Masks We Wear
(working title)
Part 1
Shaule Sachs

Version 0.0 Tue May 7 09:34:25 CDT 2002

#define WARNING lime
#include alternate_universe/std_disclaimer.h
#include ranma/std_disclaimer.h

The hallway was filled with Kodachi Kuno's trademarked Black Rose of St. Hebereke Girls' Academy's insane laughter as she left her father and brother in the dining room and walked to her bedroom. Upon reaching her bedroom, she quickly opened the door, closed it, and leaned back against the door for support as she fell silent. A few seconds, she stood up, and stripped off all her clothes, one article at a time. With each article of clothing removed, an imagined weight went with it. Once nude, she felt as free as a bird.

One would not recognize the nude Kodachi that stood within her room, gone was the aggressive, arrogant Black Rose, who had terrorized Nerima for many years, in her place, a simple young girl, who had lived through too much suffering and pain in such a short live stood. If no one would recognize the room's Mistress, they would be in for a surprise about the room itself, for it was a typical girl's room. There were stuffed animals on the bed and on various shelves in the room that where made solely to house them, a bed with silk sheets, an alarm clock on a stand next to the bed, a closest, a bureau, a desk with chair, and a bookcase. The walls of the room were a gently rose color with a very classical Japanese painting of Mount Fuji hanging up, but that was it for decorations.

With measured steps, she walked over to her closest, opened it, and examined herself in the full length mirror on the back of the closest door. She gave her body a full exam, looking for any marks, blemishes, or any changes since the last time she had examined her. After spending a full fifteen minutes of close personal examination, she cupped her growing breasts, spreaded her legs in offering to the mirror, and remained in such a position for a slow ten minutes.

Now, slightly aroused, she, slowly and a bit of awe, moved the mirror to the side to reveal a life-size photo of otoko-Ranma, sitting in some Dojo dressed as a traditional Daimyo out of Feudal Japan. In the photo, Ranma's eyes had a hard look to them and they seemed to looking at her, dismissing her athletic body and looked into her very soul as if in search of something.

She walked backwards, making sure to keep the photo in sight as if it was some lifeline that kept her alive, towards her desk. With practiced easy, she removed a weekly pill container, took out the three pills within for the current day, dry-swallowed them, and walked back to the photo.

When she was about a meter away from the photo, she moved down onto her knees, spreaded them, straighten her back, and lowered her eyes. She placed her hands, palm up, upon her knees, as if to present herself and her being in offering to the photo. For the next thirty minutes, she repeated two phrases over and over again, "I live to serve," and "I serve to live."

There was a slight smile upon her face as she got up and walked over to her desk to do her homework. Upon completion of the assigned homework, she went over her bed, got in, set the alarm for twelve thirty at night, and fell asleep as soon as her head touched her pillow.

Kodachi awoke a moment before the alarm went off at twelve thirty. She quickly got out of bed, showered with a non-scented soap, dried herself, and went over to her closet. She opened an small hidden door and pulled out, two medium-sized boxes and two clothe bundles. She took them out to the middle of the room along with a couple towels, set them in the middle of the room.

She set one towel parallel to the room and the other perpendicular over the other. She sat down on the towels, setting the two boxes in front of her, the black clothe bundle she set to her right, she unrolled it, exposing a vast array of weapons and equipment, she then opened the box in front and right, which was a makeup kit, the box, front and left, contained various clothes, and the clothe bundle on the left unrolled into a dark colored hooded kimono and hakama.

Once everything is put in place around her, she starts going through all the weapons and equipment in the clothe bundle on her right. She checks each edge, each point, each handle, and each surface for imperfections and to refamiliarize herself with them before return each to its place.

From the makeup kit, she took a dark brown powder and applied it expertly to her entire body from head to toe. The powder darken her creamy skin and absorbed all her body odor. From the other box, she takes out some dark colored bandages and binds her breasts. Next, she took out a dark-colored, modified jock strap with a cod piece, which was followed by a chest and shoulder padding.

After putting on the hooded kimono and hakama, she turned to the mirror she had left exposed. The imagine that was reflected back was an obviously male figure. She check her reflection to ensure there was nothing wrong with her deceptive appearance. Seeing none, she went ahead placing the various weapons and equipment onto her body. Finally, she reached in, removed the cod piece, places two vials, one green and one blue, within it, then replaced it.

She looked at the clock and noted the time, one forty at night.

Kodachi, quickly and quietly, hopped from rooftop to rooftop through Nerima, from the Kuno mansion to a block away from the Neko Haten. There, she pictured in her mind's eye a bright spot in the center of her being, once securely there, she envisions a wall of darkness containing it, protecting it, and sealing it from without.

In a light trance, she entered the Neko Haten through the air vent on the roof, and found herself within the storage attic of the place. As quickly as she could, she took five measured steps from the vent parallel to the wall with the vent, then took two measured steps perpendicular to the wall out. There, she took the blue vial from her cod piece, which she set aside, removed a loose ceiling tile carefully and slowly, and took a long piece of cured string. She slowly lowered the string down to the bedroom which belonged to Cologne.

The string ended slightly before Cologne's mouth, without touching anything. Since it was cured, it did not sway like an ordinary string would, but stayed relative straight by its own weight. Gently, she placed a single drop from the blue vial onto the string, which then followed the string into Cologne's mouth. The entire process from the vial to mouth took one minute, five seconds. She waited for a full five minutes, closely watching Cologne, and then placed another drop into her mouth via the string. Again, she waited for five minutes then repeated an final, third drop. After the final drop, she replaced the tile back where it was and smiled.

She placed the blue vial back into the cod piece, places the string into a pocket on her left sleeve, and picked up the cod piece. She walked six measured steps parallel to the wall, and one measured step towards the wall. There, she removed another ceiling tile. She looked down on the sleeping form of Shampoo. As she had done with Cologne, she placed three drops, five minutes apart, into Shampoo's mouth, save that the drops came from the green vial, and returned the tile to its place. She placed the green vial back, returned the cod piece to the jock strap, and the second string went into her right sleeve pocket.

She then walked over to the nearest corner of the attic, there she pulled back some of the wall lining, and looked down into a small bloom closet that was used by Mousse to sleep in. Here, she pulled out, from her right thigh pocket, a soft putty-like substance no larger then a match box. She crunched it up in her hands, and then it fall into the closet. It made a soft splat upon the ground, and after a few moments, a gas was released from it that Mousse breathed in. Seeing that her mission was completed, she replace the lining, and went out the air vent.

It was only when she returned to the rooftop a block away from the Neko Haten that she finally relaxed and let her center go. She took a deep, cleansing breath, and westward.

Once more, Kodachi was roof-hopping, this time, she stopped on the roof of public bath house that her family owned. There, she removed her hooded kimono and hakama, her breast bindings, jock strap, and her weapons. She turned the kimono inside out, and wrapped everything into the hakama. Carrying her stuff under hand, she entered the bath house via the roof door, which had been left unlock by her order. Once in the women's locker area, she opened her private locker, placed the bounded hakama within, took out her bathing supplies, and walked out to the bath, picking up a towel on her way.

In the bath, she cleaned off her nightly activities, and then returned to the women's locker room. There, she dried herself, and put on a blue-flower pattern kimono. She took a few small weapons from the hakama and placed them within the kimono. She walked out and talked the night manager, who gave her a small package.

As she walked out of the public bath house, she noted that it was now, almost four O'Clock in the early morning. She casually walked over to a nearby park, where she waited leaning against a tree.

It was actually four o'clock in the morning, when Konatsu showed up. He was dressed in a nice, pink-floral pattern kimono looking every inch the beautiful young maiden.

The two stood facing the other for a few moments, sizing each up.

She handed out the small package to Konatsu and said, "Make sure that Ukyou takes one in the morning, and one at night."

"Or?" he inquired with a bit of edge in his voice.

She just smiled at him and said, "You don't wish to upset *our* Master now, do you?"

He frowned as he shook his head in the negative.

"Then make sure the little harlot takes her medicine," she replied in a light toned voice.

His eyes harden at her talking his Ukyou-sama a harlot, but there wasn't anything he could do, not without endangering her and paying for it later. Still he took the small package from Kodachi's hand and left to go back to the Ucchan's before the dawn broke.

Kodachi's smile was still on her face as she left the park. She went via the rooftops to the Tendo-ke's roof. There, she kneed down, opened her kimono showing that she wear nothing underneath, and waited.

Her wait was short-lived. One moment, she was alone, and the next, Ranma appear in front of her.

"Report," Ranma whispered.

"The Amazons have received their weekly dosage, and Konatsu has Ukyou's medication for a month," she replied as she lowered her eyes.

He simply nodded and moved to leave, but Kodachi called out, "Nushi-sama, Nabiki has been nosy into..."

"Nabiki isn't your concern, dorei-san," was Ranma's cold reply.

"Hai, Nushi-sama." With that Kodachi got up, and went back to the Kuno mansion where she slept until she had to get ready for school.

[=== End Part 1 ===]