Disclaimer: I don't own YuYu Hakusho's brilliance or Ranma 1/2's balls to the wall humour.

Aw, not many reviews from last chapter. I'm counting on you guys. Don't let me down.


Coasting Through Life


"That damn brat!" The evicted dwarf elder troll who once prowled eternally in the realm of the Tendo family's lives whined indignantly, stood outside his previous sanctuary of unpaid living and good home-cooked food, contemplating for the very first time whether or not he should risk setting foot past the huge stone doors let alone inside the dojo itself. That boy's power had been something else; something incomprehensible and terrifyingly familiar of the demons of his past.

When he came to he found himself thrown literally to the curb, appropriately stacked against the garbage bins. Naturally, his first instinct was to march boldly back into his residence of living and give his good-for-nothing cowardly students a piece of his mind for treating their poor old master like he was a pile of waste to discard without prejudice, but it was overpowered by his sense of danger he felt being emitted by his humiliator.

He knew it was him. It had to be. There was no one else capable of just silencing him with effort let alone doing so without like he had done. His cowardly students must have extended an invitation for him to live with them to ward him off, probably giving him his room as an added insult to injury.

Gah. Happosai would make certain to remember to punish his worthless students for their second betrayal of him as soon as he could reach them. He had just the… ahem, desirables he wanted them to collect and they would serve as distractions so he could watch beautiful young ladies in the hot tub without consequences.

"Those good-for-nothing students of mine will be punished," He snickered malevolently, though all sense of malicious bravado left him with the lingering approach of reaching them with the demonic tiger guarding them from him and his wrath.

He was frightening. They weren't many people beside the crazy who could make Happosai feel fear, and not just the temporary fear evoked in him from the wrath of righteous beautiful women but the eternal fear of his life being in serious legitimate danger.

This was what greeted the immortal elder's awakening; waves of murderous intent. He had a rule which was "Don't mess with the crazy," but this wasn't insanity. This was just murder in its purest form. All his senses were screaming out danger signals, telling him not to even so much as set foot on Tendo soil for his life would end in a matter of seconds if he did so.

Only two people to date had ever aroused such fright from the Grandmaster of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts, and both of them were once godlike kings of their respective lands, but if the youth's frighteningly similar aura was any indication he may just have a relation to one of those kings.

'Say, could he be Rai-.'

"What the hell are you doing here, old man?" Happosai blanched, nearly leaving the realm of his skin at the voice of his current terror of his prankster existence reverberating behind him in a deadpan.

The little elder gave himself the most unusual pep talk he never thought he would ever have to give himself since the demise of the kings and calmed, swiftly pirouetting in a 360 to come face to face with his tormentor heeled to his level, face a mask of controlled irritation. The oldest of Soun's children was stood a few feet behind him presumably for her own protection, four bags packed full of groceries lied by her feet indicating that the two had gone shopping.

Well at least that confirmed Happosai's suspicions in regard to the lingering traces of devilish pressure left behind from potent murderous intent. The youth had stepped outside to accompany Kasumi to the store and help her with the shopping.

Baw. What a goody-goody! That sense of good principles completely disgusted the elder. In his mind, someone as all-mightily strong as the youth shouldn't have to do "chores" like an everyday commoner to earn his keep. He should just intrude and live scot-free. He had the godlike power, so he could and should exploit it for his own gain to live the easy life in Happosai's opinion.

"You should learn to be more respectful to your elders!" Happosai imposed, thrusting an index finger to the dismissive gaze of the markedly rude youth before him.

"You don't say," The apparently disrespectful youth said dryly, resting his cheek against his palm in a manner of boredom, "Any other last requests before I send ya packing via the ass-kicking express?"

Happosai paled. With just a single sentence of smack talking he shattered the elder's tough-guy act. He had been booted off to ridiculous multitudes before by Akane and Ranma, but those hits had never truly hurt after the initial impact, never left any long-lasting effects like the simple rap of the knuckles he gave him to knock him out so easily. When he first regained consciousness, he almost wished he hadn't. The back of his head strung as if someone had taken a wet towel and pistol whipped him with it a dozen times.

It was hell.

Okay, so Plan A of contest his tough guy attitude with his own failed epically, now it was time to resort to Plan B.

"Why do ya gotta be so mean to me?" Grovel like a baby and appease to his conscious.

"Because you're an asshole," Yusuke summarized, "Pro tip for ya old man, the more your stunts go downhill, the greater backlash you'll get." He beckoned him away with his fingers, "Why don't you go away, reflect on that and come back a better person? Maybe then Soun might be willing to overlook your previous BS and bury the hatches."

Happosai sniffed in the sleeve of his purple Gi and Yusuke almost felt sorry for the old guy, right up until he lifted his head from his sleeve and flashed him the creepiest puppy-dog eyed look he had ever witnessed, eyes wide and glistening to boot. It was cute when a kid did it but when an elder used it, it was just plain creepy.

"You really think so?" He asked in a sniffled whisper, promptly causing Yusuke to palm his face.

He was even trying to mimic the cutesy-wootsy voice of a kid not wanting to be in trouble with his parents. Sheesh. How petty could this old dude get? There seemed to be no levels too low that he wouldn't stoop to, to get his way, "Uh-huh." Yusuke uttered, trying to humour him.

"Do you think I can get Ranma-chan to wear these if I do?" He pulled out a frilly pink bra from the confines of his Gi.

And that did it.

Yusuke fisted Happosai's head into the ground with calmed irritation, "You see? Now this is what I'm talking about," He frowned at the bra by Happosai's prone form pointedly, "This is the stuff you keep pulling is why Soun doesn't want you around his kids. Grow up some, act a little more your age, and I'm sure that'll change," He pried his knuckles from Happosai's squashed head, shaking his hand free nonchalantly, "And for the love of-! Scrap the cute-wootsy act! You're way too old for that!"

Happosai pushed his hands against the solid earth, and pressing against it a couple of times as though he was performing push-ups, yanked his ostrich-positioned head from the ground with an all-mighty heave, stumbling for a bit before regaining his balance. He took a moment to allow his disorientation to fade, placing both hands on his head to steady it as the two images of the youth in front of him slowly merged into one.

"Oh, whaddya know, you darned juvenile delinquent!" Happosai shot back, removing his hands from his skull only to snap one right back. That punch had really knocked him for all he was worth, leaving him dizzy, "Being youthful isn't restricted to age! It's in your soul!" He babbled on nonsensically, "Don't cha have a soul!"

"There's a fine line between being 'youthful' and just straight-up 'childish' old man."

Happosai visibly flinched. That retort in particular had really seeped into his skin, rubbing his most sensitive spots for what it was in nature; a smart-alecky line of a wise guy and a line that blasted Ranma would most likely tell him just to annoy him. He despised Ranma like no other, especially when he wouldn't go girl for him and let him fondle 'her' breasts, but at least the gender-bender was passive. That was something the elder could get behind. He didn't take action to banish him like the youth before him.

At most, Ranma would punt him to orbit for groping her, and although that was highly infuriating for Happosai, it still beat being kicked out of the Tendo Dojo.

For once, Ranma was the lesser of two evils.

"I'll teach you to respect your elders, you darned hooligan!" Happosai declared having officially thrown in the towel in trying to appease to the delinquent's good sense. From his faintly glowing blue aura, emerged a bomb, "Happo grand fir-."

"Stop that." Yusuke plainly ordered in dismissal, effortlessly confiscating the explosive device from the elder and defusing it with his fingers before tossing it aside.

"Wha-?" It took several moments before it drowned on him that he had been relieved of his toy before he even had a chance to use it, "Hey! No fair! That's cheating, chea-!" His accusations died in his throat from the hard palm that landed painfully on his head, tightening spitefully. He was pulled from his feet to meet an annoyed stare dead on.

"Time for you to take a hike."

"Wait! Wait! Wait!" He beseeched, feeling pitiful for having to resort to genuine grovelling as he threw out his arms toward the limb winding up in preparation to send him flying. The youth, in a strange act of leniency, granted Happosai's request for a favour, raising him up to meet his face again, "I need to get my things," He squirmed frightfully under the terrifying soul-crushing gaze of the youth.

"Really? You're sure that's all you need?" Happosai nodded to the question, "Alright, let's go get your stuff," He turned, approaching Kasumi and the groceries. He scooped down and grabbed each bag in one hand, "But after that, you're gone. I don't wanna see your face around here again, you got that shrimp?"

"Humph!" The diminutive elder huffed in a grump, but otherwise nodded his head in acceptance.

"Let's go, Kasumi," He instructed and the maiden nodded dutifully, following after him. Happosai attempted to squirm around to look at her, but Yusuke only mercilessly slammed him into the stone wall on the way through the entrance. It was clear he didn't even want him so much as looking at Soun's daughters.

Once they were inside Yusuke coldly flicked him against the stairs, immediate followed by instructors in his trademark no-nonsense demeanour, "Round up your gear and your things. Don't make me catch you stooping around up there or I might just kill you. Soun doesn't even want you in here, but I'm giving you leeway so you can at least grab your stuff."

"Yes, sir." Happosai moaned miserably, trudging off up stairs.

"Urameshi-kun," Kasumi gently nudged, watching the elder depressively fade out of her view with a sympathetic glance before slipping off her shoes.

"Yeah?" He granted, kicking off his shoes and lining them accordingly, shifting two of the four bags in his left hand to his right hand now that it was no longer holding the diminutive founder of Soun's fighting style.

"Would it not occur to you that you were perhaps being a tad bit severe on Grandfather Happosai?" Kasumi presented, being as polite as possible as she followed Yusuke through the hallway past the stairs.

"No," Yusuke answered bluntly, "C'mon Kasumi! Wise up. Those were crocodile tears. Look how quick he triggered 'em when his tough-guy act backfired. Phony as hell!

With a disappointing shake of the head, Kasumi pitied his uncompromising stance to see reason, "I understand that Grandfather Happosai is probably the worst person I have ever acquainted with, though I have not had the opportunity to socialize with a huge gathering!" This time it was Yusuke's turn to pity Kasumi's reluctance to offend others. The girl was far too polite for her own good, "I just find adapting a more delicate approach would work just as effectively as being strict."

"Hold his hand basically," Yusuke summarized, earning a rapid nod from the maiden. He sighed as the two began to near the outside porch between the living room and the garden, the very place which witnessed Happosai's downfall, "Look, I'm all for burying the hatches, but the other guy's first gotta show signs of keeping to his end of the deal. Now if he just goes and 'bees the same nuisance that made the hatch to begin with, then that defeats the whole 'let bygones be bygones' thing we had going."

Kasumi nodded after a small moment of thought. As hard-headed as her fellow nineteen-year-old was, he did make compelling arguments. There wasn't any point showing someone mercy if they weren't going to self-reflect on their behaviour and better themselves for it.

"I see," She said, relenting on the matter.

Yusuke shifted both shopping bags in his right hand to place his left hand on the shorter girl's shoulder in a comforting fashion, "Look, if the old guy really isn't as bad as I'm making him out to be, he'll fix up his attitude and come back with a heartful apology in no time at all."

She appreciatively patted the hand on her shoulder before offering him a smile for his comforting suggestion, "Yes, I will hold on to that credence. Thank you Urameshi-kun."

"Don't sweat it."

"Hm?" Their discussion on punishments caught the attention of the two men sitting by the open door of the living room, a shogi board sat in between them, "Ah, Kasumi, Urameshi-sama. I trust your grocery trip went well."

Yusuke grunted, removing his hand from Kasumi's shoulder. Ever since he evicted the dwarf elder from his home, Soun and Genma had been practically kissing the very ground he walked upon. The former had even started officially referring to him as 'his liege' or 'Urameshi-sama'.

"Fine."

"Ah!~ That's good," Soun sighed in the blissful content of being master-free, "So what was it that you two were discussing about just now?"

"Sounds like an intriguing topic you were chatting about?" Genma grumbled absently, eyes honed on the chest board in front of him as if waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Yusuke's answer was not one they wanted to hear after finally being relieved of their tormentor, "The old man's here."

"The master's here!"

Genma flung himself out of the living room and into the back garden, comically rolling into the Koi pond with a reverberating splash. Not a second later did he emerge in panda form, face panic-stricken as he conjured a sign from seemingly thin air.

*Protect us, oh great one!*

Yusuke palmed his face with a heavy sigh and even Kasumi shared a little bit of his annoyance to the two's excessive display of fear of the elder present in their home, "Chillax already, old dudes. The old guy's only here to grab his stuff. After that, he's gone. You won't even see him."

"Oh?" The casual reassurance calmed the frightened men down a touch, Soun prying himself from his position huddled up on the ground, back in Saiza, "Are you certain?"

Yusuke didn't mince his words, "You have my word."

"Thank you, my liege."

*You truly are a god among gods.*

"Yeah, yeah," Yusuke muttered sarcastically. Almost on reflex Kasumi continued onward to the kitchen, eliciting a raised eyebrow from Yusuke before he banished it to address his seniors, "We need to talk about something else tho."

"Oh? What could that be?" Soun asked pleasantly.

Yusuke opened his mouth to reply, but a quick look to his hands had him frowning, "Just a sec." He flickered out of existence, much to the confusion of Genma and Soun before he reappeared, but without the shopping bags he once held, "Just had to put those in the kitchen first. No biggie."

Both made an 'O' with their mouths and Genma made a comment on Yusuke's feat with a raised sign, *That was fast!*

Yusuke smirked momentarily, soaking up the compliment before getting down to business, direct as always, "Hold off on the wedding plans for Ranma and Akane."

"What?"

*What?*

Needless to say, his suggestion of such a natural outcome was greeted by the most obnoxious overblown expressions of horrified shock from the engaged duo's parents, eyes wide in comical plead and bullets of sweat raining down their faces.

"But my liege!"

*Say it isn't so!*

"Gimme a break," Yusuke muttered underneath his breath, pressing his index finger against his temple to soothe the headache he could feel coming on. Right on cue Kasumi ambled back onto the scene with a kettle of hot boiling water, humming melodically all the while.

"Here you go, Uncle Saotome," Stood right over the hunched form of the panda, Kasumi lightly doused his form, reverting him back into his human self

"Ah!~" Genma breathed out leisurely, feeling the warm water sooth his body, "Much better," He stood, crossing his arms in a hardened stance before Yusuke and his outlandish proposal, "I don't think you know how much it means to Tendo and I to see our schools unified. We need Ranma and Akane to marry for the unity of our schools!" Soun nodded rapidly in agreement.

"Even if that means your kid's gotta tie the knot with someone he butts heads with?" Yusuke challenged, daring them to insist with his darkened glare of disgust.

It was frightening enough that the two disciples of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts gulped and scooted away from him, "My boy can't be choosy about women." Genma argued.

"I think he's entitled to when that lady's gonna be the one he spends the rest of his life with, don't you?" Yusuke argued in return, making Genma slump his shoulders. He did have him good there, "Besides, even if Ranma doesn't end up marrying one of Soun's kids doesn't mean it's the end for the coming together of your schools."

Hope shone through the two's eyes of misty depression and confusion, "What do you mean exactly, Urameshi-sama?"

"Easy. Ranma, Akane or even Kasumi can have kids and they can get paired together for unity."

The following silence could've unnerved even the most patient of gentlemen. It was so palpable and thick that the masters of the Anything Goes School almost believed they had become deaf, until the birds, chirping contently in the vast quietness of the void, rang audibly in the air. Even the faint dripping of the tap left slightly on could be heard.

"Oh." Soun uttered, words simply escaping him at every thought-attempt to gather them.

That was just the solution to solve the toxicity in their children's relationship. It was so simple; obvious, they couldn't believe neither of them had grasped the concept of just letting their children have children of their own and pairing them together for the unity of their schools. It wasn't the most complex or well thought out of reasons, but it was an answer the two desperately desired to resolve the hostility between Akane and Ranma.

It was always in their faces, but in their short-sighted determination to force wed Ranma and Akane they had been blind to it.

"Saotome."

"I know, Tendo," Manly poured down Genma's eyes, gaze locked respectfully with Yusuke's, "You truly are a god, boy." He pressed his hands and knees to the floor, bowing in complete reverence to the omnipotent and omniscient warrior before him.

"How can we ever thank you, my liege!?" Soun wailed theatrically, mimicking Genma's actions.

"By calling off this half-baked engagement between your kids," Yusuke answered straight-forwardly, "They've got enough shit on their plates going through school as it is," He shook his head, "They don't need a wedding they ain't prepared for on top of that as well."

"Of course," Soun smiled in blissful acceptance and pushed himself up to his knees, "It pleases me greatly to know you're here. I shudder to imagine what would have become of mine and Saotome's families had you not walked into our lives when you did with your wisdom and knowledge. If you were to take an interest in one of my lovely daughters, please don't hesitate. I love to have you as a son-in-law."

Kasumi blushed at her father's most brazen statement of freely giving one of them away, "Father."

"I second that!" Genma agreed vigorously, until he stopped to think about his agreement, "Never mind. I don't have a daughter."

"I wouldn't be so sure, old man," Yusuke suggested, grinning slyly, "Ranma's got a fine-ass girl form," He wriggled his eyebrows up, "I could bone that."

"Hey," Genma frowned.

Yusuke laughed, "Just kidding, but you gotta admit the chance is there."

"Humph." Genma pouted, turning away from the youth with his arms crossed, but otherwise didn't deny the claim. Although he didn't like to entertain the idea it was possible that his son may enjoy being a girl more. He had seen glimpses of Ranma opening up more emotionally in his female form than in his birth form. They weren't comforting sights to bear witness to given the investment he had moulding Ranma into the perfect man, but they were ones he couldn't deny Ranma to as his right as a person to experience. His child was still his child. He would always cherish him or her regardless of how he or she wanted to live his or her life.

Genma's only hope if Ranma were to seek out a female heterosexual life that she would end up with someone like Yusuke. When Genma gazed up at the powerhouse youth he saw what he wanted Ranma to be: A strong, clever, mildly respectful, sensible, kind and noble young man. It was one of the reasons why Genma had such reverence toward Yusuke, because he epitomized the general idea of what he wanted Ranma to be.

"I must say, Urameshi-sama, you'd probably get along well with my middle daughter, Nabiki," Soun laughed nervously. The thought of two impish teenagers mocking everything around them was almost hell on the level of Happosai's pranks.

"Nabiki?" Why did that name sound so familiar?

"Yes, my middle daughter," Soun clarified, a perplexed expression gracing his face, "Hmm. Although for the strangest reason she's been absent ever since your arrival. Do you have any idea why, Saotome?" Genma shook his head.

"Nabiki, Nabiki," Yusuke repeated to himself, catching the attention of Soun.

"Yes, my liege. Do you happen to know my lovely daughter?"

"Your last name's Tendo, right?"

"Why, yes. Yes it is. Why is that an important factor all of a sudden? Have you ever made an acquaintance to someone named Nabiki and feel my Nabiki could be the one you met?"

"Nothing, it's," Flashes of five years ago, when he caught sight of that helper taking bets on his fights ran through his mind, and everything followed like an endless stream, his capture and interrogation of her, how cruelly he had mocked her for folding so easily, his journey to Nerima followed by its black market and his ruthless beat down of every adult in there, and his euphoria was reignited. At first, he tittered, but his small snickers grew louder and more continuous until he was practically chortling, leaving the other three attendants sharing confused looks.

"Is something the matter, my liege?" Soun asked.

"Do you know little sister, Urameshi-kun?" Kasumi followed.

"Know her-!" Yusuke choked out in between his gagging fits of laughter, slowly but surely quietening down, flicking a tear from his eye in the process, "Hehe, yeah. You could say she and I go way back. We're… gonna get along just fine, rest assured."

The hidden malice in his casual assurance of deception flown over all their heads, "How delightful!" Kasumi sang, clapping her hands together, "It is so relieving to see little sister forming attachments to others. Oh my, I'm a tad bit ashamed to admit I was a little worried for her sanity."

"I agree, Kasumi. This is wonderful news!" Soun cheered, picking himself up, "Master free, stress free and even my lovely middle daughter is making friends. Come Saotome. This calls for a drink!"

"I could go for sake."


Chapter 3


The end of the school day couldn't possibly had come any sooner for as far as Ranma's impatience and overall lack in Furinkan High School's eccentric teachings was concerned. His mind was far too clouded to focus on the tasks at hand, not just on Yusuke but the perspectives he gave him with his small advice on relationships and being a blast to be around in general.

He wondered, if his innocent interactions with Yusuke devoid of the incentives that would have made such a sincere moment all but impossible with his 'romantic' rivals would be what one would call a friendship. After Mousse's introduction into the fold of insanity that encompassed his life, he grew clinical, his belief that people could come together just to enjoy the day fading like an optimistic dream, replaced with the practical outlook that people could only put aside their differences if there was a common goal in mind.

He realized he'd become small-minded on the concept of friendships, but living in a district where everyone looked out for their number one selves would have that adverse effect on anyone's mentality.

That was what made Yusuke so unique in that regard. He seemingly wasn't out for himself, didn't need to be motivated to hang with him, showing Ranma that maybe his enemies didn't also have to be his pseudo-buddies.

It was a concept he had done much self-reflecting on, which only intensified when Akane clarified Yusuke had been sticking up for him against Mousse.

A friend having his back huh?

Seemed like such an alien concept to him.

And then there was…

"Say, why are you walking home with us?" Ranma asked the infamous mercenary of Furinkan High School and his quote-unquote fiancée's sister from his walking perch atop the fence, said mercenary girl walking beside the aforementioned sister on the ground.

Nabiki had been uncharacteristically inactive, not even so much as making a snide remark. In her defence, her cash cow, the brainless parody of a samurai, had been conspicuously absent, but even if business was low she would normally just flaunt her presence like the domineering mistress she tried to pass herself off as. She didn't do that to compromise her lack of financial incoming and that alone was something to take note of.

She was so under the radar one might have thought she was missing in action all together.

Nabiki, of course, looked offended, trying to deflect any rare incidents with a pretence of good will, "Oh, come off it. Is it so wrong for an older sister to want to walk home with her little sister and her fiancée, hmm?"

"Uh-huh." Ranma droned on, not hiding his disinterest as he eyed Nabiki's sweet façade suspiciously, "Duh. You've never come home with us for all the time I've been here," He caught sight of Nabiki's bristle she attempted to disguise as innocence, "So fuss up! What's your deal?"

"He's right," Akane's curious observation wasn't making matters any easier for Nabiki to smooth talk her way out of, "We've never even walked home even before Ranma started living with us."

Ranma scoffed knowingly. That did not surprise him one bit. Nabiki always gave him the impression she disliked her family, or at the very least held them in disdain just for the little things she showed in her interactions with them. One could learn a lot from another just by taking in their actions and mannerisms with others perceptively, and there was almost no one else better than Ranma at observing behavioural patterns.

She was impolite to her father, often mocking his cowardice toward Happosai, showed little to no appreciation for her share of supper from Kasumi, even sarcastically apologizing for her ill-manners when the maiden tried to chide her, and just now, Akane revealed she had never walked with her to school. She distanced herself noticeably from her family, caring only for herself and the funds she accumulated, funds which could go to the security of the household but remained selfishly in her pocket.

Nabiki Tendo essentially embodied the number one mentality of Nerima.

She was a reprehensible person without a thought for those around her. Ranma wouldn't even put it past her to sell out her own family for the opportunity to cash in.

Knowing the family excuse clearly wasn't going to cut it, Nabiki seemingly folded in, placing her two fingers against her forehead in irritation, "Look, it's been a long day, Saotome."

"Uh-huh. So you say," Ranma sardonically played the part of following along Nabiki's new cover story dryly, arms wrapped around his head as he gazed up to the sky, "Still doesn't explain why you're coming home with us, 'tho."

The following baleful glare flared his way from the nigh-villainous high school girl could've made the average student give out and collapse under its intensity. In fact, it took all of Ranma's willpower not to succumb to the realization of the dangers he was tampering with.

This was Nabiki Tendo's patience he was toying with; infamous mercenary of Furinkan High School, and that title by itself should've raised a myriad of red flags in Ranma's line of sight. Furinkan High School was regarded as one of the worst schools in the country, being practically overrun with delinquents and misfits, leaving no semblance of order. The administration didn't even exist in such a chaotic school, evidenced well by the plethora of gear-fitted jocks who once attacked Akane daily for her hand, and yet; in this hoodlum-infested school of psychopaths, one young woman stood atop of it all.

That young woman was of course Nabiki Tendo. There wasn't a soul who hadn't heard of her name in the whispers of gossip and held immense fear toward her, or others' cases considered her warily. She controlled it all and Ranma knew it; knew of the great risks he was taking triggering her wrath-.

"Don't screw with me, Saotome," The alleged queen of the school emphasized her importance with venom in her tone, wrathful glance commanding him to back down.

But he grew so tired of her pushing him around and her last statement just acted as the straw that broke the camel's back. That was a challenge and the one thing Nabiki should have realized about Ranma Saotome by now was that he did not back down to challenges. Even if it meant she would unleash hell upon him for his apparent insolence, he would endure it if it meant not backing down.

"Oh? Sounds like someone's fresh outta excuses," Ranma taunted, his perfect charade of innocent curiosity waning heavily on Nabiki's last nerve, "Wonder why that is, huh? Could it be y'know I ain't buying your crap?"

Akane's eyes were wide in wonder, 'Ranma…' She mouthed silently, nervously glancing over to her enraged sister who was almost foaming at the mouth in her anger.

Of course, this was still Nabiki Tendo. She'd sooner die than lose her cool as ice composure so easily. With a couple of deep inhales, she calmed herself, "Okay, you've had your fun," She stated condescendingly, "Don't you think now would be an appropriate time to quit while you're ahead? You wouldn't want your interest to rise the next time you need a load, would you?"

Ranma scoffed off her load shark farce, folding his arms over his chest, "Y'know, ever since Yusuke showed up, you've been acting pretty weird," He pointed out to his sudden theory, Nabiki's sudden flinch confirming those suspicions, "Wonder why that is, huh?"

"He's right!" Akane gasped, "You've been scarce since Urameshi-san's been here!"

"That's right," Ranma murmured, studying Nabiki's increasing ire with a keen eye, one hand cupping his chin, "You've been suspiciously MIA since Yusuke's been hanging at the crib," He narrowed his eyes, and Nabiki widened hers in demented fury, "Kinda makes a guy wonder, y'know? Have ya been purposefully ducking the guy or what? But why would the fearsome Nabiki Tendo of our school need to lay low, outta sight of a guy for, huh?"

"You just don't know when to shut up, do you?" Nabiki growled out, mask of calm composure officially shattered, and it was in that moment that she understood just how irritating a person like Ranma could be to Ryoga and Mousse. He always did have an unhealthy knack of getting under people's skins, but it was only now that he had material on her to work with that Nabiki actually understood that.

She seriously wanted nothing else to do other than to take a gun and shoot him in his head to forever silence that infuriating smart mouth of his. He knew he had finally gotten to her. It was written all over his smug face.

"Ranma, I don't think-." Akane tried, wanting to warn him that antagonizing her sister wouldn't end well for him, but fate had other plans, dealing its usual dosage of punishment out at Ranma; a downpour of freezing cold water as the hollow clink sounds of an empty bucket thudding off of the concrete ground rang out throughout the air.

"What'd ya do that for?!" The now redhead raged and Nabiki felt justice had been served.

The culprit, her usual diminutive molester, sprung to her chest crying like a baby, "He was so mean to me, Ranma-chan!~" Before he reach her however, a merciless grip clutched his head, slamming him to the fence line below.

"You just don't know how to reform, do you old man?" The controlled voice of annoyance of his tormentor sliced through the tense air like a hot knife through butter.

"Yusuke?" Ranma blinked, surprised to see the older male as Nabiki's heart tightened considerably in her chest from the acknowledgement of the very object of her fear standing but a few feet from her, breaking out into a cold sweat.

Yusuke didn't acknowledge her presence at first, choosing to stand from his squatted position to greet Ranma, the old man held nonchalantly in his grip like a forgotten rag doll meant to do away with, "Hey, Ranma," He said, only to stumble in his footing, "Whoa!~" He fell back to his previous squatted stance, looking up at the redhead in annoyed perplexity, "How the hell do you walk on this everyday?" He tried standing again, only to immediate stumble and recede back to squatting, "Can't even stand."

Ranma smirked, positively overjoyed and relieved to find she was better than Yusuke in some areas of the field and that he didn't just overpower her in everything. An leg-up advantage was just the thing she was looking for in her breakdown of Yusuke's fighting style to inevitably turn against him.

"I'm just awesome, pal," Ranma bragged, thumbing her brightly brimming posture of arrogance, eliciting a roll of the eyes from Akane.

"Yeah, you are," Yusuke sighed in mock-resignation, propping himself down fully on the fence, one leg folded over his lap and one hand pressing forcefully down on the back of Happosai's head so he would lose consciousness.

"So what brings ya around here?" Ranma brought up innocently, prompting him to lift up his head her way, though his stare dropped to admire the way her wet clothes clung to her body, accentuating her curves. Ranma obviously noticed his not-so innocent observation of her frame and squatted, playfully tapping him on the nose, "You didn't just decide to meet us halfway to see ol' little me earlier, did ya?"

"That too," Yusuke grinned wolfishly in his admission, eliciting a giggle from the redhead, "More to the point, 'tho," His sentence went unfinished verbally, his sharpening gaze snapping to the frightful jump of one Nabiki Tendo, and the other ladies' eyes were drawn to her as a result.

The display that awaited them from Nabiki herself of all people left them reeled both physically and mentally. Her eyes were dilated, pupils trembling within them, her knees were quivering, folding against each other, visible sweat bullets were raining down her countenance and even her teeth were clattering audibly, all from merely the sight of Yusuke and his demented scarlet eyed look of glee. It was quite the landmark sight to behold.

Nabiki Tendo, feared mercenary of their school, was for all intents and purposes the picturesque definition of slack-jawed shitless.

Ranma and Akane almost considered backing away from Yusuke out of caution if he could evoke such fear from the known wicked witch of the west.

"I knew it!" Ranma declared with awed recognition, jabbing an index finger to the terrified Nabiki, "That's why you were avoiding Yusuke! You're scared crapless of him!"

"Course she is," Yusuke remarked as though the discovery was a simple fact of life everyone should know just by mere observation, as true as the sky being blue. With no real finesse or coordination, Yusuke flung out his arm sideways, discarding the elder he held in a bin like he was hot garbage to do away with, though he landed in it with pinpoint accuracy. Nabiki fearfully viewed the feat from the corner of her eye, but wouldn't risk turning her head, not when she couldn't. She felt herself trapped by the demon's crimson-eyed stare of wild delight.

"I'm me, and I'm just awesome," Yusuke continued, sliding off of his sitting spot and landing on the ground, a few feet from Nabiki.

Ranma didn't miss a beat in Yusuke's quote of her, dryly smiling in reminiscence all the while, "Yeah you are."

Nabiki's heart thumped against her chest, her shoulders jolting in horrified acknowledgement of her tormentor's solidarity with her most predominant pawn. If push came to shove she could've always forced Ranma's hand to assist her, though she heavily doubted she would be able to fend him off in a one-on-one brawl. If Yusuke could so easily overpower the old fool who had been tormenting them since his introduction then he was naturally leaps and bounds more powerful than Ranma, but maybe the girl could've distracted him? Possibly redirecting some of his ire onto her by being her usual infuriating self?

That plan went well out of the window the moment Nabiki saw the two smart mouthed teens getting along too well to fight against each other for her sake.

In her hastily-scrambled mind of attempted answers, Nabiki made the only rational move she could, she bolted, turning on her heel and surging forward, though she didn't get far. In fact, she didn't get anywhere. She wasn't a martial artist like her youngest sister. Even Akane could've outpaced her, who essentially had the equivalent speed of a snail in comparison to Happosai who was blitzed by Yusuke.

Really, she never was going to get away and she knew it. The moment she turned Yusuke was right there, staring her down like a predator would his prey, scarlet eyes brimming with a sinister glow. She felt several sizes too small in his overbearing shadow.

"Nabiki Tendo!" Yusuke acknowledged with mock-politeness, making Nabiki's stomach churn in petrified shock. He was using the very same tactics she often used to mind fuck her targets, "So glad I could make your acquaintance."

"Can't say the same…" Nabiki grumbled, posture backed up.

"I'm sure," Yusuke never lost his façade. He was in complete control and both of them knew it, "C'mon," When he snatched up her wrist Nabiki felt like she had been handcuffed by the police, but held at gunpoint by the mafia, "We need to talk."

Nabiki hurried frantic twists of her head, searching for any semblance of a lifeline to squirm her way out of the devil's wrath as he effortlessly pulled her along, her panic-stricken gaze falling to the last fragments of her hope out of sheer desperation.

"Ranma, help!"

She knew she was calling a long shot pleading with the redhead to rally with her, a person she had never been particularly fond of, versus someone who she was already warming to herself on the common grounds of similarity. There was but just a brief wage of the wars clashing in Ranma's head, but once she recalled the times of Nabiki's cruelty to her the conflict was over in a flash; a clear victor emerging.

The disregard of Nabiki had won.

Even the north pole would've seemed warm in comparison to Ranma's icy cold orbs of annoyance, arms crossed, "Knock yourself out, pal," She allowed, giving the green light to Yusuke to torture Nabiki until she was humbled into the ground.

"Will do," Yusuke promised nonchalantly, resuming in his casual pace of dragging his prey despite her best efforts to resist the contrary, flicking a two-fingered salute up in greeting, "Meetcha back at Soun's?"

"Sure," Ranma shrugged with a light smile, her innocent grin absolutely hardening into a devious smug smirk at Nabiki's petrified look of horror, staying on her face until the two were out of sight.

"There they go," Akane sighed with a foreign detachment. She couldn't decide whether she was overjoyed her sister was being taken away to meet her maker or horrified that her sister was so effortlessly dragged away from her to be inflicted emotional trauma. It was her sister, so she should care but try as she might Akane couldn't for the life of her muster up a single damn to share for her sister's predicament.

They may have been family, but they couldn't have been more further apart.

"Yup!" The 'P' in her single phrase rolled off of her tongue like an easy stream. Damn! It felt good to see the self-proclaimed big cheese getting what was coming to her. Ranma felt a little sadistic taking so much joy in seeing Nabiki getting her just desserts, but she had been so annoyed watching the mercenary do all the terrible things she wanted to do and literally damning the consequences for so long now.

Nabiki's comeuppance were a long time coming.

"I feel like we should be helping her."

"I don't. Maybe this'll knock Miss Big down a few pegs."

Akane really couldn't argue with that logic. Her sister had always been too terribly arrogant for someone who couldn't throw a single punch.


What Goes Around Comes Around


"You were so adorable!~" Yusuke complimented patronizingly, all but flinging Nabiki against the littered wall after leading her in a narrow alley, wiping a loose fabricated tear from his eye, "Trying to use Ranma like that."

Nabiki huddled up against the dirtied, graffitied wall, kicking bags of garbage from her to get as comfortable as possible given the circumstances. Her worst nightmare had materialized before her, being pushed into a corner by a presence like she had done to so many others. Heh, this must have been what the believers called 'karma.'

She thought she never would have believed in such superstition, until now.

"I believe I'm entitled to that belief, don't you?" She retorted, willing her fear away.

Yusuke's scarlet pools flared up in interest, "You don't say. Tell me more."

Nabiki steered herself to meet his gaze, biting her bottom lip just out of the urge to turn away, "On this part of Tokyo, I call the shots, Urameshi."

"That so?" He asked rhetorically, getting a stubborn nod from his prey. He started laughing; a scornful laughter slowly erupting from the pit of his stomach making his shoulders rumble, "Hehehe. That figures."

"What do you mean exactly?" Nabiki asked with a slight narrowing of her gaze. He couldn't possibly have been complimenting her. That would be completely contradictory of his capture of her.

"You," He thrusted the tip of his index finger directly in Nabiki's face, forcing her to press herself against the wall, "You've been living in a small pond as a big fish."

Nabiki couldn't deny that. The reason why she was able to craft herself a pedestal above the free-for-all insanity of Nerima was not because she was intelligent, but because everyone around her were total idiots, thus easily susceptible to manipulation. They operated on certain morals Nabiki took advantage of to string them along to her whims like a puppet mistress.

"But that all changes with me in town." That was not a threat.

Yusuke lacked all the mental restrictions which made her such a dangerous contender to run the risk of challenging.

"So what now, huh?" Nabiki asked, bitterly resigning herself to her fate. She was beyond relieved when Yusuke's frightful red eyes of killing intent faded to nonchalant brown pools.

Yusuke straightened himself, pulling out a cigarette and pressing the tip of his index finger to it, inhaling, "You work for me now," He exhaled, releasing a cloud of smoke. Nabiki glumly acknowledged the finesse, "Could do with an assistant." He paused, giving Nabiki a one over, "Especially one as fine as you."

"With what?"

"What d'you know about underground fighting?"

"Oh, a little bit. Enough to know it's a sport where two brutes much like yourself duke it out for illegal funds."

"Precisely," Yusuke approved, deciding to let Nabiki's jibe at him drop, "We're gonna be taking trips there and you're gonna be betting on my fights, getting seventy percent of the cut and that includes other profits you pull in on the side too."

"That seems entirely unfair," Nabiki scowled.

"Don't worry. Look, because I'm a fair dude, I'll give ya chances to earn a raise," He hollered, twirling on his heel, "And hey, who knows, if you start to grow on me I might even just go halfsies with ya all the time, so chin up! All's not lost. Just mostly. You're no longer the one calling the shots, just the one abiding by 'em now. So let's hassle! Kasumi should be making supper soon."

As she trudged after her new chief, she could only relent to her miserable existence as a subordinate.

"If you say so... Boss."

She had been utterly dethroned as the big cheese in town.

She now knew the definition of 'defeat.'


Omake

(Moments Earlier)

"Hurry it up, old man! Time's a wastin'!" Yusuke hassled the elder, leaning up against the door of what was about to become his old room, arms crossed as he monitored the immature elder packing his belongings in a brown suitcase.

"Yeah, yeah." He muttered. Not that he wasn't still scared of him. Quite the contrary. Yusuke still petrified him comprehensively. He just lacked the energy to care anymore. More than anything he just wanted to leave and cry himself under a rock for the cruelty he had endured at the hands of Yusuke, "Say, may I ask ya something fella?"

Yusuke didn't see the harm in answering a measly enquiry. It wasn't going to change his perspective of the old man but depending on how he answered it might make the old man see him in a better light which could inspire him to better himself, "Sure. Fire away."

"Whatcha actin' like one of the commoners?"

"Eh?"

"Ya'know, like ya own Tendo something for lettin' ya stay," Happosai elaborated further and the clouds of confusion cleared up. Being selfish and cynical Happosai just couldn't wrap his head around the concept of someone as powerful as Yusuke not using his power for his own benefit, "With your power, ya could just freeload like I did. They wouldn't be able to do a thing to get rid of ya."

"What? And be a hated asshole like you?" Yusuke questioned dryly, eliciting a rapid nod from the elder until he donned on him that he had been insulted.

"Huh?" He blinked, catching up to speed with Yusuke's shake of the head, "Hey! I'm trying to be nice ya big meanie!"

"The thing about throwing your weight around, old timer, is," Yusuke continued seamlessly, "-Sure, nine times out of ten you'll get your way, but at the cost of a shit ton of negativity," He gave another shake of the head, this time in disappointment to himself than at the elder, "Wouldn't even be worth it. Folks would hate my guts and I would just be a lonely wannabe tough-guy."

"Humph!" Happosai turned his head in absolute disdain to the sentimentality of his reasons for not simply bullying his way into the Tendo Dojo, resuming his packing, "You're sappy!"

Yusuke smiled distantly, "And you're lonely."

"W-What!" The elder flinched, and his immaturity shone vividly with a immoral glow, "Heck no! Such things like companionship are for wussies, fella!"

Yusuke pitied his petulance with a light shake of his head and a grim smirk, "Keep up the tough-guy act all you want, old man. We both know under that front lies a pathetic virgin old manchild who could never get lied and make pals."

"Why you-." Happosai bristled, but one grimly glare from the bad-tempered delinquent was enough to snap himself out of his anger and back into caution.

"Wanna take this outside?"

No he didn't. For much as he desired nothing else greater than to have the power required to rip his spine out and strangle him to death with it, he ironically didn't possess the required spine necessary for confronting him on the battlefield. Those eyes were terrifying and held such wrath within them, especially when they shifted to that malevolent shade of blood red.

Happosai snapped his head, renewing his packing with additional haste, much to Yusuke's nodded content. It just wasn't fair. He felt prejudiced against. He saw nothing in him that made him that much more worse than Genma and Soun. Maybe not Ranma. He would admit the gender-bender could be 'considered' a better person than him since he tried to be honourable and all that sappy jazz, but not his two worthless students. They were just as dishonourable as him and were only out for themselves as much as he was, yet he was taking the stick; shouldering the blame for all the negativity they rightfully should've wrought on themselves together! Gah.

He found a lone tear shimmering from his eye in his reflection on a peculiar mirror in his belongings and quickly wiped it away. Best not let the bad-tempered meanie see him crying or else he might just cold-heartedly assume them to be fake and… WAIT!

Happosai's eyes quickly pinned back to the mirror, cracked and only held together by tape, 'Eureka! That's it!' The solution to all his problems, 'If I go back in time I can bring him back'n he'll get rid of that goody-two-shoes brat for sure!' Then things could resume to their normal order, with him back in the Tendo Dojo, making his worthless students grovel in utter obedience for their mistreatment of him, groping Ranma and Akane and living the devil-may-care existence he so richly deserved. It was the perfect plan. He couldn't believe he hadn't immediately thought of it after being overpowered by the boy, 'Ya'll get what's coming to cha soon enough, fella!' He chuckled malevolently, catching Yusuke's attention.

"What's so funny, old man?" Yusuke's gaze narrowed in suspicion.

Happosai yelped, burying his intentions for vengeance deeper into his bag, "Aah! Nothing!"

Yusuke wasn't willing to let it go so easily, "Then what's so funny, huh?" He strode forward with authority, looming over the smurf elder with his imposing presence, "C'mon! Share with the rest of the class!" He reached over him, forcing his hand into his belongings despite Happosai's attempts to resist the contrary, huddling his arm like a longline.

"No!"

"Just show me!"

"No!"

"The quicker you show me the quicker you can leave!" Yusuke reasoned hastily, pulling out his arm at the first material object he grabbed onto like a fishing rod being yanked by a fish, sending Happosai flying off of him. He cringed and almost dropped what he ripped out; a pair of lacy women's underwear, "What the fuck? You crossdress?"

"Hey! Give that back!" Happosai demanded, springing forward uncaring of his wellbeing to get his precious prize back, "It's mine!"

"Here, take it!" Yusuke scrunched up the lacy panties in a ball, slamming it into Happosai's face with enough kinetic force to repel him back. He grimaced in his view of Happosai hugging the lingerie to his face possessively, mumbling it being his pretty and that he would protect it with his body if he had to, "You're sick."

Happosai huffed at the insult. Like he would ever understand. He gathered the remains of his things and took off, running out of the door, downstairs and through the front door, marshalled off by Yusuke who unsympathetically assured his leave.

"Glad he's gone. Sheesh!" He caressed the back of his head, "Ew, crossdressing. Never get that image outta my head." Though the bright white light symbolizing his student's dormant teleportation ability could provide a healthy distraction, "Sweet. Look who made it back."

Nigh-passed out at his feet was his student, weighed down with a beaten down massive boulder on his back. He didn't look any better himself, though, with dirt all over his face, his hair a tingled mess, and borrowed white tank top of his master tore nearly off his muscular frame.

"Ah…" He huffed, struggling to catch his breath, "…Finally made it back, Sensei…"

"Sweet! Now we can get you started on the balancing part of your daily routine: standing still for the next four hours with water pots on your knees and shoulders. Cold too, just to give ya more incentive not to fuck up."

Ryoga groaned.

"Hey! Hey! No one said the journey to godhood was a straight road. Wanna get far? Then you gotta be willing to bust your ass for it."

Wasn't that the truth?

Though after today's exercises Ryoga wasn't sure if he would live to see the results of his training.


Alright, another build-up chapter. Necessary for setting up future story arcs and establishing character development. As I'm sure you've noticed Genma and Soun are gonna be a lot more accepting to Ranma's change this time around. I want this to be a kind fic. Everyone, 'cept Happosai, and Nabiki to a lesser degree, will be treated relatively kindly, even Akane. I... kinda her, when she's not with Ranma anyway. She's not so bad.

It's no secret I hold Happosai and Nabiki in great disdain. Both of them were just so fuckin' annoying in the original. Not once does Nabiki ever get what's coming to her for all the shit she pulled in canon, even sabotaging the contrived wedding at the end of the manga. I get that Rumiko wanted her to be this imposing evil villain being a threat to Ranma with her brains instead of her brawns, but good god, man, she just comes off as so overbearing, and so hand-held to. If everyone would've stopped passing the idiot ball around they would've realized she couldn't do anything to them if they got in her face. *I smh.*

It makes Ranma feel like a wannabe tough-guy version of Keitaro Urashima from Love Hina, pretending to be tough when really he's a wimp letting everyone walk all over him, but that's just me. I love female Ranma to bits, she's awesome. So playful and sassy, I love her, but male Ranma makes me want to put a gun to my head.

What do you think? Am I just exaggerating or do you agree with my mini rant? I know, far cry to me saying I want this to be a kind fic to ranting to how much I hate Nabiki and Happosai :D. Post your thoughts down below and I'll see you all in the next one.

Peace.