A/N: Hi, here I bring you the second chapter of this fic. I truly apologize for not updating my other stories. Hopefully I'll be working on them soon. I beg of you, be patient.

This fic might be mostly fluff and might not have a too serious plot, even it may be boarding in crack. But nonetheless I hope you like it.

Thanks to my wonderful beta and friend Leebot for betaing this fic. – hugs –

This story is set in the Hime universe.

Please drop a review! I might not answer as I used to do time ago you but I do read them and appreciate your words in them. So, please! Leave a review with your thoughts or opinion.

Now, on to the fic!

Disclaimer: Sunrise owns Mai Hime. And any other stuff I may use from now on is property of their respective authors.


Henna Ranger Natsuki - chapter 2

A lone figure dressed in a silver and blue outfit was standing speechless in front of a bunch of monsters that were staring at her, as if they were waiting for her to take a step before they charged and attack her. Oh, but the girl wouldn't give them the chance if she attacked first. She was about to do that when suddenly she noticed that something was missing. Oh yes: she didn't have any weapons. Great. Well, maybe she'd just have to use her fists to finish them all off. The girl was about to take a step towards the monsters when a voice coming from her phone stopped her; it was Inari's voice.

- "Summon your weapons. There's no need for you to fight bare-handed."

- "Well, if I knew how to do that I wouldn't be in this predicament, would I?" – asked Natsuki sarcastically.

- "You are very impulsive, young girl. You just need to concentrate, and the words will come to you naturally. You have a great power, so you needn't worry. You will be provided with anything you need – the device will give it to you." – said the voice with a bit of a sigh.

- "If you are not aware of it, let me explain to you the situation we are in right now. We are surrounded. Can you guess by whom? By a bunch of weird fiends, no less. Also, I still don't have any weapons. Ah! And I almost forgot the panicked people running around."

- "Just relax, young girl. Concentrate."

Natsuki let out a frustrated sigh and did as she was told. She closed her eyes and let the power flow in her. She let the words form in her head. Once she had them clear in her mind she voiced them out.

- "Zantetsuken, I choose you!" – yelled Natsuki as she outstretched her arm.

A light appeared in her palm and an impressive sword formed out of thin air. Natsuki took the weapon with her hand and brought it closer to analyze it. It was a marvelous weapon indeed. Then Natsuki's choice of words clicked in her mind.

- "What the hell did I just say?"

- "I myself must admit that it was a strange choice of words, but as long as it works, you may speak what you want." – said Inari.

- "I never thought it would work. I just said the first thing that came to my mind…"

- "Well young girl, now you have a weapon. It is time to fight the villains."

Natsuki looked in front of her and saw that the minions had started to tremble in fear once she'd made the sword appear. Natsuki felt more confident now, so she smiled under her helmet and dashed towards the strange creatures. And now that Natsuki looked at them better, she could see that most of them seemed to be wearing purple suits, while some others were wearing green suits and a few yellow suits. Those suits looked rather like dinosaurs, in Natsuki's opinion. Putting those thoughts aside, she charged towards them just as the creatures charged at her.

x-x-x-x Meanwhile, inside the mall x-x-x-x-x

After a tiring and long search, Mai had already found Mikoto in the place where the Sentai show was going to take place. The girl had been talking with Midori excitedly about the show for a while now so she was worried that it had already had some kind of bad influence on her still child-like mind. Many kids were there with their parents to attend the show that should be starting soon. But before it began, a loud explosion was heard outside, startling all the people present.

Midori, Mikoto, and Mai were the first ones to go and try to find out the reason. Near them was a large window that allowed them to see the street, so they ran to it. They were a few levels up from the street, yet they still had a good view of what was going on outside. What they saw was unbelievable, at least to one of them. The other two were delighted. They could see a Sentai Ranger wearing a blue and silver uniform; her helmet had what seemed to be a fox with nine tails embedded on it, and she was wielding an astonishing sword. The warrior was fighting against a few monsters and was doing it all by herself – not that she needed much help, since she was more than capable of stopping their attacks easily.

A few people gathered around the window and wondered if this was also a part of the show, like a preview. The kids were getting excited and the parents were smiling from seeing their children enjoying the show. However what they heard next made them realize that this was not part of the show. They heard an announcement being made on the speakers apologizing for the delay with the show's schedule since they were having an emergency outside the mall, and they asked the attendants to stay inside as it was safer. Midori and Mikoto looked at each other, their eyes unable to hide their enthusiasm after hearing the warning message: it just confirmed their thoughts. They were watching a real Sentai fight! Turning their eyes to the warrior on the street, they began to cheer her on, even if she wasn't able to hear them.

x-x-x-x-x-x Back at the street x-x-x-x-x-x

Natsuki continued slicing and defeating minion after minion while doing some martial arts movements she didn't even remember learning – or more like, ones that she didn't even know she was able to do. She also couldn't hold in a sigh once she saw how after slicing them with her weapon they dropped to the floor and started to move as if they were convulsing, only to then disappear in a black mist. It was so cliché that she found it almost disturbing. But what she found most disturbing was that it didn't matter how many she had sliced already; the numbers were not going down. She needed to deploy a powerful technique in order to finish them off quickly, but how?

Not a second after, her phone began to shine and what looked like a metallic card with some strange symbols came out from it. Natsuki took the card and saw that it also had a picture of what looked like a white dragon with blue eyes. She stared at the card and thought.

- "Did I really summon this?"

- "Remember, young girl, you summon what you believe will help you." – said Inari, his voice coming out from the phone.

- "So basically what comes out is what I focus on at that moment, right?"

- "Put simply, yes."

- "Good heavens! Why do I have to think about all this stuff at moments like this?" – thought Natsuki, staring at the card – "I will seriously consider getting away from it after this madness is over…"

Natsuki held the card with her fingers and, raising it in the air, she yelled.

- "Ability activated!"

Then she brought down the card and inserted it in a slot near the hilt of her sword. Not a second later, the sword started to shine and a colossal dragon matching the one pictured on the card appeared. Its roar made the windows' glass shake, along with the minions, who were totally frightened by the beast. Natsuki grinned behind her helmet and simply yelled her orders to the creature while stretching out her arm.

- "Now, Blue-eyed white dragon! Destroy those insects!"

Upon receiving the order, the dragon roared once more and flew in the direction of the fiends, opening his jaws to shoot them down with a powerful beam. The white dragon flew over them, finishing them in the blink of an eye with just one blast. Natsuki observed the scene fascinated; she never thought it would work so well, or even that it would work at all.

And Natsuki was not the only one: Midori and Mikoto were more than awestruck; they were worshiping the hero fighting down there. So much so that they proclaimed themselves the founders of the fanclub for this new hero; Midori being fan number one and president while Mikoto was fan number two and vice-president. They even noticed how the hero was still working alone and for a moment pondered if she might need a wingman, or a sidekick. They would try to talk to the hero later and ask her about it.

Natsuki noticed how the enemies had disappeared after the blue-eyed dragon attacked. Well, a better description would be that they were turned into ashes and smithereens after such a powerful assault. The dragon was still there but when Natsuki nodded at him, he just roared and vanished in a soft sparkling light. Natsuki scanned the surroundings just to make sure that every possible hazard was annihilated. That was when her eyes opened in shock; she spotted at least 5 of them walking not far from the mall, but what worried her most was the person they were approaching in a threatening way. It was Shizuru! Apparently the beautiful brunette had kept away from the battle zone, taking shelter near the shop where she was supposed to meet Natsuki, and it appeared that Shizuru had stayed there still waiting for Natsuki to show up, regardless of all the commotion caused by these strange creatures.

Natsuki knew better than anyone that Shizuru was a powerful combatant; she had demonstrated so during the carnival fiasco. She also knew that Shizuru had some knowledge of self-defense tactics and that most likely she would be able to beat the sorry asses of those fiends and send them to the end of the galaxy while calmly sipping a cup of tea if she wanted to. But still, the urge she felt to protect Shizuru from any danger, to keep Shizuru away from any uncomfortable situation everyday in order to see her real smile and shatter once and for all that mask she built-up to hide her true emotions was too strong for Natsuki to resist. For a moment she wondered if wearing this masked raider outfit was now controlling her mind and causing her to have all these emotions, but then she realized that couldn't be the outfit's influence. Those were her true feelings for the brunette that were being simply amplified at seeing her in that hazardous situation, even though deep inside she considered that perhaps the ranger outfit still might have had just a little to do with the sentimental outburst.

Not thinking about it any longer, Natsuki ran in Shizuru's direction and holding the sword tightly she swung it at the monsters as she screamed.

- "REPPUZAN!"

A shaft of light came from the sword, hitting the minions right on their chests, eliminating them in an instant. When Natsuki arrived at Shizuru's side, the first thing she did was to make sure that the other girl was fine. Shizuru was kneeling so Natsuki stretched out her hand and offered it to the brunette to help her stand up.

- "Are you okay?"

Shizuru raised her head in the direction of the voice; it was deep and husky, but it had an electronic tone to it so she couldn't tell if this was the heroine's real voice.

- "It's probably because of the helmet." – thought Shizuru.

The brunette took the heroine's hand and stood up. Shizuru observed the outfit of the person in front of her and came to the conclusion that she was just an actor and that what had just occurred had been a technical issue with the sentai show that was scheduled inside the mall that had gotten of hand.

- "I'm fine, thanks for asking." – replied Shizuru to the ranger.

- "Good. I was worried that you may have suffered some type of injury, as small as it might be." – answered the ranger sincerely while nodding her head and making the typical movements of a sentai hero.

- "Ara, you sure take your role very seriously, don't you? I'm happy to know there are still people like that out there."

- "What?" – asked Natsuki totally confused, not really understanding what her friend had just said.

- "Thanks for your aid; I hope that you have success with your show." – said Shizuru, offering a polite smile to the masked ranger.

- "Are you not going to take shelter somewhere? This place is dangerous!" – exclaimed Natsuki.

- "I'm waiting for someone, and besides, I don't think it's dangerous any more since Ranger-san has taken care of all of them." – Shizuru pointed out while looking around.

Natsuki also looked around and indeed, she noticed that no minion was left; she had finished them all off. The place was silent and some parts of the street and side-walk were a bit damaged – most likely the fault of the white blue-eyed dragon. After all, Natsuki knew that the beast was powerful; it wasn't for nothing that it had an attack score of 3000, but that was another story.

The people that had taken shelter nearby were coming out and, upon noticing the Sentai Ranger, they began to cheer her on. Natsuki really didn't want this kind of attention directed at her; she had done it because she didn't have much of a choice. It was like this power was manipulating her in a way that she didn't like at all; it made her do embarrassing movements and poses. So before anyone could come closer, she just bid Shizuru farewell and ran away, disappearing down an alley nearby, and then jumped to the top of a small building. This action from the ranger caused Shizuru to let out a giggle. Who would have thought that an action hero would be this shy? After that, Shizuru stood in that place, waiting for her beloved Natsuki to arrive.

Once Natsuki was on the rooftop, she rested her back against the wall and slumped down to the floor. She was a bit tired, her mind still was in a state of disbelief, and what was worst of all: she was still wearing those damned clothes! She wanted to be back in her normal clothes, but she didn't know how to do that. She thought for a moment: Inari had told her before to use a word to change into this outfit, so obviously there should be one to make it go away. Without thinking about it twice, she called out the name of the one who dragged her into this mess.

- "Inari!"

The phone flew from Natsuki's waist, where she'd attached it, and it then lay down on the ground in front of its owner.

- "Yes?" – said Inari, appearing before Natsuki in his holographic form.

- "I want to change back. Can you tell me how to do that?"

- "Of course, you just need to say: Make up!"

- "WHAT? You can't be serious."

- "It's the only way to turn back to your normal clothes… or…" – said Inari.

- "This can't be happening…" – thought Natsuki while grabbing her head with her hands completely ignoring what Inari was saying – "Could it be anything more embarrassing? But I don't want to stay in this outfit any longer. I guess there's no other option…"

Natsuki stood up, let go of her head then turned her head to one side, then to the other as if searching for anyone that might see her or even worse, hear her! Taking a deep breath, she said in a low voice as a blush covered her cheeks, not that it could be seen.

- "Ma…...make up!"

In a flash, a blue and silver light covered her body and when it was gone Natsuki observed that she was wearing her normal clothes again. She let out a satisfied sigh; this was much better.

- "I definitely can't stand saying those words! It's so awkward…" – mumbled Natsuki, yet Inari heard her.

- "Well, it seems that you didn't hear me earlier." – said Inari.

- "Uh?"

- "I was saying that it's up to you if you want to say them or not to change back. You can simply concentrate and your armor will vanish so you will be back in your normal outfit."

- "And why the hell didn't you say that sooner!" – asked Natsuki in an angry tone.

- "As I said, you were not listening to me." – replied Inari nonchalantly.

Natsuki let out a frustrated shout and stared angrily at the holographic form of Inari. She needed answers, and she needed them now. Natsuki walked to the phone and took it with one hand. She was still very doubtful that this was real and that her phone had been provided with some sort of ultimate power. She stared at her phone for some seconds before she stared at the fox-like figure coming from it.

- "What is it, young lady?"

- "I'll do this under some conditions." – said Natsuki with determination.

- "Alright. Please proceed and let me know what conditions you might have."

- "First of all, stop calling me young lady. I have a name and it is Kuga, Kuga Natsuki. But if you ever call me by my last name I'll find a way to kick your butt."

- "Okay Natsuki-san. Please continue." – replied Inari, not intimidated by such a 'warning'.

- "Secondly, I will only do this Sentai thing until the current threat is destroyed. I know better than anyone that evil can't be completely annihilated, so don't expect me to fight with it forever. Also I will do it just to protect the one who is most important to me, but if something happens to her, I swear that I will hunt you down to make you pay using this very same power you have given me. And last but not least, since I didn't have much of a say in this…" – Natsuki paused for a moment, which made Inari a bit nervous for the first time – "I get to choose my hero name, got it?"

- "Your conditions are very reasonable, Natsuki-san, so I agree with them. I promise you that once the current menace is defeated, I'll have you transfer the power to a new vessel."

- "Good. Now that I've given you my conditions, I want some answers."

- "Alright, I'll gladly give them to you if I have them."

- "Okay then, can you tell me what is this power?"

- "Well, it's complicated to explain."

- "Then try…" – insisted Natsuki.

- "This is a power that has been lurking in the universe since times immemorial. We call it 'Stand,' and it is a supernatural power given to certain living creatures to fight against evil. It manifests differently in each vessel. Once a vessel dies or wants to give up the power we have to search for a new vessel. It has been passed on for generations now."

- "Is there a limit to this power?"

- "We have been unable to measure that so far."

- "Alright. What are the abilities of the enemy?"

- "Every evil has it weaknesses and strengths. But I do know that this one has some kind of weakness to sweets and fluffy things."

Natsuki couldn't believe what she had just heard. An enemy that was weak to sweets? Maybe she could just defeat it by wearing a bear suit while wielding a giant-pocky and throwing cup-cakes then, instead of using this 'ancient' power. As if reading her mind, Inari said.

- "Don't be fooled by it, Natsuki-san. You have to keep your guard up always."

- "Okay, I understand."

- "Is there anything else that you would like to know?" – asked Inari.

- "Right now not really…" – Natsuki paused and then continued – "Well, there's one more thing…"

- "Yes?"

- "I will tell someone about this, whether you approve of it or not. I don't want to hide anything from her, not even this outrageous and silly situation. I made a promise and I don't intend on breaking that ever."

- "Very well, if you have made up your mind and consider it is a wise decision, I won't interfere."

- "Good, then I think it's settled. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go. I still have to see someone important."

With that, Natsuki lifted her phone from the floor and put it inside her pocket. She then went downstairs to the street and in the direction of where she was meeting with Shizuru.

Near the mall, everything was going back to normal after the atypical fight that had taken place just a few minutes ago. Natsuki could see that Shizuru was still standing in the very same place she had left her when she had to flee upon seeing fantards running her way. As she came closer, Shizuru turned in her direction and offered a gentle smile. Natsuki smiled back and greeted her, moving closer.

- "I'm sorry for being late Shizuru. Did you wait very long?"

- "Ara, Natsuki arrived in time, so there's no need to apologize. But if Natsuki had come earlier she would have seen something that she might have enjoyed."

- "Something I might have enjoyed?" – asked Natsuki, a bit puzzled.

- "Yes, it was part of the Sentai performance that will be shown in the mall. Most likely they wanted to attract more people since they did quite an exhibition right here."

Natsuki's jaw almost hit the floor. Shizuru had thought that all the fighting had been fake? That the gigantic blue-eyed white dragon was just a result of flashy effects and well done props?

- "But Shizuru…"

Natsuki tried to explain to Shizuru that it was real, that her life had been in potential danger due to her misjudgment. Unfortunately, Shizuru misunderstood her attempt of explaining the real situation and took it as if she was about to complain about her previous comment.

- "Ara, don't get mad Natsuki. I know you don't like Sentai shows but in this special performance they used elements of other things you like. Like those battle cards you like to collect and duel with." – replied Shizuru with a soft giggle.

- "I-I don't like those! You must be confused Shizuru!" – said Natsuki, embarrassed at this.

It was enough that Shizuru already teased her with her nerdiness when it came to videogames; the last thing she wanted was teasing more teasing over trading card games – which she was pretty good at, truth be told.

Natsuki was about to try and talk to Shizuru about that situation when, out of the blue, three people came up to them. To say that they were hyper would have been an understatement. Mai was suffering a deep migraine right now and didn't make too much of an effort to control the self-proclaimed 'forever teen' Midori and the food-devourer Mikoto. They had left the showbiz place right after the secret ranger had defeated the monster and saved Shizuru. They had left in a rush in order to catch her before she disappeared, but unluckily for them, they were stopped by some of the security staff inside the mall. And it was a few minutes before they had allowed anyone to go out, so when the girls finally made it outside, the ranger was gone, much to their disappointment.

They were talking, squealing and idolizing that mysterious heroine that came out of nowhere while interrogating Shizuru as well, since they had noticed that Shizuru had been near the battlefield and closer to the heroine. Shizuru just tried to answer the best she could, since she didn't really get what Midori and Mikoto were so excited about.

Natsuki couldn't take it anymore, so she simply took Shizuru's hand and dragged her away from those two freaks.

- "Why did Natsuki do that?"

- "They were being nosy and noisy. Besides, they're interrupting our time together." – replied Natsuki with a blush.

Shizuru giggled and smiled at Natsuki's answer. She didn't mind a bit that Natsuki acted so possessive and sometimes grumpy when someone interrupted them when alone, especially on a date, or 'time together' as Natsuki usually called it.

Not wanting to anger Natsuki any further, Shizuru allowed the raven-haired girl to drag her to anywhere she wanted. In no time Natsuki's anger had subsided and they were really enjoying each other's company. They went to the movies, to the arcade-center, to the book-store, and to the tea shop. Sadly, it was eventually time to return home.

During the time they were at the mall, Natsuki could hear at least one person talking about the events that had taken place that day. It worried her, since she hadn't expected many witnesses and much less, that she would become famous overnight, she expected to do this job as stealthily as possible. That was why she decided that the moment they arrived at the apartment, she would tell Shizuru the truth.

There was just one thing that troubled her… how would Shizuru react upon hearing such news?

TBC…


Here's another chapter! I didn't take that long to be completed since I had the ideas fresh in my mind. Hope you enjoyed it. Also as you could see, I used many references from several shows be it anime or not.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the fox with nine tails is not taken from Naruto but from japanese mythology itself. Also the name Inari is one of Shinto's deities. I'll post a more detailed description about this in the next chapter. But I just wanted to clear this point since probably many may think that I was inspired by Naruto, when I wasn't.

Please leave a review and share your thoughts and opinion.

See you around.

Shezaei neko