'Bringing Ranma from China. Genma.'
Soun Tendo looked over the postcard a few more times to make sure he didn't misread the words written on it. Satisfied, he put the card down and allowed tears of joy to flow down his face. "At last, the day has come. It will be wonderful to see Saotome again." The tears stopped as he steeled himself. "I must make sure my daughters are prepared for this."
He got up and went to the kitchen. There was a young girl wearing an apron and sporting long hair tied in a low ponytail with the end draped over her right shoulder. She was cutting some watermelon and turned to him, showing a young but mature face. "Yes Father, can I help you?"
"Ah hello Kasumi. Yes I have something of an announcement to make"
Rain began to fail outside, and a young girl was running down the street, as if trying to escape something. Oddly enough, that something turned out to be a panda running on it's hind legs after her. "Dammit you fat oaf, leave me alone!"
"A fiancee?" Kasumi repeated.
Soun nodded. "Indeed. Years ago, before you were born, when myself and Genma Saotome were developing our own schools of Indiscriminate Grappling, we made a pact. We would reunite the schools through the marriage of one of our children."
"Oh my" responded a flustered Kasumi. "I don't think this is such a good idea. I-I'm much too young to think about such things yet."
"Oh there is no need to worry. The marriage won't be immediate. Right now it is more something for you to consider. That's all I'm asking right now."
Kasumi closed her eyes and nodded. "Very well Father. I'll let the other two know as well. Though I think they will speak for themselves on the matter."
The young girl was forced to come to a stop when the road forked and the panda caught up to her. Onlookers were aghast to see a panda in public, and a girl running it.
With nowhere else to run, the girl took up a stance. "Your move old man."
Soun was getting some water heated up for some tea when his friend showed up when he saw his daughter come to him. This one had a wicked but not unpleasant look to her eyes and a relaxed face, with her hair long and unbounded in any way and no apron on.
"Hello Nabiki. Did Kasumi tell you?"
"Yeah, I heard. So Daddy," She said with a saccharine tone that made him quite nervous. "What can you tell me about the guy coming over? Is he cute?"
Soun suppressed a nervous gulp at that. He knew he needed to choose his words well here. "If you don't mind me asking, why are you so curious?"
"It's good business sense to make informed decisions. After all, I don't want to be married to some sort of deviant or thief now."
Soun got even more nervous at that, his memory drifting back to some of his more 'colorful' escapades that he and Genma went through.
Nabiki went on with his silence. "I get the feeling from your expression these Saotome's don't have much to their names, do they now?"
"Truth be told, I haven't seen my friend Saotome in awhile. As far as I know he's been on the road training his son Ranma all the time, so he probably doesn't have much other than the clothes on his back."
"Lovely." Nabiki said sarcastically.
"But Saotome assures me that Ranma is a very good looking and strong lad...heh heh heh..." Soun added.
Nabiki shrugged. "Well now the engagement is sounding better and better." She said with more sarcasm. "Oh, Akane wants to talk to you about it in the dojo."
"Why not here?"
"Maybe she wants to beat the crap out of you for this. I didn't ask."
"Well I still say this whole thing sucks!" The young girl in the rain yelled, dodging a punch from the panda while people watched. Taking the opportunity, she grabbed the arm and lifted it up to throw it over her not unlike a judo move. "Picking my fiancee for me without even asking."
The panda went down and the girl stood over it, breathing heavily as if finally allowed to relax a little, then huffed. "I'm going back to China. Suck on it old man." She grabbed her downed pack and put it back on, walking away while trying to ignore the many confused looks she got. Only to be attacked by surprise from behind with a pole wielded by the panda.
In the dojo Soun was having a spar with his final daughter Akane, who was wearing a yellow gi with her hair tied at the end and had a face that could be either fierce or gentle depending on the mood you caught her in. And right now, she was not in a good mood.
"What the heck were you thinking making such a deal?" She all but shouted while throwing punches and kicks. Her form was incredibly sloppy but this wasn't about true martial arts, this was just venting. When Akane was serious, she had a real form and rhythm to follow.
"I did it because I wanted my little girl to have a husband she could share her life and home with. Who better than a fellow student of Anything Goes?" Soun said, blocking her hits since she took offense to him just dodging in these sessions. Though blocking them did hurt his body quite a bit, a long soak later would be required.
"And which one of us did you have this in mind for?" Akane added, throwing an easily readable punch that Soun ducked under and added in a light attack to throw her off guard.
"Akane dear, the engagement was made sometime before either of you were born. In fact the agreement's exact wording was for any of my daughters." He paused to sidestep a kick and attempt a sweeping counter. "I never really specified which one."
Akane barely leapt over the sweep and attempted an elbow strike in mid-air. "That doesn't help at all!" Her strike ended up parried, with Soun about to launch a straight punch which was stopped by his daughter's faster strike.
"Akane, I do know that all of you are having some issues with the boys at school."
Akane launched a trio of snap kicks in response. "That's an understatement! Damn Kuno and those jerks...""
"But I assure you that Ranma isn't like them. Please just think about it, after all your sisters are."
"That's a lie and you know it! Besides, my world doesn't revolve around boys!"
"I'm not saying it should, but you can't go your entire life ignoring half the population. That's not healthy for you and not fair to your sisters." Soun reprimanded.
"You're one to talk about what's fair for us." She accused, trying another hit.
Soun blocked, and started to cry. "I'm just trying to do what is best for my daughters, and yet I'm so unappreciated."
Akane wasn't phased. "Oh Dad, not the "Tears of the Crocodile" technique! When has that ever worked?"
The rain died down, and a knock was heard at the door. Soun perked up. "That must be them."
"This I gotta see." Nabiki said, wearing a blue blouse and pair of shorts now.
The two went to the front door opened it. Expecting a fatter man his own age with a teenage boy, he instead encountered a panda holding a struggling person over its shoulders.
Naturally Soun and Nabiki were surprised and left the door, running down the hall without bothering to close it thus allowing the panda to come in.
When Soun looked back and saw it had entered his house he turned to face it and took a stance. "Get out of my house."
"Is this your old friend?" Nabiki asked, only to get her father shaking his head in response. "So this panda just decided to show up on it's own? Yeah, happens all the time."
"Let me go you old fart!" The person on the panda's shoulders said loudly. The panda grabbed them and placed them in front of him, allowing Soun to see a redhead teen in a red Chinese shirt. "Umm..."
Something in the Tendo patriarch's mind clicked. "You wouldn't happen to be Ranma Saotome would you?"
The redhead looked away. "Yeah, that's me."
"Oh, he is cute." Nabiki said happily.
Soun smiled and embraced the youth. "I'm so glad you're here." His joy was quickly broken when he felt a rather strange yet familiar pressure against him. Pulling away from the young man, he looked and saw two rather apparent lumps on their chest, telling him this wasn't really a man. "Umm... you are Ranma Saotome, son of Genma Saotome right?"
Ranma nodded. "Yeah, it's kind of a long story."
Nabiki took a closer look and saw the breasts she had overlooked earlier, giving them a squeeze to confirm they were there.
"Could you stop that?" Ranma requested, not comfortable with the grope.
Nabiki looked at her father with disappointment. "This is a girl Dad."
"But... but he... you... son...?" Soun muttered incoherently, then collapsed.
"Oh boy." Ranma groaned. "Sorry."
"Don't fret, this isn't the first time he's taken news badly." Nabiki said. "Help me move him, or get that panda out of here." Ranma helped Nabiki move Soun to the next room and lay him down. "Kasumi is better at caring for him. I better go get her." She got up to leave, but stopped before she did leave Ranma's sight. "By the way, I'm Nabiki."
"Hi." Ranma said, then Nabiki left. She looked to the panda, who was sitting on the outcove. "You couldn't have stopped for hot water first? How did you think they were going to react?"
"Hello Ranma." Kasumi said coming back, pillow and blanket in hand.
"How did you know my name?" She asked. 'Wait, she's wearing the same thing Nabiki was, just an apron over it.'
"My sister Nabiki told me about you." Kasumi said, putting the pillow and blanket in place. Her motions helped revive Soun. "Are you alright Father?"
He looked to Ranma, and groaned. "So I wasn't imagining things."
"Father, don't say it like Ranma should apologize to you for being a girl. Besides, it looks like the engagement can't go through now."
"This makes no sense. My friend Saotome said he had a son. Not a daughter."
"Well, I see a daughter." Kasumi said, noting an upset look on the redhead. "Don't blame yourself Ranma. It's not your fault Father was lied to."
"Technically, he wasn't."
"What do you mean?" Kasumi asked
"Never mind." Ranma said, looking away.
"You seem rather uncomfortable. I don't suppose you practice martial arts do you?" Kasumi asked.
"Umm... yeah, why?"
"Well if you need something to do to relax, I'll go get my sister and you can have a spar. She'll appreciate it, it has been a while since she's had someone new to fight."
Kasumi smiled. "Let me show you the dojo first." She led him to an open stretch of hall, which connected the house to the dojo while keeping them in separate buildings. Kasumi stopped by the connecting point to the house. "You go on ahead, I'll go get her." She said before going upstairs.
Not having anything else to do, and with the panda having gone off on it's own, Ranma went to the dojo. Inside she felt a welcome sense of comfort, having been in many dojos before in her lifetime. This one was simple, wood floors and open space for combat with some rooms in the back for changing or storing equipment, and the only decorations being a small table with some flower vases and a wall scroll with the hiragana for 'iruha'.
She turned and saw another girl, this one wearing a beige-yellow gi with a red sash and held her long hair with a bow close to the bottom. "Yeah, who are you?"
"I'm Akane. Kasumi said you do martial arts. Do you?" Ranma nodded, and Akane smiled. "Nice. I don't see many girls interested in it. They think it's no fun. Even Nabiki doesn't like getting into it." She came closer to the redhead. "Would you like to be friends?"
Surprised, Ranma smiled warmly. Taking that as a yes, Akane tightened her sash a bit. "Alright, show me what you got."
The two stood apart facing each other after a proper bow and took up their stances. Ranma was completely relaxed but attentive and Akane was pumped and confident. Without a signal, Akane rushed at Ranma, who ducked under the punch then straightened when the fist was retracted. Akane followed with another hit but Ranma swerved to the side to avoid.
"Hey, it's no fun if you don't fight back." Akane said, trying another hit that was dodged. "Hmm... maybe I should." She said quietly, confusing Ranma. "You're good at dodging." She said, giving herself some distance and turning around. "But not good enough."
'Huh, her voice sounds a bit different now.' Ranma noted. All of a sudden Akane charged in, this time moving much faster. 'Whoa, I think her ki just changed.' She noted before dodging a swift upperkick that could grazed her breast a bit, tearing the shirt slightly. Shifting her main support to her arms, Ranma on sheer instinct performed an upperkick of her own while straightening her body into a handstand. At Akane's current position the hit was unavoidable, and made her fly for a small bit before hitting the floor and tumbling to a stop.
Ranma flipped back onto her feet and came up to the Tendo girl. "You okay? I didn't hurt you did I?" She was confused to sense another change in ki.
Akane sat up. "Yeah, I'm good. I've handled worse. I'll let you have this win." She said with a smile before getting up and dusting off. "You're good. But me and my sisters could take you on. Hope you can give us a challenge."
"Umm... okay?" Ranma asked, not sure what exactly she meant by that.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I need to change clothes." Akane said before leaving the dojo. "Make yourself comfortable for a bit."
Having nothing to do, Ranma sat by the door to the backyard and looked at the koi pond. 'I hope the old man actually has a plan, I mean, I don't want to have to tell them about this curse if I don't have to.'
Time went by that Ranma didn't bother to measure, until she heard her name. By the other entry to the door was Kasumi. "I can show you your room if you'd like."
"Umm... sure." The redhead girl replied, for two reasons. First being she wasn't sure if she and her father were supposed to stay here long term, and second... 'All three of these girls here look a lot alike. Even their hair is practically the same length. Is it just family resemblance?'
She followed her upstairs and to an empty room, passing Soun in the room he was left in, but there was someone with him. "Ranma, was that your father with mine?" Kasumi asked.
"Was it a fat guy with a white scarf over his head?"
"Yes, from what little I saw."
"That was him. About time he showed up."
"Why wasn't he here with you when you arrived?" Kasumi asked.
Ranma withheld a sigh. "It's hard to explain."
Kasumi opened the door to a room on the second floor. "Well, for the time being you and your father can bunk here. I hope this is adequate."
Ranma dropped her pack on the floor. "It'll do, I've slept in smaller and dirtier."
"Speaking of dirty," Kasumi mentioned before handing the girl a towel. "You should probably take a bath now. You don't want to be sweaty do you?"
While Ranma was in the Kasumi was at work in the kitchen. "She seems nice, doesn't she?"
"That's not what concerns me. She's a girl." Nabiki spoke up.
"You say that like it's a bad thing." Akane chided.
"Here it is. I didn't know what I was expecting to show up, but it certainly wasn't something with two X chromosomes."
"Oh boo hoo, a girl shows up instead of a boy." Akane mock-whined.
"Calm down you two, it's not like Ranma chose to be a girl." Kasumi said to stem the fighting.
"But don't you two think something here just isn't right?" Nabiki asked. "Dad was promised a boy was coming over. There's no way Ranma's father thought he could masquerade that busty redhead as a boy. And writing 'boy' instead of 'girl' is too big a typo to be natural."
"Maybe this person was lying." Akane theorized.
"Lies only works when they're believable. There's no way saying Ranma is a boy would have been even close to believable. I'm telling you we're missing something."
"Speaking of missing something," Kasumi added, looking through the cupboards. "We're out of sugar. I'll have to go get some before I can finish dinner."
"Let me take a quick bath first, then we can be off." Akane asked, not wanting to go out smelling of sweat.
"Alright, I'm sure Ranma won't mind."
"Well, Pop probably told their old man, so it's not like they won't find out anyway." Ranma thought out loud in the hot water. "I might as well get it over with."
The young Saotome emerged from the furo, but with only one foot out, the door to the room opened. Standing there was a nude-as-the-day-she-was-born Akane, with a towel in hand. And in front of her was a dark-haired pigtailed boy with an impressive masculine boy, with nothing hidden from her eyes.
Ranma was as frozen as a deer in the headlights, and he soon realized that he was staring at the figurative headlights in front of him.
Akane stood there frozen too, her expression one of bewilderment. But Ranma, in his attempt to focus on her face rather than breasts or legs, saw it change in small ways. But it wasn't her expression that changed, not entirely at least, it was her face itself. It got narrower one second, rounded the next, natural after that, over and over within instants. And to his ki senses, her aura was in a constant state of flux.
Without a word, Akane left the room and closed the door. Ranma couldn't see anything, but it wasn't even a minute before he heard a scream.
'That ain't good.'
"B-b-boy...naked! Furo, in? How?" Kasumi babbled, her mind a little phased since that had been her first time seeing a male in the buff.
"Calm down. Right now we need to decide on the proper course of action." Nabiki responded in a detached an unnaturally calm manner, thanks to her own little bit of shock.
"I'll drown him in the tub!" Akane yelled, running down the hall after dawning a robe again.
"Excellent idea Akane, try using one of the stone statues outside."
"Nabiki!" Kasumi chided as Akane grabbed one of the stone decorations in the back yard.
"Akane, what's going on?" Soun asked, coming up to his daughter and stopping her from going any further.
"There's a pervert in the furo!" Akane yelled, not noticing the stranger behind her father.
Rather than give the okay to continue, Soun surprised his daughter with an 'ah' expression. "I see what's going on. Akane, there's something you need to know."
"There's an uninvited naked boy in my house who got a look at me! What more do I need to know?!"
"Akane, you of all people show know there's more to people than just what you see. Why don't you sit down for a moment and listen first?"
"Listen to what?"
Akane turned around and saw the boy from earlier, wearing the exact same clothes that Ranma wore earlier, a little wet since he didn't bother getting completely dry from the bath. "Who are you?" She asked, stone still in hand.
"I'm Ranma Saotome, sorry about earlier."
Surprised and not sure what to think, Akane dropped the stone, thankfully not hitting her foot with it.
"Akane, I can explain everything." Soun said. "Let's sit down and clear up the confusion."
Everyone sat down in the dining room, with Akane to one side and the boy claiming to be Ranma on the other, the stranger from earlier next to him, and Soun at the head. "Akane, this is my friend I told you about earlier."
"I'm Genma Saotome." He greeted with a small bow. "And this is my son."
"Ranma Saotome." He said, looking like he had committed a crime and was awaiting an unavoidable punishment.
"Are you really that girl from earlier?" Akane asked, and he nodded. "How can you even be that girl? People can't change like that!"
"See for yourself." Genma said, standing up and grabbing Ranma by surprise before throwing him out into the koi pond.
"Whadya do that for?" Girl-type Ranma asked, hot under the collar when she emerged.
'He's a she now. But how?' Akane asked.
"She needed proof boy. We needed water to show her and this worked just fine." Genma said. Before he could counter, Ranma got behind him and kicked him into the pond, causing a panda to emerge.
"Easy to say when you're not the one getting wet, is it old man?"
"What is this all about Dad?" Akane asked.
"They weren't always like this, this is the result of a terrible accident."
After the two Saotomes got their irritation out of their system and changed back to their normal forms, they were ready to explain their circumstances.
"My son and I have been traveling extensively for quite some time. Our most recent trip was to China to learn some new martial arts. While there I learned about a training ground rumored to be legendary, so we checked it out. It was called Jusenkyo, the Springs of Sorrow. Filled with roughly a hundred springs, each the location of some kind of drowning. And of course, rumored to be cursed."
Soun nodded. "I remember hearing about it, but never thought it was real."
"Wait, you're saying your shapeshifting back there was because of a curse?" Akane asked in disbelief.
"You saw it with your own eyes. Can you provide a rational explanation that doesn't require magic to be involved?" Genma asked back. With Akane's silence, he proceeded to tell his tale. "Jusenkyo curses those unlucky enough to get wet in its springs, becoming whoever or whatever drowned there any further time they get wet. My curse turns me into a panda, and my son..." He tried to look dramatic at this point. "He turns into a girl."
"Hey, don't say it like you have more reason to be upset about that then me."
"Quit complaining!" Genma ordered, grabbing Ranma and throwing him again. "You sound like a girl." There was another splash in the koi pond. "You knew the risk when we went there."
"That's a load of crap!" Ranma yelled, splashing Genma and making him a panda that couldn't talk back. "You never said one word about the place being cursed! Not one word! How could I know the risk?"
Rather than seeing another scuffle between them, Soun came up with a kettle of water and poured it on Genma, who was obviously not enjoying it. "So as I understand it, hot water returns you both to normal form."
Genma, human now, panted. "It doesn't have to be that hot."
Ignoring this, Soun looked to Ranma. "So, you really are a boy, but only become a girl when cold water hits you. And hot water makes you a boy again." He tried to soak Ranma, but she dodged it.
"Hot water, not boiling water!"
Soun put down the kettle and smiled. "Well then, your problem isn't so bad. In fact, this might make you a good match for my daughters."
"Hey, hold on a second. I don't want to be with this weirdo!" Akane yelled.
"Akane, you of all people should know how it feels to change a lot. I'd think you'd be sympathetic to the boy if nothing else."
"Don't compare me to this. This is unnatural."
"Hey, you think I like this?" Ranma argued. "You think I like turning into a girl every time there's water around? Count yourself lucky you don't live with a daily identity crisis."
"Don't live with..." Akane repeated, as if she could not believe she had just heard that. "I've got news for you pervert! I AM an identity crisis!"
Soun patted Ranma on the shoulder briefly. "Ranma, allow me to explain. My daughters... kind of have a little transformation of their own. Vastly different than your own, but no less an ordeal to get used to."
"Dad! Don't just up and tell him like this!"
Soun turned to his daughter. "Akane, if he's going to be here from now on he's going to learn sooner or later. He might as well be told. So why don't you properly introduce yourself? All of you."
Akane groaned and stood up. "Alright fine. This is why I'm a living identity crisis. I'm Akane..." All of a suddenly, Akane started to change. Nothing as drastic as what Ranma and Genma did, but noticeable if you were paying attention. Her height and weight didn't change, but muscles on her face seemed to tense and make her look more stern and mature while her breasts slightly enlarged and her posture adjusted.
"I'm Nabiki." She said now, with a different voice, exactly like the first Tendo daughter Ranma had seen here.
"Whoa." Ranma said. Then suddenly she changed again. The face softened to look more gentle and her breasts contracted a small bit while what was seen of her body looked less muscularly-defined and more feminine.
"I'm Kasumi." She said, the voice different again, exactly like the second Tendo daughter Ranma met.
"Wait, you mean all three of you are the same person?" Ranma asked.
"Not quite. Each of us is our own person. We are simply what you would know best as multiple personalities." Kasumi explained, adjusting her hair and the tie holding it together to fit her choice of style.
"But then, how can you change like that?" Ranma asked.
"Multiple personalities doesn't cause any true physical transformations, not like your predicament does. But when one personality takes over the body, often some muscles do tend to tighten up or loose more. And we've been like this for years, so we've actually grown up looking like different people in a way, just with a rather strong family resemblance."
Soun laughed a bit and put both hands on Ranma's feminine shoulders. "Now my boy, it looks to me like what we have here is a perfect set-up. You are so fit for my daughters clearly it's meant to be."
"Agreed Tendo." Genma added it. "A pair of transformers who are the same age and both know martial arts. Surely the universe wants these two together."
"Now hold on a minute." Ranma started.
"Father, you said we weren't going to be forced to marry." Kasumi reminded him.
"Of course. I didn't mean it like that. I will definitely give you three the time needed to get to know Ranma and allow him to get to know you all as well. I'm just saying you already have a lot in common."
Ranma stepped away. "I can't believe this. I don't wanna get married!"
Soun immediately reacted with his demon head technique, spooking the aquantransexual. "ARE YOU SAYING THAT MY DAUGHTERS AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU!?"
The sheer surprise of the giant demonic head made Ranma hide behind a cowering Genma. "NO! Not at all, she... er... they are very, um... well, it's not them at all really!"
Soun calmed down and returns to normal. "Well what is it then?"
Ranma tried to find the right way to phrase his answer, a skill she was not very strong at, especially when pressured. "Mr. Tendo, thanks for the offer and all, but I gotta get back to China and fix this curse. I don't got time to get married."
"Boy, we can't go back to China right now." Genma insisted. "Have you forgotten how much trouble it was just to get away?"
Ranma almost snarled. "How could I forget? The reason we left was after me!"
"Exactly! And we went to a lot of effort to get here. The least you can do is be obedient." Genma stated with as much authority as he could muster.
Soun chimed in. "Oh no need to say such things Genma. My door is always open for you and your family."
Genma smiled. "Ah old friend it warms my heart to hear you say that."
"And it's not like we're marrying him immediately." Soun went on.
Genma made a face that showed that comment did not warm his heart. "What?"
"Well Genma, don't you think things should go a little slowly considering the circumstances? After all my daughters all share a body, and Ranma should at least get used to that. And they need to get used to his own bodily issues as well."
"Why wait? Obviously they are fond of each other." Genma said, hasty thoughts of his wife finding him, the sword in one hand and the contract in the other.
"Does not matter my friend. A marriage, even an arranged one, cannot be based on mere fondness. For that matter, we haven't even discussed whether or not your son would be engaged to just one of my daughters or all three of them." Soun replied.
"Why would that matter? They're all the same person. You know multiple personalities don't really exist." Genma claimed.
Kasumi started to frown, and then her face and body adjusted to become Akane. "We're right here in front of you and you have the nerve to talk like we're crazy?!"
Soun shook his head. "Genma, I have looked into the disorder extensively over the past decade. I can assure you that multiple personalities is quite real, despite what many professionals in Japan insist. I do not have one daughter, I have three, and while they are their own person they do share the same body. I cannot in good consciousness make them marry anyone for any reason, even for honor, without them and the boy coming to some kind of agreement on how to handle it."
"Then let my son marry all three of them, what's there to discuss?" Genma suggested.
Soun frowned. "It should be them who makes the agreement, not us."
"Damn right." Akane added. "And I'm not agreeing to anything. This pervert wants to run off, let him I say."
"Hey, who are you calling a pervert?" Ranma asked, insulted.
"You saw us naked!"
"You walked in on me! All three of you!"
Akane fumed at the boy-turned girl. "It's different when a girl sees-"
"Akane, he's right."
Akane then froze. "Kasumi?! But he..."
"I know he did stare at us... but we stared back just as much, even if it was an accident."
"What's this 'we' stuff sister?" Nabiki weakly said.
Ranma looked to Soun, unable to hear anything but able to see Akane looked distracted. "Um... is this normal?"
"They can talk to each other, she's being told something by the other two." He answered.
"Perhaps we should apologize? Just to clear the air of course." Kasumi suggested.
Akane sighed "...Damn. You're... right Kasumi. But could you do it? I don't wanna speak to the pervert yet."
"Same here." Nabiki added, not pleased with the fact the boy got a free look. Not to say she'd let anyone with money look, but the price would be very high.
"Of course." Kasumi said, mentally nodding.
With a sudden silence from the Tendo daughter(s), Ranma was confused, then gave a smirk. "So, can't admit that you were being the pervert huh?"
The room became silent at that moment, allowing the young Saotome to continue. "Whatsa matta, can't handle the truth? Not that I can blame you staring. I mean I am a hot stud when I'm male."
"Uh boy, you should really quit while you're ahead." Genma advised, really not liking how Tendo's daughter was just sitting there taking it. While Genma might not have the highest opinion of women, he knew intentionally making them mad was about as good an idea as putting a fork in a socket.
"Not now Pops. Besides, in case you forgot one of them actually groped me when we first met. Who's the pervert then? I may have just looked, but she looked and touched." She added, then looked at Akane. "I guess I can't blame either of ya for that either, I mean I am better built than any of you!"
Akane stiffened at the claim, and almost right away she was seeing red. All three of them were.
"Jerk!" She yelled while delivering a quick haymaker punch right to Ranma's face, sending her flying and hit the wall of the yard instead of the koi pond. She then shifted to Nabiki who ran out.
"Asshole!" Nabiki added, kicking Ranma in the gut with the legs she was quite proud of. She considered herself to be the sexy one of her sisters so to be told by a guy that he was hotter as both a boy and a girl insulted her. Then she shifted to Kasumi.
"You-you, meanie!" Kasumi settled for a good slap to the collapsed girl, deciding she had taken enough and wanted to keep what she could do to Ranma a surprise in case he/she kept this up later.
After that, Kasumi panted a bit then turned away back into the house, tears falling as she moved.
Genma waited until she was away to speak. "He really had that coming..."
"I can't believe him! And just when we were about to say sorry too! Well he won't get that now!" Akane ranted as Kasumi went into their room and sat on their bed.
Kasumi sighed. "Actually, I was the one who was going to apologize for all of us. You're right off course."
"Darn right I'm right! We though he was a nice girl and he turns out do be another perverted boy like the ones at school."
"...Actually all things considered he's only marginally better." Nabiki added in.
"Nabiki?" Kasumi asked, a bit confused.
Nabiki then became the outer personality and stood up to go by the window. "Look, I'm trying to look at this from all sides."
"All sides? He saw us and was rude to us. He thinks we're the perverts! What more do we need to think about?" Akane asked, in no mood to go into details. She was hurt that the girl she tried to be friends with was a boy.
Nabiki shook her head. "No, it goes deeper than that Akane. I know you two don't like it, and neither do I, but it's unlikely that the matter would end here. Dad's not going to just make them leave and forget this ever happened. We might be stuck with Ranma for a while."
"Seriously?" Akane asked.
"Yes. You didn't really think Dad would wait years for his old buddy to show up just to decide the entire issue in five minutes did you?" Nabiki asked. "He's going to give it time, allow the excitement of tonight to die down and have us get along, then see from there whether or not anything long term will happen. Though eventually his patience will run out and he'll want an answer out of us, or force the issue."
"You sure of that?" Kasumi asked.
Nabiki closed her eyes for a moment. "Absolutely. The panda strikes me as a man that would do almost anything to get what he wants."
"Takes one to know one heh?" Akane noted.
"You saw him earlier, he was counting on a quick wedding and short engagement. For some reason, he wants us and his son to be hitched sooner rather than later. It's only natural that he's going to try and convince Dad to agree." Nabiki continued.
"So what do we do?" Kasumi asked.
"Don't ask her, she'll only ask them how much they're willing to pay to make it happen soon."
Nabiki rolled her eyes. "Still upset that I am secretly selling those pictures to the horde? They're not pornographic, and it's my body too you know."
Akane was not placated. "They might as well be considering how much they pay for them, especially Kuno!"
Kasumi mentally nodded. "She's right Nabiki, I know we needed the money, but encouraging the boys like that may harm us in the long run."
"I know. Besides, it's starting to get old fast really. Which is why, insane as it sounds, I think we should at least try to get along with Ranma."
Akane gasped. "WHAT!? Why?"
"Think about it like this for a moment Akane, and please no interrupting." Nabiki requested. "The horde only seems to be following Kuno's lead, thus they might stop the whole thing if he can become convinced to leave us alone. Now before you laugh or rant, I am well aware that Kuno-baby doesn't exactly listen to everything we tell him. That's why we need to play on his sense of 'samurai' honor to get him to stop. And we can do that, by using the engagement."
"Use the engagement? How will that help?" Akane asked.
Kasumi saw what her sister meant. "Ah, I think I know what you're getting at. If Kuno-sempai had the sense of honor he claims to have, he will have to stop because doing otherwise will mean he is interfering in our family honor?"
Nabiki nodded. "Yes, and to do anything else will only ruin his image around school. Either way, if Kuno stops or gets dethroned, or even if it turns out Ranma is a better fighter than him, the horde will lose their leader and run out of steam, coming to a stop themselves. Basically, Ranma is our shield."
"But we don't want the engagement! I want Kuno gone too, but I don't want to trade him for that jerk!" Akane claimed.
"Remember Akane, our little gender-bender doesn't want this either." Nabiki pointed out. "But he'd be required to defend us if we're being attacked, so it's not like we even have to ask him."
Kasumi was a bit bothered. "So... we use Ranma? I don't know..."
Akane had to admit even she felt uncomfortable with the idea of using someone as a shield. "Yeah, I mean he's a jerk, but that would..."
"Look, let's consider the pros and cons before deciding anything. But first, I don't know about you two, but I'm still hungry. We never did finish making dinner. Heh, good thing we didn't turn on the oven." Nabiki said before going back downstairs.
When Ranma woke up, he was back in his room and male again, while Genma was busy setting up things to make the room more livable. Genma saw his son stir, and decided it was time to have a word with him.
"Boy, like it or not, we're staying here for now. We can't go back to China yet, you know as well as I do why. So for the time being we are lucky enough to stay here and do so rent-free."
Ranma rolled his eyes. "Yeah right, rent-free. Instead of money you pay with me marrying some psycho-chick."
"That psycho-chick as you put it was able to beat you boy, and while you might not have noticed it, I could feel her ki shift in the process."
Ranma nodded. "I felt that once too. Must be because of the whole personality thing."
Genma shook his head. "No boy, despite what my friend says, his daughter does not have more than one personality. That's Western fantasy, nothing more."
"Yet instant girl or panda just add water is real?"
"My point Ranma is that ki is made more by the body than anything else. For ki to shift, the body has to change. Like with you and me, our bodies become something completely different and our ki's change, yours into something feminine and mine into something bestial. But with that girl, who only changes how some muscles hold themselves, such a shift in ki is biologically impossible, and yet she did it. You should be wary of upsetting her. No matter what face she sports."
Ranma frowned. "So you still want me to go through with this?!"
"Come on boy, this isn't so bad. Sure she's... unusual, but think of it this way..."
Genma smiled. "You are getting a three-for-one deal!"
Ranma facefaulted. "This isn't free meals we're talking about dammit!"
"Doesn't mean I'm wrong."