Streams of Time.
Soun read the telegram that he got today.
Bringing Ranma from China. Time to complete the agreement.
He read it for the fiftieth time today. *Thank god this day has
One of his baby girls was getting married soon, why the thoughts
of one of them in a wedding kimono, made him want to cry.
"Kasumi? Nabiki? Akane? Where are you?" Soun called.
"Father? What is it?" Kasumi, a willowy young woman, dressed in a
simple dress, over which was a apron, asked him.
"Family meeting. Please meet me in the living room once I get
your sisters together."
Soun walked up the stairs to his middle daughter's room. Opening
the door, he saw her reading a manga. "Nabiki, do you know where Akane
is? We have a family meeting. I have something important to tell you."
"I'll go check in the dojo for her, Daddy." Nabiki told her
father, smirking at him. *Gee Daddy, you should have looked
Akane jogged into the dojo, after her run for the day. Changing
into her gi, she set up concrete blocks, preparing to destroy them.
She hadn't heard her father call out for her, so when Nabiki came in,
she was startled.
"You know, that's why all the boys think you are weird," Nabiki
commented after Akane destroyed her stack of bricks. "Daddy's called a
family meeting, and he wants you to be there."
"What's it about?" Akane asked, annoyed that her session in the
dojo would be interrupted by this.
"Fiance?!?!" all three girls called out as one, after their
father had broken the news to them.
"Yes, when one of you girls were to marry him, the family legacy
will be complete, and the Dojo will go to you and him. His name is
Ranma, Saotome Ranma. Just today I got a telegram from his father,
saying that they were returning home from their training in China." Soun
paused looking at his three girls.
"Don't we get some say in who we marry?" Akane asked, getting
into her father's face.
Before her father could answer her, Kasumi, the eldest daughter,
broke in with "Akane's right, Father. We've never even met this Ranma."
Kasumi added with a glare towards her father.
"Heh, Heh. That's easily fixed, They should be here soon, and you can
meet him." Soun said, with a nervous smile, and continued on. "Ranma
and his father have been on a training mission, for the last ten years.
Recently, it seems, they crossed into China."
Before Soun could finish telling what he knew, his Middle
daughter Nabiki, broke in. "Oo, China." Nabiki said with a smile on
her face, thinking to herself, *Now if this boy is halfway acceptable,
I'll marry him, and make sure the house is saved. Along with the fact
that I'll be the one to keep the dojo in the family.*
*Boys, bleah!* Akane thought, and added out loud, irritated by
Nabiki, "What's so great about walking to China?" She looked away,
thinking, *Boys! Who needs them! Why does HE get to go on a training
mission, when I don't? I'm a martial artist too.*
"How old is he, Father? You know younger men bore me." Kasumi
spoke up finally. Adding, before her father could respond, "What kind
of man is Ranma?"
"No Idea?!?" Nabiki replied looking at her father with a shocked
"I've never met him." Soun said.
He was about to add something, but a voice broke in. "Such a good
idea, old man. This time it lasted, what? A whole ten minutes? Why me?
Why did I get stuck with a father like you?"
"We have visitors," Kasumi stated, getting up to greet them
properly as her role as hostess demanded.
"Ooh, Must be Ranma!" Nabiki got up and headed for the door,
followed by Soun. Before Kasumi and Akane could follow, each thinking
their own thoughts, Nabiki and Soun came running back, being followed
by a panda, which had a green haired person following. Akane noted
that the green haired person had a smile on his face, and seemed to be
trying to keep from laughing at the whole thing. The outfit that the
boy was wearing was a black silk shirt, and black trousers, under a
black cloak. What really drew Akane's interest was the eyes. Blue,
with reddish streaks though them, they seemed to hold a look of
"Daddy, THIS, is your FRIEND?" Kasumi asked.
Soun just rapidly shook his head, while Akane had a sweatdrop
roll down her face.
"Oh, SO this Panda Just happened to drop by! Happens ALL the
time!" Nabiki shouted at her father.
The Panda seemed to pull the young person forward, and Soun looked
at the green haired, blue eyed child and asked "Y-you w-wouldn't
"Ranma Saotome. I apologize for this intrusion." these words were
spoken with a bow, and in a contralto voice, hiding the person's smirk.
As Ranma straightened from the bow, Soun grabbed him by the
shoulders and spoke, with a smile "At last! You've come!"
Nabiki smiled and added, "He's cute!"
Soun grabbed Ranma in a hug, and spoke. "It's so good of you to
come. So..." he broke off and stared at Ranma.
Kasumi just looked puzzled while Nabiki took a closer look at
Ranma's chest. She moved to poke Ranma in the chest. Before she
could do more than one poke, her hand was grabbed and Ranma spoke, in a
low tone of voice. "Please do NOT do that again. I do not appreciate
my person being poked or prodded, by someone without permission, Tendo-
Nabiki blinked, and finally spoke, after a short pause. "'He's'
Kasumi fetched a futon to put her father in it. The families had
gathered around Soun as he was laying in the futon. Kasumi finally
voiced her thoughts on the matter. "Poor Father. He's so
Before Kasumi or anyone else could say anything, Nabiki broke in.
"He's disappointed? Some finance this is!"
"Stop it, you two! He... she... is our GUEST!" Akane spoke.
Thinking to herself,. *At last! A girl who also practices the arts.
Maybe Daddy's dream of the two families being joined will happen.*
"This is all your fault, Daddy! You should have made sure!"
Nabiki shouted at her father.
"Well, he said he had a son!!" Soun replied flat on his back.
"Do you see a son here? Hmm? DO YOU?" Nabiki made to grab
Ranma's chest again, only to have her hand slapped away.
"Nabiki-san, do you like feeling other women's chests? If so,
maybe your father's plans could happen..." Ranma spoke with a teasing
tone, looking quite willing to possibly let Nabiki do so.
"Err.." Nabiki drew back, seeing the look in Ranma's eyes,
She knew that Ranma would be willing to let her do so.
"Would you like to join me in the dojo?" Akane asked. She looked
at the young, green haired woman and smiled. Thinking to herself, *Now
if I am careful, I can make friends with her, and possibly more. After
all there is that comment she made.* "I'm Akane. Would you like to be
"That would be, enjoyable." Ranma stood up, wondering, *Could it
be? Nah, she doesn't LOOK the type, but...*
As they walked into the Dojo, Akane asked a question near and
dear to her heart. "You practice Kenpo, right? Our families' version
"Yes, I do, plus other schools. Some staff work, some Kendo,
some Tai chi, and others." Ranma smiled at Akane.
"Really? Well Let's spar. My dad holds back, and I can't really
gauge how good I am right now." Akane smiled as Ranma crossed the
room, bowed at the sign, and stood facing her. "Ready? I'll go easy."
*Heh, if I'm right, she doesn't LOOK like a good artist, she's way too
spread out. And she's not in a stance.* Akane got in her ready stance,
looked and thinking, *Well... she's nodded to my ready question. Here
The sparring match lasted for a good ten minutes. After Ranma
blocked and dodged a minute of Akane's attack, she began to strike
back. She took advantage of the openings Akane left. It was clear by
the second minute that Ranma could destroy Akane in a real match, but
Akane continued to try to hit the graceful, yet lethal woman. At the
end, when Ranma had thrown and pinned her with both arms behind her
back, she yielded.
Ranma hopped up and bowed to her as she stood.
Akane returned the bow, with a nervous laugh. "Glad you weren't
a boy. I would hate losing to a boy! They are all perverts!" The last
was spoken with a venom that Ranma thought was unlike her, unless, she
was gay, or had serious problems with boys hitting on her.
"Ahh... umm. Oops. You did." Ranma said with a sickly smile.
Akane paused, *Did I hear right? After all, she looks and sounds
like a girl.* Akane reached out as if to follow here elder sister's
lead; checking to see if Ranma REALLY was a girl. After a moment,
thought she thought better of it. *After all, there was the "statement"
that she made the last time Nabiki tried that. It might be a way to get
her to stop it.* Instead, she said, "Are you okay? I mean, you ARE a
girl, at least, you LOOK like one, and SOUND like one." Akane paused,
adding, "Unless you meant that your father raised you as one, and told
you that you are..." She trailed off leaving an opening for the comment
that Ranma made to be explained by the green haired girl.
"Heh... Nothing like that. I better tell you. You see, the
reason WHY that Panda brought me here, is that he IS my father. You
disbelieve? Well, if you get some hot, and I mean nearly boiling hot,
water, I'll show you." Ranma paused, and added, "It's due to a place we
visited in China. If you fall into a pool there, you assume the shape
of what drowned there, and various degrees of hot water returns you to
your birth form. Cold water turns you back into the 'cursed' form. My
change is above 60C, so I won't be in male form often, if I get changed
back. AND I have noted that cold water seeks me out, when I am not in
the 'cursed' form." Ranma paused, and looked at Akane, wondering what
she would do.
Akane blinked, and thought to herself, *Well, if I get the hot
water, and nothing happens, then I know she's been on the road for too
long with her father. If something does happen, then we'll see.* She
stood up and went to get the water.
Ranma sat in a meditation position, wondering to herself *Even if
she believes me, will she accept me? Unlike my past life, I do not want
to live alone, and I want someone to be with. If not her, maybe Nabiki?
I wonder where their mother is, if she's dead it could explain some of
the feelings I got from them.* Ranma looked up as Akane returned with
the steaming water.
"Here's the hot water." With that statement Akane poured it on to
Ranma, and gasped at the change. Where an exotic green haired woman
sat, now sat a black haired young man. The only constant between the
two was the eyes, a sky-blue shade with reddish streaks though them.
The water was hot enough to cause pain, but Ranma had not shown any
reaction to the water, at least in regards to pain.
"See? I will explain it to you, and your sisters, as a group."
Ranma stood, and walked towards the living room, preparing to tell a
Akane got ready for the bath, thinking to herself, *Well,
hopefully Daddy won't find out that Ranma can turn into a boy. I don't
like boys, but becasuse I am the same age as Ranma, and the only martial
artist, I'll end up engaged to her. I don't want to be engaged, yet.
Though I wouldn't mind being engaged, if it was my choice, later on, to
Ranma looked up, hearing some of the thoughts Akane had, and eeped
to herself. Akane hadn't noticed the sign she put up, nor the fact that
her clothes were out by the door. *Still, that's strange, she thinks of
me as a girl? Well, considering the facts, she's not far wrong. Am I
one? Then why am I not attracted to boys, like girls should be?* She
was preparing to get out when the door opened and Akane walked in.
"Errr... Sorry, I'll be out in a second" Ranma called, turning her
head, so she wouldn't see Akane's form.
"No, if you're not done soaking, stay. You're a girl right?"
Without turning her head, Ranma responded "I wasn't born one, nor
was I one for the first 16 years of my life."
"So? You're a girl now. And if your plans to go to school as a
girl pan out, as you told me in the dojo, you'll have to get used to the
idea of looking at naked girls." Akane paused, and then added, "Unless
you've changed your mind already?"
"No, with the way water seeks me out, and the temperature required
to change back, it's impractical to go to school as a male. You're
right." Ranma turned, keeping her eyes on Akane's face.
On Akane's part she looked at her friend, and noted the body.
*This will make the boys go wild. And a few of the girls, too. Won't
hurt her status that she seems to have a built in tan.* She slipped in
the furo, and Ranma joined her, always keeping her eyes away from
*Why isn't she looking at me?* Akane thought to herself... *It's
not that I'm ugly is it? Nah, can't be. Too many, bleah, boys! drool
over me. Just ask.* "Ranma, why aren't you looking at me?" Akane
asked, feeling put upon.
"It's because you are a girl, and for the first sixteen years of
my life, I was a boy. I've said this before."
Ranma sighed, realizing that Akane didn't accept the truth.
*Telepathy is a wonderful thing to have, at times. Other times it just
sucks. How to CONVINCE her? Well, I'll think of something.* Ranma
sighed, got out of the furo, thinking, and for once, not noting the
covert evaluation that Akane gave her form. She dried off and left the
Ranma went to the furo after her father had explained what
happened in China, by using her as a test subject. *Brr! that Koi pond
After soaking for a while, she got out, and right as she left the
bathing area, she ran into Akane, about to take a second bath for the
day. Ranma nodded at her, and left before Akane could start a
conversation. She had been able to slow down the attempts to marry her
off... but she still was stuck with the agreement. All her actions had
managed to do was give her a few months to "choose" a fiancee. None of
the Tendo girls were thrilled with the idea. Akane had almost been
thrown to the wolves as the chosen victim of the fathers' idea, but with
Ranma's semi successful delaying tactics, wasn't forced into the
engagement right off the bat. Akane still was angry at her sisters for
their actions, AND she had snapped at Ranma, but with Ranma's attempts
to delay the engagement, or even break it, she had calmed down,
Ranma wandered back to the room, wondering why she couldn't see
what happened BEFORE it happened. While the books that she read on her
powers told her that it was hard to see actions of small groups, unless
they had a massive effect on the whole of history. She had gotten used
to seeing flashes of actions that would impact HER own life. Elder
Pluto had noted, that unless the actions that would affecting her were
critical to her role as a Senshi or as a servant of the Queen, she
wouldn't see them, unless she WORKED at seeing them.
*Gah. I am getting too used to seeing little things, when I KNOW
my time sense only shows what is important, unless I really really work
at it. Even then, I don't see a lot of things. I should have known
better, that this matter of a little engagement wasn't all that
critical, for the Time Sense. Would be nice though...*
Rolling out the futon, and making a note to buy a nice bed for
herself, she laid down, beginning to fall asleep, for the day had taken
a lot out of her... Right before she fell asleep, a thought came to
mind, *This is what my past life meant when she said NOT to rely too
much on the Time Sense. Ah well, I guess I will have to study more.
Especially on human actions and trends of history, so I am not taken by
surprise by things.* She smiled, recalling the notes in the journals
about Elder Pluto's amusement at the fact of people's reaction to her
Time Sense. It wasn't a horde of knowledge. No, it was the fact that
she, like Ranma, knew that most normal actions, even world shaping ones,
like Beryl's birth, didn't at times get seen, and that there WERE ways
to hide from people with psi gifts like Pluto's.*
Aware, in a way that brooked no argument, that she needed more
than just the gifts she had as Senshi Pluto, Ranma vowed to herself,
that she would learn all she could, to protect not only her queen's
future, but the whole human race's future.
Nabiki growled to herself.
For some strange reason, she was thinking that giving up on Ranma,
or Setsuna as she insisted on being called when in public, was a
For one thing, that surprising announcement that she had already
applied for school, and in her female identity, before she even arrived
back in Japan was slightly disturbing. No one should have been able to
do that without her finding out about it, at least that should have been
the case. The real question was not that it was done, but how she had
done it. Setsuna had only been cursed for a couple of weeks, at least
that was what she said and her father had indicated, so how had she been
able to set up complete identification, identity papers, doctors
certificates, and a past identity in such a short amount of time.
Come to think of it, why _was_ Setsuna so comfortable as a
girl...no...a woman. She did not display many, if any, signs of
masculinity. In fact, she was too comfortable with being a girl for it
to have only 'just happened'. There was a mystery here, and that was
something that Tendo Nabiki despised. She frowned, got up, and grabbed
a notebook. She made notes so she could get to the bottom of the
mysteries that this person seemed to hold.
"Let's see," she muttered to herself and she wrote, "She has
chosen the name Meiou Setsuna, is sixteen years of age, intelligent,
very possessed with self confidence, and an amount of wry humor. Also,
by her action of paying me a substantial amount of money to cover her
and her father's costs while staying with us, not willing to freeload
off of other people. One real question I have, is WHY she chose that
name. The meaning of the Family name is Dark King, while her given name
could be ethier momentary or Instant. Strange choice. I would have
suspected her to pick a female version of her first name, or picked a
different given name, but keep her family name. I wonder why she
Nabiki sat back a bit, and then continued to write her
impressions. "For many reasons, most of which I do not understand
myself, Setsuna, and it's hard to think of Ranma by any other name than
that, is a woman. Her mannerisms, speech, eye, and hand movement
indicate that. I doubt that it even registered on the others, but she
was obviously wearing proper underwear for her sex, and was not
uncomfortable with it.
"More questions. How did she find out that I was the one to
manage the funds for the household? Daddy made it quite clear to her,
when she offered to him, to cover her costs, that she and her father
were guests and he would not hear of her or Genma helping out. The way
Genma reacted suggests to me that he did not expect her to offer to
cover their costs, and quite possibly he didn't know that she had the
money to do so, much less the amount she offered. Genma strikes me as
the type who would freeload at any given chance, and if she HAD only
been raised by him for over 10 years, as 'Unlce' Saotome told us, she
should also have been willing to. Add this to the mysteries she seems
to pose. I will find out."
"If Genma is any indication, then I doubt that Setsuna would have
been so ready to go to school as a girl if she had lived with this for
so short a time. It would be more likely that she would have protested
and insisted on being a boy. Sure, the reason she gave was logical, and
even made some sense, but the way she carried herself was very
unexpected. She is a natural at being female. Oh, yes, the body is
female, and that is expected given the curse, but the way she carries
herself is as though she grew up as a young woman. Either the curse
gave her a complete and total, instant appreciation of being a girl,
with all the manners and everything else, or she is hiding a lot. I'd
say she is hiding a lot."
"Of course, saying that and proving it beyond a shadow of a doubt
is somewhat different. If she is as intelligent as she very subtly
indicates, then she will have covered her tracks well in that manner,
with a deliberate mistake or two to throw me, or anyone else off.
Nothing that would't be hard to fix, of course, but enough to allay
suspicions of any kind. It is, after all, what I would do myself.
"Let me write down what we know of her so far:
Name: Saotome Ranma (?)
Alias: Meiou Setsuna (?)
Age: 16, but looks seventeen or eighteen.
Intelligence: Very high, able to create a new identity and
register for school under a new name without seemingly contacting
Connections: Has to have a lot, especially in the government
sector for this to have just 'happened'.
Money: Has to have a lot, especially since they apparently