angrily when it grazed a students shoulder, breaking it instantly
"Watch you damn aim! You hit somebody!" Ranma shouted, as he dashed towards the other teen. He was trying to follow his father's, for once, good advice to not overly rely on his new tricks. Although if Ryoga hits another bystander, he was going to be torpedoed and lightninged into unconsciousness
"It was your fault for dodging!" the near berserker snarled and grabbed his headband and threw a handful that flew through the air like shurikens, fortuitously non sharp ones. Ranma dodged again, and multiple students were hit, some knocked unconscious and others had broken bones. This caused the crowd to scatter, and with the openings presented, Ranma counter attacked.
'LIGHTNING, TORPEDO, LIGHTNING, TORPEDO, TORPEDO, AND TORPEDO!" Ranma shouted as he jumped into the air and started raining techniques on the other boy, whom not expecting such things, and being far less agile, took them all, and was pounded into the dirt by the onslaught. The pigtailed boy landed slightly out of breath. He then looked at the carnage, and turning to the two girls behind him said, "Akane, please tell the teachers I'm going to help get this guy's victims into the nurses office for treatment. With that he gathered the first of the injured, Akane's friend Yuka, and walked towards the nurse's office carrying the whimpering girl in a bridle carry.
Akane looked at her sister, whom nodded and headed towards the school to tell the appropriate staff, and Akane picked up her other friend Sayuri and followed Ranma.
It took the two half an hour to move all the affected students, with Ranma knocking out the other boy again when it looked like he was going to wake up. The police, whom generally don't get involved in martial arts disputes, the feeling being that as long as nobody dies, and they keep it between themselves, then it was too dangerous to get involved. This case though, where one deliberately used techniques that if dodged would hit noncombatants, means they couldn't stay on the sidelines, arrived five minutes after that.
They asked Ranma to come with them, and to help move both the other boy's pack and umbrella, so that he could give statements. By the time the questioning was over, as well as a complimentary, if small, lunch the school day was nearly over. The questioning had involved all the interactions Ranma had had with the other boy, the fight, and suggestions how to keep the freakishly strong teen under control. The amount of preferred headache medications taken by the officers was astounding. Ranma decided to skip the remaining time so he could go home to nap.
As he approached the dojo, he heard something he hadn't heard in a while.
chapter 4 end.