Subject: [PMFFML] [FFML2] Liquid Fighter Gold[Part 4][r.5]
From: Ryoga P Hibiki
Date: 3/14/2001, 8:14 PM
To: ffml2@listbot.com

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    Liquid Fighter Gold

    Part 4

    Petals in the moonlight.

+++++++++++

    Ranma sat across from his father, grinning proudly, with Ranko at
his side. The two men were sitting at the table, with tea set out
before them. Kasumi was currently in the kitchen, preparing a late
lunch.

    "So, you won?" said Genma with a small nod.

    "This is an impressive thing?" said Soun with an inquisitive look
on his face.

    "It's supposed to be nearly impossible," said Nabiki calmly as she
watched television nearby with a bag of chips in her hands.

    "Yeah, beating a unit with a superior power level almost never
happens, much less one that's two levels above her," agreed Ranma.
"Ranko did really well."

    The redhead seemed to puff out her chest in pride for a moment.

    "Big deal," grumbled Akane irritably as she walked into the room.

    "Hey! I don't see you doing any better!" snapped Ranma as he
frowned at her for a moment.

    "Some of us only care about a real fight, not some stupid video
game," snorted the girl as she sat down next to her sister in front of
the television.

    "It's not a video game!" said Ranma with a frown.

    "Oh? What is it then?" said the girl in retort, rather smugly too.

    "Controlling a liquid unit well enough to fight, takes a great
deal of mental discipline, Akane," said Genma sagely.

    "Then how does that idiot Kuno manage it?" replied the girl with
an unimpressed smirk.

    "Kuno?" muttered Ranma as he appeared to think about it for a
moment.

    "He said discipline, not intelligence," pointed out Nabiki. "You
of all people should know, Kuno is focused if nothing else."

    "Focused on me maybe," grumbled the girl quietly. "That
perverted..."

    "Oh, so you do understand then?" said Nabiki cheerfully.

    "What would you know about this anyway? You're not a martial
artist, and you don't have one of those things in your brain," snapped
Akane as she glared at her sister.

    "Brain?" muttered Ranma in confusion.

    "It's my business to know these things," said Nabiki lazily. She
had yet to look away from the television throughout the entire
conversation.

    "Jeez, what a grouch," commented Ranko as she watched Akane fume
for a moment.

    The girl turned and looked at Ranma. "What did you say to me?"

    "What?" said the boy in surprise. "I didn't say nuthin! It was
her!" He pointed towards Ranko, who was sitting innocently beside him.

    "It's the same thing!" snapped Akane.

    "It isn't!" he retorted as he stood up and backed away.

    "Actually, it kinda is," said Ranko cheerfully.

    "You shut up!" said Ranma as he glared at the redhead. She stuck
her tongue out at him and pulled down her eyelid for a moment.

    "Cute Ranma," commented Nabiki as she looked at them for a moment.

    "How stupid do you think I am?" snapped Akane as she jumped up and
stalked towards him.

    "Akane, please don't hit my fiance again," said Nabiki lazily.
"Even if he does deserve it."

    "Quit callin me that!" protested Ranma, he was ignored by both
girls.

    Akane growled and looked down at her older sister for a moment.
"What?"

    "You heard me, even if he is a jerk, and a pervert, it's my
problem, not yours," said the girl lazily. Her eyes narrowed, but she
still did not look away from the television. "I've got to protect my
investment after all, it won't do for Akane to hurt him too much, or
scare him away," she thought to herself.

    "Who are you callin a pervert?" said Ranma and Ranko in unison.

    "You! Now stay out of this!" snapped Akane.

    "Fine! I don't gotta take this crap! Come on Ranko," said Ranma as
he turned away and left the room angrily. He moved outside, towards
the dojo.

    "I'm glad to see you coming to your fiance's defense, Nabiki,"
commented Soun as he picked up a newspaper.

    Akane glared daggers at her father for a moment. "What? I can't
believe this!"

    "Akane, calm down," said Soun sternly. He immediately burst into
tears after that though. "You know it upsets your daddy when you yell
at him that way!"

    "Honestly!" snarled Akane as she walked away from the scene in
frustration.

+++++++++++

    "So, now what?" asked Ranko as she looked around at the inside of
the dojo almost absently.

    "What else? We spar," said Ranma as the scowl on his face lessened
slightly.

    "Ah, well, I can dream can't I?" quipped the girl as her clothes
shifted from a red and black Chinese outfit like the one he was
wearing, into a red dogi.

    "About what?" said Ranma obliviously. He stood there looking at
her for a moment in confusion.

    "Never mind," said the girl with a small sigh.

    "Whatever," he said with a shrug. They bowed to one another, and
stood off in the middle of the dojo. "Ready?"

    "That depends, are you?" said the girl with her cheery grin
appearing on her face again.

    "Anytime," said the boy as he jumped forward. She reacted the same
way, and the acrobatic battle began.

    Ranma and Ranko met each other halfway and seemed to hover for a
moment, exchanging punches and kicks as they passed. Both landed on
their feet opposite one another and quickly turned, facing each other
again.

    "Not bad," commented Ranko lazily.

    "I only scored half what you did," he muttered dejectedly.

    "I'll always be better," commented Ranko cheerfully.

    "Shut up," he said quietly as he charged forward again. This time,
the pair raced forward, intercepting one another on the ground.
Ranma's arms became a blur as he attacked, Ranko responded by blocking
each blow with her own. Ranma's fists weren't stopped by her defense,
but he could feel each block and frowned deeper for a moment before
spinning into a series of kicks.

    Ranko dodged around these attacks, weaving in and out of his
attack pattern as easily as he had evaded Akane's maneuvers. She
paused and winked at him. "Ready to turn it up a bit?" she said
cheerily.

    "Yeah, that's enough warm up," said Ranma as he suddenly got a
strange look in his eyes.

    "Let's go then!"

++++++++++++

    A battle cry from the dojo caught everyone in the living room's
attention. The Tendo's looked outside in confusion, while Genma merely
sat with his arms crossed, not paying it any mind at all.

    "Saotome?" said Soun with a slightly worried tone.

    "It's nothing to worry about, my son is just sparring," said Genma
with a small nod.

    Nabiki blinked, and looked up the stairs. Akane had gone up to her
room, and there was no way she had gone out into the dojo. Not unless
she had climbed out her window, and that was very unlikely. She looked
towards Genma again. "With who?"

    Genma chuckled and shook his head for a moment. "With Ranko, of
course."

    "What?" said Nabiki as her face contorted into an undisguised mask
of shock. "That's impossible!"

    "Hmm, so I've heard," said Genma with a small nod. He lazily
sipped at his tea and relaxed a bit more.

    His reply went unheard. Nabiki was already rushing out to the dojo
as fast as she could run. She stopped in the door and simply stared in
a dazed sort of fascination.

    Ranma and Ranko were moving around the dojo like Ping-Pong balls.
Trading blows at an amazing rate of speed as they moved in and out of
one another's attack range. Ranko was clearly winning, but Ranma was
somehow keeping up with her maddening pace none the less.

    "Whoa," said Nabiki as she stepped back from the door. She could
hear the sweet sound of a cash register in the back of her mind. Ranma
wasn't just some hotshot kid the way the magazines described him. She
had thought he'd enter a few tournaments, and make a very decent
living fighting. Now, she realized that the Liquid Fighter Gold
tournament was a very real possibility. Give him time, and practice,
and she'd be a rich wife, even if he never won the big fight. She
pushed her back against the outside wall of the dojo, clutching her
hands to her chest with a huge blush forming on her face. "Jackpot."

+++++++++++

    Tatewaki Kuno sat in quiet contemplation. Sakura stood before him,
with what appeared to be mournful tears in her face. She was nude, and
tied up across a low table.

    He raised his hand again, and brought down the long bamboo cane
across her naked chest once again.

    "No! Please! No more master! I shall not fail you again!" pleaded
the woman desperately.

    "Very well, see too it that you do not," said Kuno firmly as he
slid the cane pole across her belly.

The woman shuddered as the action irritated the welts that covered the
length of her body. She sobbed pitifully and whimpered a few more
pleas.

    "Your error has been corrected," said Kuno as he stood up and
turned away from her. "You may leave me now, the sight of you disgusts
me."

    Sakura's painful and pleading face vanished in an instant,
replaced by the cold indifference once again. "As you wish master."
The welts were gone, and her clothes returned once again. She vanished
in a small shower of sakura petals, leaving him alone with his
thoughts.

    "Curse the luck of that upstart," growled Kuno bitterly. "How can
Sakura fail me? She has always been victorious before now! I do not
understand where she erred." He looked out at the night sky, gazing
into the stars for a long moment.

    "Units cannot err, units can only follow commands," said a
slightly metallic sounding singsong voice from the shadows near the
doorway of the room. It seemed almost electronic and childlike at the
same time.

    "I have asked you not to appear in my chambers," said Kuno, he did
not bother to turn away from the window.

    "Unit does not recognize the authority of designator," said the
voice in reply.

    "Why are you here?" said Kuno.

    "To observe, mistress has asked Unit to observe why sibling is
upset. Now Unit knows," said the voice. It giggled almost madly at
him.

    "Go and give your report then. I have no desire for your company,"
said Kuno as he turned to look at the thing at last, he saw only
darkness.

    "Unit does not require instruction to do so," replied the thing
giddily.

    Kuno narrowed his eyes, he searched the room for a moment.
Finally, he spotted it. A single white spot in the far corner. It was
vaguely face shaped and appeared to have a black smile, and a painted
black tear under its right eye. Finally, a child like body seemed to
melt away from the shadows, clad completely in black. It looked like a
small clown, a harlequin. It appeared to be female, but had a wiry
thin body, and black jester's hood that completely covered its head,
accept for the face.

    "You are still here?"

    "Protocol one, Unit must contradict orders from sibling," said the
thing with a small shrug. The sound of bells jingling accompanied this
action.

    "Demon! I said be gone!" roared Kuno as he pulled one of his
bokuten from the wall. "Desist this maddening annoyance and leave my
bedchambers at once!" He pointed the weapon at the thing angrily.

    "Unit cannot be harmed by such weapons," said the thing calmly.

    "Then there is truly no justice in this world," said Kuno as he
lowered the blade, keeping his gaze trained on the thing. "If any
blade can smite such a creature, it is the sword of the Blue Thunder!"
He charged forward and hacked at the thing angrily, destroying a
dresser in the process.

    "Unit still feels nothing, and sibling has lost another dresser,"
commented the clown as it looked over its shoulder calmly.

    "Cur!" roared Kuno.

    "Sibling has now lost a bed roll as well, and two large
photographs of his lowly wench," said the clown as it simply stood in
the path of the strikes.

    Kuno frowned. "You have destroyed my honorable shrine of the
goddess, Akane Tendo?! You shall be punished! You are not worthy to be
smitten by my own hands! Sakura! Before me!"

    "Yes master?" said Sakura as she appeared beside him, in another
shower of flower petals.

    "Take care of this lowly creature, I will not have it disturbing
my meditation!" snarled Kuno as he pointed into the shadows.

    "Designated target not found," said Sakura as she merely stood
there.

    Kuno blinked and looked around his room. There was nothing there
any longer; it had left immediately after Sakura had been summoned.
"No doubt it feared my prowess."

    "Indeed, there are none who would not," agreed Sakura.

++++++++++++++

    The sky was dark, the stars were out, and Nabiki Tendo, could not
sleep.

    "Dang," she muttered lazily. She stood up and walked out of her
room, there wasn't much she could do really. She decided to go down
and have a cup of warm milk, to perhaps help her rest a bit.

    "Hello Nabiki," said a familiar voice.

    The girl froze, and slowly turned around. "Wha?"

    Ranko was looking at her, with a small smile on her face. She
looked cheerful as always, and walked up beside her. "What are you
doing up at this hour?"

    "I uh, couldn't sleep. Is Ranma awake?" said Nabiki with a
slightly nervous tone.

    "No," replied the redhead with a small shrug.

    "Then...how?" stammered Nabiki with the worry creeping into her
tone a bit more.

    "He's in REM sleep. His brain is active, so I'm available, so to
speak," replied the girl with a small shrug.

    "Oh. You can do that?" said Nabiki as she started walking down the
stairs towards the kitchen.

    Ranko followed close behind her, looking rather bored. "Yeah, I'm
programmed to do things. Like clean the house, or something. Ranma
doesn't like me to do things like that for him, and Kasumi keeps the
rest of the house clean, so I just sit up and watch him most of the
time. I heard you moving around, and came out to check on what the
noise was."

    "Weird," commented Nabiki.  "Kinda like a burglar alarm or
something?"

    "I suppose. I don't have anything else to do though, it's pretty
boring," said the redhead with a shrug.

    "I've heard that, he remembers what you see," said Nabiki as she
opened the refrigerator and pulled out a carton of milk. "Is that
true?"

    "Not exactly remembers," said Ranko as she sat on the counter and
watched the girl make her drink. "It's kinda hard to describe, but if
I see or hear something, he knows about it. It isn't a memory though."


    "So, I couldn't keep a secret from him if I told you. Right?" said
Nabiki with a smirk appearing on her face for a moment.

    "It only works when he's awake, you could say anything you wanted
right now, and he won't remember a thing," said Ranko cheerfully.

    "Really? Great!" said Nabiki as she finished heating the milk and
poured it into a cup. "What's he like in bed?"

    Ranko paused and looked at her for a moment. "Huh?"

    "Jeez, you actually look surprised," commented Nabiki as she eyed
the girl carefully.

    "I...dunno," said the redhead.

    "Really? Dunno as in you aren't sure what good is? Or as in, you
really don't know?" asked Nabiki calmly as she sipped at her drink.

    "I suppose that it's true I wouldn't really know, but also because
he's never used me for that," said the girl with a small giggle. "I've
offered plenty of times. I'm programmed to react to an erection that
way. He always says no though." Ranko's brow furrowed slightly as she
thought about it. "It's starting to bug me."

    "Bug you?" said Nabiki with her eyebrow raising slightly.

    "Well, yeah! I know I'm programmed for it and all, but it's kinda
frustrating to repeatedly throw yourself at someone, and have them
turn you down over and over. I guess it kinda built up over the
years."

    "How long?" asked Nabiki as she leaned in towards the girl.

    "Well, he had his first one when he was ten, so...six years or
so," said Ranko with a thoughtful frown appearing on her face.

    "I was kind of expecting you to give me an exact date. You're not
like the other units I've seen," said Nabiki as she smiled at the
redhead for a moment.

    "Well, my personality is modeled after his. It happens over time,
and we've been together almost ten years now."

    Nabiki nodded at this, "Plus, the unusual level of control..." She
was speaking more to herself than Ranko.

    "I suppose that might have something to do with it," said Ranko
with a small shrug.

    "Well, I've got to get up tomorrow. See you later Ranko," said
Nabiki as she walked out of the kitchen, leaving the redhead sitting
alone.

    "Right," said Ranko with a small sigh. She waved her hand at the
girl, and blinked out of existence.

+++++++++++

    "Ranma Saotome," said a man dressed in a black leather jacket. He
was looking at a photo taken during the match with Sakura that had
occurred that morning. "Interesting indeed." He chuckled as he put the
photo into his pocket. He was currently sitting inside a dimly lit
bar, not paying much attention to anything. A shot of something rested
on the counter in front of him. He looked at it for a moment,
realizing that he'd forgotten what he'd ordered.

    The bartender noticed him move and smirked. "Welcome back, you've
been staring at that photo for about four hours now."

    "I've been looking for someone, and I think I finally found him,"
said the man calmly.

    The barkeep frowned. "This ain't that kinda bar. I ain't got
nuthin against you, but if you start bothering my customers..."

    "What? I don't mean that!" snapped the man defensively.

    "Just makin sure," said the bartender curtly.

    "I'm a Liquid Fighter, I've been looking for someone very special
for a long time. I think that this time, I may have actually found
someone who might make the cut. Thing is, they still got a ways to go
yet."

    "Fighter Class?" asked the barkeep with a slightly odd look in his
eyes.

    "My name is Ryo, and I'm afraid Inu Musume is a bit out of your
league," he placed a card on the counter and smirked.

    The barkeep calmed suddenly as he looked at the card. His hand
shrank down to clean the inside of a shot glass in his hand. "I see.
You're a gold competitor."

    "Yup," said the man with a smirk. He picked up the card and put it
inside his pocket.

    "We don't get many of your kind in here," commented the barkeep
lazily as he picked up another glass and began to wipe it down.

    "I imagine not," said the man as he looked around. The bar was
relatively small, and had only a few customers inside it.

    "This kid, Ranma, could be a major competitor if he keeps up the
way he is. I'd like to meet him," said Ryo lazily. He picked up the
shot glass and downed it in a swift motion. "I'll be keeping my eye on
him in any case."

    "Hmm," said the barkeep as he picked up the glass, and the money
Ryo had lain on the counter as well.

    "See you around," said Ryo as he pulled a thin pair of shades out
of his pocket and put them on his face as he started towards the door.

    The barkeep merely nodded and continued his work.

++++++++++

    Meanwhile...

    "Where are we?" said a rather well dressed young man who stood in
the middle of the street. He was wearing a dark blue business suit,
and didn't seem very worried about the rather rough looking
neighborhood he had found himself in. Tucked into his jacket lapel,
was a yellow and black handkerchief.

    "Kyushu," replied a gruff sounding voice from beside him.

    "Are you sure? We're supposed to be going to Tokyo," said the boy
as he looked up at his companion. It was a semi-human something that
was mostly hidden by the shadows. It was also almost three times his
size, and wearing a long black trench coat and hat.

    "Most certain master," said the thing with a nod of its head.

    "Great," muttered the boy as he looked down at the ground. He
flicked some lint off of his pants absently and sighed. "Are we sure
he's in Tokyo?"

    "According to the last report sir," said the thing.

    "Great! Ranma Saotome, I've found you at last! I'll finally get my
revenge!" said the boy as he jumped up in the air. "Get ready, Ryoga
Hibiki is coming for you at last!"

    "Yes, sir," agreed the thing calmly.

    "Come on, let's get out of here," said Ryoga as he whirled around.
He walked up next to a rather mean looking motorcycle and straddled
it. With a quick flick of his foot, the engine roared to life,
drowning out almost all other sounds on the street.

    "Are you certain we can't walk, sir?" said the thing as it looked
at Ryoga for a moment.

    "Huh? Why?" said the boy obliviously.

    "We've always had an easier time finding things when I've guided
you, sir," replied the thing calmly.

    "Aw, don't worry about it! I'll get there in no time! This is much
faster than walking!" said Ryoga as he gunned the engine and tore down
the street.

    The thing sighed for a moment, just before it vanished into thin
air. "Yes, sir."

++++++++++++++

    "Okay, great," muttered Ranma as he looked up at the smiling face
that was directly over his own.

    "You're not getting up though," said Ranko cheerfully.

    "That's right," said Ranma with a small frown. He closed his eyes
again and settled back down onto his mat.

    "You know what the old man is gonna do right?" said Ranko as she
poked his nose lightly.

    "Throw me out the window again?" muttered Ranma lazily.

    "Probably," agreed Ranko with a small smirk. "As long as you
already know."

    At that exact moment, Genma burst into the room. "What are you
still doing asleep boy!?"

+++++++++++++

    Nabiki looked up at the clock as Ranma sailed into the yard from
above, screaming as he fell, and landed rather roughly in the yard.

    "Right on time, I could almost set my watch to this," commented
Nabiki lazily.

    "That dope," muttered Akane as she watched from nearby. She was
dressed in her jogging out fit. "I'm going now."

    "Don't let me stop you," said Nabiki absently as she watched the
houseguests fight amongst themselves in the back yard.

    "Hiya!" said Ranko lazily as she sat down next to Nabiki at the
table.

    "Gah!" cried the girl as she clutched her chest in shocked
surprise. "What are you doing here?"

    "Watching Ranma spar with the old man," said Ranko sunnily.

    "Right," muttered Nabiki as she turned towards the yard.

    Ranma sailed through the air and landed on his back, a few feet
away from the koi pond. "Watch it old man! You almost knocked me into
that thing!"

    "Don't be such a girl!" retorted Genma.

    "Ranma should have avoided that," said Ranko with her brow
furrowing slightly. "I know he can do better than that."

    "Maybe so," agreed Nabiki with a light smile.

    "I know so," said Ranko as she looked over at the girl proudly.

    "Whatever. Hey Ranko?"

    "Huh? What?"

    "How big is it?"

    "How big is what?"

    "You know," Nabiki leaned in, jabbing the girl in her ribs
lightly.

    "Oh! That!" said Ranko as she seemed to understand finally.

    Ranma fell to the ground in the yard with a look of shock on his
face. Genma paused as his son spun around and rushed towards the
house, his face had gone completely red.

    "About this long," said Ranko as she held her hands apart.

    "Hey! Not bad," commented Nabiki.

    Both girls turned to see Ranma burst into the room. "Don't tell
people about that!"

    "Huh? Why not?" said Ranko obliviously.

    "It's none of..." Ranma started, he was cut off by Nabiki.

    "Excuse me, fiance, but it is my business to know," she said and
gave him a small wink. Her smile hid something more, now she was sure,
what Ranko had told him the night before was true. She'd have to watch
what she said around the redhead, but it could become a useful tool
for her if she played her cards right.

    "It ain't!" snapped Ranma.

    "What are you doing boy? Get back out here!" said Genma as he
walked in behind his son.

    "Fine! Take this old man!" cried Ranma as he jumped into his
father's chest, forcing the man to back out of the home.

    "Oh well, at least he's got something to vent his frustrations
on," commented Ranko.

    "Right," said Nabiki with a disinterested shrug.

++++++++++++

    TBC...

    Next Time: P-chan rides into town...

C&C to Carrotglace@juno.com

Previous parts can be found at Http://www.fanfiction.net and R&C Books
International Fanfic Company at Http://www.rcbooks.org

Ja!


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