Subject: [PMFFML] [FFML-R] newRanma - Chapter 5
From: "C. Jones" <guilty@furinkan.net>
Date: 3/10/2001, 10:05 PM
To: ffmlRefuge@listbot.com

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Here's some more. Enjoy!

Ranma and his friends belong to Rumiko Takahashi. They're
used here without permission.

------------------------------
newRanma 5: Seeing

by Chris Jones
------------------------------

    Ranma's days at Furinkan had altered slightly due to
doctor's orders. She had to sit through all the parts of the
school day that really bugged her, and then didn't get to
participate in the parts of the school day that she actually
felt interested in. No P.E.. No swimming. No action
whatsoever. Instead, they had her putting away books in the
library.

    "This suuucks!" she whined, after searching through a
few hundred texts on Japanese history in order to put
'Tokugowa and Me' in its proper place.

    There was nothing she could apply her skills to.
Martial-arts Dewy Decimal System was out of the question since
the librarian glared darkly at her every time Ranma acted like
she was going to throw a book.

    Eventually, Ranma found a table in the back of the
library office behind some overstuffed stacks to lay her
tender head on and try to snooze after her repetitive library
chores were done. She figured that as hidden and as out of the
way as it was, no one would bother her as she dozed.

    It was as she was doing so that the assistant librarian
walked back to find her.

    "Ah, Saotome-san! I was hoping that you could help me,"
the girl said.

    Ranma stared in minor irritation at the young woman in
her frumpy dress and too-thick glasses.

    "What's up?" she asked.

    "Well, you're aware of the principal's book policy,
right?"

    "Uhhh..."

    "If the book contains any 'objectionable' material,
Principal Kunou says we're supposed to burn it."

    "What's objectionable?" Ranma asked. "Anti-Hawaii
stuff?"

    The librarian rolled her eyes and nodded. "Also, any
books that describe long hair," she said, pointing to a shelf
full of books on fashion and hair-styling.

    "Why doesn't this surprise me?" Ranma asked.

    "Also, we have a few teachers who are a bit overzealous
about obscenity in books and magazines. That's a real problem
because we keep books for the photo club which all have
chapters on nude photography. There are some others." She
handed the red-head a list. "Rather than get rid of the books,
we just keep them back here so the students who really care
about reading them can still find them."

    Ranma gazed around at the miniature library surrounding
her. She really didn't know what it was for, but now that she
looked around, she could see a few titles that she realized
could be incendiary. There was a copy of a book with a Nazi
Swastika on the front right next to a book labeled 'Racism in
Japan: A Modern Study'. On the other side, there was a book
with a pair of male ballet dancers on the front. After a
second of study, she realized that the two were in a rather
intimate pose. The book's title was 'Living with
Homosexuality'.

    Ranma realized that she had chosen the banned books
section of the library for her secret nap.

    The assistant librarian wheeled a cart full of books in
and stopped it in front of Ranma.

    "These are books we've had complaints about. If you
would be so kind, would you skim through these books and see
if they have anything on the list. If so, we'll stick them
back here and put the rest back out front."

    "Okay," Ranma accepted. It wasn't physical activity in
any way, but the activity sounded a whole lot better than
looking for little numbers on the shelves and trying to make
books fit.

    "Stack the objectionables here on the table," the
assistant librarian instructed, "and leave the others on the
cart. I'll put them back out after classes today."

    After the librarian had gone, Ranma read the list. Some
of the things on it, like 'textual depictions of explicit
images or situations' sounded a little boring for Ranma, so
she started with the things she thought would be easier to
find.

    "'Bodywatching, a Field Guide to the Human Species' by
Desmond Morris. Japanese Edition," Ranma said to herself after
picking a book at random. "Sounds boring. Lesse, does it
'contain images depicting nudity, violence, or criminal
acts'?"

    The dust cover of the book depicted a woman's bare
abdomen. It wasn't *quite* nudity, so Ranma opted to open the
book to a random page.

    This page depicted a pretty young woman with medium
length hair smiling happily at the camera. Ranma's face turned
red, because it also depicted the fact that she had, at some
point, pierced both her nipples, tattooed her hip, and had
shaved all the hair off of her mound and labia. She was quite
naked, and very beautiful in a somewhat gothic sense. She
seemed completely at ease in front of the camera, and happy to
have a such a picture taken of her.

    Ranma slammed the book closed and stared at the cover in
shock Besides the burning feeling on her face and ears, there
was a warm tingling in her gut, and her legs felt shaky for
some reason.

    After a few seconds thought, she recognized that she was
feeling the same thing as when Nabiki had flaunted herself so
brazenly. Her breathing had hastened and her heart was
pounding as if she was about to start fighting.

    "Oh yeah. Nudity," Ranma breathed. "Definitely gonna
keep this one back here."

    She moved to push the book aside and pick up another,
but the cover caught her eye again. She felt both a repulsion
and a curious compulsion. She remembered Makuna sensei had
advised her not to fear the feelings.

    "Ranma Saotome ain't afraid of anything!" she whispered,
almost defiantly picking the book back up.

    She opened it to page one and began to read.

* * *

    "Ranma, are you okay?" Akane asked.

    Ranma, her face still burning, turned to look at her
fiancee and nodded. Her blush deepened for a second as she
remembered an image from the book. Walking away from the
school building and into the courtyard, Ranma found that she
was having difficulty with her knees for some odd reason.

    "Hey, bud!" Hiroshi said, as he walked by. He slapped
Ranma on the back and pointed to a nearby tree. "My mom made
way too many spareribs last night and put more than I can
possibly eat in my bento," he said, holding up a oversized
box. "You two want some?"

    "Sure!" Akane said. "I made a bento for Ranma, too!"

    Ranma groaned, but said nothing. Secretly, she was
thankful for the distraction provided. If she was
concentrating on avoiding Akane's horrible cooking then she
wouldn't have time to think about Akane's, long, slender,
well-toned...

    *gulp*

    "Kasumi helped me," Akane admitted out loud, rolling her
eyes. "You don't have to worry about it, Ranma. It's not
*that* bad."

    "Hey, cool!" Daisuke exclaimed as he approached the
three. "Spareribs!"

    "Want some?" Hiroshi offered.

    "There you are, Akane!" Sayuri said as she and Yuka
approached the group.

    Yuka help up a large platter. "We made some muffins in
home-ec. Does anyone want to try?"

    "Sure," Ranma said, snatching one and stuffing it in her
mouth.

    Why did the frocks the girls wore all have to show so
much of their calves or stretch so tightly across their...
their...

    "Heya , Ranchan!" Ukyou greeted as she began to set up
her portable grill next to the group. "Hey guys. Looks like
we're having a party, huh?"

    "Ucchan!" Ranma greeted happily. If there was one female
she could trust not to try to play funny tricks on her, it was
good old Ucchan. As usual, she was clad in her boy's school
uniform. Her breasts were tightly bound underneath and her
legs weren't revealed by the hem of any skirt.

    "Hey free okonomiyaki!" Hiroshi noted happily.

    "We've got muffins, Ukyou-san!" Sayuri noted.

    "Hold up a sec and I'll let everyone try a new batter
recipe I've been working on," she said, kneeling down to
connect the gas feed to the burners beneath the coated steel
cooking surface.

    Ranma's left eye began to twitch as the tight boy's
pants stretched across the girl's well-formed backside. The
fabric was also stretching in an odd fashion across the area
just below and in between her--
    
    *ULP*

    Ukyou blinked in surprise as the red-head's face jerked
away, almost guiltily. Was Ranma staring at her ass? An almost
irrepressible grin sneaked onto her face as she began to cook.

    Nabiki walked up curiously. "Did someone say 'free'?"
    
    "I've got a new recipe I want to try out on everybody,"
Ukyou explained, careful to wag her bottom at Ranma as she did
so.

    "Sign me up!" Nabiki said cheerfully.

    Ranma did her best to concentrate on the food that was
being shared around. There just had to have been different
chapters in the damned book dedicated to each body part. Ranma
couldn't even look at the girl's ankles now, bare, as in
Sayuri's or Nabiki's case or outlined with thin cotton socks
like Yuka's or Akane's, without imagining what the girls would
look like with just those crossed ankles covering more
private, more secret parts of their bodies.

    Ranma began to shiver slightly.

    "Airen! Shampoo come to-- Aiyah... Everyone eating
already."

    "Shampoo!" Ranma looked up as the amazon approached,
eager to dig into some more food to take her mind off her
woes.

    "What wrong with Ranma?" Shampoo asked, bouncing to a
halt like only an Amazon could.

    Ripping her eyes off of Shampoo's firm, springy, almost-
bursting-out- of-her-too-tight-Chinese-blouse, cleavage, Ranma
snatched another muffin and stared at her own feet. Those were
safe, weren't they?

    "I think Ranma must have a bit of a headache?" Nabiki
suggested, a devilish smile on her face. "Right Ranma-kun?"

    The redhead nodded, realizing that she knew the exact
color, shade and position of Shampoo's cherry-like nipples for
as many times as they had been shoved in her face.

    "Well, Shampoo bring way too much ramen then," the girl
said. Was Ranma staring at her breasts? "Ranma like ramen?
Hmm?" she asked, kneeling down in front of the trembling red-
head. She gave an experimental jiggle and noticed a subtle
increase in her target's discomfort.

    Shampoo smiled wide and wickedly! Ranma *was* noticing!
About bloody damn time.

    "Verily, it appears that there is a line for okonomiyaki
today," Kunou noted as he strode up to the group.
    
    Ranma had never been so happy to see the kendoist in her
life.

    "Hey, Sempai," she said, doing her best to keep her eyes
fixed on another guy instead of one of the girls.

    "Hello, pigtailed-girl," Kunou said, blushing cutely and
looking away nervously. He still looked afraid to come too
close, lest he somehow accidentally hurt her. Actually, it was
kinda sweet--

    WHAT THE HELL WAS SHE THINKING!? Ranma firmly fixed the
okonomiyaki Ukyou had just handed her in mind and did her best
to eat without thinking.

    Due to the no-fighting rules, Akane did her best not to
scream in frustration at both Ukyou and Shampoo as they
invaded Ranma's personal space with hips, buttocks, and
heaving bosoms.

    Sayuri and Yuka both rolled their eyes at the overblown
displays and began to chat about the creation of their muffins
while they enjoyed bentos and Ukyou's new recipe.

    Nabiki, noting Ranma's discomfort with a grin, shifted
her position slightly so that her uniform skirt rode up above
the tops of her knees rather than rest underneath her.

    "Are you cold, Ranma?" Akane asked.

    "Yeah," Ranma lied. "I gotta ask Tofuu about it after
school"

    "I wonder if we should try to warm Ranma up somehow?"
Nabiki said out loud.

    Ranma looked up for a second, and then wished she
hadn't. Nabiki had twitched her skirt up so that it displayed
an amazing amount of thigh. Her legs weren't as well-toned as
Akane's, but they were slender and nicely proportioned. The
way they were folded and they way Nabiki was facing Ranma, the
red-head could see almost all the way to the girl's thin,
white silk panties.

    Ranma glanced up, feeling eyes upon her. For just a
second, she locked gazes with Nabiki.

    The older girl smiled evilly. "Busted," she mouthed
silently.

    Ranma jerked her gaze away, feeling the tips of her ears
beginning to burn. There's no way Nabiki could realize what
was happening to her, could she?

    Nervously, Ranma grabbed the nearest thing and began
eating, not paying any attention to the flavor of the food.

    "You're... eating it?"  Akane asked, somewhat surprised.

    Ranma glanced down, realizing that she was eating the
bento Akane had made for her.

    "What do you think?" Akane asked nervously

    The sausage-octopuses had been mutilated, the pickles
were almost too salty to palate, and the sticky rice was about
the same consistency as glue. The box itself was wide enough
so that if Ranma stuck her face in it while she ate, she
couldn't see any firm, curvy female flesh.

    "Best bento you've ever made, Akane," Ranma said. "I
mean that."

    An insulted 'hmph' could be heard from Ukyou and
Shampoo.

    Kunou, who was still quietly eating a short distance
away looked on curiously. Had the pigtailed girl been staring
at him? And why was Nabiki Tendou laughing so hard?

* * *

    "So you believe that Nabiki was teasing you
intentionally?" Makuna asked.

    After several long seconds, Ranma nodded. "Yeah, I think
so. What does it mean?"

    "Well, from the way you've described the girl, it could
mean almost anything, Ranma," the doctor said, chuckling a
bit. "She could be genuinely attracted to you and trying to
gain your attention, or she could simply enjoy teasing you."

    "Nabiki?" Ranma tried to imagine herself with the older
girl. She shook her head and tried to dislodge the image of
Nabiki taking tickets while she boredly sat on a chair behind
the girl, completely nude while perverts like Kunou, Hiroshi
and Daisuke looked on. "Somehow, I don't think so."

    "You should probably spend some more time with her, and
discuss how you feel," Makuna suggested. "Either let her
understand that you're not comfortable with the teasing, or
come to a deeper understanding of what she's trying to
accomplish."

    "I'm afraid she'll charge me for time," Ranma said. "Or
start teasin' me again when I don't know what to do about it."

    "Well if she does charge you, just refuse to pay,"
Makuna said. "I've dealt with young women like Nabiki before.
If you let her know that you won't be treated as a commodity,
then she'll have no choice, will she?"

    "I guess. Nabiki's a lot smarter than I am. She always
manages to get  me somehow."

    "It surprises me that you think that, Ranma," Makuna-
sensei replied. "I think you're a very intelligent
individual."

    "Maybe I'm good at sports and fighting and stuff," Ranma
said. "But I'm not really that smart. Nabiki always knows
exactly what to do and what to say to get me. How can I
compete with that?"

    "You pride yourself on your tactical abilities, but what
you don't seem to realize is that Nabiki is only doing the
same thing you are, but applying it to a different situation."

    "Huh?" Ranma asked.

    "In a battle, you look for your opponents' weaknesses
and exploit them, correct?"

    "Yeah?"

    "So what has your sister-in-law been doing to you?"

    "Well, she waits until I'm not paying attention or until
I really need help or somethin' and then takes advantage of--
wait a second..."

    Makuna smiled broadly. "You apply higher tactical
reasoning to battle  and your art. If what you're telling me
is correct, Nabiki merely applies that same reasoning to
social relationships, which are really just a different kind
of conflict."

    Ranma was silent for a time.

    "Our time is almost up, but before you'd go, I'd like
you to have this." Makuna-sensei held a paper-wrapped book out
to Ranma.

    Ranma eased open the wrapping and looked inside. She
blushed profoundly upon seeing the title of the book. "Ah,
damn it! Now you're teasing me, doc!"

    Makuna laughed again. "Quite on the contrary! While Mr.
Morris's theories and conclusions tend to be very
controversial, he is one of the most respected social
anthropologists in the world. I have all his published books.
This is one of my favorites. Since you noted an interest in
his work, I thought you'd like to have it."

    Ranma glared at the smiling psychologist darkly, but
didn't offer the book back. She carefully re-wrapped it so
that the title didn't show, stood and bowed to the doctor.

    As with the last time, Makuna led her to the door of her
office. Taiyoko, the blonde girl Ranma had last seen at a
pizza shop, was waiting nervously for her appointment with the
doctor.

    "I need just a second before I'm ready for you,
Taiyoko," Makuna said. "Do you mind waiting just a minute?"

    Taiyoko shook her head.

    Makuna-sensei smiled and retreated back inside the
office.

    "Uhh, hey," Ranma said after a few seconds. "I'm sorry
if I made you mad at the pizza place."

    Taiyoko looked up nervously. She opened her mouth as if
to speak, but then shut it again.

    "So... I'll see ya 'round, okay?" Ranma said, stepping
towards the door.

    "...it's okay..." Taiyoko mumbled. "...i just
thought..."

    "I'm ready now, Taiyoko. You can come back now." Makuna
said, opening his door.

    Taiyoko bolted inside, leaving her curious answer
hanging.

    Ranma blinked in confusion.

* * *

    The next day at school, Ranma was having a little better
time keeping her eyes in their sockets. She had guiltily spent
most of the previous evening studying her own copy of
'Bodywatching' and felt just a little more jaded to the sight
of flesh or the curves of a body. There was also a little bit
more analysis to her thoughts. For the first time, she was
able to realize the subtle psychological connection in her
mind between the smooth orbs of Hinako-sensei's full bosom and
the curves of her shapely posterior. It didn't make any less
impact on her if she  stared at it too long, but she was able
to keep her mind largely *off* the bodies of her classmates
and teacher.

    After Hinako reverted to chibi-size and left to go teach
highschool-English to some other class, the room descended
into the usual chaos that marked the between-class breaks.

    Ranma pulled out one of her manga, the swords and
sorcery book and *not* the Utena tankouban, while Hiroshi and
Daisuke began to page through a sports magazine.

    Across the room, Akane, Sayuri, Yuka, and Ukyou were
taking turns listening to Akane's new CD on Yuka's CD-walkman.

    After a few seconds, the classroom door slid open and
Nabiki sauntered in, a folded note clasped in one hand.

    Akane waved, but Nabiki slid up to Ranma's desk and
leaned dangerously into Ranma's space.

    Doing her best not to note that the top button of
Nabiki's blouse was unbuttoned or that the top of her cleavage
was clearly visible, Ranma stared defiantly into the girl's
eyes, determined not to be so cruelly teased.

    "What do you want?" Ranma demanded.

    "Testy, testy today, are we?" Nabiki asked. "That time
of the month dear?"

    "What?"

    "I guess not. Anyway... Kunou-chan has placed a note for
you in my care. I was going to let you have it for free before
you started being so moody," Nabiki said, smiling like a
reptile the entire time.

    Ranma snatched the note away before she realized what
Nabiki said.

    "From Kunou?"

    Nabiki nodded, standing up and turning so that she was
sitting casually across the corner of Ranma's desk. "I think
we may have actually made an impression on the guy."

    "I know they've been ice-skating in hell since he
started leaving me alone," Ranma noted seriously as she
unfolded the note.

    Ranma adjusted her ball-cap and began to read.

    "Dearest Pigtailed-girl," it began. "Having been so
magnanimously included in your lunch party the previous day, I
have decided to return such a noble gesture by treating you,
the beauteous Akane Tendou, and all your friends to a lunch
party of my own design at Il Cavaliere."

    "Ill Cava-huh?" Ranma asked out loud.

    Nabiki made a shushing motion with her finger. "Kunou is
treating us all to lunch at a nice restaurant," she whispered.

    "Hey, that's cool!" Ranma said. "Wait a second... I see
what's going on here. You go tell Kunou that I'm *not* going
out on a date!"

    "I really don't think that's what he wants," Nabiki said
seriously. "See, he invited all your friends to come as well.
We usually all go *anyway*, but this time we're invited."

    Ranma bit her lip and thought carefully for a second.
She looked up to examine Nabiki's face for possible signs of
deception or guile. What she found there was a little bit of
excitement about getting to eat a nice restaurant, just like
Ranma wanted to.

    The note went on, instructing Ranma and the others to
meet by the school gate.

    "Okay. I'm game. Tell him he ain't really winning any
points, though."

    "I'll tell him," Nabiki said. "But I don't think you
have a chance in hell of getting through to him."

* * *

    While convincing Ukyou to abandon a lunch period's worth
of profits to go out to eat was a chore, Ranma had little or
no trouble convincing Akane and the rest of their friends to
take the upperclassman up on his generosity.

    When the lunch bell rolled around, she and her party
quickly made their way from the school building where Kunou
had specified. Shampoo had shown up with a bowl of ramen, but
Ranma made quick work of that while they were waiting for the
upperclassman.

    Within a few minutes of their arrival, Kunou arrived at
the gate with the keys.

    "Leaving campus for lunch, Kunou-chan?" Nabiki asked,
eyeing the large, old-fashioned key that locked the gate
mechanism. "How did you persuade the principal to go along
with that?"

    "Truly, he has no idea what I have plotted for today's
noon repast," Kunou said seriously. "But such was not my plan.
First I intended to beat the man senseless should he oppose me
when I came for the gate key. His secretary, most noble
antiquity that she is, gave me the key without questioning my
motives."

    "Trust Kunou to make things straightforward," Akane
said, sighing.

    Kunou proudly led them a short walk to the Il Cavaliere,
a nice, but not extravagant Italian restaurant in the
commercial district near Furinkan high. Once inside, the
hostess greeted them.

    "Hello, Kunou-san," the girl said. "Your buffet is
waiting as per your reservations."

    "Buffet?" Ranma asked.

    "He's seen you eat, Ranma," Hiroshi noted.

    "Verily," Kunou seconded. "Both Akane and the pigtailed-
girl are highly active and require large quantities of
sustenance."

    Everyone stared blankly at him.

    "Is just me," Shampoo asked, unsure of her Japanese, "or
did stick-boy just make joke?"

    "I assure you, noble amazon, that I make no jest.
Besides, when buying for this large a group, it's often less
expensive to order buffet service than individual meals."

    "Leave the sarcasm to me, Kunou-chan," Nabiki noted,
clapping the kendoist on the shoulder. "It really doesn't suit
you."

    "Hey, food!" Hiroshi and Daisuke noted at the same time,
as the group was being led into the dining room.

    "Yipee!" Ranma crowed, diving in just in front of the
two. She almost, but not quite, broke her restrictions on
gymnastics to do so.

    The group filed in line and filled their plates with
noodles, sauces and other comestibles from the buffet service.
Soon, they were seated around a large round table, trading
jokes and eating heartily.

    "Almost as good as Shampoo own ramen," the Chinese girl
complimented.

    "Yeah, it's no okonomiyaki, but I suppose it will do in
a pinch," Ukyou seconded.

    "You better not let the chef hear you say that," Yuka
said. "I understand he's a real psycho about his food."

    "What chef isn't a real psycho around here?" Akane
asked.

    The table descended into silence for several seconds as
Ukyou and Shampoo stared Akane in the face, growing
expressions of outrage on their faces.

    After not much longer, Akane burst out laughing. The
rest of the group couldn't help but follow along.

    Happily eating her food, and letting the unfamiliar
surroundings distract her senses from the close proximity of
Ukyou on one side and Shampoo on the other, Ranma sighed in
contentment.

    It was odd, but strangely... *nice* to have so calm a
meal.

    For a second, she looked up at Kunou, who was rolling up
linguini on his fork while listening to one of Nabiki's
business deals. She caught his eye, but he turned away
rapidly.

    Ranma blinked, watching the young man. The look on his
face was surprising. It was neither the cold fury he wore when
they fought, or expression of idiotic lust he had when chasing
after her or Akane. If anything, it was... happy.

    Like hers.

    "You ain't gettin' a date out o' this, Kunou," she said
out loud after gulping down a mouthful of ravioli. "But...
Thanks. This is really nice!"

* * *

    Later, after school had let out. Ranma found herself in
the hallway, waiting for Akane, who was on cleanup duty.

    She heard the voices around the corner before she saw
them. Curiosity getting the better of her, Ranma decided to
risk the wrath of her surgeons and leapt up. She braced her
fingers and toes against the tiny ledge on top of the door and
braced her other foot on the light fixture in the center of
the ceiling. As long as they didn't look up, no one would see
her.

    "So, Kunou-chan. That was a mighty impressive show you
put on this afternoon."

    "I think not upon it as trying to impress, Nabiki
Tendou, but as treating those whom I love so deeply with
utmost care and respect."

    Ranma blinked.

    "So you're still afraid you're going to break Ranma,
huh?"

    Kunou looked away guiltily.

    "Listen, Kunou-chan. Guilt is nice and all for a little
bit, but you're making a mistake here. You *didn't* hurt her,
okay? If anyone's at fault, it's Akane or her lazy ass of a
father."

    "I keep telling myself that," Kunou said quietly. "But
was it not my arms in which she fell sick? Was it not my floor
upon which she did bleed? If what you have told me is true,
then I *cannot* allow myself any other method of action. Until
she heals, I will keep my distance so as not to further harm
the angelic one."

    Nabiki sighed at length. "Going for the soft-sell, huh?
I've told you before, Kunou-chan. She *isn't* interested in
you."

    Kunou grimaced. "I could almost believe that, but her
words that day had the ring of truth, and try as I might, I
cannot discard those precious seconds I spent with her."

    Precious seconds? Ranma's memories of her time at the
Kunous' place just before she was taken to the hospital were
vague. She vaguely remembered embracing the man, and she was
fairly certain that there had been some... *YECH*... kissing.
Was there more?

    "So you'll keeping fighting to win them," Nabiki noted
dryly. "Makes no difference to me of course. You'll keep
buying photos and I'll keep selling them."

    "Nabiki Tendou... Please. If you would. Take no pictures
of the pigtailed-girl until her hair grows back in," Kunou
said somberly. "If I have read her correctly, she is most
vain, and dislikes having such a tarnish on her beauty. I will
pay the regular amount plus 5 percent, if you agree."

    I am not vain, Ranma thought. I just care about how I
look, is all.

    "Ten percent," Nabiki said.

    "Done," Kunou conceded. "Now... I must meditate. I must
have her, but my passions must wait."

    "Her?" Nabiki said. "Don't you mean them?"

    "Hmm? Oh yes. Akane Tendou and the pigtailed-girl! They
both shall be mine!"

    Why didn't Ranma believe that?

* * *

    "So today's the big day, Ranma?" Hiroshi asked a few
days later, staring in quiet disgust as Ranma ran her hands
trough her short hair.

    The bloody, icky crust which had covered her stitches
had slowly faded away until all the was left of the incision
was a dark purple line criss-crossed by the tiny silk threads.
She ran her fingers over it, doing her best to ignore the urge
to scratch. They would be gone in a few hours, and she could
scratch all she wanted then.

    Underneath the sutures and through the healing flesh,
she could feel the bulging line of bone where her skull was
knitting.

    "Yeah," she said moodily, staring in the mirror. "It
won't make me look any less like shit, though. My hair is
still all lop-sided. You'll still be able to see the scar
through the peach-fuzz here.

    Ranma actually growled at the mirror. Things had just
been making her progressively more and more angry for the last
several days.

    "So cut the other side off short, too," Daisuke
suggested. It's still pretty long in front. I think it would
look good.

    The image assailed Ranma. She would have cutely short
hair on both sides and long bangs in front to hang femininely
over her eyes.

    "Too goddamned girly," she growled. "Damn it! Why is
everyone pissing me off today?"

    "Jeez! Calm down, bud." Hiroshi said, roughly cuffing
the martial artist on the shoulder. "Don't let it bug you so
much! I bet you'll feel better once the stitches are out,
don't you think?"

    "Maybe," Ranma said, deflating a little bit. She
grimaced, feeling slightly ill to her stomach.

    She turned to leave the restroom and felt the guys' eyes
on her as she pulled the Dodgers cap back on.

    "And quit staring at my ass, you damn perverts!"

    The door slammed loudly behind her.

    "Ya know. By my figures, it's been about a month since
Ranma's surgery." Hiroshi noted quietly.

    Daisuke nodded sagely.

    "And my sister and mother both get kinda pissy about the
same time at least once a month."

    Daisuke raised one eyebrow. "We could say something
about it," he said, "if you're thinking what I'm thinking."

    "Ranma would kill us both before she realized what she
had done," Hiroshi said. "Best we let Akane and Nabiki deal
with this."

    "Didn't you say that your mom and your sister get all
bitchy about the same time?"

    "Yeah."

    "Then don't you think that--"

    "Damn it, Akane! You wanna watch where the hell you're
going?!" Ranma's high-pitched scream carried into the closed
bathroom.

    "Why don't you watch where you're going, pervert?!"
Akane screamed back.

    "Ladies!" Nabiki bellowed. "If you both don't shut up
I'll charge you until you wish you had? Do you understand
me!?"

    "PMS," Hiroshi said quietly, a bead of sweat standing
out on his forehead. "Gotta be."

    "Scary," Daisuke noted.

    "God, I feel sorry for Ranma's dad."

    "I feel sorry for us if she's not feeling any better
tomorrow."

* * *

    Having her stitches out mollified Ranma somewhat. She
was still feeling pretty crappy, by the time she got home,
however. She felt like all eyes were on her, and even chewed
out her father and Akane's for staring at her breasts even
though she realized that they weren't.

    What really bugged her was the fact that she still
wasn't sure what Kunou meant the other day. 'Bleeding on my
floor' could mean a lot of things. Did they...

    Had they...

    Ranma couldn't bring herself to even think the words.

    Her 'Bodywatching' book mentioned the hymen and even had
a description of where it was located. Ranma knew from a brief
self-examination when she had last used the rest room that she
did not have one.

    A medical book sitting in Kasumi's bookshelf talked
quite a bit about a woman's hymen and what it did and did not
mean. Lack of a hymen from birth was rare, but possible. What
was more plausible was the fact that many active girls and
women accidentally broke their own hymen while exercising.
Another possibility listed mentioned something that Ranma
really didn't understand. Some girls, the book said, broke
their hymens while masturbating.

    Ranma had heard the term used before, but had no clue
what it meant. She knew it was vaguely related to the slang
'jack-off' that the guys sometimes used, but she really didn't
know what that meant either.

    The last possibility, the one that Ranma was most upset
about, was the fact that most girls lost their hymens during
sexual intercourse.

    'Humping', Ranma had heard it called. 'Shagging'.
'Boinking'. 'Doing the Horizontal Tango'.

    Fucking.

    Sex.

    Had Kunou done that to her while she was passed out on
his floor. Is  that why she bled on his floor? Was it because
he had put... put... *THAT* insider her and tore her hymen?
And to think that she trusted him to take her out to lunch
with all her friends. Why that creep was just--

    Ranma's train of thought faltered as she felt a bead of
moisture roll down the inside of her thigh as she paced around
her room.

    "Now what the hell is going on?" She yelled. "Goddamned
doctor fucked up my brain and now I can't even piss when I
want to?"

    She thrust a hand down her pants and pushed her fingers
past the sensitive nub that she knew was called a 'clitoris'
thanks to her book. She pulled it back out, expecting to
further her humiliation to find it covered in urine.

    Instead, it was bloody.

    Ranma blinked at her blood-smeared fingers for several
seconds before wiping them on her shirt and picking Kasumi's
medical book up again. She paged over a few pages and read for
several seconds.
    
    Ranma closed the book slowly.

    "Oh fuck," she said. "This just takes the whole
goddamned fucking cake. I might as well bend over and let
fuck-head Kunou have it any time he fucking wants now!"

    She bit her lip and did her level best to keep her
raging emotions in check.

    After several seconds, there was a polite knock on the
sliding door.

    "Go away, Akane! I ain't in the mood for your shit right
now."

    "Ranma," Kasumi scolded as she slid the door open.
"That's no way to talk even if you are feeling bad."

    Ranma blinked in confusion.

    Kasumi came into the room carrying a tray with a covered
bowl on it.  She sat it down in front of Ranma, turned and
walked back to the doorway. This time she carried in a
shopping bag and the small TV/VCR combo that usually resided
in Nabiki's room.

    "What--"

    Kasumi smiled and held the shopping bag out to Ranma.
When Ranma took the handles, she pulled out a brightly colored
box and a package of plain, cotton panties.

    Ranma paled.

    "This is the brand I use," Kasumi said quietly as she
unwrapped both the sanitary pads and one of the panties. "I
don't think they'll work in boxer shorts, but you can try. You
take the backing off like this," she said, demonstrating as
Ranma stared on in horror. "And stick it against this part of
the panty. This thickness lasts four or five hours if you're
bleeding really heavily."

    Ranma collapsed to her knees, feeling her bloody thighs
squish together.

    "Akane and Nabiki both use tampons, but I'm not really
very comfortable with those," she said. "This is a little
easier in my opinion, but the tampons might work better with
boxer shorts."

    She handed the modified panty to Ranma who took it and
stared at it in mortification.

    "This ain't right," Ranma said weakly. "I'm a guy. Guy's
ain't supposed to do this."

    "You're a boy," Kasumi stated, "who's cursed to be a
girl. In this case, I think the term 'curse' applies pretty
well. Don't you?"

    Ranma bowed her head, clutching the panty.

    "Millions of women deal with this every day," Kasumi
said. "You know that. I don't believe that Ranma is afraid of
something that even little girls have to face."

    "I ain't." Ranma said. "Ranma Saotome ain't scared o'
nuthin!"

    Tears began to course down the read-head's bowed face.
Ranma could barely contain her self. She wanted to fight
somebody. She wanted to scream. She wanted to tear apart her
rotten, cursed body.

    "It's always very hard to bear the first time," Kasumi
said.

    "This... or... or..."

    "Kunou-san didn't lay a finger on you," Kasumi said
quietly. "I know. I was there at the hospital when the two of
you arrived in the ambulance. You were bleeding from your
nose. Kunou-san looked so scared and frightened," she said.
"That was not the face of a young man who had made love to the
young woman he loves, I'm certain."

    "How did you know?" Ranma asked, a shade of relief
creeping into her voice.

    "Nabiki told me you'd been eavesdropping on her," the
older girl admitted. "And you've been pretty obviously upset
about something for the last few days. You're screams just now
tied everything together. The timing was... inconvenient for
you, I'll admit."

    "God, Kasumi. What'll I do?" the girl asked.

    "For now, go get cleaned up, and put those on," Kasumi
said, gesturing to the panties in Ranma's hand. "Afterwards,
we'll have some red beans and rice. I've even taped the 'Nurse
Academy' special for us to watch together. Later, you'll just
have to learn to ride this out, Ranma. I know it's a
challenge, but I know you can handle it."

    Ranma nodded and sighed.

    When she returned to the room, she was blushing in anger
and embarrassment, but didn't say anything else about her
predicament.

    After the show started and Ranma choked down the first
few bites of red beans and rice, she began to sniffle loudly.
After a second, Ranma leaned over and bawled her eyes out into
Kasumi's bosom.

    Kasumi smiled sweetly and cradled Ranma as she wept.

-----

~to be continued...

* * *
C. Jones - guilty@furinkan.net
http://www.furinkan.net

2001 - "My God, It's full of stars!"


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