Born that way

~Noy Telinú~

Warning: accusing people of witchcraft is not considered acceptable in most places.

Caution: if you made it this far into the fic in one sitting, you should prolly go to bed. Prolly…

Notice: that it's almost been a year of Btw. Woah, meta.

Reviews: me likey, cuz Imma Text! Dumbledork, you're welcome! Compucles, well, that's what happens when you grow up being told that in marriages, the wife obeys the husband. What, with the pressure to get out of the workforce and how things are very traditional, being forced to not work would be very hurting for her. Saying all, never, every, and always aren't definite when used. People use them wrong all the time. Not to mention Ranma's fears of it happening. Wrin, Ranma cutting down a palmtree with a herring isn't crack? Or the train? hero in a cup, or will it? O_o Riniko22, of course, easy stuff isn't that fun to read. gort420, what do you think the last chapter was for? But don't worry, Mousse, Ryoga, and such will come soon. Akane freak flag? Huh? luger 7, yeah huh! zangetsu422, the what? Ukyo huh? Well, I'll ask for her… Blackholelord, Oh really? Yeah, that Panda is a Nixon.

You have been warned….

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Year 16 VIII I've Got It Covered

Akane and Nabiki Tendo were walking to school; not running, but walking. Neither were in a rush at all.

"So, Akane, are you coming to see the match this Friday?" Nabiki asked, stretching her arms.

"I don't know…" Akane answered. "I don't really know much about martial arts rhythmic gymnastics…"

Nabiki shrugged. "So? It'll pit Ranko against Kodachi! I'm looking to make a killing in bets!"

"WHAT?!" Akane stopped in her tracks. "When did… You better not be pushing Ranko into this!"

"Me?" Nabiki laughed. "No, I'm sure the team will push her to do it. Once they get over their superstitions, that is."

"Why would Ranko do that?" Akane asked, baffled.

"You really don't pay attention at all, do you, sis?" Nabiki deadpanned. "They were teammates in middle school."

Akane shook her head. "I don't believe this…"

"Wow, the crowd looks bigger today… Wait… Oh, there she is…" Nabiki smirked.

Akane looked ahead and saw Ranko surrounded by girls in leotards.

"I'm not in league with Kodachi. I just think that is wrong." Ranko crossed her arms defiantly.

"But please, you're our only hope," a girl begged. "Now tell us her weaknesses!"

The others nodded, trying to look as pathetic as possible.

"Give me a good reason why I would even consider helping you," Ranko replied.

"Because… we need to win?" a girl answered.

"WHY?" Ranko stressed.

"What do you mean WHY?" Another girl blanched.

Ranko rolled her eyes. "Why do you need to win?"

"…" That left the group silenced.

Akane walked over to them. "Hi, Ranko…"

A girl glomped her and started crying. "Akane… Whaaa! The stupid, meanie, evil witch won't tell us Kodachi's weaknesses! Whaaa!"

"I'm not a witch!" Ranko took offense to that last one.

"Oh…" Akane mused. "I thought that you would have her go against Kodachi…"

"Bu-but Akane!" the girl whined. "She's a witch!"

Ranko threw her arms up in disgust and walked inside.

Akane facepalmed. "Honestly…."

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In the classroom of Nabiki, things were getting weird.

Nabiki Tendo couldn't believe her ears. "What?"

The girl standing in front of Nabiki slumped. "Ranko Saotome won't tell the team Kodachi's weaknesses."

"First of all, why does she have to tell you?" Nabiki asked.

"I don't get it." The girl's eyes went blank in confusion.

Nabiki sighed. "She's facing Kodachi herself, right?"

"Huh?" The girl looked shocked. "Why would that witch, no matter how cute, be facing Kodachi Kuno?"

Nabiki pinched her nose. "Do you realize how stupid you sound?"

The girl narrowed her eyes. "I am NOT stupid."

"Then explain WHY Ranko isn't going up against Kodachi." Nabiki crossed her arms.

"Because she's a witch!" The girl threw her arms into the air.

Nabiki's eye twitched. "Do you have any proof?"

"Well… that's… The bag! Yeah!" The girl pointed her finger at Nabiki. "She has that bag that has everything in it! I heard that she even had a wooden pole in there! How do you fit a two-meter-long pole into a bag like that?"

"Fine, fine." Nabiki resisted rolling her eyes. "Let's say she is a witch. Your point is?"

"She'll turn us into newts!" the girl accused, arms waving comically.

"…" Nabiki gave up.

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Shampoo exited the bicycle shop with a smile on her face… Oh, and a bicycle. It was a red one with a basket.

"Shampoo has time left," Shampoo thought aloud. "Good thing Shampoo pack extra lunch!"

With glee, Shampoo rode towards Furinkan High, despite not knowing where the school was or how to ride a bike.

It would explain why she was riding on the walls and rooftops.

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Ranko was surrounded by the martial arts rhythmic gymnastics team in a girls' restroom at school.

"… What?" Ranma said flatly.

"I said, is it another one of your witch powers or are you… one of those… things…" a girl asked, banging her head with her hand.

"Futa?" Another girl tried to help.

"Yeah, that." The other girl snapped her fingers.

Ranma fumed. "I am NOT a WITCH!"

"So you are a futa?" another girl asked.

"NO!" Ranko clenched her fists. "WHY do you think that?"

The first girl put her hands on her hips. "Look, witch, no girl could normally pee standing up like you just did. Either you're hiding a penis in your panties or something like that."

Ranma's eyes narrowed. "You soOo deserve a beating. If you want to look, fine. Let's get naked, ALL OF US."

"WHAT?!" the girls cried out in unison.

"Yeah, that's right." Ranko crossed her arms. "We all get naked and prove that we're all girls here."

"WHAT?!" the girls cried out in unison, louder this time.

"Heck, I'll even show you how to pee standing up." Ranko shrugged.

"WHAT?!" the girls screamed in unison, not quite as loudly.

"SAY WHAT AGAIN!" Ranko stomped her foot in defiance. "I DARE YOU! I DOUBLE DARE YOU!"

"This is insane!" A girl flipped out.

"NO!" Ranko seethed. "What's insane is that YOU girls keep bugging ME to give YOU secrets to beat Kodachi while insulting me constantly!"

The girls looked at each other, in confusion, fear and grossed-out-ness.

"So, are you a witch? Or a crossdressing boy?" one girl asked.

"…" Ranko cracked her knuckles.

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A short time later, Ranko was pulling out her lunch with a smirk on her face.

Akane scratched her head and looked around her classroom. "Where did the girls go?"

"Yeah!" Yuka looked around as well. "I KNOW that there are more than four girls in this class…"

"Maybe they're eating outside?" Sayuri suggested.

Ranko resisted laughing.

Akane went to the window and looked outside. "I don't see any girls from our class…"

"The girls are disappearing!" a boy cried. "Why, God? Why?!"

More boys joined in the freaking out.

Akane got a determined look on her face. "I'll go find them!"

Sayuri took a look at the boys in the classroom and stood up. "I'm coming too."

Yuka nodded as well.

Ranko burst out in laughter.

The whole classroom full of people turned to look at her.

"It's just… DAHAHAHA!" Ranko bent over, laughing loudly. "Yeah, I'll help too… HeehehAHA!"

"What's so funny?" Akane asked, suspicious.

"We're treating this like a mystery." Ranko shook her head, her laughter slowing to chuckles. "Come on, I'll show you where they are…"

Ranko left the classroom, followed by Akane, Yuka and Sayuri… and everyone else.

"See?" Ranko reached her destination and turned to face the group.

The group started blankly at the scene in front of them.

Girls, girls everywhere… all waiting… in line… to use the restroom.

A few of the girls in the front of the line were banging on the door angrily.

"UNLOCK THIS DOOR!" a girl yelled angrily, jumping from foot to foot.

'… They locked it?' Ranko covered her mouth, holding back laughter.

"That… explains it…" Akane murmured. "Wait, it's locked?"

"AKANE!" A girl in the line looked relieved. "They locked the door!"

Another girl spoke up. "A girl went to go get someone to unlock it, but she hasn't returned yet!"

"Please! Help us, Akane! You're our only hope!" a girl pleaded.

Akane nodded, walked up to the door and pushed.

The door strained before bursting open, the lock breaking in half.

Everyone but Ranko gasped at what they saw.

The martial artist rhythmic gymnastic team was wringing out their clothes in the sink. All of the members were nude.

Feminine screams echoed out of the restroom as the girls tried to cover themselves.

Akane's face turned red, and she closed the door.

The girls turned to see that the boys were all on the floor in a giant pool of their own blood, giant smiles on their faces.

Akane growled. "You have got to be kidding me!"

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Ranko sat in the courtyard with Akane, Yuka and Sayuri, unable to contain her laughter.

Akane had crossed her arms. "That was cruel."

"Oh, come on!" Ranko snorted. "They've been bugging me all day, calling me a witch, and accusing me of being a futaari. They were asking for it."

Akane narrowed her eyes. "That's still taking it too far… right, Yuka?"

"Well…" Yuka trailed off.

Akane's eyes widened. "Sayuri?"

Sayuri giggled nervously. "They were being awfully mean..."

Akane's eye twitched.

"Hey, what did you want me to do?!" Ranko threw her arms into the air. "Beat them up? What would YOU do if a group kept insulting you like that?"

Akane was going to answer when Yuka interrupted.

"Don't lie," Yuka warned.

Akane's head swerved towards Yuka. "What is THAT supposed to mean?"

Sayuri twilled her thumbs. "You can be very… violent when others insult you, Akane."

"Well…" Akane mused. "But not girls!"

Ranko tilted her head, a giant question mark appearing over her head, turning chibi with a confused expression. "Why should there be a difference?"

"Because… because… BECAUSE!" Akane grew frustrated. "Honestly!"

*Ring ring* went a small bell.

"Who could-" Ranko was cut off by a bike appearing from nowhere.

Before she had time to react, the bicycle hit Ranko, causing her to flip over and land in the basket of the bike.

^Nihao!^ Shampoo smiled from the seat of the bike. ^I brought you lunch, Red.^

Sayuri and Yuka stared in amazement and shock.

"Shampoo! Why are you here!?" Akane demanded.

Shampoo turned towards Akane. "Why YOU here?!"

"I go to school here!" Akane growled.

"Oh…" Shampoo shrugged.

Ranko rolled her eyes as she ate the food Shampoo brought.

Sayuri raised an eyebrow. "So, your name… is Shampoo?"

"Yes!" Shampoo nodded.

Yuka scratched her head. "Are you a foreigner or…?"

"Shampoo Amazon," Shampoo explained. "Shampoo come because Shampoo bored. Want to find too, too good man."

Yuka sighed. "I know how that feels…"

Akane shook her head to clear her thoughts. "Shampoo, please explain to Ranko why it's wrong to strip a group of girls and throw their clothes into the toilets as punishment for being annoying and a bit insulting."

^Bahahahaaahaha!^ Shampoo laughed and fell to the ground, feet in the air, her bike somehow remaining upright.

Akane crossed her arms and looked away.

Ranko slurped her food smugly.

"How about hitting them?" Sayuri asked.

Shampoo got up off the ground and wiped away a tear. "When Amazon woman insulted by outsider women, too, too often Amazon kill women."

Sayuri and Yuka's eyes widened in shock.

"There she is!" a martial artist rhythmic gymnastic team member shouted and the group stomped over to Ranko. "Get her! Burn the witch!"

Ranko's eye twitched in annoyance.

Shampoo placed her fists on her hips. "Red no witch! She no has hat!"

The team was stunned into confusion.

A member regained her anger and yelled at Ranko. "What do you have to say for yourself, vile witch!?"

*Clank* Ranko slammed her empty container onto the carrying box and climbed off of Shampoo's bike.

"That you're lucky that I am not a killer," Ranko spat. "Seriously. Do not bug me or I WILL BREAK YOU."

Akane's jaw dropped. Shampoo got a dreamy look in her eyes. Yuka and Sayuri were stunned silent.

But the team…

"Making threats?" A member shook her head smugly. "We'll just report you."

Ranko laughed darkly. "Go ahead. It won't matter though."

The team shivered.

Another member shook it off though and smirked. "Oh yeah? We will. Who do YOU know? You just transferred here."

Ranko shook her head out of pity. "You don't get it. The principal is friends with my mom. In fact, I was employed by him before."

THAT shocked everyone else in the area.

Ranko casually put her hands behind her head and looked skyward. "So go ahead and tell someone. If I wanted to, I could get YOU kicked out. So leave me alone, that'll be great…"

Most of the team started backing off.

But one girl put her foot down. "I call your bluff! The principal isn't even here!"

"Yeah, he's in Hawaii." Ranko shrugged. "Mom said that he might come back this year."

The girl growled. "LIAR! Lying evil… WITCH!"

With that, she stormed off towards the school.

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All but one of the girls from the martial artist rhythm gymnastic team crowded Ranko's desk as the redhead sat in her chair.

"I SAID not to bug me," Ranko warned.

A girl stepped forward. "We are here… to apologize…"

Ranko blinked in surprise. "What?"

"We were… a bit extreme when asking for your help today." The girl bowed. "Sorry for bothering you too much."

Another girl looked away. "Our captain is… possessed… with finally winning a match…"

Ranko was shocked. "You… never won a match before?"

Another girl lowered her head. "Furinkan hasn't won a match in seven years."

"Wow…" Ranko digested that information.

"So please…" a girl begged by getting on her knees. "Please tell us anything that we can use to win. Ranko, the cute witch of Furinkan High, you're our only hope!"

The other girls joined in, all looking pathetic.

Ranko frowned. "Don't. Call. Me. A. Witch."

The girls looked at each other, confused. "But… aren't you a witch?"

"NO!" Ranko gritted her teeth.

A girl scratched her head. "But… isn't that what Kodachi Kuno calls you?"

Ranko clenched her fists, trying not to lash out.

"Why don't…" A girl gasped, eyes going wide. "It's… it's a term of endearment, isn't it! Sorry!"

The rest of the girls bowed over dramatically and chanted. "Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! We're not worthy!"

Ranko glanced around the classroom, and was amazed that it was still empty for lunch. "Get up…"

The girls did, shivering.

"Look, just… I told you before, I can't help by giving away any secrets. That's just messed up," Ranko clarified. "Got it?"

The girls nodded in fear.

"Good," Ranko sighed. "Do you still think I'm a witch?"

The girls shook their heads.

"Are you just saying no so I won't get mad?" Ranko asked.

Embarrassed, the girls nodded.

Ranko groaned. "Just… go eat your lunch. Sorry for drenching your clothes, but you WERE being cruel…"

The tiniest, most pathetic girl asked, trembling. "Will you please help us?"

And Ranko replied, "No."

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Ranko and Shampoo met up again at an ice cream place after Ranko was out of school and Shampoo off of work. Ranko was eating her ice cream with a vengeance.

^I am curious, Red…^ Shampoo folded her hands under her chin. ^Why do you hate being called a witch so much that you humiliated those girls?^

Ranko sighed. ^It's… complicated. For one thing, it's usually said with hatred and malicious intent.^

^That's true…^ Shampoo shrugged.

^Another thing is that… well… it seems to… cheapen… my life,^ Ranko tried to explain.

^Huh?^ Shampoo tilted her head. ^How does that make sense?^

^I said it was hard to explain.^ Ranko took a deep breath. ^ Think of it this way… What if I said that everything you are capable of doing is because you are given it through magic? No work on your part, all luck.^

^I would be extremely upset,^ Shampoo growled. ^To dismiss everything I worked for…^

^Yeah, it's like that.^ Ranko ate her ice cream more slowly. ^Plus, the whole… gender thing… A guy can't be a witch, you know… So that means that people would think you are turning into a guy because you are a witch… saying it's not a part of you… that it's just a disguise…^

The redheaded girl put her feet up on the booth's seat and hugged her legs.

^Oh…^ Shampoo looked down.

Ranko buried her face in her knees. ^I'm both… And to keep being insulted… It just reminds me of growing up with Pops… But instead of dismissing being a girl, it's a guy…^

The redhead started crying.

Shampoo moved to the other side of the table and hugged her friend.

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Meanwhile, back at the training hall of the Tendo dojo…

Nabiki's eye twitched. "… What?"

Akane sighed. "Ranko won't help at all. Can't blame her. The team was being… annoying."

Nabiki calmed herself. "Great. Now I have to readjust some things. Those idiots… So, what did they do?"

"Called her a witch… a TON…" Akane counted on her fingers. "Accused her of some other things, and were just being really pushy. THEN, after Ranko pranked them…"

Nabiki chuckled at that memory.

"… They threatened to get her thrown out," Akane continued. "But Ranko said she knew the principal. Sis, who IS the principal?"

Nabiki shrugged. "From what Kasumi says, he's a bit… energetic. Most likely insane."

Akane sighed. "It hurt Ranko pretty bad. She didn't say anything at all after lunch."

"Yeah, pulling a dragon's tail." Nabiki rolled her eyes. "Pretty stupid. She won't even attend, probably."

Akane shrugged. "I don't know… She might go to support Kodachi."

"That bad?" Nabiki shook her head sadly.

"No… Just supporting a friend, perhaps," Akane answered.

Nabiki blinked in surprise. "Who?"

"Kodachi." Akane answered, as if it were obvious. "Now, excuse me, Sis, I have to practice… Sis?"

Akane waved a hand in front of Nabiki's face, but the middle Tendo didn't move.

… For she was shocked into a granite statue.

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"Oh ho ho hoho!" Kodachi laughed, a hand to her mouth. "Facing off against the Cute Witch will be most enjoyable."

Ranko felt veins pop out on her head. "Kodachi…"

"Hmm?" Kodachi turned towards Ranko.

Ranko massaged her forehead. "You already won the match. We're at the celebration party."

Kodachi looked around the table she was sitting at to see Shampoo, Akane, Ranko, and Kaori.

The non-Hawaii Five-0 of girls sat in Kaori's restaurant, which was closed to other customers due to being after hours.

Kodachi blinked. "I know that..."

Akane rolled her eyes. "Anyway… nice restaurant you have here, Kaori."

Kaori tried to be modest. "Oh, it's nothing…"

"Shampoo do better…" Shampoo mumbled.

Ranko facepalmed. "Not again…"

Kaori laughed. "I'd like to see you try. It's no easy task."

"Yes is!" Shampoo slammed her fists. "Shampoo show it be too, too easy!"

Kodachi scoffed. "A barbarian like you wouldn't have the sophistication to run a restaurant if it hit you in the head."

Akane sighed.

"She's right," Kaori agreed with Kodachi. "There's the paperwork, the invoices, running a budget, and getting advertised… It's a lot of work, not just serving and making food."

Shampoo rolled her shoulders back and placed a hand atop her breasts suggestively. "Shampoo have most talent. Come eat…"

Akane's eye twitched. "What are you doing!?"

"Shampoo show off Shampoo due to Shampoo being too, too sexy!" Shampoo posed.

"Oh ho ho hoho!" Kodachi laughed. "In the most perverted sense, yes, but that skin-deep attraction won't help you without legs like these!"

Ranko banged her head on the table as Kodachi showed off as well.

"Honestly!" Akane exasperated.

The Chinese Amazon and the Black Rose proceeded to attempt to one up each other more and more.

Kaori glanced to Ranko. "How are you even friends with them, anyway?"

Ranko lifted her head up. "Shampoo actually respects me… mostly. She's just a show-off. And Kodachi is pretty nice for a rich girl. It's just that together… they fight a lot."

"I'll say." Akane rolled her eyes. "So… Kaori, what do you like doing?"

Kaori shrugged. "Not much. I don't have many hobbies. Too busy… BUT… there is a noodle delivery race a week from tomorrow. I'll be winning it."

Ranko smirked. "Not against me, you won't. It'll be great to get a lifetime supply of noodles."

"WHAT?!" Shampoo interjected, hearing something interesting. "Free noodles?"

Kodachi scoffed. "Things that are free are vastly inferior to anything that money can buy. Now… what was this about winning? The Black Rose shall always win!"

"Saturday after tomorrow," Kaori informed them. "The race will be a callback to the traditional occupation of noodle delivery. It's what my family did for generations until my father decided to get into the pickle business. Basically, you race with the food against other girls. If the food ends up not completely intact, you're disqualified. You may have to feed a person at the finish line the food, but it depends."

"Shampoo win easy!" Shampoo bragged.

"Oh ho ho hoho!" Kodachi laughed, a hand to her mouth. "Not likely! For I, the Black Rose, Kodachi Kuno shall enter and win!"

"But you don't even want the prize!" Akane yelled.

"That does not matter! Oh ho ho hoho!" Kodachi smirked. "I would just give the prize to the Cute Witch. Surely then she'll see my-"

Shampoo cut her off. "No, Shampoo will!"

Kaori rolled her eyes and turned towards Akane. "How about you?"

"I don't know…" Akane tapped her lip in thought.

"Afraid to lose, I see…" Kodachi snorted elegantly… somehow. "Clearly not much of a martial artist."

Shampoo nodded. "Too, too slow. If race, finish sixth out of five."

Ranko sighed. "Don't let them get to-"

"ARGGG!" Akane growled. "That's it! I'M entering! And I'M going to win! That'll shut you up!"

Kodachi scoffed. "Such an absurd fantasy! A Kuno shutting up…"

"Please, it's in my blood." Kaori smiled. "It's an endurance race while keeping your food intact. It's basically my job."

"So we're all in, then?" Ranko asked.

Everyone else nodded.

Kodachi stuck her chin out. "In that case, I propose a bet!"

Akane growled. "No way. We don't have the money to compete with you!"

^Winner will get to date Red!^ Shampoo winked.

Ranko smirked. ^I can't date myself, so no.^

"Fine, we will bet something that is much more reasonable." Kodachi grinned madly. "I am in need of some maids…"

"No." Kaori narrowed her eyes. "Nothing like that."

Ranko snapped her fingers. "Loser buys ice cream for everyone."

"…" The four other girls glanced at each other.

After a few moments, they all nodded simultaneously.

"It's settled," Ranko laughed.

^Ice cream date?^ Shampoo licked her lips.

^No dating!^ Kaori shouted.

Everyone else glanced at Kaori.

Kodachi frowned. "How monstrous for more people to learn things that I, the Black Rose, have not!"

"When you learn language?" Shampoo demanded.

Kaori shrugged. "You need to learn it if you're going to supply the Seven Lucky Gods with their pickles."

Ranko laughed. "Oh, yeah… Forgot about that."

Kaori nodded. "Now, I need to get paid for the food…."

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Kasumi hummed as she cleaned up her home. The place was already shiny, but Kasumi liked to be sure.

Kasumi glanced at the clock. "Oh my… it's time to water the garden."

Smiling, the nineteen-year-old young woman grabbed her watering can and went out to the front yard garden. There, in the midst of numerous roses, all colors from white to black, was a statue. The statue looked eerily like Nabiki. That's because it WAS Nabiki.

"Oh, these roses are so nice, aren't they, Nabiki?" Kasumi smiled as she watered the plants and talked to her sister. "It was so nice for Kodachi to give us these roses as a gift."

"How was I supposed to tell that they were just overly competitive…?" Akane mumbled to herself as she entered her family's property. "Oh, Kasumi! You're still up."

Kasumi smiled. "Yes, I am. How was the party?"

Akane sighed. "Weird… Anyway, Nabiki still hasn't gotten over her shock?"

Kasumi shook her head. "She's so cute though, and she livens up the garden."

Akane nodded in agreement.

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Author's notes: unfortunately, Noy and tuatara had to argue over this chapter, delaying it, oh well, till next time, IMMA Text!