Chapter Three: Fall from Grace.Edit
Authors Note: To avoid confusion, the real Ranma will be referred to as Ranko in girl form, and Takao in boy form.
Akane walked swiftly through the hallway that led to the Dojo. She had put off training for long enough that day.
Pushing the inside door to the Dojo open, she stepped in.
Then she paused.
"Akane, my dear," Happosai said, a lecherous grin already growing upon his face. "If you wouldn't mind knocking first?"
Akane glared. "I shouldn't have to knock to get into my own Dojo!"
"Ahh, of course my dear." Happosai smiled. "But it's not your Dojo yet." He looked over to the boy sitting next to him, who seemed to be trying to pay attention to anything but Akane.
Akane looked at him. Just another boy. Probably as perverted as the old man, if he was in there alone with him.
"Well, Takao, my boy. I'll see you tomorrow night, don't be late."
"Yeah, whatever old man," he answered as Happosai bounded off.
Akane stared at the boy, who was still seated on the floor. Nothing too impressive about him. He had muscles. A twinge of familiarity, but not much else.
"I suppose you'll want some privacy, eh?" he asked her.
"If you don't mind," she replied rather matter-of-factly.
The boy got up and smiled. "I'm Takao Satohara. I'm going to be a student here for a little while."
Akane raised her eyebrow. "Really?" She still wasn't impressed. Kasumi had told her that her father had been with a new student, which was news in and of itself, but nothing that would surprise her.
She couldn't say the boy wasn't attractive. Not in the least; in fact, he was quite a looker among some of the boys she'd seen at Furinkan. But that didn't interest her. A boy is a boy, and most, if not all boys, were perverts. Somehow, she couldn't make an exception for this one. Especially with the way he was standing, staring and smiling at her.
"You gonna stare at me all night, or you gonna let me practice?" she asked, a hint of annoyance in her voice.
Takao shook his head. "Nah, I was just leaving."
He turned away, smile still on his face. Akane didn't know why, but she felt a small amount of anger rise from her gut as he turned away.
How dare he smile like that? As if he knew something she didn't.
Akane smiled. Fine then. Time to teach him a lesson.
"Hey!" Akane called.
Takao turned around. "Yeah?"
"You practice the art?"
Akane smirked. She knew his type. He wouldn't back down from a challenge. She could tell that just by looking at him. A typical cocky boy.
"Wanna spar a little?" She smiled. "I'll take it easy."
Takao paused. "I don't know if I should."
"I said, I don't think I should."
That wasn't right. He was supposed to say something like 'You're just a girl. You couldn't beat me if you tried!', or 'Let's go.'
But he didn't. He said 'I don't think I should.'
"Why not? Afraid you'll lose?" she asked. That was the ticket, bait him a little more.
"I guess you could say that."
She shook her head in confusion. The boy turned around and continued out the door, and soon he vanished from sight.
Akane was left alone with her thoughts, her Dojo and her confusion.
She was baiting him. He could tell simply by feeling her size him up. It took all of his will power to back down.
Dammit, Ranma Saotome doesn't back down!
But Ranma Saotome doesn't hit girls.
Then again, he wasn't Ranma Saotome anymore. He was Takao Satohara. Even with cold water, he was Ranko Satohara.
But more than once, he felt tempted to accept Akane's offer. Thankfully, he refrained. If he had fought Akane, things could have gone horribly wrong.
Things he didn't even want to think about. Would the alternate Akane fall in love with him, except for her own worlds Ranma? Would she end up hating him, and then make the connection to the other Ranma? He'd be stuck in that world forever.
He wanted to get back home. As soon as possible.
He had never intended to stay in the world he was currently in. It was a negotiation technique he had learned from his father that allowed him to hold out until Aizen Myoo offered to cure his curse.
But now everything was happening according to plan. All except for Happosai.
That was something he hadn't expected. Then again, nothing ever goes smoothly. It was Murphy's Law. Whatever can go wrong, will.
He didn't know who Murphy was, probably some westerner. Either way, Takao knew that he must have been a smart man.
"Nabiki?" Akane gawked at her sister as she walked into the tea room.
"Don't even say it," she said as she cleaned more curry off of the seat of her pants with a white tissue.
Akane just shook her head. "I just met this... person in the Dojo."
"Mr. Satohara, I presume?" Nabiki replied. Where had she heard that name before?
"Yeah. He's... different."
Nabiki scoffed. "I'll say." She had no intention of releasing any information to her sister. At least not until she found out how much it would be worth to 'Takao'.
"You've met him?"
Nabiki shrugged. "I saw him. Quite a looker, eh?"
Akane blushed. "That's not what I'm saying. He's... not like other boys. He didn't accept my challenge."
Nabiki nodded. "There's probably a good reason, sis." She looked up at Akane. "Are you getting a crush on him?"
"God, no! Nabiki, are you crazy?"
"Oh come now, sis. You expect me to believe that you think every boy is a pervert?"
"Not every boy. Most of them, though."
"So this Takao guy is a pervert?"
"He was talking to the old lech when I went in there!"
"Now Akane," Kasumi interrupted, "You really should show some respect for that old-- I mean, Grandfather Happosai."
Akane shook her head. "He's as perverted as they come. You should have seen how he was staring at me!"
Nabiki sighed. "Not that it matters anyway, sis."
Akane shook her head. "By the way, what's with this new student?"
"Yeah. Ranko Sanatoni or something."
"Satohara, sis... Sato...hara?"
"Her name is Satohara? Do you think she could be related to that Takao guy?"
Nabiki thought for a moment. "For some reason, I don't have a doubt in my mind."
"All right, Nabiki. Time to put together the facts," Nabiki said to herself. She sat down at the desk in her bedroom and pulled out a tape recorder.
"Item one," she began, "A girl comes to me because she needs faked documents, and then she takes the name 'Ranko Satohara.
"Item two, she then continues to ask where she might find Ranma Saotome.
"Item three, a man named Takao Satohara comes to the Dojo, claiming to want martial arts training.
"Item four, he admits to the old man that he's from an alternate earth, and he is in fact, Ranma Saotome."
Nabiki didn't question that. From the short look she got of him, she could see a definite resemblance. But only if she looked. If it wasn't for his build, he could be a dead ringer for Ranma Saotome.
"Ranko and Takao Satohara, both affiliated with Ranma Saotome. There must be some link. There is no way they could be working separately." She sighed.
"Note to self; have a long talk with 'Ranko' tomorrow after school."
"Oh Ranko, you're back!" Nodoka greeted.
Ranko nodded. "Yeah, I just had to go talk to someone."
"Don't worry, dear. I won't get into your business," she said. "Dinner is ready, will you join us?"
Ranko blinked. The mention of food brought waves of hunger that had been in her for nearly half the day to the surface.
Yes. She was hungry.
No. She was starving!
"Yes please, Mrs. Saotome."
Genma gasped. He was so used to eating properly for the past several years, that he was shocked to see how Ranko ate.
The stranger thing was, the style in which she ate was very similar to his own. He watched intently as Ranko quickly gobbled everything on her plate down, and then moved to second helpings.
He even chuckled as she would quickly grab a bite from Ranma's plate when he wasn't looking. She was fast, but not fast enough to escape Genma's eyes.
Ranma was amazed. Never had he seen someone eat like Ranko was doing at that point.
He reached down to his plate and picked up another piece of food with his fork.
She was fast. Ranma thought she might even have been swallowing the food whole. That wasn't healthy... Was it?
He put the food in his mouth.
Biting down on a hard metal fork without food in ones mouth was not a smart thing to do. In fact, it hurt! He took the fork out of his mouth and rubbed his jaw.
That's funny. He could have sworn he had something on that fork. Oh well.
He looked over towards his dad, who was eating as slowly as he was, but staring at Ranko, and giving the odd chuckle.
He looked down at his fathers plate. He chuckled as he put his fork down to get another piece of food and his fork hit hard porcelain china.
Genma looked down in disbelief. His food was gone. All of it.
But he hadn't seen it happen. He obviously didn't do it, he had barely gotten four bites since dinner had started.
Nodoka wasn't paying as much attention as she should have to Ranko. Only an occasional glance, and feeling of sympathy.
Poor dear. Must have been starving!
She looked up for a moment, to take a look at her husband and son. Both of their plates were finished, and both of them were staring at each other in confusion.
"Genma dear, Ranma. You finished your plates already?"
"That hit the spot," Ranko said to herself as she walked into the guest room of the Saotome house.
She lay down on her bed and stared at the ceiling. Moments later, a familiar face appeared.
"So how's it going, Saotome?" Aizen Myoo asked.
Ranko paused. By now, she was used to seeing the face of the washed-out god, but it was still a bit of a shock.
"Is there any way for you to like... knock or somethin'?"
"Why? You don't have anything I haven't seen before."
"That's not the point."
He shrugged. "So, how'd the first day go?"
"It went fine. Could have gone better with the old freak finding out, though."
"Oh... I can do something about him."
"Good. That'll make things a lot easier. Whaddya gonna do? Erase his memory or somethin'?"
"Heavens, no. If I did that, I could lose my license!"
"Well yeah, I am the God of Love. If I overstep my bounds, I could lose my license, and have to live in..." He shuddered. "The mortal world."
Ranko narrowed her eyes. "And what's wrong with that?"
"Well, it's obvious! I'd have to stay there until I can reapply for my license! The way this system is going, it'll take days!"
"Yeah. A long time."
Ranko shook her head. "Never mind. So, what do you plan to do about Happosai?"
"He's a pervert, right?"
"Well, I'm the God of Love... Get it?"
Ranko shook her head. "I'm not following."
"Just trust me, he'll be out of your hair for a few days."
Ranko shrugged. "If you say so. How'd your date turn out, anyway?"
Aizen Myoo winced. "Let's not go there... literally."
Ranko laughed. "All right, well I've got school in the morning. Wanna let me sleep?"
Aizen Myoo nodded. "Sure thing. Just call me if you need anything."
Ranko nodded and watched the face of Aizen Myoo disappear. She turned over, and closed her eyes.
Moments later, she was asleep and snoring loudly.
"Ouch!" she cried. "I hate high heels."
Aizen Myoo looked at herself in the mirror. "Well, Saotome, you're not the only one who can do this!"
She twirled around in the revealing dress and smiled. "I've gotta say. I make a damn cute mortal!"
And she did. The mortal form which she had assumed was that of a seventeen year old girl, with flowing black hair, and a white dress. A little to revealing for her tastes, but she was dealing with a pervert after all.
Aizen Myoo walked out of the room and stepped into the mortal world, right in front of the Tendo Dojo. She turned around, closed the door and locked it with a key, as she watched it disappear, she made a mental note of it's location.
Not hard to find if one was looking for it. Right in front of the front gates. Easy enough.
She sighed, and jumped over the wall.
Or rather, she tried to. Mortal form yes, divine powers, no. She had to remind herself of that constantly. If she was in mortal form, in the mortal realm, she had no powers. It was a good thing she had the key back into the Kami Realm right in her hand.
She tried to gain entry again, but this time she pushed open the gate and walked around to the tea room entrance.
"Are you crazy? If old man Myoo catches us in here, he'll kill us!" Masa, an overly cautious Kitsune said to his friend.
Kire shook his head. "Don't worry, dude. See that door?"
"Yeah." Masa nodded.
"That means he's in the mortal realm."
"Exactly. He'll be there for a while."
Masa walked over and examined the door. "You're sure about this?"
"Yeah. Come on, we've gotta think of something to do to him."
"I'm not sure--"
"What are you, chicken?"
"Hey, I never said--"
Kire smiled and did a mock chicken strut as he chanted. "Buck, buck, bukaa!"
"Hey, now come on--"
"NO!" Masa cried. He then hit the door in front of him in rage, causing a hole the size of a Kitsune's fist to be ripped through it.
"You just made a hole in the dimensional door."
"They fall in on themselves if they're damaged in any way."
Masa paused. "You mean..."
"If old man Myoo is out there, then he ain't coming back through that door."
Masa's eyes went wide. "I... I uhh..."
"I couldn't have thought of a better prank myself!"
Great. Getting in was easy enough, it seems the Tendo's don't really lock they're back door. Getting through the house, however, was another matter.
Aizen Myoo scanned the room as best as her mortal eyes could accustom to the darkness. She was vaguely aware of the layout of the home, but she knew that Happosai's bedroom was on the first floor.
At least, in Saotome's world. This, however, was slightly different.
He made his way into the bedroom. Damn! Empty. This room looked like a guest room of some sort. He walked out and looked around again.
The stairs by the main entrance were vaguely lit. The only other place the old pervert could have been was upstairs.
Dang dimensional door regulations. If only she could have opened the door right in front of the old man's bedroom, would have made things so much easier. But the regulations stated that they could only be opened on public property. Just great.
She started up the stairs slowly, so as not to make any noise. As a god, she had no need for martial arts training, so frankly, as she thought she was being quiet, three martial artists in the house heard her every step.
Soun sighed. It was probably Nabiki sneaking out again to meet one of her friends. Not much to worry about, he turned over to fall asleep.
Akane frowned. It wasn't like Nabiki to make so much noise leaving, or coming back into the house as it were. Nothing to worry about, though.
The strange thing was, she never even heard Nabiki leave.
Happosai knew the tell-tale sounds quite well. Size 8, high heeled. The woman weighed about 105 pounds, about seventeen years of age. He smiled as his calculations went to more... private measurements.
Heh. Who needs martial arts? She did it just fine with a pair of high heels. She winced as she realized she would have done much better barefoot. Oh well. There was only one room it could be. The old Saotome room, which, if Aizen Myoo could recall correctly, was the largest.
It made her wonder why Happosai took the downstairs room in the other world.
Ah well, no use worrying about it. She moved to the door, ever so quietly, and walked in.
She was greeted by a glomp.
The feeling was unfamiliar to Aizen Myoo. She didn't know whether to scream, or to moan. She wasn't female at heart, but the feeling of an old man squirming around between her breasts was definitely... invasive.
"Hey there, cutie!" Happosai yelled.
The confusion welled up in Aizen Myoo for a few more seconds before she finally took the initiative and pounded the old pervert over the head, sending him crashing into the ground.
"Ow!" he exclaimed.
"Now you listen to me, you old--... uhh... you old, sweet man," she said, trying to be as cute as possible.
Happosai looked up at Aizen Myoo with sparkles in his eyes.
"I need a... uhh... a favour! That's it! A favour!"
"What's that, dearie?"
"There's a... secret treasure of my family that was stolen by some... uhh... Amazons! If you could get it back for me, I'd be very, very grateful."
Happosai thought some more. "How grateful?"
Aizen Myoo leaned towards Happosai and said as demurely as she could, "very grateful."
Happosai stood up. "Very well. What is this treasure which has been stolen."
"Uhh..." Aizen Myoo stammered, "It's uhh.. a brooch! It's called the... uhh... reversal jewel. Yeah, that's it!"
"The reversal jewel, eh? Fear not, young maiden, I'll return it for you!" He smiled. "But first."
This time, it only took Aizen Myoo a few seconds to pry the old pervert from between her breasts. Damn nuisances. How do women handle those things, anyways?
But then, why did she have to choose a form that was so well endowed?
"All right, then sweetie-pie! I'm off to get the brooch for you!" Happosai said as he bounded out the window. But not before blowing her a kiss.
Aizen Myoo shuddered as she heard the old man's cackling voice in the night.
She got up, and walked out the door. That was easy enough. In fact, too easy. All she had to do now was get back to the door she left outside the front gates, and everything would be fine.
Happosai bounded away, happily humming to himself. He left his collection behind, but that didn't matter. Once he got back, there wouldn't be much need for the collection.
He paused in thought. Amazons. Something twinged in his memory.
"SWEETO!" he yelled into the nights sky.
Getting out of the house was easy. This time, she remembered to take off the heels. There was no more need for them. Going out by the front door, she walked out of the gate.
She remembered the exact spot she left the door, and pulled the key out of her pocket.
She plunged it into the invisible lock.
And nothing happened.
Aizen Myoo shrugged. She was probably a few feet off, she tried again.
Frustrated, she reached her hand out to feel for the door. It wasn't where she left it.
Maybe she just miscalculated. She reached around some more.
Feeling her now-mortal heart beat a tad faster, she reached around frantically.
Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.
"Oh crap," she said.