Disclaimer: Story based on Ranma ½

Chapter 1: Tendos

"That must be Ranma." Soun kept his tone down to the level of merely cheerful, rather than display the same exuberance as chibi-Soun currently dancing an Irish jig inside his head.

"I'll let them in," said Kasumi. Worry crept at her but she was ready for a little excitement. The rest of the family gathered in quickly behind her, Akane doing her best to maintain a discontented frown and Nabiki her stoic disposition.

Soun gathered his breath, "Welcome Ra-!" Soun felt like the well-oiled (sake) machinery of his brain had been thrown a touch off track. The visitor standing in front of him was quite obviously a girl. He briefly glanced at the unconscious panda lying outside the front gate in the rain before returning to study the young redhead. Fiery red hair cascaded down to her shoulders, framing a face caught halfway between cute and elfin. A marvelously detailed cape covered up her torso, just a hint of feminine curve beneath its oddly smooth length. Stretching down to her knees on either side it formed an inverted V in the front, and was fashioned much like a butterfly's wing in shadow. The Tendo Dojo did not receive many visits these days, and Soun doubted she was a simple vagrant, not with a cape that could easily cost 20,000 yen if he was any judge. Even so, the backpack she carried in her hands – straining slightly from the weight – looked like it had seen better days. Added to this, what little of her dress that showed beneath the cape seemed torn and of poor material.

"Hi," she said, twisting her bare foot against the ground as her head turned downwards. "I'm Ranma Saotome, sorry about this."

"Daddy, you engaged us to a girl?" Akane tensed her shoulders in annoyance at the whole situation.

"Genma promised me he had a son..." Soun trailed off, looking a bit dazed.

"Does this look like a son to you?" said Nabiki, reaching forwards to pull away the cape from the girl's chest.

"Please don't touch me," said Ranma, dodging Nabiki's questing hand easily.

"Shame on you Nabiki," admonished Akane, "even if he is a girl she's still our guest." Noticing how much the girl was struggling with the pack she grabbed the moderately heavy pack from her, barely noticing Ranma's attempts to keep her hold on it. "Come inside, you must be cold from the rain. Do you want to be friends?"

"Sure," she said shyly. A subtle ripple in her cloak slicked off the remaining water droplets, leaving only her hair and feet wet. "Oh no, I'm getting your floor dirty, aren't I."

Kasumi spotted Ranma's mud-covered bare feet and felt a wave of sympathy toward the small girl. "Don't worry about it dear, can I get you some tea?"

"Ah, sure." Awkwardly she took hold of a proffered moist towel and wiped off her feet as best she could.

"It will take a little while for the water to be ready, Akane why don't you show her the dojo?"

Leaving the pack by the stairs Akane led the red haired girl to the dojo. Watching Ranma weave her hair into a loose braid she was almost sure the girl's briefly revealed ears were pointed. Maybe the girl was a leprechaun. Fearful that a perverted leprechaun might be stalking her she glanced over her shoulder once more. Ranma still appeared innocent enough, but Akane still felt there was somethng funny going on. The girl's cape had been shifted when she wasn't looking, its edges just barely visible around Ranma's outlines from Akane's viewpoint. "You're a martial artist, right?" asked Akane.

"Yup! Best there is." Akane tried to swallow her shock at the sudden change in the girl's attitude.

"Do you study Kempo?"

"A little," replied Ranma, once more appearing shy as she examined the confines of the dojo.

Akane was feeling a touch confused at the moment. All suspicions of leprechaunism aside the girl, while fit, seemed no stronger than a ten year old. Still, her father had mentioned that the the apparently female son had been off on a training trip in China. Then, in a rather astounding intuitive jump for the youngest Tendo daughter she remembered the passed out panda in front of their gate. There had been a pack on one shoulder. Was it possible that Ranma had trained the panda and had only unstrapped a second pack from the panda on arrival? It was time to rid this little girl of her delusions of grandeur, though Akane resolved to do so as delicately as possible. "Do you want to spar?"

"Um, sure. Anything goes?"

"Fine with me." Dropping into an aggressive Kempo stance she was surprised to see Ranma start a shifting pattern, feet and arms swaying slowly with hands open, curled ever so slightly. At any during the sequence she looked ready to either fall, jump, or recenter herself, somehow in balance and out of balance at the same time. Her cape shifted almost imperceptibly, subtly at odds with gravity and inertia. "Is that some form of Capoeira?"

The slender redhead smirked. "Something like that." The battle started slowly as Ranma easily evaded the telegraphed strikes of her heavier-muscled opponent. At first sight her short red dress seemed ill-suited for battle but rapidly it showed its worth. As Ranma bent into increasingly complex dodges the dress bent and slid easily, allowing for maximum movement.

"Are you going to try and hit me or not?" Akane's face was flushed in frustration and exertion, all attempts to catch the troublesome nymph unsuccessful. Ranma thought over the request for a moment before deciding it could no harm. Snaking in two quick punches past the girl's guard Ranma watched in horror as Akane grew still angrier. "This time for real!" shouted Akane, subconsciously throwing all her ki into her arm as she threw her strongest punch yet. Reacting from instinct at seeing the slightly glowing fist rocketing towards her she grabbed Akane's arm and used the force of her blow against her. The simple judo throw sent Akane flying through the doorway back into the main house. A soft sob from the girl brought Ranma running.

"I'msosorry! Where are you hurt? Should I call a doctor?"

Akane's fist swung down into the floorboard, splintering it. "I can't believe I lost to someone whose punch couldn't knock out an elementary school kid!"

"Hey!"

"Well," said Akane, swiping away a tear, "at least you're a girl. I would have really hated being beat by a guy." As she walked away, apparently sporting no injuries, Ranma could have sworn she heard her tack on "especially a really wimpy guy." Ranma's twitched.

"Oh, Ranma," said Kasumi, appearing in the hallway. "The cookies and tea will be ready soon, why don't you take a quick bath in the furo." Nodding in acquiescence Ranma followed her up the stairs, grabbing the backpack as she went. Already tired from the sparring match, Ranma stumbled from the weight, smacking her knee against the steps. Concentration lost the bag promptly fell, bouncing from one step to another until it hit the floor below. Kasumi turned around towards the source of commotion and promptly fainted after voicing a short "Oh my!". Thankfully she fell backwards onto the second floor, avoiding a performance such as the backpack had endured.

"Kasumi?" Soun entered with Nabiki at his heels. "Are you alright dear?" Seeing an eight inch flying fairy in a red dress hovering around Kasumi swiftly forced the Tendo Patriarch into unconsciousness as well. Nabiki, while quite shocked, managed to weather the storm of strangeness until she saw the fairy grow into a five-foot Ranma once more, carrying a decidedly guilty expression on her face.

"I think I nailed this first impression thing," commented Ranma. Gasping from the effort she dragged Kasumi to the bedroom with her name on it and propped her head up with a pillow. Actually lifting her from the carpet to the bed was more than she could manage a the moment. Returning to her backpack she grabbed her Chinese style pants and shirt before entering the furo. Slipping out of the sleeveless dress it held its size for about fifteen seconds before shrinking back to doll size. Originally made from a handkerchief it was surprisingly durable, only showing mild wear and tear from the month long trek through China. Stuffing it into a small pocket on the inside of her red Chinese shirt a pair of rough-sewn shorts soon followed. She'd tried pants before but it was too tricky to get them to grow properly when the legs of them were so far from her core. The dress, while more feminine than she liked, had felt a bit safer after the first few times she ripped her pants. Rinsing quickly with cold water she eagerly stepped into the tub, warmth washing over her as she melted into her birth form.

Meanwhile, Soun and Nabiki were solidifying a pact of silence over their brief moment of shared insanity when another pair of knocks rang on the door. Warding off a lingering uneasiness they answered the door. "P-panda?"

"Dad, why is there a panda at the door?"

[If you could spare some hot water] said the first sign, [We can sort this out quickly].

Moving stiffly Soun passed the wet panda the softly steaming tea kettle. One splash of water later and a fat, balding man in an old gi stood on their doorstep. "Genma?"

"Soun!" They quickly leapt into a manly hug. "Genma!" "Soun!"

A scream echoed from the furo. Akane burst down the stairs wearing only a bathrobe. "Daddy there's a hentai upstairs!"

Nabiki recovered from the mental scarring of her father's manly hug. "So why didn't you pound the pervert?"

"I, I was scared." Upset with her cowardice Akane promptly gritted her teeth in anger and lifted the dining room table above her head, rushing to do battle.

"Wait," cried Genma, "that was probably just-" Genma winced at the sound of the table cracking against his son's head.

Ranma, male, unconscious, and thankfully now dressed, had only managed one thought before the table had hit him. 'I knew this day was missing something.'

End Chapter 1

Alright folks! How was that? Finally, a story that I do not intend to make a crossover (probably). Not only that, I seem to have finally written a story that doesn't follow my apparent severed head motif (Which means I don't have to rate this one teen or higher, neat ne?). Eh, who knows, maybe I'll kill off one of Akane's stuffed animals at some point. Motifs are important, right? Even if it's only the spirit of the thing. As far as people who think Ranma's too weak... shush. He'll do fine. Somehow or another. R&R people.