Born that way

~Noy Telinú~

Warning: Noy has a fan. It might get frantic in the reviews… maybe. O_o

Caution: during the slightly colder "season" do things to keep from dying on the roads. It might actually be bad to read fanfictions while driving…

Notice: that we are getting close to 60,000 words here on this fic. It WOULD have been more if the site didn't redo the numbers. :/

Reviews: are fun to read. Really! uragaaru, thanks! Noy has to keep things light due to the nature of Telinú's ideas. Not to mention that it's nice to read humor. hero in a cup, OOOH yeah… do not underestimate Noy. Ranma's life sucks by default, no way is that character going to have an easy life. Compucles, maaaaayyybbbeeee… but Ranma doesn't really have much of a sex drive due to having it all sexually (being male and female). That and being compatible with anyone, Ranma is looking for personality instead of looks and such. Not to mention being too scared to get going with anyone. raw666, I hope I can have Twinkies… Diablo4000, so… having morals = being an idiot. K thanks. Dumbledork, I wonder as well… tuatara, I KNOW! ^_^ thanks for keeping my boss(es) happy! If we can get this fic past you-know-what eventually in favorites, then their goal will finally be fulfilled and I'll be happy to see them admit that their life has meaning and they can make a difference. luger 7, right on q. Maltrazz, here's some more!

You have been warned….

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Year 16 VII We Serve Food Here, Sir

Ranma Saotome stood atop his home and sighed. As he watched the sun start setting over the horizon, the pigtailed boy was in deep thought.

Being a young man, it would be assumed that he would love having two girls throw themselves at him. But this was not the case for this pigtailed lad. Why would that be the case? It's actually pretty obvious. You see-

*Growlllll* went Ranma's stomach.

'Of course…' Ranma took one last look at the sky and went in the house.

"Ranma, dinner will be ready in an hour," Nodoka said with a smile.

Her son inwardly frowned. 'Aw, man…'

"Shampoo has gone shopping for something. I don't know what," Nodoka filled him in.

Ranma nodded.

"Oh, I almost forgot. Kodachi is coming over for dinner as well," his mother explained. "Her brother could be coming as well, so it might be a good idea to change back."

'Aw, come on!' Ranma groaned. "Alright, Mom…"

With that, Ranma left for his room.

'It's too bad I can't see my son more.' Nodoka shook her head sadly.

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Ranma paced in his room, thinking of what to do.

*Grrroaaawwlll…* his stomach complained.

'ARG! I can't wait an hour to eat!' Ranma gritted his teeth. 'And I need some guy time, dammit!'

With that, the teen jumped out his window and headed south, away from the homes of the people who knew him.

'I'll just walk around, grab a quick bite to eat and be back before dinner,' Ranma concluded, smiling. "What could possibly go wrong?"

Just as he said those words, it started raining.

'Of course…' Ranma sighed, still male.

Figuring the worst was over, the pigtailed youth started looking for a good place to eat.

Near the ward border, Ranma ducked into a small restaurant, dripping wet.

It was strangely empty of customers and the young man grew slightly suspicious.

After looking around and seeing no obvious bad signs, Ranma shrugged.

The small restaurant could seat around twenty comfortably, a few booths lining the walls. There was an old-fashioned, somewhat Chinese feel to the place.

'A lot of pickled art,' Ranma observed. 'Seems familiar…'

"Good evening, Mr. Customer. Table for one?" a woman asked; she wore a giant foam pickle on her head and was dressed in an outfit that resembled… noodles.

'Weird. But I'm too hungry to care…' Ranma nodded. "Yes, sure."

The woman led him to a table.

The silent eeriness rubbed Ranma the wrong way.

"It's kinda quiet…" he mumbled.

"Oh, yes, that's because it's almost our closing time…" the woman answered a hint of embarrassment in her voice. "But don't worry, we have time for you!"

Menu in hand, Ranma quickly glanced over it.

'Man, they REALLY love their pickles…' Ranma stealthily checked how much money he had. "Well, I won't hold you up too long. I'll take this 'wanderer's special.'"

"Alright, and to drink?" the waitress asked. 'No one's ever ordered that before. Oh well...'

Ranma shrugged. "Water's fine."

"It will be ready soon." The waitress smiled and walked to the kitchen.

As Ranma sat alone in the restaurant, he started fidgeting as he examined the décor.

*Grrroowlll* went his stomach.

'Stop it, you! I'll get food soon!' Ranma frowned. 'Hey, what's this? A noodle race? Two weeks from now, huh? Wow! Free noodles! I'm in! Girls only? Hehe… Not a problem.'

Due to being raised by Genma and a bunch of warrior women, Ranma had acute senses and thus could hear into the kitchen easily. He tended to ignore stuff like that, but something caught his attention.

"Yes, Miss Kaori, that is what he ordered," the waitress confirmed.

'Kaori… Kaori… That sounds very familiar.' Ranma hated not remembering things. 'Stupid hunger… I know that name from somewhere! ARGG!'

"Really? Thank you! Yeah, I'll punch out, see you tomorrow!" The waitress's heels clicked off into the distance.

'Why can't I remember?!' Ranma gripped his head. 'Kaori… Kaori… She… she's the… ARGG!'

"Alright, one wanderer's special. I can get you a box if…" The female voice stopped abruptly.

"Nah, I won't need that." Ranma lifted his head up. "I eat a…"

Ranma's eyes widened.

"R-… Ranma?" The girl, whose eyes were widened as well, asked in a near whisper.

"Kaori!" Ranma snapped his fingers. "Hi there! How are you? What have you been doing these… seven years?"

Kaori put the food on the table and fell to her knees in shock. "No… no, this can't be… No…"

Ranma raised an eyebrow. "Um… Kaori?"

"I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!" Kaori blurted, biting her lip.

"…" Ranma sweatdropped. "Well… obviously I'm not…"

With that, tears started flowing out of Kaori's eyes, yet she kept her face as firmly neutral as she could. "My life… is over…"

Ranma blinked in surprise. "… What?"

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"Knock-knock!" Shampoo nearly laughed as she knocked on the door to the Saotome home. "Shampoo here!"

The Amazon girl let herself in as she heard an answer that the door was open.

"Hello there, Shampoo," Nodoka spoke from the kitchen. "Dinner will be ready in half an hour. Kodachi Kuno will be coming over shortly."

^I am grateful for your hospitality.^ Shampoo bowed.

^No need…^ Nodoka said with a smile. ^Could you make sure that my daughter is ready for guests?^

^Could it be son?^ Shampoo smiled deviously.

Nodoka sighed. ^Most likely not, Kodachi's brother might be coming as well, and he doesn't know.^

"Wonder why?" said Shampoo with a frown.

Nodoka shrugged. "You need to ask Ranma that."

With a mischievous grin, Shampoo tiptoed to Ranma's room.

"Shampoo here!" Shampoo shouted as she barged through the door.

Only to be met with silence.

"…" Shampoo's head quickly looked and turned every possible way as well as some impossible ways.

"Where you be?" Shampoo scratched her head in confusion.

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"Wait, wait, wait… WHAT?" Ranma shook his head. "How is your life over?"

Kaori looked away. "Because you're alive… Damn it, you HAD to be alive!"

"Huh?" Ranma tilted his head.

"Now… now I have to… to…" Kaori gritted her teeth. "Its not fair! Why should I have to marry you?!"

"WHAT?!" Ranma's eyes went huge.

Kaori turned to glare at Ranma, but she blinked instead. "What? You mean… you don't KNOW!?"

"KNOW WHAT?" Ranma was gripping his head.

Kaori growled. "Our fathers engaged us."

'DAMN YOU, POPS!' Ranma mentally screamed.

"We thought you were DEAD! That jeep EXPLODED! No one could have survived THAT!" Kaori screamed.

"Oh, THAT. Eh, been through worse…" Ranma shrugged, trying to keep his cool.

Kaori glared at Ranma. "You… you are making this TRIVIAL!"

"Hey, I'm trying NOT to FREAK OUT HERE! I didn't know THAT!" Ranma started pacing the room.

"Your death drove my father into grief." Kaori closed her eyes. "He thought he was the person responsible for it, for not getting you away from your father."

Ranma gripped his head in his hands, trying to figure out how to get out of this one.

"It was his biggest regret…" Kaori said with a scowl, her eyes brimming with tears. "He started trying to drink away that guilt. Then… he went out to the bar one night and… a car ran him over."

Ranma was shocked. "Wow. Sorry…"

"That was three years ago!" Kaori narrowed her eyes. "And it's all… YOUR… FAULT!"

"Oh, COME ON!" Ranma threw his hands in the air.

"If it wasn't for YOU, my father wouldn't have died! If it weren't for YOU, I wouldn't have been on my own the day after my thirteenth birthday!" Kaori slammed her fist on the table. "Now I have to marry YOU, his murderer!"

Ranma groaned in frustration. "How is it MY fault? Huh? I didn't run him over!"

"He spent the last four years of his life wasting away! All he'd do is whine and feel sorry for himself for not saving you! He didn't pay attention to me at all!" Kaori sobbed angrily.

"It's not my fault!" Ranma argued.

"Now I'm supposed to marry someone who's a girl half the time! And be his little slave housewife who slaves away being a slave..." Kaori fidgeted, glaring into Ranma.

"Um… No, that's-" Ranma tried to calm her down.

"No… no, it's been hard, but I've made a life for myself. I won't let my newfound freedom end!" Kaori pointed at Ranma with venom in her voice. "I won't marry you!"

"Oh, good. Glad we're clear on that." Ranma started walking towards the exit. "Well, good seeing you again, but I think I'll be going no-eghh!"

A noodle noose suddenly gripped Ranma by the neck.

"Family honor means I must marry you, Ranma." Kaori held a bowl of noodles from which she har made the noose. "But only if you're alive…"

'Dammit!' Ranma tried gripping the noodles as his breath escaped him, depriving the young man of oxygen.

"I WON'T have to suffer being married to someone who's a woman at times, I won't have to obey some MAN, and I WON'T be a slave to ANYONE!" Kaori twisted the noodles, tightening the noose.

'Stupid, stupid, STUPID! Why did I let my guard down?!' Ranma tried breaking the noose, but he was getting weaker and weaker as staying awake became a struggle.

"Goodbye, Ranma." Kaori's eyes were as hard as steel. "Too bad it had to end like this. You were a great friend, but you killed my father. Prepare to die."

The noodles rippled as Kaori tightened them one last time.

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"Mother?" Kodachi called out as she entered the Saotome home. "I bear gifts!"

Nodoka poked her head out of the kitchen to see Kodachi… riding a panda.

"…" Nodoka struggled to keep her eye from twitching.

"Maybe hide in bathroom… AIYAH!" Shampoo pulled out her sword when she walked in and saw the panda. "Shampoo kill stupid panda! No ruining Red life any-hey… Panda not fat space waster."

Nodoka closed her eyes. "Kodachi… why did you bring a panda?"

The Kuno girl puffed out her chest. "Why, when the cute witch turned her neglectful and controlling father into a panda, it came to my attention that she considered the creatures cute. While he obviously made for an ugly panda, I, the Black Rose, have decided that normally, yes, these creatures are awfully cute and have gotten one for the cute witch to own! Surely she shall like it!"

Shampoo tilted her head to the left, her eyes white blanks and a giant black question mark over her superdeformed head. "Shampoo confused…"

The panda just stood there, eyes dull and bored.

"Well… it IS kind of cute…" Nodoka mused.

Shampoo raised her eyebrow. "Shampoo no think so. Cats cuter. Pandas too, too lazy."

Kodachi crossed her arms over her chest. "Well, I think that pandas are far more useful than mere cats. Not to mention MY thoughts, they being of the BLACK ROSE, are much more valid than those of some barbaric girl with a sword."

Shampoo narrowed her eyes. "Cats too, too make sense. Much more than stupid panda! Witches have cats! Not pandas! And why you say Red witch?! She no has HAT!"

Kodachi snapped her fingers. "Shoot, that is what I forgot… No matter! The Black Rose's gift will be appreciated due to the Black Rose being the Black Rose, which is me… the Black Rose…"

Nodoka sighed. "Just take it out in the back and let Ranma decide, dear…"

"Shampoo, Shampoo, Shampoo, SHAMPOO!" Shampoo yelled. "Why you no shut stupid face, ribbon girl!?"

"WHAT DID YOU SAY?!" Kodachi screamed.

Nodoka had a hand to her forehead. "Girls…"

"You won't stop saying NAME!" Shampoo growled. "No one care! Name stupid! You stupid! Stop being stupid!"

"THAT'S IT!" Kodachi stood up on the panda. "NO ONE INSULTS THE NAME OF KODACHI KUNO!"

"Look! Ranma! Outside!" Nodoka pointed out the door.

"Where!" Both girls shouted at once before growling at each other and leaping outside.

Nodoka shook her head and went back into the kitchen.

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Ranma's eye twitched as Kaori ranted.

'That's it.' As the tightening noodles rippled, he quickly turned into a she.

Her reduced size gave Ranma a bit more room and allowed her to breathe.

"HOW?!" Kaori felt the noodles go slack a bit as she saw Ranma transform.

Taking advantage of the shock, Ranma bit down on the noodles and severed the noose rope.

Kaori stumbled back and tripped over a chair.

*GULP!* Ranma swallowed the noodles.

"Mmm… tasty." Ranma switched sexes once more. "Now, Kaori… WHAT THE HELL?!"

Kaori steeled herself and got back to her feet. "No! I won't let you nor your witchcraft ruin my life!"

Ranma sweatdropped. "… Yeah. Look, I have to be somewhere soon, so just be quiet and I'll be quick."

"I should have expected this!" Kaori got into a fighting stance. "All that talk about turning into a girl with cold water, that was just a lie to cover up your witchiness! I will not be your slave, you hear! I am my own woman now…"

Ranma facepalmed.

Kaori sent out another noodle noose, but this time Ranma caught it with his hand and yanked, pulling Kaori right at him.

With a determined look in her eye, Kaori stuck out her leg to turn the pull into a kick right at his head.

"Eurk!" Kaori's eyes widened as Ranma disappeared.

"Seriously, I don't have time for this," the pigtailed boy muttered as he grabbed Kaori from behind.

Kaori fell unconscious as Ranma hit some pressure points on her neck.

With a sigh, Ranma carried her deeper into the restaurant.

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Nabiki took a potato chip… and ATE IT!

"Nabiki…" Kasumi scolded. "We just finished dinner."

Nabiki ate another chip. "So?"

Kasumi sighed. "Father, are you alright?"

Soun didn't answer. Instead he was staring at the sunset, tears on his cheeks.

"Daddy, being sad won't solve anything." Nabiki ate a potato chip. "I'll make a lot of money, Kasumi will snag a doctor…"

Kasumi blushed. "Nabiki… I… I don't… Oh, my…"

"… And Akane will find a nice girl to be with. Heck, it could be with a Saotome after all." Nabiki ate more chips. "With her being a witch, you might even still get grandchildren out of it."

Silence awkwardly hung over the room for a while.

"I'll be in the dojo if you need me," Akane announced as she walked past the room. "… Is something wrong, Kasumi?"

"…" Kasumi opened her mouth, and then closed it.

Akane raised an eyebrow and looked at her father.

*Thud* Soun toppled over, a strange smile on his face.

Akane's other eyebrow rose. "Nabiki?"

"Hey, sis." Nabiki ate potato chips as if nothing happened. "What's up?"

Akane shook her head and left the room towards the dojo. "Honestly…"

Nabiki shrugged and left for her room, eating potato chips.

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Nodoka finished making dinner and was about to bring it out… when she saw that the panda was still there.

The panda looked at her dully as it just stood there, unmoving.

Nodoka pointed out the door. "Get out."

The panda obliged and walked out the door.

Nodoka shook her head and brought dinner out.

"Aiyah! Why panda here?!" Shampoo complained as said panda walked towards her outside the Saotome home.

Kodachi smirked. "Why, the beast only wants to want to be with its sister. You are both from China, after all. Why not stick together and eat bamboo?"

"Shampoo eat bamboo?" Shampoo growled. "No, YOU EAT BAMBOO!"

"No, the Black Rose would never touch such an awful, low-class plant, much less eat it!" Kodachi scoffed. "YOU, on the other hand, WOULD!"

"NO, YOU!" Shampoo yelled.

"NO, YOU!" Kodachi stuck her tongue out.

"NO, YOU!" Shampoo waved her arms up and down, chibi-like.

"WHY IS THERE A PANDA HERE?!" Ranma yelled, causing the two girls to look at him as he entered the premises.

"…" That shut the two girls up.

Ranma raised an eyebrow. "I'm waiting…"

Kodachi spoke first. "Why, this barbarian thought it would be wise to feast on a beast that would most likely earn your favor. Foolishly, if the Black Rose may add."

"IT RIBBON GIRL FAULT!" Shampoo yelled.

Ranma facepalmed. ^Shampoo, what happened?^

Shampoo growled. ^She is the one who brought this panda here, thought it would make a nice present… and she still thinks you're a witch.^

Ranma sighed. "Kodachi, look, I know you mean well, but… I have no use for a panda."

Shampoo stuck out her tongue, smugly.

Kodachi frowned. "Nonsense! The many applications for such a beast are unlimited in number and-"

Ranma rolled his eyes. "Kodachi…"

Kodachi looked away. "Fine, I shall bring it back home."

"Good." Ranma looked around. "So… is your brother coming?"

Kodachi shook her head.

Ranma nodded in understanding.

*GROWLLLLLL* went the boy's stomach.

The girls smiled… evilly.

'I have a very bad feeling about this…' Ranma thought as Kodachi and Shampoo looked at him.

"Oh, Ranma darling, let the Black Rose feed you your sustenance…" Kodachi laughed.

^Never mind that. MY body is far better to… eat off of…^ Shampoo countered.

"Dinner is ready!" Nodoka called out.

*ZOOM ZOOM* Ranma bolted inside faster than a blink of an eye.

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"Slow down, son, the food isn't going anywhere…" Nodoka shook her head.

Ranma swallowed. "Sorry…"

"Oh, Ranma darling, I, the Black Rose have an intriguing proposition for you." Kodachi smiled mischievously as lightning flashed.

Ranma blinked. "I don't think I should…"

^If it is about going on a date, I'll agree,^ Shampoo said offhandedly.

Kodachi scrunched her lips. "That was most definitely an insult, wasn't it?"

"Nah, not REALLY," Ranma stressed as he ate. "Anyway… what is it? Nothing embarrassing, right? I'm not going on a date with you."

Nodoka frowned. "I'm sure that Kodachi will be reasonable. Be nice, son."

Ranma groaned. "Yes, Mom…"

"While not being able to join you in that fashion IS most disappointing, what I have in mind is something completely different," Kodachi stated, struggling not to laugh like a noblewoman.

Ranma swallowed the food in his mouth. "Go Oon…"

"With myself, the Black Rose at St. Hebereke, and you, the cute witch at Furinkan, it can be possible to have the two of us, undoubtedly the best martial artist gymnasts at our respective schools to, dare I say, compete-" Kodachi was cut off by Shampoo.

"GET ON WITH IT!" Shampoo, frustrated, yelled into Kodachi's ear so loud that the Kuno girl toppled over.

Nodoka sighed. "Girls…"

"HOW DARE YOU! YOU… YOU BARBARIAN, PURPLE-HAIRED… BIMBO!" Kodachi shouted, standing up, face reddening.

"SHAMPOO NO BIMBO, RIBBON GIRL JUST STUPID! TAKE TOO TOO LONG TO SAY ANYTHING!" Shampoo countered, standing as well.

Ranma facepalmed.

"PERHAPS TO YOU! I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT YOU COULDN'T UNDERSTAND A THING! YOUR VOCABULARY IS WEAK! YOUR CULTURE IS WEAK! YOU ARE WEAK!" Kodachi seethed.

Done eating, Ranma quietly slipped away.

"WHAT YOU SAY?!" Shampoo screeched.

"ENOUGH!" Nodoka put her foot down.

Kodachi and Shampoo cowered in the face of Nodoka's wrath.

Nodoka took a deep breath and spoke again, much more softly. "Thank you. Could we eat this meal in peace?"

Both girls nodded.

"Good. Now, what were you saying, Kodachi?" Nodoka asked, sipping her tea.

"… That the witch has left?" Kodachi answered.

Nodoka looked around and saw that Kodachi was right.

Shampoo mumbled. "Ribbon girl's fault…"

Nodoka buried her face in her hands as the girls went at it again.

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Kaori woke up to the darkness, unable to see anything. She tried to move her limbs, but that was proved to be fruitless.

"Hrghpgh!" Kaori's screams were muffled as she realized she'd been gagged.

'That witch! Damn it!' Kaori breathed heavily as she thought about what was to come. 'Now that she's been found out, she'll eat me for sure! Think! How do I get out of this?'

That was when light burst into the room as a door opened.

"Hey, Kaori," Ranma casually greeted as he walked in, closing the door behind him. "Here, let me turn on the lights."

After adjusting her eyes, Kaori saw Ranma standing there, eating noodles.

"So… *slurrrppp* how ya feelin'?" Ranma asked.

Kaori growled and struggled against her bonds that she could now see were keeping her slightly off the ground and spread eagle.

"Look, I'm sorry for knocking you out, but you were trying to kill me," Ranma explained with a shrug. "Now, can you at least let me explain how you father's death isn't my fault?"

Kaori narrowed her eyes.

Ranma sighed. "Fine, fine. Then I'll just explain what I am, alright?"

Kaori growled.

The pigtailed boy turned into a girl. "I'm both, OK? I'm a guy, I'm a girl, I'm both! It's how I am… It's how I've always been. I was born like this. Here, look."

Ranma pulled a few photos out of her knapsack.

"Here's me as a kid as a boy and a girl, training in martial arts and traveling the world," Ranma showed Kaori. "Now, I'm going to remove the gag and try to solve our differences, alright?"

Kaori nodded and the gag was removed.

"What do you want with me, witch? What's your REAL reason for being here?" Kaori snapped through clenched teeth.

Ranma facepalmed. "I WANT to have my friend not try to kill me! Is that too much to ask?"

Kaori looked away. "If you're going to eat me, do it quickly."

Ranma groaned. "That's not… If I… Look, if I were a witch, wouldn't water melt me?"

"…" Kaori was stunned.

"And it's not my fault that your father died," Ranma sighed. "But I'm really sorry that it happened… If I knew he was worried about me, I would've done something. Sorry, Kaori…"

An uncomfortable silence settled over things for a moment, neither of them speaking for a while.

"I'm still not marrying you," Kaori hmphed.

Ranma shrugged. "So don't. Easy as that."

"But I HAVE TO! Family honor dictates it!" Kaori hung her head as tears started forming in her eyes.

Ranma massaged her forehead as she tried to think up a plan.

*Snap* went Ranma's fingers.

"I got it!" Ranma smiled.

"What?" Kaori didn't have high hopes for whatever Ranma might suggest.

"Legally, this body is under the name 'Ranko.' I even have a female birth certificate. Since gay marriage is still illegal in Japan, we can't marry! Problem solved!" Ranma dusted off her hands.

Kaori frowned. "That is just skirting around the whole thing dishonorably. Plus, you can still be male at will, I presume."

Ranma blinked. "So?"

Kaori sweatdropped. "You don't have much of a concept of honor, do you?"

"HEY!" Ranma turned male once more and narrowed his eyes. "I DO have a concept of honor! I just want you to be happy, is that so bad? Huh? You said you're your own person… Well… be that! I want to be my own person too! I even had to trick people and hide to get out of another engagement!"

"… WHAT?!" Kaori screamed.

Ranma sighed. "Yeah, Pops engaged me to another girl a long time ago. I found out, stayed a girl until he went nuts and then shipped him to China. His word isn't honorable by a longshot. So we can use that; I was already engaged, so this doesn't count."

Kaori narrowed her eyes. "Who is she so I may beat her!?"

"Aw, dammit! Kaori!" Ranma buried his face in his hands.

"While I don't want to get married to you, losing to another girl is unacceptable!" Kaori growled.

"You didn't lose!" Ranma yelled. "I'm gonna get that one canceled as well!"

Kaori blinked. "Oh… Well, that still leaves me in this mess."

Ranma started pacing the room. "Alright… So who's the head of your clan, then?"

"My father was…" Kaori sighed.

"Mmm… hmmm… And how about now?" Ranma asked.

"Um… perhaps… me?" Kaori's eyes widened.

"Uh huh. So, YOU can cancel this! Problem solved." Ranma smirked.

Kaori thought it over. "I guess…"

"Besides," Ranma said as he started untying Kaori, "Pops married into the family, so my Mom can cancel it on my end."

Kaori sighed. "Sorry for overreacting…"

Ranma shrugged. "Every friend I've met tried to kill me. No biggie…"

Kaori smirked. "You still didn't pay for your meal, though."

"DAMMIT!" Ranma shut his eyes in frustration.

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^Mousse, what are you doing?^ Cologne asked as she saw Mousse preparing to leave the village.

^I'm off to woo Shampoo.^ he said with a shrug.

Cologne chuckled. ^Like that will happen. When you inevitably run into Ranma, say hi for me.^

^Whatever, dried-up mummy,^ the young man replied.

*BONK* Cologne smacked Mousse with her stick.

^Who's a dried-up mummy?!^ Cologne chided.

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Author's notes: happy Christmas and a merry new year! Wow, 2 years for Noy now, damn… thank you all for this wonderful year! Vote in the poll! Yay Poll! See you in January! Love, the Text!