How I Learned to Love the Wild Horse

BY : Romulus_Firewine
Category: +S through Z > Totally Spies!
Dragon prints: 13192
Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma 1/2 or Totally Spies or any of the characters therein. I'm also not making any money off of this story and not trying to make money off this story, so suing me will get you nothing but embarrassment.

Alright people, this Chapter isn't going to be front-loaded like the last one, though it will be interspersed sporadically with shenanigans, rather than jumping straight to the sexy times.

But I don't think y'all will complain too much.

How I Learned to Love the Wild Horse
Chapter 5: How I Learned to Lose Control

00000

Ranma was smiling as he approached Bev High, thinking about the day before and all the stress relief that had occurred.

He then mentally thunked his head, as the term 'stress relief' brought up a host of feelings and memories that would have brought some awkward looks from the other students, such as why the transfer student was holding his bag in front of his waist rather than on his back.

Threat of an inopportune hard-on suppressed, Ranma resumed thinking about his new future, which seemed so much more tangible than it had been when he'd arrived in California a few weeks ago. Britney hadn't made contact with her boss, but now WOOHP knew who he really was and they had no problems with him working for them. Provided he gave them a demonstration of his skills and taught one of his secret bodyguards how to use ki.

Ranma's smile turned down for a moment. While he didn't have an issue with either of those demands, the heir to Anything Goes would rather have taught Clover or Alex how to protect themselves over the redhead who had done quite a bit to wreck his attempt at making a new life away from the anarchy of Nerima. Then again, from what he'd seen of Samantha, the girl was definitely a responsible person who could be trusted knowing how to control her ki and what she'd done had been to protect her friends, which the Ranma couldn't fault her for.

And when he thought about it, there were a few reasons that occurred to him why training Clover or Alex may have been a bad idea.

("Come on in," Clover purred, her skin glistening as the shower washed away the sweat and grime from a hard workout. Slowly, provocatively, she bent forward; letting the pink folds of her dripping sex enter his view. With a wink, the blonde placed on hand on the wall in front of her, while the other appeared between her legs, two fingers opening the entrance to her sex before his eyes as she giggled lightly. "'Cause like, I know you don't mind sharing!")

(Alex's eyes burned as she lunged at him, all subtext of training gone as she abandoned a simple strike in favor of tackling him to the ground. Moaning as she ground his thigh between her legs, the latina who was soaking the groin of her gi met his eyes and whimpered, "I need a break! Just real quick and then we can spar some more!")

Ranma shook his head and grumbled as he quickly slung his bookbag off his back, wondering if this was going to be a thing now that he knew what the big deal with sex was. And he wasn't going to be jumped the moment someone realized he was having lustful thoughts, before being attacked when they realized said thoughts were not about them.

As he continued onwards, making a point to focus on the other students and surroundings, trying to draw his thoughts back from erotic avenues, Ranma noticed something odd.

Nobody was looking at him.

Or at least not as much as he'd expected, considering the events of last week when his girlfriend had called him a cheater in front of everyone, and he'd callously stomped her heart into the ground. As Ranma casually slung his bookbag onto his back and away from his no longer tented pants, he wondered why it seemed like the American students didn't seem to care that a 'cheater' was among them.

Before the 'philandering lothario' of Furinkan High could parse out why Beverly Hills teenagers didn't seem to care about the romantic entanglements of a student who'd had a nasty break-up with a girl that had thrown some rather wild accusation in his face, a familiar voice called his name from behind him. Turning around, he spotted the strawberry-blonde hair of his future student approaching him and despite the rocky first impression they'd had, he smiled at the chance to cement his abilities in the minds of WOOHP by making Samantha into a Nerima-grade martial artist.

Hopefully without the added bonus of batshit lunacy of course.

Sam saw Ranma's grin and swallowed a tiny flutter in her stomach with ease before saying, "Hey, Ron!" As she reached him. "Looking forward to this afternoon?"

"Yep." Ranma declared confidently. "It's been awhile since I've had to use the Art, but I don't think I've gotten too rusty."

Sam cocked an eyebrow. "What about yesterday with the roof-hopping?"

Ranma scoffed dismissively. "That's like taking a walk. I'm talking about in a fight. I haven't had a spar or been challenged since I got here."

"Right…" Sam's brow furrowed as she considered that. "Speaking of, do you mind giving me a heads up on some of the things we can expect from your…" she surreptitiously looked over her shoulders before finishing quietly. "Fan club?"

The pigtailed boy frowned, but his voice wasn't harsh as he said, "I'd rather wait til later. I don't wanna say it more than twice, and it isn't gonna put me in a good mood for school, ya know?"

Sam winced. "Fair enough. But what about some other stuff? When you were telling Mandy about ki-" The redhead paused as Ranma's eyes narrowed, before he took a deep breath and seemed to calm down. Giving him a studious look, she stated plainly, "I thought you forgave her."

"I have...mostly." Ranma admitted. "It still bugs me, but it's more because I jumped right into her trick when I swore I wouldn't fall for crap like that again."

"Like with your sister-in-law."

"And Shampoo, Cologne, Ucchan, sometimes even Akane, not to mention any random weirdo who'd walk into town and decided to make my life hell because they had a beef with someone else and I got tricked into makin' it my business."

Sam frowned as Ranma's mood darkened. "Hey, if it's really that bad, maybe you should talk about it now."

"Nah, I can handle it." Ranma denied with a shake of his head.

(Sounds to me like you've been 'handling' it for way too long…) Sam mused worriedly. Before she could give the pigtailed boy another push, another familiar voice called out, "Hey, Sammy…" in a dull tone.

Sam couldn't stop from smirking ever-so-slightly as she turned around. "Hell~O Clover! How are yyoooouuUUOH my GOD, what happened to you!?"

The redhead's smug amusement for her friends true comeuppance crash halted when she saw the completely wrong-footed and unusually frazzled blonde. Clover was standing rather unsteadily, her knees bent inward and shaking. But the most unusual aspect about the blonde that truly amped Sam's amused sympathy to low-yield horror was her fashionista compatriot's outfit.

Ranma looked at his sort of girlfriend worriedly, eyeing the sneakers, overly large green sweater and baggy jeans with a confused eye. "Clover-chan? Why are you wearing that?"

The blonde's eyes slowly turned to Ranma, and after a moment of looking like she was trying to collect herself, she moaned, "Mom picked it out…"

Sam made the sign of a cross and Ranma blinked in confusion. "You let your mom dress you?"

"Let?" Clover gave a stress-induced giggle. "I didn't let anything...she made me wear this…"

"...much as I hate bein' a broken record; why?"

"Jerry called our moms." Sam answered fearfully. "He told them what happened while we were watching you."

"I feel like a Nuremburg witness…" Clover whimpered. "Our house was The Hague and mom turned me inside out grilling me for every detail."

Now Ranma's heart dropped into his stomach. "Eh-every detail?!"

Clover nodded slowly. "I left out a little bit, but she was on me like Mandy on a Gucci…"

Sam swallowed heavily, then gave the whey-faced martial artist a shaky grin. "Well, I guess you'll be safe as long as she doesn't know what you look like."

"She knows…"

Sam's gaze snapped to her friend as Clover thumbed over her shoulder with a limp wrist. "She dropped me off."

Sam's eyes moved the indicated direction, and she froze at the sight of Stella Manson, sitting in a red car at the curb with the window rolled down. A pair of sunglasses were lowered, and she was shooting a 10/10 Mom-glare at the trio. Or more specifically, the only male in attendance. Samantha flinched, as being near the target of Stella's ire was enough to make her knees shake.

Finally, the older version of their blonde friend reached up, pointed to her eyes, then flicked her fingers at Ranma in a universal, 'I'm watching you' gesture before pushing her sunglasses up and driving away. Once she was out of sight, Ranma whispered, "I...I'm lucky to be alive, aren't I?"

Clover nodded again.

After a moment of shuddering, working out the kinks from locking up due to what had to be a sight-based version of the Yamasenken, Ranma hissed fearfully, "Why would Jerry tell your moms what happened?!"

"They work for him too." Sam replied. "But not as long as us, so technically we have seniority. We still got in a lot of trouble when they found out we were spies."

"This was worse…" Cloved groaned helplessly. "So much worse."

A thought struck Ranma and he breathed, "Masaka, what about Alé-chan?! What's her mom going to do?!"

Sam opened her mouth. Then closed it with a blink as she looked off to Ranma's right. "Uhh...how about you ask her?"

Ranma and Clover both followed Sam's gaze. The blonde blinked, surprise bringing her out of her trauma-induced stupor as Ranma offered a confused, "The heck?"

The reason for their curiosity is that Alex looked fairly normal, at least in dress and overall appearance.

Except her head was down, shoulders pinched in and face lowered like she was trying to make herself as small as possible.

And the fact that even at a distance, her friends and lover's could see her cheeks glowing like a pair of space-heaters.

When she neared, Alex offered a very quiet, "Hey guys…" without looking up at the other three.

"Alex?" Sam asked hesitantly. "What happened? Did your mom grill you for information too?"

Despite the laws of biology, Alex somehow turned even redder and nodded.

Clover, feeling jealous of Alex for not being dressed like a frumpy housewife, but also sympathetic for her more easily embarrassed friend, quietly asked, "How...bad was it?"

Alex responded by covering her face with her hands and giving a tortured moan.

~last night~

Alex sat across the kitchen table from her mother. She begged, she pleaded, she'd all but sold her soul to every higher power she could think of; but it was all for naught as all the deities who would have responded to her prayers were busy at the moment.

Save for several Goddesses of motherhood, most of which were chewing handfuls of popcorn and cackling wickedly as they beheld the spectacle, with for occasional breaks to look over at the relatively nearby tirade against the traumatized latina's friend and grade it based on their own legends of matriarchal wrath.

"Soo~~" Carmen Vasquez sing-songed, eyes sparkling as she rested her chin on her interlaced fingers, elbows propping her up on the table. "After you told him to stop holding back, then what happened?" Her grin widened. "Besides the obvious, anyway."

Alex whimpered in misery.

Hathor and Kichijōten winced sympathetically.

Leto and Hera laughed louder.

Freya nodded and Parvati gave an impressed whistle as they both held up scorecards with [10] written on them as Clover's mom took a deep breath and found her fourth wind.

-0-

"I had to tell her everything…" Alex moaned despairingly. "It was horrible!"

Sam's lips were pursed together, trying to keep from laughing out loud but only making herself sound like a balloon with a slow leak.

Ranma had matched and eclipsed Alex's crimson-cheeked embarrassment and wondered how his life could get more fucked up, sans more literal instances of exactly that.

Clovers trauma was gone.

And replaced by sheer unbridled outrage as she glared at the humiliated Latina with one twitching eye. "I don't believe this." the blonde hissed through gritted teeth. "I get treated like mom caught me selling Nuclear Secrets to North Korea, and you get a bit of girl talk!?"

"It was so bad…" Alex shook her head as she buried her face even deeper into her hands.

"Alex, I am not exaggerating when I say that I would have willingly killed to get the punishment you did!" Clover not-quite-screeched. "I'd have turned down an all expenses paid trip to Milan! I would have burned a Platinum Gift card for Sacs de Fantasie! The only one who got off lighter than you is Sammy, and that's just because she didn't even do anything!"

Sam's amusement, while greatly suppressed, also started to fade at that point as she recalled her own experience with her mom last night.

~last night~

"I mean, how could I be so stupid!? All the signs were there! I saw how bad a liar he was with Alex, and I know Clover can be boy crazy; but her and Alex vouching for him should have made me think of asking Jerry to double-check Britney's info!"

Gabriella Simpson pursed her lips as her daughter wore a path in their living room carpet, stalking back and forth as she berated herself loudly. "To be fair, Sammy; you thought he was a terrorist. I read the information too, and I think you made the right call."

"Yeah, the information was nasty," Sam shot back with a frown. "And compared to the information we normally get on bad guys, Ranma sounded like the worst we'd ever seen!"

Gabriella cocked a eyebrow. "Really? Worse than-"

"Yes." Sam said immediately. "Almost every bad guy we put away was either deluded, out for revenge, being manipulated themselves, or had some kind of redeeming quality. Or at least some kind of half-assed humanitarian cover! But Ranma?" Sam snapped her fingers. "Totally evil without any good traits, and it was all absolute, 100% weapons-grade bullshit!"

"Language, Samantha." Gabriella chided her daughter gently. "But the point remains, what are you going to do now?"

"What else can I do?" Sam repeated despondently as she flopped down on the couch next to her mother. "I've got to spend who knows how long around a guy I've been badmouthing for the last couple of weeks, and forced my best friend to break up with, and hope he doesn't hold any of that against me while he's supposedly going to be turning me into some kind of superhuman."

Gabby frowned. "Did he seem like the type to hold a grudge to you?"

Sam snorted. "No. Which is one more reason why I've got no excuse for acting like a bitch."

"Language, Sam!"

"Sorry mom." The redhead sighed. "I just...I wish I knew why I wanted him to be a bad guy so much…"

Gabriella took a sip of tea as she considered that and mulled over her next words carefully. "Jealousy, maybe?"

Sam blinked. "Jealous?"

"Of Clover." Gabby's lip twitched as she fought back a smile. "And Alex, apparently."

Had this been a few days ago, or even yesterday, Sam would have vehemently denied her mother's simple question.

Instead, she frowned as her brow furrowed thoughtfully, her eyes distant as she recalled the moments where she felt attracted to Ranma and quietly said, "Not really. I mean, there was a little bit of that, but it was more like…"

The light bulb clicked, and Sam pressed her head against the back of the couch and facepalmed. "I was protecting myself. I liked what I saw and heard him doing, and I didn't want to get hurt if it turned out he was bad." The redhead chuckled dryly. "Great. Now I'm gonna be trained by a guy I slandered and hurt, and I've got a crush on him. That's just wonderful."

Gabriella gave her daughter an interested look and a subtly amused grin. "He's that hot, huh?"

"You have no idea…" Sam groaned, her cheeks reddening as she remembered Ranma's dalliance with Alex while her mother chuckled.

00000

"I thought nothing could top Nerima." Ranma mused in quiet thoughtfulness. "I really did. But now…" The pigtailed boy's eyes narrowed in concentration. "Is there a word for when you're jealous of how naive and innocent you were a couple hours ago?"

"If there isn't, you can invent one." Donna snickered as she slurped her box of takeout.

"And after that, come up with one for dying of embarrassment…" Alex murmured as she picked at her pizza slice.

Lunchtime at Bev High, in the open air courtyard of same school; Ranma, his handlers, and the almost-Amazon were sitting in a small ring as they shared lunches, conversation, and each other's company.

Save for one, as Clover had relapsed into her trauma from the very personalized visit of a Rule-63'ed version of the God of the Old Testament, and was mechanically biting into a sandwich as she carefully blocked out the shame of wearing mom-chosen chastity preserving clothes in public. The blond couldn't help but give a minute twitch at her friend's statement however, and muttered, "Can't believe you got to have some girl talk…"

"Ease up, Clover." Sam chided the blonde with a touch of sympathy. "Don't blame Alex because of her mom."

"Speaking on that," Donna offered with a curious look at the blushing latina. "Why did your mom not blow her top when she found out you did the nasty with some guy?"

"She's been asking me about boys for a little while now." Alex offered quietly. "Telling me I should get a boyfriend, things like that."

"I remember." Sam nodded as her mind went back to their parents discovery of their 'after school' jobs. "She was ticked 'cause it looked like you weren't gonna find a boyfriend."

Donna frowned. "Think she was pressuring you 'cause she was worried you were gay?"

Alex shook her head. "No. It's more like…" the latina gave a half-hearted shrug. "She wants me to enjoy, 'the spring of my youth'."

Ranma and Donna nodded in understanding, Clover acted like she hadn't heard her friend's statement, and Sam blinked quizzically. "Huh? Spring of your youth?"

"It's kinda like, 'boys will be boys'." Ranma offered. "Though in this case, I guess it's 'girls will be girls'."

At that, Donna smiled wickedly and offered, "Speaking of 'being girls', have you ever enjoyed springing some guy's 'youth' like Alex did with you?"

"DONNA!" Alex yiped fearfully, flushing completely crimson while Sam choked on her water and Clover's eyebrow quirked up, showing that she was paying attention as well. "Don't say it like that!"

Sam recovered from her temporary fit with a few coughs to see Donna grinning cheekily at the flustered Alex, though her attention was caught by Ranma and his sickened expression and one twitching eye. "Guess that's a no." The redhead offered with a sympathetic grimace.

Ranma nodded.

"With a side of 'hell-fucking'?" Donna tossed out with a cheeky grin.

"It'd rather shoot myself." Ranma affirmed weakly. "Even without Kuno running me ragged all the time, the cracks I got from the 'normal' guys at Furinkan were more than enough for me to say 'screw that'."

Sam, catching the familiar name, asked, "The captain of the Kendo club, right?"

Alex, eager to get the topic of conversation off of herself and recalling Ranma's 'encouragement' from their tryst in the locker room, quickly said, "Yeah, you said he'd attack anyone who talked to a girl that was his and scream sorcery when he got beaten. What's up with that?"

Memories of the dense-as-depleted-uranium swordsman washed away some of the horrific images that had been planted in Ranma's head, but what was left behind was still unpleasant as his lips curled in irritation. "My first day at Furinkan High School, the day after I got engaged to Akane, we walked to school together and he attacked me for being 'too familiar' with her. He's such an egomaniac, he thinks I kicked his ass 'cause I used magic to cheat."

"Maybe your curse had something to do with that." Sam offered with a thoughtful look.

The redhead then blinked quizzically as Ranma gave a frustrated groan and said, "He doesn't know."

"He doesn't know what?"

"Kuno doesn't know about my curse." Ranma muttered with obvious distaste. "He thinks my guy side and girl side are different people, and while he hates me, he loves the 'free-spirited pigtailed girl'."

Ranma, following the revelation of his lover's and their friend's status as protective agents, as well their reactions regarding his circumstances back home; thought it would be nice to get some sympathy or experience some feminine outrage that wasn't directed at him and completely justified.

When the quartet of girls stared at him for several moments in dead silence, he wondered if he'd made a mistake.

Then Clover gave an undignified snort, and Sam covered her mouth as her shoulders started shaking, and Ranma's 'wonder' became a sneaking suspicion.

As other Bev High students glanced over at the four madly laughing girls and one tomato-cheeked boy, Ranma realized he should have kept his mouth shut, and wondered with some annoyance if there was anyone else who was laughing at his life story right now.

-0-

Carmen chuckled as she finished a her cup of coffee. "Ah, don't you just love it when things work out beautifully?"

The plastic water bottle made a crumpling sound as Stella squeezed it in her hand and glared pointedly at her friend and teammate. "Beautifully? You're daughter and mine were with a boy all night last Monday! Who they were supposed to be investigating! If Jerry hadn't called us, who knows how many times they would have done...things with him!"

As the blonde woman's cheeks flushed and she squeezed her beverage even harder, Gabriella pursed her lips and offered, "To be fair, I do understand what Carmen means, since it turns out he wasn't nearly as bad as Britney said."

The three women were in a lounge area of WOOHP, discussing the information they'd been given or ruthlessly interrogated from their children as they waited for the 'demonstration' of WOOHP's latest asset. While Stella had already been angry from the information she'd dragged out of Clover, Carmen's gleefully detailed and lewd additions had sent her into the darkly scowling, zen-like calm of an overprotective mother who was internally wondering where she could buy a chastity belt and hide a body.

At Gabriella's addition though, Stella Manson turned to look incredulously at the redhead and spat, "Not that bad?! He had sex with my little girl!"

"And mine." Carmen offered cheerfully. "At the same time, apparently."

Stella's eye twitched violently, but before she could turn and lambast the smugly grinning latina, Gabriella sighed. "Stella, you realize Clover was gonna make the beast with two backs someday, right?"

"Yes, but not until she graduated from college and got a stable job!"

Gabriella and Carmen both gave the outraged blonde disbelieving looks, with the redhead asking, "Really? Just, really Stella? Were you expecting her first kiss to be on her wedding day, too?"

The blonde woman blushed and scowled, and Carmen promptly face-palmed. "Dios mio, I can't believe you're saying this…"

"And what's that supposed to mean?!"

Gabriella smirked at Stella's incensed shout. "Ein Mädchen, Fünf Löcher."

Stella immediately flushed three different shades of crimson as Carmen giggled. "Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that! Best bridal shower ever!"

"You swore you'd never talk about that!" The blonde hissed quietly.

"So did you," Gabriella offered smugly. "But that didn't stop you from showing the tape to your husband, did it?"

"Heehee, I remember you bragging how wild he got after he saw you-"

"This isn't about me!" Stella frantically shouted, cutting of further discussion of her dalliances before someone who wasn't on the need-to-know list heard her friends ribbing and drew the wrong (right) conclusions. "Our little girl's snapped protocol over their knees and slept with a suspect!"

"I can think of worse suspects," Carmen offered blithely, thinking about the decidedly unselfish behavior that had been relayed by her terminally embarrassed daughter.

"And Sammy didn't sleep with him." Gabriella offered cheekily.

Stella scowled and narrowed her eyes at the smug redhead. "Yeah? And what're you going to do now that he's going to be around Samantha all the time for 'training'?"

"I trust her not to do anything irresponsible."

Stella snorted in disbelief.

"And I trust him too."

Stella blinked at the nonplussed addition from her friend, while Carmen gave the redhead an equally surprised look. "Really, Gabby? Don't get me wrong, he sounds like a nice guy, but why would you trust him not to do anything with Sammy?"

"First, I didn't say he and Sammy won't do anything. I said I trust them to be responsible."

Carmen nodded in a conciliatory manner while Stella scowled. "You really don't care if he sleeps with Samantha too?"

"Of course I care. But the second reason I trust him not to hurt my little girl is because he was put into an arranged marriage with unholy harpy back in Japan, and is apparently very passive around girls."

Stella's eyes widened and her jaw dropped while Carmen pursed her lips. "Right, Alex mentioned that too…"

"Wait, what?!" Stella gaped at the latina. "Clover didn't tell me anything like that!"

"Probably because you were more concerned with getting a confession than any details about her partner-in-crime."

"Which is ties into the third reason I trust Ranma and Sammy." Gabriella tossed in following Carmen's observation. "Ranma was raised by his father, and while said sperm-donor was an absolute scumbag, Ranma's reason for being here is because he doesn't want to be anything like him, and by Sammy's accounts, the poor guy has Bob Ross'ed pretty hard because of it."

Both of the other women blinked quizzically at their friends closing statement. "The artist Bob Ross?" Stella asked with obvious confusion. "Mister Happy Clouds and Bushes?"

"Mister happy clouds, who used to be a drill sergeant in the Air Force until he got sick of screaming at people." Gabriella explained with a meaningful look at her friends. "Now, apply that kind of reversal to a boy whose father would put him in arranged marriages in exchange for food…"

Stella's eyes narrowed as she found her outrage for the boy who'd...been with her daughter was diverted to a (for the moment) equally as deserving target. Carmen pursed her lips and repeated her earlier statement in a tone that was still satisfied, but slightly more grim. "Like I said, everything worked out beautifully...for everyone."

"Provided there aren't anymore hiccups, anyway." Gabriella added warily.

-0-

"Like, what's going on here?"

Ranma's grumbling about 'knowing how P-chan feels' ended with the sound of a nasally voice from behind him. Turning around, he saw Mandy and her two followers looking at him and the recovering spies plus Donna with curious expressions. "Just these ingrates laughing at my misery." Ranma said with a pointed look at his 'bodyguards'.

"Not our, not our fault!" Sam gasped, wiping away a few tears as she giggled, "Oh my God, that's the funniest thing I've heard in years!"

"Oh?" Mandy turned from Ranma and asked. "Care to sha-"

Her voice choked off in a strangling sound as she pointed at Clover and nearly shrieked, "Wha-What is that?!"

Recovering from the much needed laughter, Clover was brought low again while Caitlyn and Dominique both caught sight of her and immediately hugged each other tightly with matching wordless screams of horror. "My mom found out about me dating Ranma." The blonde replied with a sorrowful look down at her ensemblé. "She's in charge of my outfits from now on until she thinks she can trust me again."

A bitch Mandy might have been, but the warcrime against fashion she was staring at wasn't one she would have wished on-scratch that, she totally would have dressed up Clover like a frumpy soccer mom two days ago. Now that she and the blonde weren't...completely enemies for the moment, she honestly felt bad for the fashion-conscious girl. "That," the snob grimaced uncomfortably, unused to feeling or showing sympathy outside of her family, and even then only sometimes. "That's really harsh."

Clover blinked and looked up at her rival/tormentor. Thinking about the rather strange unity they had through Ranma and the effort Mandy was making to be nice, Clover offered a sincere, "Thanks, Mandy. That means a lot to me."

Mandy blushed, pleased at the gratitude, though a part of her insisted on maintaining her rep as she sniffed haughtily and said, "Well, it's not like I can make fun of your awful fashion sense when you're not dressing yourself, can I? It takes all the fun out of it!"

Clover gave a small chuckle, and noticed that Donna had leaned over and whispered something to Alex that made the latina yelp, blush bright red and smack the smirking 'amazon's arm with a giggle. Filing away the question of what a 'sun-dairy' was for later, the blonde smirked and said, "Good thing that rule doesn't apply to me…but I'll be fair and not bring up those tacky shoes until I'm back in my pumps again."

"Tacky!?" Mandy snapped at the smirking blonde. "These are from the private collection of Matricé de Bourgogne!"

As the two girls got into a round of 'friendly' bickering, Sam shook her head and sighed before catching sight of Ranma and the thoughtful, slightly glum expression on his face. She scooted towards him a little, and quietly asked, "Penny for your thoughts?"

Ranma shook his head, brought out of his memories and into the present as he looked at the curious redhead and then back to Mandy and Clover. "Just thinking about home and how much different this would have played out." He offered just as quietly, though it was more due to solemnity than anything else.

"How's that?"

"You and Alex would be fighting over who got to give me a homemade lunch, Clover would be pissed off and saying she didn't care what I did with who, then smack me for leading you two and Mandy on, while Mandy would be cackling and attacking anyone she thought was a threat, or waiting for her chance 'save me from the penniless harridans'."

Sam stared at Ranma and his serious, completely honest expression. "Holy shit."

"Yeah, that was a fairly normal lunch."

Understanding a lot more why he left Nerima, the redhead turned back to the teté-a-teté between Clover and Mandy. Her lips quirked as she side-eye'd Ranma and softly added, "But your comparisons aren't that accurate, since Clover hasn't pretended she doesn't like you since you showed up."

Ranma chuckled at the redhead's comment. "Yeah, guess she's not like Akane at all. Then again…"

Ranma's voice trailed off, and he blinked as he looked between the four girls with a studious expression.

"Something wrong?" asked Sam, the intelligent, career-driven girl who was being friendly to him, but had a much deeper attraction to the pigtailed boy that was obvious to everyone but him.

Ranma pursed his lips and shook his head. "Nah, it's nothing."

Sam shrugged and went back to her lunch, while the very rich and (formerly) irredeemable bitch argued with the deceptively cunning girl who acted like a bimbo and lusted after Ranma, and off to the side, the short-haired athletic girl with a cute smile and a fierce temper chatted amicably with her friend.

00000

The sound of chattering, goodbyes to friends and greetings to parents met Sam as she walked through the school's front doors and stretched her arms with a relieved sigh. "Another day at school done."

"Yep." Clover replied with a wide smile. "And now, we get to have a private showing of Ranma's skills!"

Sam side-eye'd the blonde, knowing exactly where her mind had gone and cutting off that train of thought tout suite. "Private, except for Jerry, some WOOHP scientists, and our moms."

Clover deflated and gave the redhead a teary-eye'd pout. "Why you gotta kill my dreams, Sammy?"

Before the redhead could respond, the trio caught sight of Ranma, who waved at them from where he'd been waiting. Each of the girls smiled and blushed, for pretty much the same reasons, before approaching him. Alex was the first to pipe up, "Hey, Ranma! Ready to see Jerry?"

"Been ready since I came here." Ranma chuckled. "Kinda wish we could have cut the bull and done this sooner."

"Really?" Clover cocked an eyebrow and smiled cheekily. "Cause if you'd met with Jerry too soon, me and Alex wouldn't have gotten to experience the Nerima Rodeo."

"Clover." Sam sighed resignedly, her reprimand half-hearted while Ranma and Alex both blushed brightly. Focusing her attention on Ranma, Sam asked, "So, what're you going to show us? Throws, holds, some of that ki stuff?"

The pigtailed boy smiled mysteriously. "If it's all the same to you, I'd rather keep it a surprise."

Sam, Clover, and Alex matched Ranma's grin, and the redhead quipped, "Well, here's hoping it'll be impressive."

00000

Sam's mouth dropped open in shock while her mother stared dumbfounded out the overly large window.

Clover was resisting the urge to drool, but only barely while her mother's eye twitched violently.

Alex was red-faced and gnawing on her finger, while Carmen was fanning herself with one hand.

Jerry was externally keeping his expression calm and cool, while on the inside he was alternating between giggling like a schoolgirl and trembling in fear as he watched the number on a nearby monitor climb, with the rightmost digit a blur as it tallied up hits.

On the other side of reinforced glass, Ranma broke away from the thickly padded sensor that had extruded from one of the walls, the muscles in his arms burning a bit from what amounted to an endurance trial. Turning to the control room where the girls, his future boss and several techs were monitoring him, he asked, "How many was that?"

Jerry replied simply, "35.7 seconds, and four...four hundred and thirty seven strikes."

Ranma pursed his lips. "Really? That seems low. Was it counting all of them?"

Jerry stopped himself from gawping, but only barely. "Saotome-san, the sensor was calibrated to registered punches that were minimally as weak as an amateur boxer's jab. Yours were considerably stronger than that."

"Well, towards the end there, I was losing some power."

One of the techs whispered to Jerry, who closed his eyes for a moment before answering, "That is true...which merely lowered the force from literally jackhammer levels of power to twice the impact of the current world record for heavyweight boxing." A small smile quirked his lips as he added, "You'll understand if I don't call up Guinness anytime soon, however."

Ranma laughed and Sam regained some sense of coherence, shaking her head before focusing on him. "And you seriously think I could do that?!"

"With the right trainin', sure. But not for awhile."

(Awhile, he says.) Sam thought weakly.

Gabriella, recovering from the shock of the physics breaking ability she'd just seen, stepped forward and said, "I don't suppose there's another way to learn that besides sticking Sam's hands in a fire?"

Ranma grimaced and chuckled nervously. "There kinda is, but the way I had to learn it ain't much better."

"What did you do?"

"Grabbed piranhas out of a fish tank by their tails without getting bitten."

"Pass." Sam said immediately as she hung her head.

Stella, curious about the training the...only slightly damned boy who'd dated her daughter, asked pointedly, "Where did you come up with that idea?"

"Wasn't my idea. I was at a festival playing the goldfish catching game and the guy running it got pissed 'cause of how many I was grabbing. He pulled the tank of piranhas out of nowhere and challenged me to grab em all bare-handed or give him his fish back." A dozen pairs of wide-eyes followed that statement, and Ranma cocked his head curiously. "What's up?"

Jerry offered in a mildly shaky tone. "Saotome-san...by any chance, did Britney say anything about checking Nerima's water supply for chemical contaminants?"

Ranma blinked. "Uh, maybe? Why?"

"No reason…"

00000

"Alright, this one is pretty important." Ranma said seriously to Jerry, who was outside the observation booth along with the spies, their mother's, and several techies, one of whom was standing in front of the pigtailed boy with a trepidatious expression. "Cause it's something my old man developed himself and while I hate usin' it, he won't have any problem if it means grabbing me and taking me back to Nerima."

"Fair enough, Saotome-san." Jerry acknowledged with a serious expression. "Whenever you're ready."

Ranma nodded and faced the suit wearing WOOHP agent, who was feeling a bit like he'd drawn the short straw as the pigtailed teen bowed respectfully to him.

Clover cocked an eyebrow as Ranma straightened back up, then hunched his shoulders slightly, while his hands came up in front of his body, flopped forward at the wrist. "What is he doing?"

Sam matched her friend's expression at the odd stance and said, "No-"

Then did a double-take as between one breath and the next, Ranma vanished into thin air. "-Idea?"

Out on the floor, jaws dropped and the direct observers looked around, confused and amazed by how thoroughly the teenager had disappeared.

In the control booth however, the three scientists were sharing studious, narrow-eye'd looks as their eyes flicked between the monitors in front of them and the open area beyond the thick glass window.

"Wow!" Alex gasped as she took a few steps forward, waving her hands through the area where Ranma had been and confirming there was now only empty air. "He's gone!"

"Ranma!" Clover called out, cupping her hand over her mouth as she looked around the room. "Where are you?!"

Stella followed her daughter's gaze, her expression warier as she considered the difficulty in stopping a boy who could turn invisible from sneaking out with her little girl, despite his paternal object lesson in how not to behave.

"Okay, that's just plain impressive." Gabriella offered quietly from the back of the group of girls, keeping her eyes on the location where Ranma had vanished from and trying to see any distortions in the air. "But also kinda scary…"

"No kidding." Sam nodded as she softly agreed with her mother. "If I still thought he was a bad guy, this would be freaking me the hell out."

Gabriella pursed her lips and turned her head, intending on reassuring her daughter to stop beating herself up over her mistake.

"Good thing you don't think I'm a bad guy then, huh?"

But let out a simulations shriek with Samantha at the sudden voice from behind them. The older of the two redhead's leapt forward, while the younger spun on her heel and lashed out with a backfist that ineffectively smacked against the open palm of the grinning pigtailed boy who'd appeared behind them.

Sam stared at Ranma with wide-eyes, heart racing from the scare and suddenly being much closer to his stormy, grey-blue eyes as everyone else similarly gawped at the martial artist-cum-magician. "R-Ranma!? How did you-?!"

"Sorry, trade secret." Ranma said cheekily. "Good reflexes, by the way. About twenty years too slow to catch me, but way better than I was expectin'."

Sam's eye narrowed, and Ranma blinked.

He then let out a yowl as the redhead drove the point of her 'work shoes' into his shin. While Ranma hopped on one foot and shouted 'Ite!', his future student snapped, "You inconsiderate jerk! You scared the shit outta me!"

"Language, Sammy." Gabriella chastised her daughter, though she also hid a small smile at the sight of Sam's cherry-red cheeks as she fumed at the pigtailed boy. "And besides, it was a little funny."

Sam snorted and crossed her arms, spinning away from Ranma as she declared haughtily, "Not to me! And my reflexes are just fine, thank you very much!"

Ranma glared at the redhead's back, grimacing as he rubbed the sore spot on his leg. "Oh yeah?! I've seen freeze-dried snails move faster than that!"

Sam's jaw dropped and she turned back with a snarl, "You egotistical-!"

"Saotome-san! Samantha!"

Jerry's voice brought the two out of their argument, and they each looked up to see the grey-haired Brit regarding them with a deceptively professional air. "If you're quite finished, do you mind explaining what that was, Saotome-san?"

Seeing the looks he and his possibly-future student were getting, Ranma winced apologetically and said, "Yeah, sorry about that." As he lowered his leg back to the ground. Straightening up, he met Jerry's eye and said, "First thing's first, Jerry-san; I'm only showin' you guys that move so you'll know what to expect if my old man shows up. If you want me to teach it to Samantha or anyone else, tough luck, 'cause I ain't doin' it."

Jerry's curiosity piqued. "Oh? You mind if I ask why?"

"Yeah, I mind." Ranma replied with a frown. When he saw that Jerry's expression didn't change, but now the others who had watched the show were looking at him suspiciously, he lowered his eyes and rubbed the back of his neck. "It's...it's not something I'm proud of, Jerry-san. I mean, it's strong and everything, but it's not really a style for fighting."

"Then what is it for?"

Ranma met Jerry's eyes for a moment, then sighed heavily and reached into his back pocket, pulling out a doubled over black-leather wallet and holding it up as he said, "This."

Jerry blinked. Then his eyes widened and he quickly patted his breast pocket, only to find it empty. "I say!"

"Yeah, sorry." Ranma said as he handed back Jerry's wallet. "It's not exactly somethin' I can be proud of, even if it is handy."

"Wait a second," the tech-guinea pig, a blonde man with thinning hair asked quizzically. "If you wanted to steal Jerry's wallet, why'd you ask me to help you out?"

Ranma regarded the man, and found himself smiling as he reached into his shirt and said, "Who said I only got Jerry?"

The tech blinked as the pigtailed boy withdrew a long belt and said, "Wait a second…" just as his loosened pants puddled around his ankles. The guinea pig immediately yipe'd and pulled his pants back up, glaring angrily at the boy who chuckled as he tossed the belt back to its owner while the girls giggled and the women chuckled at the brief glimpse of the man's heart-print boxers.

"Sorry, man." Ranma offered with an easy-going smile. "Needed to prove my point, you know?"

"More like show off." Sam muttered.

Ranma gave the redhead a challenging look. "If I only did it once, it could have just been luck, and twice could have been a coincidence." With a cocky grin, he pulled out a royal blue makeup case/communicator and added, "But three times proves I'm really that good."

Sam's eyes bugged as Carmen gasped and checked a pocket of her spybelt. "You little sneak!"

"Hey, I wasn't gonna keep it!" Ranma said defensively as he tossed the compact to Alex's mother, who caught it with one hand. "I just figured you were the safest bet for number three."

Carmen pursed her lips, but smiled in a way that was a mix of flirty and challenging. "If you wanted my number that badly, you should ask first, little man."

"MOM!" Alex shouted before covering her face in both hands, blushing brightly along with Ranma who regarded the older latina with a lot more wariness.

Pulling attention away from her friend embarrassing her child even more, Gabriella asked, "Why was Carmen the safest bet?"

"I didn't want to take something of yours, cause I'm gonna be trainin' Sam and I didn't want to make a bad impression, and I wasn't gonna take anything from Clover's mom 'cause..." Ranma's eyes flicked worriedly towards the blonde woman who was giving him another Mom-glare.

"Like, nuff said." Clover nodded in understanding. "But why not one of us?"

Ranma scratched the back of his neck, his earlier blush not fading completely as he admitted, "You guys trust me now, and you weren't gonna be on your guard as much as everyone else."

Jerry nodded in understanding as he listened to Ranma's reasoning for his chosen targets. "Very impressive, Saotome-san. I must admit, I'm now a bit more disappointed that you won't be sharing that ability with my organization." The older man turned to the booth and called, "I assume that was enough data for you?"

"Yes, Jerry." One of the monitors said into a microphone. "And we can confirm Ranma gave back everything he stole for the demonstration."

Ranma blinked and glanced at the three scientists behind the reinforced glass. "Huh? How do you know that?"

"The camera's picked up everything." The speaker explained. "Though our sensors didn't detect how you-"

"They WHAT!?"

Ranma's outcry shocked those around him almost as much as his sudden burst of speed, rounding the corner into the control booth and standing behind the chair of the surprised techs, which showed an image of him slipping the belt from around the waist of the unseeing agent from three different angles. As the girls, their mothers, Jerry, and the other witnesses entered the booth, Ranma paid them no heed as his mind went several weeks back into the past...

~several weeks ago~

"Ranma, why the hell are you poor!?"

The pigtailed boy blinked at Britney, who'd finally spoken after being stunned by his explanation and demonstration of the Umisenken, following a quick training session in an abandoned building on the outskirts of Ginza. "Huh? Poor?"

"Yeah!" Britney affirmed with an empathetic nod. "Your dad should be the greatest thief in the world, or at least filthy rich, and he wouldn't need to marry you off to inherit the dojo!"

"But he sealed the techniques away after Ryu Kumon's dad died."

"Which still leaves years between developing those styles and sealing them away. All he had to do was rob one bank or steal one priceless treasure, and your family would have been set for life!"

Ranma frowned as he mulled over Britney's theory. "That makes some sense...but he's so bad with money, he'd probably spend it-"

"If he took the Mona Lisa," Britney countered immediately. "Or the Crown Jewels of England, or something just as valuable in Japan, he could have more money than even he could waste on gambling and booze. And you can't tell me he had an attack of conscience, because I don't buy that for a second."

The bluenette's eyes narrowed, and she tapped her finger on her knee. "There's something we're missing...and until we figure it out, I don't think you should use that technique, Ranma."

The pigtailed boy snorted. "Trust me, I haven't used it much since the fight with Ryu Kumon. It's embarrassing as hell."

"And too powerful for someone as morally bankrupt as your dad to throw it away for no reason." Meeting his eyes, Britney said seriously, "After I get back to Beverly Hills, we'll try it out somewhere safe and see if there's any downsides to it."

-0-

Jerry watched Ranma scowl, stern but also wary as the pigtailed boy's fist was still imbedded in the small crater in the metal table the monitor was sitting on when he'd punched it. "Something the matter, Saotome-san?"

Ranma was pulled from his thoughts and back into the present, seeing that everyone else was giving him looks varying from concerned to fearful to sympathetic. With a disgusted sigh, he lowered his eyes and spat, "It doesn't work on camera's. That's why my old man never used those damn techniques."

"You didn't know that?"

"No, I didn't." Ranma replied darkly, confusing the tech who was sitting nearest to him as the man broke out into a sweat for seemingly no reason. (as he couldn't sense the teen's battle aura) "And Britney told me there must have been some reason pops never used the Umisenken or Yamasenken to make himself filthy stinkin' rich."

Alex cocked her head quizzically. "Thousand Seas and Thousand Mountains?"

"The way of the silent bandit, and the way of the violent robber," Ranma corrected with a shake of his head. "One hides your presence so thoroughly you basically turn invisible, and the other teaches you how to stun people just by yelling at them and create razor-sharp wind blades with your bare hands that can slice apart solid stone. Pop's said he created the Yamasenken, and was so scared by its power that he created the Umisenken to counter it, then sealed them both away."

The entirety of the control booth stilled, everyone staring at the boy with wide, nervous eyes. "If he sealed them away, whatever that means," Sam asked quietly. "How'd you learn them?"

Ranma glowered at the redhead, but despite that, she relaxed a bit as his outrage clearly wasn't aimed at her. "I learned one, while another guy named Ryu Kumon learned the other when pops came across his dad's rundown dojo. Stupid old man gave Kumon's dad the manual for the Yamasenken so he could fix the place up." Ranma shook his head and chuckled humorlessly. "Instead, practicing that 'life-giving style' made the dojo collapse right on Kumon's dad's head, and Ryu became obsessed with learning the other half of pop's technique to finally fix up his family dojo."

Clover covered her mouth in horror at the thought of someone crushed under a building, while Carmen sardonically muttered, "Life-giving? Doesn't sound like it."

"That's what pops told Ryu and his old man, since those techniques aren't meant for fighting." Ranma grunted in disgust. "They're both designed to make someone the perfect thief, and pops figured Ryu's dad could steal enough money to fix his dojo."

Jerry's expression and mood both turned more serious as he asked, "Where is Ryu Kumon now?"

"No idea. After we had a fight over the Umisenken's manual and he found out what the style was really for, he agreed to never use it again, just like I did. 'Cause unlike pops," Ranma spat the word like it left a bad taste in his mouth. "We take our honor as martial artists seriously and wouldn't use the Art to rob someone."

"Much less create a martial art designed to rob people." Sam threw out sardonically, which earned her a nod of agreement from Ranma.

"And now I know the real reason pops never used them. The Yamasenken is violent and if he used it, he'd have to go on the run. The Umisenken is sneaky, but it doesn't work on cameras, which means he'd have to keep stealing from people who couldn't afford 'em." There was a growl as Ranma brought his fist up a few inches and slammed it into the table again and deepened the crater. "Lazy bastard of a panda...'Never do anything you don't have to do, and even then, never more than once'."

Clover's heart ached at the sight of her upset beau and she walked up to gently lay a hand on his shoulder. This made Stella twitch, but she understood where her daughter was coming from and made no move to stop the younger blond from consoling the pigtailed boy. "It's alright, Ranma. Now that we know it doesn't work on cameras, there's no way he could slip past us."

"And if he even thinks of using the Yamasenken to take me back," Ranma muttered angrily. "I'll show him how much better I am at the Art and kick his furry ass all the way back to Nerima."

Jerry cocked an eyebrow with interest. "You really believe you can beat him?"

Ranma gave an incredulous snort. "Damn right I can. Those moves were the only things he had that were a real threat. Long as I don't fall for 'your shoes are untied', he's got nothin' on me."

"You're sure?"

"Yes." Ranma stared plainly, less braggadocious and much more serious as he stared, "I've got his journal, so I know his playbook. All I need to do is come up with a few new techniques he doesn't know, and I'll be fine."

Jerry nodded in satisfaction. "I don't suppose you'd be willing to demonstrate a little more of what you do know?"

At that, Ranma grinned cheekily. "Jerry-san, trust me when I say that my other moves might be a bit more than your equipment can handle."

The older man chuckled. "I believe we can handle it."

00000

Jerry took stock of his surroundings and assets.

Of his five technicians; two were unconscious and one was curled in a fetal position and gibbering about things that 'should not be'. One of the remaining pair who didn't major in physics finished taking a pull from a hip-flask with the words 'If you see something, say nothing, and drink to forget' written on it, before passing the flask to his slack-jawed partner.

Of his six agents; Carmen was supporting Alex, who had nearly collapsed and was gasping for air like she'd just run a marathon with crimson cheeks. Stella was holding onto her daughter's shoulders with an iron grip, which brought the occasional wince and break in Clover's breathlessly giddy giggling. Gabriella was gawping openly, and Samantha…

Was staring at her future teacher, eye twitching rapidly as she muttered, "A video game...I'm gonna learn martial arts from a goddamn Street Fighter come to life…"

As for Jerry's surroundings, the only real change from the last demonstration was the blackened impact point at the far end of the room where a few dummies had been brought out for target practice, and nearby was the source of said charred blast zone.

Ranma blinked, slowly brought his hands to a more relaxed position, and grimaced at the congealing mass that had been human-shaped ballistics gel, but were now several lumps on the floor around the three crispy stands. "Wow...uhh...that's really nasty, Jerry-san."

"You'll forgive me, Saotome-san," Jerry replied dryly, fighting back the urge to kowtow to the teenager who could fire lasers from his bare hands. "But when you asked for targets, I wasn't expecting you to use them to demonstrate your capabilities as a fully-armed and operational battlestation."

Ranma blinked while the girl's twitched, laughed or moaned, and their mothers snorted, growled, or giggled weakly. "Battlestation?"

"Nevermind, Saotome-san."

00000

Having adjourned to Jerry's office following Ranma's 'Imma firin' mah Lazer' demonstration, the leader of WOOHP was seated behind his desk while his new secret weapon and six of his best agents stood in front of it. "All things considered, Saotome-san, I must say you're abilities will be a great boon to our field agents, provided you are successful in replicating your abilities with Agent Samantha."

Ranma smiled proudly, while also scratching the back of his head with a sheepish laugh. "I don't know about getting her to do everything I can. I mean, I was raised in the Art and anything that wasn't related to that was 'a distraction'."

Jerry nodded sympathetically at the slightly bitter emphasis Ranma had put on the last words. "I understand. But if you manage to train Samantha to have even a tenth of your own capabilities, your future with WOOHP will be secured." The older spymaster couldn't suppress a small smile at the fib, as he was ready to pull out all his front teeth before he'd let an asset like Ranma slip away.

Sam let out a small breath, relieved and at the same time worried because of what it might take to get her to perform the inhuman feats she'd seen today. She then blinked as a memory came to her and looked at Ranma. "What's worse than the beehives?"

"Nani?" Ranma looked quizzically at the serious redhead. "Beehives?"

"Everytime your dad's training is mentioned, something about you 'dodging beehives' is brought up," Sam stated as she turned to face him, crossing her arms in front of her. "And last night, you told us that you wouldn't put me through that training because it was useless. I'm not too keen on experiencing it, but I'd like a better idea of what made you as good as you are."

(With the added bonus of why this is what drove you away from Nerima.) the redhead added silently.

Stella, Gabriella, and Carmen shared mutual looks of concerned worry, while Clover and Alex's expressions turned serious. Ranma frowned, noting that Jerry was also looking at him expectantly. Looking at Sam with an expression of 'you asked for it', he replied, "I wasn't dodging the beehives. Pops had me stand under hornets nests while he'd hit 'em with rocks and sticks. When they flew out and attacked me, I had to swat them all down without being stung."

Sam thought she'd braced herself for the worse, but that statement shattered her already tempered expectations like glass, draining the blood from her cheeks as she whispered in utter horror, "He what?!"

"Oh my God," Clover whimpered with tears in her eyes. "Why would he do that to you?!"

Ranma looked over his shoulder and caught the glimmering eyes of his 'girlfriend'. Feeling a little embarrassed and irritated by her pity, he looked away from her and rubbed the back of his neck. "Guy I know back home learned a technique that let him blow up rocks by pokin' them. Swattin' down a swarm of bees before they could sting me meant I could knock away all the little rock pieces without getting scratched."

(Scratched, he says…) Sam swayed slightly as that statement sunk in. (More like turned into shredded beef!)

"But, how was that useless?" Alex whimpered, her cheeks wet as she regarded the boy she'd done this-and-that with sorrowful eyes. "That sounds...it's horrible, but if you can do something like that, it's amazing!"

Ranma scowled darkly. "Yeah, it's 'Amazing'; except the point was to wait for Ryoga to wear himself down usin' the move, only the trainin' he went through made him so tough he could walk off getting blown up over and over again."

Ranma's sullen addition nearly broke Jerry's composure as images ran through the older man's mind of 'suicide bombers' who wouldn't need explosive materials to cause mass destruction and could walk away from whatever carnage they'd wrought.

Sam, having recovered from the system shock of hearing Ranma go through something that violated several Geneva Convention statutes, kept herself from being as emotionally overwhelmed as her teammates, though she couldn't keep the sympathy out of her voice as she offered, "That's why it was useless. You'd just make yourself tired-"

An idea occurred to Sam, stiffening her shoulders and widening her eyes as her realigning cranial circuits made a connection between Ranma's statement and what she now realized his father was capable of. "Ranma," Sam asked in a deadly serious, quiet voice. "Did your...did that bastard know this 'Ryoga' could walk away from getting blown up over and over again?"

Ranma grimaced, and gave Sam a frustrated look that made his answer a moot point as he sullenly replied, "Yeah. Yeah, he did."

The redhead knew she would regret asking her next question, but couldn't stop herself. "Why?"

"'Cause then I'd learn what pops really wanted me to master; how to improvise and come up with a way to win on my own." Ranma, noting the pity in his future student's eyes along with those of his two lover's and all three moms, scowled and lowered his eyes as he murmured, "And all he had to do is sit back and take credit for 'teaching me everything' I know'."

A poignant silence descended at that, which was eventually broken by Clover asking with a sob, "Jerry? Permission to hug Ranma, please?"

"Denied."
"Denied!"

The calm and professional reply from her boss and the harsher echo from her mom made Clover's shoulders sag and she sniffled. "But he needs one…"

Jerry agreed wholeheartedly, but as this was neither the time nor the place, he stuck to his guns and focused on continuing the interview with a personal sticking point. "Saotome-san, Myrna claimed yesterday that one of your followers, who I presume to be this Hibiki boy, regularly challenges you to duels and tries to use this technique directly on you."

Sensing a shitstorm brewing, but feeling obligated to answer honestly, Ranma scratched the back of his neck uncomfortably and replied, "It's not that regularly, and he only tried to hit me the first time, before he knew it only worked on rocks-"

"WHAT!?"
"WHAT?!"
"WHAT?!"

Ranma winced as he realized he'd underestimated the reaction from all three girls, as they were all suddenly standing in front of him, looking nearly hysterical as Alex cried out, "He tried to blow you up!?"

"Y-yeah, but it's only 'cause he overreacted-"

"Overreacted?!" Sam shouted, her own professional demeanor hell and gone. "Trying to make you explode isn't an overreaction, Ranma!"

Before he could stop himself, the Saotome foot-in-mouth technique manifested and Ranma corrected the redhead by mumbling, "Actually, he mostly aimed for my head-"

Ranma winced and rubbed his ear as he cursed his big mouth, due to Clover let out an ear-splitting shriek of, "HE TRIED TO TURN YOUR FACE INTO SALSA?!" Before turning to her boss and shouting, "Jerry, tell me you're gonna put that psycho on a terrorist watchlist!"

"Done." The older Brit nodded in agreement.

"Hey, hey, hey!" Ranma frowned as he waved off the girl's reactions. "It's not that bad-"

"Not that bad!?" Alex sobbed out. "Ranma, how can you defend that monster?!"

"Ryoga ain't a monster! He's just stubborn and-"

"Ranma, Mandy is stubborn," Clover returned desperately. "But she's never tried to pop me like a water balloon-!"

"HEY!"

The three girls flinched back from a sudden wave of hot air, which seeming came from nowhere, but centered on the boy they'd bumrushed, who proceeded to berate them angrily. "I'm not saying Ryoga was in the right; and I'm not saying he's a monster either! He's stubborn and pigheaded and could get lost in a broom closet, but he's a damn nice guy you can trust with anything! He just blames me for everything wrong in his life and doesn't think things through when I'm around, 'cause he's thinks about me the same way Sam did when I first showed up, and has for almost 5 years!"

The three girls, their mothers, and their boss digested that rant in stunned silence. After a moment, Sam hesitantly asked, "Ranma...how can you defend somebody who tried to kill you?"

Ranma snorted. "Ryoga's not the only guy, or girl, who's attacked me with somethin' dangerous. Difference is, some of the stuff he blames me for is legitimate and compared to the others, he's…" Ranma's defensive tone faltered slightly as he sensed another outburst on the horizon, but pressed on anyway. "He's my friend."

Another round in the echo chamber followed that statement. "Friend?" Alex whispered with wide eyes. "You...you call that...a friend?"

Ranma glanced at the latina before looking away apologetically and mumbling, "Even though we fought a lot...until I came here, Ryoga was the closest thing I had to a friend."

Sam ran that over in her mind, considering the variables involved in Ranma's life that would lead him to believe someone like that could qualify as anything other than a murderous lunatic. Her professionalism gone and vision blurring, she turned and addressed the black and grey-topped blob behind the desk with her hand raised, "Jerry, permission to hug Ranma really, really hard, please?"

"Granted."

Ranma woofed when he was suddenly tackled to the floor by the three girls who'd gathered around him, each of them clinging to him tightly like gravity had suddenly taken a lunch break and if they let go for a moment, they or he would go flying into the air. Feeling uncomfortable due to the pity coming from the three girls who were crying into his shirt, the pigtailed boy sat up and awkwardly patted two of their backs, while the redhead in the center of his chest went without.

"It seems that miss Beesbottom was understating the matters of your home life, Saotome-san." Jerry mused with a frown, noting that even Stella was tearing up in sympathy for the boy she looked like she wanted to order a hit on only a few minutes ago. "And I can assuredly say that is not a good thing…"

"It wasn't...that bad." Ranma trailed off as he looked down at the crying girls in his arms. "Or at least, I used to think it wasn't that bad until Britney started pointing stuff out to me."

"For which I will thank her for, when she finishes covering your tracks and comes back." Eyeing his emotional agents and the awkward expression on Ranma's face, Jerry offered, "Saotome-san, would you rather we continue this discussion in private?"

Disregarding the older man's obvious sympathy in gratitude for offering him a way out, Ranma nodded and said, "Yeah, I'd like that a lot."

"What?" Clover looked up, lip quivering as she gave Ranma a double-dose of Bambi eyes. "But Ranma-"

"It's fine, Clover-chan." Ranma reassured her with a half-hearted smile. "It's just not that comfortable to talk about."

"And I would like to get more information from Saotome-san on his circumstances, without needing to halt the proceedings every 10 minutes."

Clover gave Jerry a sullen look, but acquiesced as she, Ranma, and the other girls got to their feet. With one last squeeze, the spies silently separated from the pigtailed boy and walked over to their mother's, before all 6 women left the room together.

Now alone, Ranma turned to Jerry and said, "Thanks for that, Jerry-san."

"It's no trouble. It seemed like you weren't happy talking about your home life front of an audience."

"No, I wasn't." Ranma admitted with pursed lips. "I mean, I get where they were comin' from, but I don't like bein' pitied, you know?"

Jerry scowled, but didn't correct the boy on the difference between completely justified sympathy and disdainful pity. "I understand. Now, if you wouldn't mind starting from the top?"

00000

"How bad do you think the rest is?"

Sam, sitting across from Clover on the blonde's bed, shook her head softly and said, "I don't know...I want to say it couldn't get worse than that, but…"

The three spies had gone to Clover's house, partially to discuss what they'd heard from Ranma before being 'dismissed' by their boss, and also to give Clover some company due to her having a 6 o'clock curfew for the foreseeable future. The girl's had adjourned to her bedroom, and were sitting cross-legged as they contemplated the weight that had settled onto their shoulders regarding the boy they now knew they were supposed to be guarding.

Alex however, was focused more on the burden that had been on Ranma's shoulders, as the soft-hearted latina hiccuped quietly. "How, how could he do that to Ranma?!" Alex whispered despairingly. "Hi-his own son! That monster!"

"Because he didn't give a fuck, Alex." Sam said with a grim expression as Clover reached out and gently held their friend's shoulder, prompting Alex to lean over and lay her head on the blonde's shoulder while she kept sniffling. "But if anything, Ranma's reaction is what really made the whole situation worse."

"Yeah," Clover agreed, scowling darkly even as she rubbed the sniffling latina's arm. "Standing up for some psycho who tried to kill him. I can't believe him!"

"Not that part, Clover." Sam corrected the blonde. "When Ranma talked about his dad and the things he did, he's obviously angry, but it's more like he's disappointed than anything else. When you consider what he had to deal with…" She bit her lip. "I think Ranma might keep some things from Jerry that are really important."

"What!?" Clover and Alex both looked up, gaping at Sam as the blonde snapped, "Sammy, we know he's not a bad guy now!"

"I'm not saying he's gonna lie, Clover!" Sam shot back defensively. "But a part of Ranma thinks what he went through was normal, including the stuff his dad did! Until now, anyway." Dialing back her outrage a bit, Sam narrowed her eyes and muttered, "You saw the look on his face after he found out cameras can see through his 'sneaky thief' thing. He knew his dad was an amoral scumbag, but thought there was a little decency that kept the bastard from using those techniques to rob people blind."

Alex surprise faded as she caught Samantha's intent and nodded in understanding. "But his d-" The latina's lips twisted in disgust. "He was covering his ass instead, because the techniques weren't foolproof and he didn't want to get arrested. Or work harder than he had to."

"And now Ranma's got that on top of whatever else he learned from his sperm-donor's journal." Sam's expression firmed. "The fact that he still expects anything resembling common decency means he hasn't completely accepted the fact that he's not in Nerima, and won't be going back there if we have anything to say about it."

"Damn straight." Clover spat as Alex nodded with an angry look on her face. "I'd rather let Mandy be my Maid of Honor then let him get dragged back to that nightmare!"

"Me too." Sam nodded as well, before adding, "So I'm gonna pump him for information during our training, and see if there's anything he didn't tell Jerry that he really should have."

Clover suppressed a snicker at the redhead's double-entendre and offered in a faux displeased tone, "That doesn't sound much different than what you wanted us to do."

"I said I was sorry, Clover."

"Sammy, I'm not talking about that." The blonde's lips quirked in an amused grin. "I'm just thinking what happened when me and Alex did some spy work on Ranma, and wondering if you're gonna make it a hat-trick."

"Clover!" Alex gasped as Samantha flushed crimson. "Sammy wouldn't do that! She doesn't even like Ranma like that!"

Clover spared a quick glance at the blushing redhead, and her smile widened slightly. "If you say so, Alex."

"ANYWAY!" Sam shouted, trying to distract her friends away from her possible (very real) attraction to her future teacher. "What do you think Jerry's going to do with the info he gets from Ranma?"

"Probably just put out warnings to airports and harbors to keep an eye out for anyone Ranma tells him about?" Alex offered with a shrug.

-0-

(I will not call down an orbital strike on Japan.) Jerry intoned silently while pinching the bridge of his nose. (I will not call down an orbital strike on Nerima after I get every single citizen over the age of 16 committed to several maximum security insane asylums and evacuate those who remain to cities that are a minimum of 500 miles away. I will not then provide said facilities with enough funding to employ the most skilled mental health professionals money can buy and upgrade their security systems until they are capable of restraining the most ridiculously deranged individuals I've ever heard of-)

"Jerry-san?"

Jerry opened his eyes and looked at the boy who was regarding him curiously, and debated sparing some of that mental health money for WOOHP's latest asset. This thought was dismissed as he assumed that being away from an open-air psych ward would improve any issues that Ranma may have accrued, and the spymaster replied, "Just weighing the information you have told me, Saotome-san. And if you don't mind, I must say that I admire your willpower even more, as many people couldn't have experienced the same things you have and come out of it with their sanity intact."

Ranma frowned at what sounded like an insult. "Hey, I know things were rough, but-"

"Saotome-san, it is without the faintest hyperbole that I can say I know of career veterans who have not faced the dangers you have on a daily basis." Jerry interrupted the boy with a slight frown. "The fact that you have survived against such pressures is impressive, but you need to understand that many of the skills which you consider to be normal back home, are decidedly abnormal outside of Nerima. And to that end, I will be giving you several orders as a probationary WOOHP agent and future physical trainer."

Ranma pursed his lips, but shelved his other arguments for the moment as he straightened up and turned all his attention onto Jerry.

"First, while your commitment to your personal honor is admirable, situations such as the one between your fiancé and her 'pet'," The older man's eye twitched. "Will not be tolerated. If Ryoga Hibiki or any of the other victims of Jusenkyo with animalistic curses attempt to use their cursed forms as a method of subterfuge, you are to reveal them immediately, or as soon as you are able."

Ranma winced at the condemnation, but nodded and said, "Hai, Jerry-san."

"Secondly, I would ask that you take Samantha's training seriously, and refrain from any of your father's training regimens. Unless you feel something there is recoverable?"

Unbidden, Ranma's thoughts went back to one of the first days of training with Britney…

~weeks ago...~

Ranma laughed as the sweating bluenette spun on her heel, glaring angrily at him as he laced his fingers behind his head and cheerfully declared, "Hey, I actually felt some wind on that one! Keep it up, and you might be able to catch me in ten years!"

Britney snarled at the boy who'd spent the last 15 minutes dancing around her on the roof of the apartment she was staying at in Nerima. The pair were protected under a camo-and-noise dampening field that would prevent anyone from seeing or hearing them outside or around the building, though not if someone came up through the roof access stairs, as they had. Needless to say, the cover was basically foolproof against Ranma's fan club.

But at the moment, all Britney cared about was that she could use the muting effect to its utmost effect as she snapped, "Would you take this seriously?! Goddamnit, no wonder Akane gets so pissed off at you all the time!"

Ranma pursed his lips. "Hey, that ain't fair! You wanted to learn the Art, and that's what I'm doing!"

"You haven't done anything except dodge and insult me!" Britney snapped as she turned towards him, planting her fists on her hips and glaring at him. "When are you actually gonna show me what I'm doing wrong!?"

Ranma blinked. "Doin' wrong? What do you mean?"

"You know, tell me what I need to do so I can actually hit you?!" Britney huffed angrily. "Like a real sensei would do instead of badmouthing me! If you want me to quit, you're doing a better job of that than showing me anything about martial arts!"

Ranma narrowed his eyes. He almost told the spy if she couldn't hack it, then she should quit. But this was important, and he didn't want to take the off-chance that she misunderstood him and did stop before he could show her what he was capable of. "That's not how it works, Britney."

"Huh? What do you mean by that?"

"You're supposed to use your anger to push yourself to try harder." He explained simply. "You know some basics, but you can't get past that without some fighting experience, more than you'd get from sparring. Normally I'd givin' it to ya too, but you know, I don't hit girls."

Britney blushed a little and Ranma cocked his head quizzically, wondering why she was doing that as she shook her head and gave him a less angry, more studious look. "Wait, so you're insulting me to try and motivate me?"

"Yeah, basically."

Britney narrowed her eyes. "Is that why you insult Akane too?"

"Uh, yeah?" Ranma replied, even more confused at the girl's dark tone. "Wasn't it obvious?"

"No! No, it wasn't obvious, you idiot!" Britney snapped again. "Dancing around and telling someone how much they suck just makes you look like a show off and an asshole! You're lucky Akane hasn't given up the Art entirely with that stupid training!"

"Hey, Akane wouldn't do that!" Ranma fired back. "And the trainin' ain't stupid! It's how I learned!"

Britney blinked. "Wait...your dad did that?"

"Yeah! You've seen him do it!"

"I thought that was just trash-talk." Britney said her angry expression faded into thoughtful musing.

"Nah, that's trainin' too. Besides motivatin' people, insulting an opponent is a good way to tick them off and make them sloppy. Pop's does it to me so I can keep a clearer head if someone tries the same trick on me."

Britney studied Ranma in silence for several moments, and the pigtailed boy fidgeted uncomfortably. "What're you doing?"

"...just throwing more evidence behind a theory."

"Nani?"

"Nevermind." The bluenette said evasively. "Just...don't say anything if it's not helpful, okay? We'll try that for a little while and if I don't improve when you're not acting like a jackass, then you can go back to pissing me off and putting all the hard work on me. Fair?"

Ranma frowned at the emphasis she put on the last bit, but filed it away for later as he said, "Alright, let's go again."

-0-

"There isn't much, Jerry-san," Ranma replied with a frown, now knowing what the theory was that Britney had been gathering evidence for; that 'Motivation through Spite' had been just like everything else his dad ever taught him, designed to keep the fat panda doing as little as humanly possible. "I had to improvise a lot with Britney, but she was showin' improvement before I left, so I don't think I'll have to use any of pops' training to get Samantha up to snuff."

Jerry gave a small sigh. "You have no idea how relieved I am to hear that."

"Yeah…" Ranma added softly. "Me too."

00000

Later that night, as Ranma ran a 'lesson plan' through his head, he took a moment to wonder if he should have brought up the Nekoken.

With a shake of his head, he disregarded that thought, as his pride insisted that the risk of triggering a feline rampage was much lower now that he didn't have an amazon chasing him who used her curse and his trauma as a form of vindictive punishment. And the possibilities of a brief scare outweighed more pity from his boss and coworkers.

00000

Sam let out a 'woof' of air as her back hit the ground, and groaned as she rolled onto her side.

The source of her discomfort grimaced regretfully and crouched down. "Sorry, Sam. I thought you were ready-"

"So did I." Sam replied as she finished her roll, slowly getting back onto her feet without taking her teacher's hand and offer of assistance. Straightening up, she took a breath and reassumed a basic stance, her eyes narrowed in determination. "But that's what this training is for, right? Let's keep going."

Ranma smiled in admiration for his student's dedication as he stood up and similarly readied himself for more sparring.

It was Friday, and the pair were in the backyard of Sam's house for their first true sparring match. In the days leading up to the weekend, Ranma had gotten an overall feel for his student's athletic ability (better than he'd hoped) and mental focus (scarily good) before giving her a few simple kata's and exercises to do when they weren't training, and walked her some meditative practices.

The reason for the relatively easy start was simple; her mother had said in no uncertain terms that missing school due to some kind of injury was unacceptable and any full-contact martial arts training would have to be on the weekend.

This made things harder on Ranma. But then again, it also made their training a bit of a challenge, and if there was one thing Ranma didn't back down from, it was a challenge.

He grinned as he slid past her admittedly good, if textbook punch, and brought his arm under her armpit and up over her shoulder, pinning her over-extended limb and making her give an indignant squawk as he grabbed her other arm by the wrist and took that out of the equation by placing it at the small of her back.. Now defenseless, and with her back pressed against his chest, Ranma grinned cheekily and said, "Not bad that time, but you need to tighten your movements, don't telegraph so much."

Sam grunted, but understood what he was saying. That didn't stop her from resolutely wiggling and muttering, "Gimme a minute, and I bet I can turn this around."

Ranma's smile widened, again grateful for having a dedicated student. And he had to admit, he was enjoying teaching Sam Anything Goes more than he did with Britney, mostly because he didn't feel the constant urge to look over his shoulder.

Unfortunately, Sam's wiggling soon made both teenagers realize Ranma was enjoying their proximity on another level when his semi-hard manhood prodded her backside.

Sam let out a startled yipe from the warm rod that was suddenly lodged between her buttcheeks, and Ranma countered with a shocked, "Shimatta!" as he let go of her and leapt away. Landing on the balls of his feet several yards away, Ranma spun around and adjusted himself, swearing under his breath before saying, "I'm sorry, Sam! I wasn't tryin' to do that!"

Samantha breathed heavily, the brief contact with Ranma's length had sent a shock through her body, even through the cloth separating them, and left behind a warmth in her nethers that certainly wasn't helped by her memories showing the anatomical details of his manhood, as seen through a camera. "I...I believe you, Ranma." Sam replied as she caught her breath and tried to slow down her racing heart. "Just take a minute to...handle it, and we'll go on."

"Right…" Ranma muttered as he looked down, and his eyes narrowed.

Sam blinked at a sudden cool breeze. In fact, it was a cold breeze, like winter was in the air. She looked around quizzically, wondering where it'd come from when Ranma said, "Alright, ready!" in a satisfied tone.

She looked back, and saw that while he was still blushing, there wasn't a noticeable bulge in his pants. This both disappointed and relieved her, as she turned to face him and said, "Alright, let's keep going."

The two of them bowed respectfully to each other, then resumed their spar. As a semi-conscious safety feature, they refrained from anymore close-contact grapples, though Sam's hesitancy was also because the air around Ranma was strangely cold, like he'd just been standing in front of an air-conditioner going full blast.

From inside the house, unseen by the two teens, Gabriella Simpson watched as Ranma threw punches and kicks at her daughter while deflecting the return strikes with ease.

And a small smile formed on her face.

00000

Sam sighed as she stripped off her pants and placed them in the locker. "If there's one thing this training is going to do for me, at least gym will be a little easier to deal with."

"That's the spirit, Sammy!" Alex giggled lightly from behind the redhead, standing in front of her own locker and pulling her jersey on over her head.

Dominique pursed her lips, recalling Alex's little kink for athleticism. In the interests of the truce however, she didn't comment on why the latina was so perky. Then she glanced over and found her thoughts pre-empted by the sight of Samantha's body. One eye twitching, she offered, "I don't think it's going to be a little easier…"

"Huh?" Sam turned towards Mandy's friend to find the short-haired girl staring at her. "What is it?"

On the other side of Sam, the bare-naked Clover followed Dominique's eyes, and her jaw dropped as she gasped, "Sammy! You've got abs!"

"What?!" Sam spun towards the blonde, seeing that Clover was staring at her stomach and looked down.

It took a few moments, but Samantha realized that yes, there was a very obvious definition to her abdominal muscles. It wasn't anything close to a 6-pack, and still had something of a smooth and creamy look. But there were still lines tracing across either side of her belly-button, down to her groin and up to her ribs.

Alex bent over, getting a closer look at the redhead's new musculature and gave the redhead an experimental poke. "Wow...Sammy's getting buff…"

After staring for a few moments more, Sam looked at her left arm and flexed slightly. Seeing a noticeable bulge form from her bicep, her eyes widened and she breathed, "Holy shit…"

00000

Sam pursed her lips as she approached Ranma's front door, a strange mix of irritated and giddy at her new 'athleticism' as she knocked and called out, "Ranma?"

"Come in."

She took a breath and opened the door, ready to ask for alternative training methods that wouldn't give her the body of a rule 63-ed redheaded Heman. "Listen Ranma, I want to talk to you about trying-"

She stopped, her words dying in her throat when she caught sight of Ranma.

Or rather, a hot boy with no shirt on who was lean and ripped like a phonebook standing nearby with a karate gi in his hands.

Ranma turned to Sam and grinned welcomingly. "What's that, Sam?"

"I want...try…" Sam swallowed heavily, trying and failing to stop her eyes from wandering across his torso. "Other exercises…"

"Like what?"

"Just some...something…" with an irritated growl, Samantha shook her head and closed her eyes. "I'll tell you later! Can we go outside now?"

Ranma blinked at her sudden anger, but since it didn't seem to be directed at him, he shrugged and said, "Okay then. Let's get to it." as he finished dressing himself for training.

Sam's eye twitched as he walked past her, completely oblivious to the fact that she'd been ogling him. It was a mixed blessing to the redhead that he probably also wouldn't notice she was already damp, despite the two of them not having started their workout yet.

Elsewhere, a certain blonde teenager cackled gleefully, having watched the entire exchange on her bedroom TV.

00000

Ranma rolled the kinks out of his shoulders while Sam chugged from the water bottle she'd taken from his fridge. He smiled, but not in a lustful way at the sight of the sweat-soaked, gi-wearing redhead. Seeing her like this made him appreciate her dedication to learning his style of Anything-Goes, completely bereft of the teachings of his father. While not as punishing, he knew it was still harsh and he was glad Sam was willing to push herself and go that extra distance, though he had to be careful and remember she wasn't a true 'martial artist', at least physically yet.

"You want to take a break?" he asked as he stepped past her, grabbing a bottle from the open refrigerator she was standing in front of.

"Yeah!" Sam gasped, having prioritized hydration over oxygen, even though her body needed large quantities of both at the moment. "Yeah, just a few minutes, okay?"

"Well, you can take longer than that." Ranma said with a smile, "Cause we're done for today."

"What?" the redhead blinked. "You said we weren't going to stop until 5. Working on my endurance, remember?"

Ranma's smile widened and he flicked his eyes to his right. Sam followed his gaze and settled on his microwave, and the green-glowing lights of the machines internal clock, which displayed 5:36.

Her jaw dropped and she breathed, "No way...we were going at it for that long?"

"First sign of increased ki reserves," Ranma offered as he took a pull from his own drink. "Increased stamina. I gotta say, you're developing quickly."

"You think so?" Sam looked at him, the corners of her lips curling up in a hopeful grin. "Can we try the really fun stuff soon?"

Ranma grimaced apologetically. "Sorry, Sam, I don't think you're up for that quite yet."

"Aw, come on!" Sam pleaded as she clasped her hands in front of her and gave him a double dose of Bambi eyes. "You know I've been getting better! Just give me a chance, and I'll blow your mind!"

"Sam, I'm trying to be careful about this!" Ranma explained in his stern, sensei-voice. "If we go too far too fast, then you might hurt something, and it'll screw things up for both of us! I'd rather be certain you're safe before goin' any further, got it?"

"Alright," she sighed in resignation. "I'm just excited, cause it feels like I'm on the edge of making a breakthrough, you know?"

Ranma chuckled. "That's good, cause it means you're not gonna give up before we're done, are you?"

"Nope." The redhead chirped before draining the rest of the bottle in one drawn out swig and tossed it over her shoulder and into his recycling bin without bothering to look. "I'm dead set and ready to take everything you got!"

-0-

"Would you two just FUCK already!?" Clover shouted at her tv screen, teeth bared as she watched Sam and Ranma beat around the bush and toss around innuendo like they didn't even know they were doing it. Bad enough that she couldn't be with Ranma, but the fact that her newfound enjoyment of voyeurism was being teased ruthlessly made what she was seeing so much more infuriating.

"Can I use your bathroom to freshen up?" Samantha asked as she wiped away a bit of sweat from her brow. "Just so I don't have to walk home soaking wet?"

Clover's eye twitched.

"Fine by me." Ranma replied with an easy-going smile. "I figured you'd need it after getting so hot today."

The grin made Clover's heart race, though his comment made a vein throb in her temple.

"Really? You never shower at my house."

Ranma scratched the back of his neck. "That...feels a little different. Besides, I can roofhop back here in minutes, so it ain't that big of a deal."

Clover took a few deep breaths to calm herself down.

"Speaking of which, how long until you think I can do that?"

"Not sure, but pretty soon." The pigtailed boy smiled widely. "You're learnin' so fast, you won't have to be under me for much longer!"

"That's it!" Clover shouted as she threw up her hands. "I can't take this anymore! Time for the nuclear option!"

The blonde picked up her phone, tapping it in an irritated way as she waited for Sammy to leave. The instant the door to Ranma's bathroom was shut tight, she hit the speed dial, and waited until Ranma picked up his now ringing phone, one eyebrow cocked curiously at the peppy song she didn't recognize which was apparently his ringtone for her.

"Hey, Clover-chan?"

Clover smiled, hearing his voice in a more direct fashion, and calling her that little pet name sent a flutter through her heart. She took a moment to focus herself and smiled thinly as she replied, "Hey, Ranma. Just wanted to know how the training with Sammy is going?"

"It's going good. Sam's a really hard worker and I think Jerry's gonna be really impressed by her progress."

"So it won't be that much longer until me and Alex can get all hot and sweaty with you too?"

Apparently, Ranma could catch pop flys when they were from her, because he blushed mightily and stammered, "Uhh, it might be awhile before that happens! I mean, the trainin' and all-"

"Yeah, I know mom blew her top and you don't want to piss off Jerry." Clover sighed. "I guess it's my duty as your current ex, hopefully future girlfriend to give you a way out."

"How's that?"

"Pull the stick out of Sammy's ass and swap it with your dick."

Ranma froze so fast, Clover swore she heard ice cracking over the phone, moments before the high-pitched whisper of "Nani!?" squeaked out of her beau's mouth.

"Ranma, I know you can be totally dense about romance and stuff, so I'm gonna be blunt with you." Clover smiled as she leaned back in her chair, watching his cheeks redden while his eyes widened further. "Sammy is hot for you, and I know you probably like her too. If you want to show her a good time, I won't mind at all. In fact," the blonde purred silkily. "I think it'd be hot."

"C-Clover-chan...you...wha?"

"Just think about it. But make sure when you do it, you find somewhere nice and private to make Sammy squeal. WOOHP is still keeping an eye on your place to make sure your fanclub doesn't show up. Bye-bye!"

With that, Clover hung up and grinned cheekily as Ranma slowly put his phone back in his pocket, looking flustered and so adorably off-balance that she resisted the urge to call him back up and tease him some more. Before that however, a nagging curiosity tugged the back of her mind, and she made another call. This time, she was greeted by Alex's peppy, "Hi, Clover. What's up?" when the latina answered her phone.

"Got a question, Alex." Clover offered as she remembered the lyrics to the ringtone her beau had set for her. "Do you know of any songs with the lyrics, 'Light your heart up'?"

After a few moments, Alex hesitantly replied, "I think I know one. Why?"

"Apparently, that's what Ranma has as his ringtone for me, and-" the blonde blinked as the unmistakable sound of snorting and giggling coming through the phone.

-0-

Sam stepped out of Ranma's bathroom, showered and refreshed in more casual clothing as she called out, "All yours, sensei."

"O-okay, thanks Sam."

Something in Ranma's voice caught Samantha's attention, and she blinked quizzically at the cherry-cheeked boy who was trying and failing to look like he was leaning casually against the wall of his narrow hallway, and making a point of not looking at her. "Is...something wrong?"

Flushing guiltily, Ranma rubbed his neck and replied, "No, no, nothing's wrong...exactly. I just...umm…"

Sam cocked an eyebrow and mused, (And I thought Clover had a shitty poker-face) as she walked up to the obviously hiding something boy and gave him a stern, but not unkind look. "Ranma. What's going on?"

Ranma swallowed heavily and looked around nervously. "You-ahh...you know Clover?"

"I should, she's my best friend."

"Very funny." Ranma muttered at the redhead's dry response. Meeting her eyes, Ranma's tongue tied itself in a knot before he could continue their verbal sparring match, and he looked away from the pair of emeralds before coughing lightly and saying, "Clover-chan kinda...called me while you were in the shower and said…"

Sam's other eyebrow came up, trading places with it's partner as she regarded the unreasonably nervous, supposedly normal human being. "She said, what?" Her eyes narrowed. "Did she ask you out?"

"N-no...she said I should...ahh…" Ranma's eyes flicked to Sam's face, then away again as his cheeks reddened. "She kinda brought up...you."

"Me?" Sam tilted her head quizzically. "What about me?"

Another nervous cough and glance came from the pigtailed boy, and an idea suddenly came to Sam's mind that made her spine straighten and her eyes widen as she considered the nervous and embarrassed behavior of the boy in front of her, and her friend's beliefs regarding 'sharing'. "No...she didn't."

"...yeah, she said it would be...okay with her."

There was a moment's silence. Then Ranma pressed himself flat against the wall as his novice student manifested a battle aura that wasn't quite up to Nerima standards, but was more than enough to scare the hell out of him as Sam growled, "And what did you say?"

"I-I didn't say anything! I was too surprised! And besides, I wouldn't do something like that with you even if Clover told me to!"

Sam's eyes bugged as Ranma's panicked barb lanced deep into her chest. Her anger dimmed due to shock, Sam couldn't keep the hurt out of her voice as she repeated, "You...you wouldn't?"

The emeralds were glimmering, and Ranma realized he'd fucked up somewhere, due to Samantha looking like she was winding up to either cry or punch him. (it could go either way in his experience) Panicking even more, Ranma waved his arms defensively in front of him and stammered, "Th-that's not what I meant! I didn't mean I wouldn't do this-and-that with you, 'cause I would, I just don't want Clover to say if I should-"

Ranma cut himself off, but too late as Sam caught his confession and shared his expression of utter shock. Slowly, the two teens cheeks reddened, and now Sam was averting her eyes from her sensei. Though she couldn't help but notice how he was tensed up like she was about to attack him. "What are…" Sam cleared her throat and ignored her burning cheeks. "What are you trying to say?"

It took a second for Ranma to realize he wasn't going to get brained by an angry girl, and was actually being given a chance to explain himself. After giving Sam a once-over and realizing that yes, she was in fact listening to him and not merely pretending to while she stewed in her own fury, Ranma swallowed heavily and made his first unrushed attempt at pulling his foot back out of his mouth.

"Clover said she'd be fine if we...you know, but she didn't give me a chance to say what I thought. I mean, I wouldn't mind if we had-did something together, but I don't wanna do it right now because of all the problems' it'd 'cause. And I'm not gonna say you should do stuff with me because me and Clover want to. That's not fair to you, and honestly…" Ranma lowered his eyes, his voice turning solemn. "I've been on the receiving end of that for way too long. I wouldn't do that to someone else."

Sam, feeling more than mollified thanks to Ranma's explanation, was now regarding the pigtailed boy with sympathy and gratitude. She reached out and laid a hand on his shoulder, which prompted the boy to look up and see her soft smile. "Thanks for that, Ranma. I appreciate it."

A sudden urge, a vision flashed in Ranma's mind of moving in and kissing Sam full on the lips, but he killed that urge with extreme prejudice before it could get him into trouble. With a hesitant smile, he offered, "You're welcome, Sam. Sorry for...sayin' that."

"It's alright." Sam shook her head. Then her smile widened and she giggled. "Looks like I'm not the only one who needs a bit of training! Maybe we could make it a trade; you teach me how to kick ass, I teach you not to say dumb things?"

"Hey!"

The redhead's giggling grew louder at Ranma's incensed bark, and despite the indignation, Ranma couldn't help but join in with her as the two shared a laugh.

-0-

"Good, good," Clover purred as she watched the 'happy couple' on her TV screen. "Now, just lean in, hug her a little bit, and let the magic begin."

Rather than following the playbook set out by Clover, or rather the one streaming across her mind, Ranma and Sam both shared a pair of relaxed smiles. Though their reddened cheeks made it obvious they were still thinking about the subject that had been brought up. "So...are we good?"

"Yeah," Sam replied honestly. "We're good. And if we're being honest, Ranma, I thought about that too."

Clover snickered as Ranma's eyes popped open. "Y-You have?!"

"Only from a theoretical standpoint." Sam amended quickly, which drew an incredulous snort from the pair's unseen observer. "And even if Clover was fine with it, I don't want to be someone's side-piece."

At that, Clover groaned and shook her head. "Sammy, why are you blue-balling yourself? It's not like that-"

"I wouldn't want that either."

Clover blinked in surprise, which was an expression matched by Sam as Ranma gave the redhead a serious look. "I know I screwed up, and nearly ruined my relationship with Clover and her friendship with Alex by cheating on her, but that wasn't normal for me. I got accused of stringing Akane along because of all the fiance's, not to mention the 'big-tittied redhead' before my curse was discovered, and just being treated like a cheater was bad enough even though I wasn't."

Clover flinched guiltily while Sam grimaced.

"I know how much it hurts when someone's bein' unfaithful, from both sides." Ranma noticed Sam's discomfort, and rubbed his neck as he offered in a conciliatory tone. "What I'm tryin' to say is, I understand where you're comin' from. Even though the thing with Alex made stuff...complicated, I wouldn't have treated her like a dirty secret."

"I figured that," Sam replied, trying to put some levity back into their conversation. "Since you and Alex told Clover what happened the first chance you got." her attempt was apparently successful as Ranma chuckled, and Clover's heart fluttered at a re-affirmation that Ranma was a catch above-and-beyond all her expectations.

Then Samantha asked, "What did Clover say to you, anyway?" and the blonde stiffened while her beau's amusement cut off with a gurgle. "Since you don't want to keep secrets."

"Oh no…" Clover whined as Ranma took the redhead's hit in his psychological weakspot, and after a moment of looking around, leaned in close to Samantha's ear. "This is totally gonna suck."

As Sam's eyes widened and her cheeks flushed a furious scarlet, Clover realized she'd awakened her latent gift for prophecy. But it was too little, and far too late.

00000

Jerry paused the recording, and turned his chair back around. "Do I even want to know?"

Samantha, standing at attention on the other side of Jerry's desk, twitched minutely and offered, "No. No, you do not." while the blonde girl on her left looked away from her friend with an embarrassed expression, and the latina on her right groaned into her palm, which she'd dropped her face into.

Jerry sighed and gave Clover a stern look. "I will only say this once, Agent Manson. Further attempts to...encourage fraternization between Sam and Ranma will be met with harsh reprimands."

"Yeah, right." Clover muttered without looking at her boss. "What could you do that would be worse than what's happened already?"

"I have your mother on speed-dial."

The blonde snapped up in a straight-backed salute and fearfully shouted, "I'll be good!"

Sam and Alex snorted in amusement as Jerry dryly offered, "Glad to hear it." Before turning to the leader of the spy trio. "Now, Agent Samantha, what do you have to say for yourself?"

"I'm...not sure there's more to say, Jerry." Sam replied with a shrug. "Me and Ranma talked about it, and we both agreed not to pursue a relationship."

"Do you believe you can maintain your professionalism with him?"

"Easily." Sam nodded, her voice full of confidence that she wasn't nearly as certain of on the inside. "And I can report that his training has shown a remarkable improvement already."

"So I hear." Jerry nodded to the girls as he added, "You are dismissed."

He watched as the trio walked away in that teenage silence that practically screamed words were going to be exchanged when the adults were no longer in earshot. Once they were out of sight, the spymaster tapped a button on his phone and waited a moment, before the caller on the other side picked up with a curious, "Yes?"

"Did you review the tape?"

"Yes."

Jerry smiled at the too-cool and collected voice on the other end of the line. "Care to renegotiate our terms, in light of this new information?"

A pause. "Nope." Jerry blinked, but before he could speak, the now amused voice returned, "Would you like to change the terms of our deal?"

The aging Brit's eyes narrowed, and after a moment, he replied calmly, "Fine. In for a penny, I suppose."

"Wonderful." Satisfaction oozed from person he'd called as they added, "I'll inform the other interested parties right away." before hanging up.

-0-

"-can't believe you said that!"

"Oh lighten up, Sammy." Clover rolled her eyes at the huffing redhead as they made their way home, now back in the brighter world and away from the many ears and eyes of G.L.A.D.I.S. and WOOHP HQ. "You are in dire need of a deep-dicking and we all know that Ranma is up for the task."

Samantha and Alex blushed, the latter squeaking out, "Clover!" as she looked around fearfully for eavesdroppers, and the former kept her angry glare focused on the blase blonde.

"Whether he's up for it is not the goddamn point, Clover!" Sam not-shouted at her friend. "I've got more respect for myself than being someone's booty-call, even if he is-"

"-a hot as hell, hung-like-a-horse sweetheart in DIRE need of some TLC?" Clover interrupted, smiling slyly as Sam's face grew even redder. "It's not about being a booty-call or a side-piece, Sammy. Do you think for a minute that Ranma would call you up for a date or some 'Netflix and chill' just because I wasn't available? Or he'd do it without asking me first?" Clover snickered to herself. "Trust me, if I'm so busy that I can't spare some time for a quick rodeo when he needs it, you'd be doing me a big favor!"

"STILL not the point, Clover!" Sam snapped angrily. "I don't want to be a spare tire to someone else's relationship!"

Clover cocked an eyebrow at Sam, while Alex offered in a paranoid, embarrassed whisper, "So, you mean you wouldn't want to...share?"

"No."

Alex eep'ed at Sam's low growl, and the redhead internally berated herself for kicking a metaphorical puppy while Clover shot her a disapproving glare. "It's not...sharing, that I have a problem with, Alex." Sam amended in an apologetic tone. "I mean, the idea is a little weird to me, so I can't say if I'd want to do it or not right now. But what I do know," The redhead's voice firmed as she returned Clover's harsh look. "Is I want a real relationship of my own, and not one where I have to borrow someone else's boyfriend."

Clover eye'd her friend for a few moments, nodding and offering a conciliatory, "That's like, pretty fair. But just the same," the blonde gave a Cheshire cat grin. "If you do take the Wild Horse for a ride, don't feel bad about it, 'cause I've already given my blessing!"

Sam's eye twitched as the irritation with her friend returned. Shifting tracks for a moment, Sam sniffed haughtily and tossed out, "And where are we supposed to do something like that? WOOHP still has cameras on his house."

"But not yours~."

Clover's sing-songy tone earned her looks of wide-eye'd shock, and she bit back the urge to cackle wickedly as she added, "He's training you at your house too, right? Getting all hot and sweaty, watching his muscles flex-"

"I got it!" Sam waved her hand, cutting off Clover before too much of the blondes train of thought jumped the rails into her own mind. "Even if WOOHP isn't monitoring my house, and that's a BIG 'if', my parents sure as hell are, and there's no way I could have sex with Ranma without them finding out!"

"That's why you wait until they're gone." Clover gave the redhead a look that said Sam was being dense. "Like, duh Sammy."

Sam snorted incredulously. "Yeah, like my mom would leave me alone with Ranma, considering what happened with you two."

00000

Sam stared at the note in her shaking hand. A simple piece of paper which filled her with dread, yet brought a rising feeling of excitement she couldn't deny even as she stared incredulously at the neatly flowing, familiar handwriting.

[Sorry Sammy, had to go out of town with your father, won't be back until tomorrow! Have fun practicing your self-defense with Ranma, be safe, and don't do anything I wouldn't do! Love you lots-Mom]

(Why did I tempt fate like that?) Sam moaned to herself, remembering all too clearly the conversation she had with Clover on Monday, following the blonde dropping a tactical nuke on the delicate situation between her and Ranma. The knowledge that they were both attracted to each other had made things awkward between Samantha and her sensei, but they'd managed to discuss and practice further moves without fumbling too many of their conversations. Now here she was, less than a week later and staring at a sure sign that some higher power had a grudge against her as she continued to stare at the damning piece of paper. (Mom knows what happened to Clover and Alex, and that I don't think Ranma's a bad guy anymore! Maybe it's a sign that she trusts me?)

Sam shook her head and stuck the note in her pocket, her expression firming as she declared, "I can do this. It's just exercise, and I've resisted the temptation until now. We'll do some reflex training and some meditation, and things will be fine."

Something about the last statement rang false in Sam's mind, but before she could parse it out, the sound of her doorbell ringing broke her out of her thoughts. She almost bolted for the door, before curbing her ill-advised excitement and calming herself down with a few deep breaths, then resuming her trek at a more leisurely pace. The redhead opened the door and greeted the pigtailed teen standing on her doorstep with a polite smile and a cheery, "Hey, Ranma."

"Hey, Sammy." Ranma replied with an easy-going grin that made his student's heart flip-flop. "You limbered up and ready?"

Sam blinked. "Limbered up?"

"Yeah, for sparring. It's Friday, remember?"

Sam's jaw dropped as she finally figured out what part of her earlier comment had been false; today wasn't going to be reflex training and meditation, but full-contact mock-fighting, which meant she was going to be all up in Ranma's personal space for the better part of an hour, if not more.

Once again bemoaning her fate, while a small traitorous part of her psyche squealed with glee, Sam smiled weakly and said, "Y-yeah...I forgot. Just give me a minute, and I'll be ready for you-ready to spar."

Blushing at her slip of the tongue, Sam stepped aside and told herself once again, (You can handle this)

00000

Samantha was not Alex.

Samantha did not get hot and bothered by exercise.

She was not turned on by the racing heart, greater body heat, and adrenaline rush from athleticism that was possibly a throwback to man's primal days when such things were indicative of hunting wild animals. (and the 'celebrations' after successful hunts)

However, exercising in close proximity to a very attractive member of the male sex, spending a lot of time holding his arms, pressing skin to skin, and inadvertently feeling his muscles under his loose gi was sure as shit able to get her motor running. And it didn't help that Sam was constantly running through the fact that she and Ranma were all alone for several hours, and there was nothing stopping the two of them from committing hanky-panky except themselves.

All this was running through Sam's head as the warm shower water rinsed off the sweat from her and Ranma's training, which hadn't been nearly draining enough for her liking, because she could have used sore muscles as a way to assuage her hormones.

The fingers of her left hand clenched against the tile just underneath the showerhead while she gritted her teeth, trying desperately to banish the memories of Alex and Ranma in the school shower, and will her right hand to hold still while it resolutely slid across her stomach and towards her groin.

(I am not Alex.) Sam thought, breathing heavily as the image of Alex's face, flushed with pleasure and moaning loudly as Ranma's dick sank further into her pussy filled the redhead's mind and her fingers reached the top of her landing strip. (I am not Alex, and I am not Clover. I can handle this, and I will not do anything with Ranma.)

She gritted her teeth. The somewhat grainy image of Ranma cumming across Alex's brown ass was replaced by the better-angled, and much clearer picture afforded by Caitlyn's camera as strings of gooey cum painted her friends cheeks. (I am better than this!)

Her fingers hovered, millimeters above her clitoral hood while the urge to call Ranma's name, either in orgasmic bliss or for him to share the shower with her loosened Sam's vocal chords.

With a grunt of effort, Sam straightened up and bit back a snarl as she slapped her flushed cheeks and glared furiously into the middle distance. (I think Ranma's hot, but can control myself, and I'm not gonna finger-fuck myself while he's in my house, waiting for me to get out so he can get cleaned up too!)

Sighing with frustration, Sam tilted her head back and let the water flow across her face, pointedly ignoring the streams running down her inner-thighs which she knew weren't all from the shower itself.

-0-

Ranma wasn't the kind of guy to pace back-and-forth, but he was doing so now. Mostly, it was because he didn't want to sit down somewhere on Sam's nice furniture and leave behind embarrassing sweat stains. But it was also because he was nervous and excited by the sign that his training of Sam was going very well. Even better than he'd hoped.

Unfortunately, that sign was the fact that his student had been giving off an almost palpable ki aura since they started sparring. What made it more nerve-wracking than terrifying for Ranma was that her aura hadn't been one of fighting spirit or anger. One of those would challengingly buffet against an opponent, and the other could be blistering in it's intensity. But the spiritual energy coming off of his student had carressed his body, even as she traded punches and kicks with him.

Ranma shuddered as he remembered the incident with Happosai, the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion, and the Hiryu Shoten-Ha. He'd improvised at the time, assuming that a martial artist as powerful as the old pervert could give off an aura based on some other emotion, and that lust would be as much of a heat effect as anger. When his theory had been proven correct, he'd been excited at the chance to beat the freak and fix the Moxibustion, but had been utterly horrified by how Happosai's aura had fondled her body, even though he'd kept the old man as far away from him as possible, at least physically.

Now, his current student and best chance for a new life away from the madness of Nerima was bare-ass naked in the next room, after spending an hour and a half inadvertently groping him and giving Ranma a severe case of cold sweats as he'd been forced to channel the Soul of Ice several times while they were sparring.

Among the many many thoughts that raced through the pig-tailed boy's head was the fact that there were only three explanations for why Sam had such a powerful lust aura during their training. The first option, was that he was training some kind of ki prodigy who was rapidly reaching a level that could challenge Happosai or Granny, and he had a feeling he wasn't that lucky. The second option, was that his training was so good, Sam was already capable of manifesting battle-aura's of a scope that was equal to any Nerimite. While good for his ego, Ranma reluctantly had to admit that probably wasn't the case.

Which left option three. That Sam had spent the entire time they were sparring thinking about this-and-that, probably with him, and had been as ungodly horny as Alex when he and the latina had their tryst. If not moreso.

(But why?) Ranma asked himself as he spared at look at the closed door to Sam's bathroom. (I mean, I know Clover-chan said Sam liked me, and Sam admitted it, but I didn't think she was that hot for me! Is that why I had so many girls chasing after me? I thought it was just because of honor, Amazon law, and just being crazy as hell!)

Ranma shivered again, but this time from the residual effects of spending a long time in close proximity to an ephemeral aura of 'Do me now!', which had come from a girl he had to admit was very attractive and he'd be more of a liar...almost as much of a liar as his old man if he said he didn't want her too.

The remainder of his internal musings ended with a *click* as the bathroom door swung open, and he stilled as Sam walked out, dressed in a far more casual outfit than her gi; a green blouse and hip-hugging blue-jeans that he had to admit, fit her very well.

Ranma shook his head quickly, hoping Sam didn't notice his staring as she thumbed over her shoulder and said, "All yours, have at it."

Noticing that the lust aura was gone, Ranma smiled in relief as he nodded in acceptance and said, "Thanks, Sam." Even though a traitorous part of his mind gave him a very lewd and descriptive idea as to why pure desire wasn't rolling off of her in waves anymore.

What Ranma didn't realize as he walked past the redhead, was that there was something in the single-minded focus of personal combat, either practiced or simulated, that allowed a person's aura to manifest more clearly, not simply create one on the spot. Which is why he had no idea that the randy redhead who's shower he was borrowing was even more hot and bothered than before.

-0-

Lo Xion, formerly of the Joketsuzoku, before dropping the tribe like a bad habit when a husband hunt had brought her to a land where indoor plumbing wasn't considered a luxury, looked out her window in a mixture of amusement and awe. The 150 year-old crone reached for a smartphone, a gift from her great-granddaughter last Christmas, and selected the most appropriate number.

After a few rings, the other end of the line clicked and a thick, panting voice gasped, "Yeah?"

"Hello, little one." The ancient Amazon replied happily. "Sorry to bother you, but I had a question."

"What's that, Grandmother?"

"Do you live on the north side of town?"

There was a pause. "Uh...no? Why?"

Looking out her window at the pink haze rising into the air somewhere off in the distance, giving the impression of a miniature Aurora Borealis, Lo Xion smiled and replied slyly, "No reason, my dear. No reason at all."

"Right, okay." the woman on the other end of the line replied shortly. "Nice talkin' to ya granny, but I gotta go-"

"Why?" The old woman answered, her voice full of innocent amusement, though she'd already gleaned the reason for the very particular way her descendent's voice was coming out in heavy, ragged breaths and was internally giggling at teasing her great-granddaughter a little. "What-ever could you be in the middle of that means more than talking with your sweet old granny?"

The sound of grinding teeth was clearly audible through the connection as Donna realized her Great Grandmother knew exactly what she was up to, before the worthy inheritor to the title of Amazon roared into the phone, "A DEEP GODDAMN DICKING, YOU OLD HAG! Now shut up and let me enjoy this!"

With that, the phonecall ended and the old woman threw her head back and cackled madly, already anticipating training her Great-Great grandchildren when they came of age, hopefully sooner rather than later.

00000

Ranma left the shower, sighing heavily as he felt the muscles finish unwinding and the last of the tension flow out of him. He strolled through Sam's house, headed for the front door, and paused when he caught sight of Sam sitting on the living room couch. "Hey, Sam."

Samantha smiled, stifling any other outward sign of her appreciation for her freshly showered sensei as she returned his greeting. "Hey, Ranma. Everything squared away?"

"Yep." Ranma nodded before continuting his trek. "I'll head home now, but I'll see you-"

"Umm, Ranma? Could you wait a minute?"

Ranma stopped in mid-stride and turned towards Sam, who had risen off the couch and had cherry-cheeked, embarrassed expression on her face. "I was wondering if...you wanted to watch a movie? Now that we're done training?"

Normally, Ranma wouldn't have given the redhead's shyness a second thought. But thanks to getting the chance to closely inspect the particularly rosy shade of her cheeks over the last hour, Ranma knew damn good and well that Sam was turned on, and his heart started racing in response to her question and her continued attraction. "Ahh, are you sure that's okay? I mean, WOOHP said-"

"They said they don't trust Alex or Clover being alone with you-I mean, that they might try something." Sam amended quickly, while asking herself what in the hell she thought she was doing. "But that's not an issue with me. I mean, I know you won't do anything, so it'd be fine for us to hang out, off-the-books...right?"

The irony and synchronicity of Sam's excuses, which were in the same vein as Clover's 'just kissing' or Alex's 'only once isn't cheating', was not lost on her or Ranma. Both of them made a point of trying (and failing) to ignore the similarities, and neither commented on them, while Ranma gave a small swallow and smiled weakly. "What...movie were you thinking of?"

Sam smiled, giddy and reassuring herself that this totally-not-half-baked plan to 'immunize' herself to Ranma's presence was going to work swimmingly, replied, "It's one of my favorites, The Princess Bride. Do you know it?"

Ranma's eye twitched and his smile became strained as a night of debauchery flashed through his head at the familiar title. "Y-yeah. Good choice."

00000

In any normal circumstances, a PG-13 fantasy rom-com would easily quell the rising fires of two hormonally challenged teens.

Well, unless said teens were really, really horny. And they weren't alone. And they couldn't go to another room-fine, The Princess Bride would be as useful for stopping teenagers from having sex as a bra designed for a frog! You happy!?

The point is, even if such a film might turn a young couple off in certain circumstances, Ranma and Sam had bypassed the chance of that happening long ago, though not intentionally.

Sam was making a careful point of not looking at Ranma. Instead, she focused on the movie instead of the way the pigtailed boy filled out the light blue silk shirt, or the way his hair dark hair and grey-blue eyes caught the light in just the right way to make her heart race.

As the redhead shook her head and forcefully glared at the movie, she vehemently denied the fact that her plan to 'immunize' herself to Ranma's presence was in any way failing. As Inigo began fighting the Dread Pirate Roberts, she squirmed a little, being unable to deny the slight ache in her loins due to her earlier denial of self-love in the shower. What made it all the worse for her was that she knew this movie inside and out, and the visual of an epic sword-fight couldn't brush away the nagging images in the back of her mind, showing her a veritable flipbook of Ranma's impressive physical assets.

Ranma swallowed heavily at the light clanging of steel-on-steel, which didn't drown out the wanton moaning in his ear.

He was looking at the fighters, who were moving so glacially slow in comparison to a real sword fight that he wanted to laugh, but all he could see was a pair of half-lidded, amber colored eyes, looking back at him with a deep, unyielding lust.

While Ranma tried to acknowledge the reality of sitting in the home, on the couch of his redheaded student, watching a movie with absolutely no ulterior motives or sexual undertones regarding the girl he was teaching the Anything Goes style to; his head was denying that reality and substituting its own. One where he was sitting on the couch in his apartment, with his girlfriend snoozing blissfully next to him while a passionate latina frantically rode his manhood in an effort to get him off, while the same background noise of Inigo and Roberts quipping back-and-forth droned on.

Ranma had taken to crossing his leg, trying to cover up how turned on he was, as this was not the time or place to get a hard-on, despite the fact that Samantha had admitted she would be amenable to such a situation. But his erection was being rubbed by his pants, mostly because he couldn't stop tapping his foot due to the stress of reliving his tryst with Alex, while not being anywhere near Alex and unable to vacate the area without arousing-attracting suspicion or being rude.

Then, when he'd been forced back by a renewed assault from the spaniard, the masked pirate grinned and quipped, "I'm not left-handed."

Suddenly, Ranma could taste Alex's tongue and felt her lips pressed against his, and at the exact same moment, her body trembled and inner-walls tightened around his manhood as he came deep inside her.

"Okay! Okay, I think that's enough!"

Sam jerked up, shocked out of her internal wrestling match due to her sensei's panicked shout and suddenly sitting bolt upright. "What?!" she shook her head clear quickly and intentionally focusing on Ranma. "What's enough!?"

Ranma looked at Samantha, seeing her in a casual pose and dress, not even trying to be sexy even though his mind was now taking the memories of Alex and layering them over the top of the green-eye'd redhead. He shuddered briefly, fighting back the hormones that were begging for relief as he brought an end to their casual movie watching by shakily declaring, "I just remembered something I gotta do! I'll pause it here, we can finish it some other time!" before reaching for the remote, almost desperate to shut off the sounds that were playing merry hell with his desires.

Sam caught the obvious lie and her eyes narrowed suspiciously, thinking that he'd heard or spotted something dangerous and was about to clear the area. In a split-second, she was reaching for the remote as well, and asking seriously, "What're you talking about? Is there something outside-"

Ranma grabbed the remote, and Sam's hand enveloped his a half-second later.

The two teens froze at the skin-to-skin contact, and realized that their over-extension had brought their faces less than a foot away from each other.

Samantha felt Ranma's knuckles against the soft skin of her palm, and the urge to jump his bones returned with a vengeance, while his finger unwittingly touched the power button. The TV screen went black and Sam found herself without a distraction anymore, not from her imagination and lustful thoughts towards the pigtailed boy. And not from the very obvious tent being pitched in Ranma's pants.

Silence fell between the pair as Sam stared at Ranma's groin, and he stared at her while she gaped at his manhood. She raised her eyes and met Ranma's gaze, finding him staring at her with an expression that said he felt the exact same way as she did right now. Shocked. Dumbstruck. Nervous.

And intensely, maddeningly turned on.

Stormy bits of grey-blue formed a connection with emerald green, and time slowed to crawl as the two teens realized what had been building between them for the past several days, and had risen to even greater heights in the last few hours. Their eyes flickered briefly, each of them tracing the features of the other, knowing the person staring at them had a mental landscape that was filled with images of them performing many many lewd and erotic acts.

What came next was somewhat confusing, though easily explained through a totally scientific phenomenon. Somewhere out there, an amateur juggler walked into a mad scientist's lab and started tossing around test tubes filled with pink balls.

And when the first sample of 'Chronitons' slipped from his grasp and fell to the floor, time skipped like a needle on a record player, and Ranma suddenly found Sam pressed tightly against his body. Her hard nipples were poking into his bare chest and her hand was death-gripping the back of his head, keeping his face against hers while she frantically tried to taste every inch of his mouth, and he returned the favor in kind. In a brief half-second of clarity, Ranma wondered where the hell his shirt and her blouse disappeared to.

The juggler, panicked from the first slip up, fumbled and sent another test tube flying through the air. As it smashed into the ground, Sam's eyes snapped open in shock. Then they closed again as Ranma's lips found a sweet-spot on her neck, bringing a moan from her lips while her squirming legs aided the pigtailed boys efforts in pulling her pants and underwear down her thighs.

As more and more chroniton's dropped, time continued to skip like a woodpecker on speed, leaving the two teenagers with only the dimmest flashes of what was occurring, while the rest of the world went blissfully unaware of the very personalized cracks forming in the time-space continuum.

-0-

Clover chewed her pen, eyes looking off into the distance while Alex sat on the blonde's bed, keeping her nose buried in the textbook the pair were supposed to be studying from. With a small sigh, Clover asked, "Hey, Alex? What do you think Ranma's doing right now?"

Alex looked up, blinking quizzically at the non-sequitor. "Umm...training Sammy?"

"That was awhile ago." Clover corrected her friend gently. The blonde gave a small sigh and her lip quivered theatrically. "He must be so lonely without me…"

Alex snickered at Clover's over-dramatic sorrow and replied, "He's fine, Clover. Afterall, he has us to call if he needs some company-"

The latina let out an 'eep' and blushed as her friend let out a loud laugh. "That's not what I meant!"

"You so sure about that?" Clover waggled her eyebrows meaningfully, which made Alex even more embarrassed. With a sigh that was less miserable, Clover admitted reluctantly, "Yeah, you're right. If he needs someone to talk to, he'll call up one of us." Then the blonde gave her friend a wicked grin as she cheerfully added, "And with any luck, Sammy's gonna be helping us make sure Ranma doesn't feel lonely!"

Alex gasped and let out a series of giggles while Clover laughed loudly at her own joke.

-0-

Ranma could be called many things, but philosophical was not among them. Heady issues like the nature of the universe didn't hold any appeal to him, though he had to admit, he was very curious why his mind was apparently slipping in and out of awareness seemingly at random, or the universe suddenly became a VCR with a sticky fast forward button.

In one moment, he was trying to call it a night before his memories of Alex put him in an embarrassing and awkward situation with Samantha.

The next moment, he was fiercely making out with a firey, topless redhead who was acting like his tongue was made of chocolate.

Then he was naked and on his knees, looking down at the curve of Samantha's bare ass and her athletic back, because she was on her hands and knees in front of him, and he was holding her head between his hands while forcefully thrusting his cock into her mouth.

Philosophically speaking, Ranma was very, very curious about what was going on.

Practically speaking, he groaned in pleasure as Sam's tongue slithered under his pole, until her soft lips were wrapped around the base of his shaft and the swollen head of his prick was being squeezed by the muscles of her throat.

There was a twinge of guilt and worry, as it seemed to Ranma that he was being too rough with the girl who was pleasuring him. But when he withdrew prick enough for Sam to do something other than gag, all he heard from her were needy, eager moans that sent tingling vibrations down his shaft. Realizing that Samantha was a far from unwilling face-fuckee, philosophical Ranma took a hike and left control to practical Ranma, who focused the fact that he was getting his dick sucked by a beautiful redhead and settled back to enjoy the experience.

With a shudder of bliss, Ranma amended his previous statement as the churning in his balls made it clear he was almost done enjoying Sam's oral skills and ready to show his appreciation by giving her a salty reward. Showing the benefits of practical thinking versus philosophical, Ranma made the pragmatic decision to enjoy the brief moment of clear-headedness and pressed his twitching sack against Sam's chin as he let go. The rush of ecstasy and relief was intensified as Samantha responded to the jets of cum flying down her throat by sucking on his length with wet slurps, sending shocks through Ranma's loins and making him moan her name as she swallowed his cum without any hesitation.

-0-

Carmen rolled her eyes in a way that was exasperated and amused as Stella stepped away from her daughter's bedroom door, eyes narrowed in a way that said she was disappointed by whatever she'd overheard their children talking about. "Told you they wouldn't do anything."

"No," Stella admitted defensively. "But they want to."

Carmen cocked an eyebrow. "Really? Well then, maybe we should give them some time alone-"

"Not funny!" Stella snapped quietly, not willing to alert Clover and Alex to the fact that she had been eavesdropping on them. "They're talking about doing things with him!"

"Oh? Still holding a candle then?" Carmen smiled. "Good. I can think of so many worse first boyfriends for my little girl."

Stella glared at the older latina. "He's Clover's boy-" she snapped her mouth shut and ground out. "He was with Clover. Why aren't you more concerned about this?"

Carmen gave a small sigh and gave the blonde a solemn look. "Stella, like it or not, Clover and Alex needed this, or something close to it. Better they learn how to spot the good guys from the bad ones while they're young, not later in life when it'll hurt them more."

"He cheated on my little girl! With your daughter!"

"And confessed." Stella stated with a stern look. "That very night and the next day, where Ranma told 'your little girl' that it was with some random slut so she wouldn't lose her friendship with my daughter. Would you rather he strung Clover along for months and have her find out when some floozy showed up at her front door looking for her baby-daddy?"

Stella paled, before her face flushed and twisted furiously. "You did not just go there!"

"Ranma isn't Norton, Stella." Carmen snapped, making the blonde flinch even as she growled angrily. "He's more honest than that scumbag ever was, and we warned you he was bad news."

Stella almost shouted at her friend, but couldn't get the words past the lump in her throat. She blinked back tears and looked away from her friend, eventually closing her eyes when Carmen patted her on the shoulder.

"You know better now, but you're also jumping the gun. Trust me and Gabby, Stel; Ranma will do right by our girls." The older latina smiled cheekily. "Besides, if he does screw-up, we can do the same thing we did to Norton and put him in traction."

Stella couldn't help but give a small chuckle at that.

-0-

Sam noticed the temporal disturbances as well, though her perspective was rather different than Ranma's. For one thing, she was more inclined to focus on the why's and how's of a situation rather than asking how they applied to her presently. The other difference was that she suddenly 'woke up' between one moment and the next to find Ranma's tongue replaced with an iron hard pole of flesh jammed between her lips, and her philosophical self promptly panicked and asked what the hell was going on.

Rather than secede control to practicality, Samantha's more inquisitive self was so confused that her body was left to run on bare instinct. Said instinct promptly shut down her gag-reflex and slid the index and middle fingers of her right hand deep into her pussy, with the same pace and timing that her nose was being buried in Ranma's sparse pubes.

Then Ranma's dick swelled, spreading Sam's lips further apart and making her internal self freeze in shock. (Oh no! No, no, no, no, no; please tell me he's not-!)

There was a twitch through Ranma's shaft at the same time the head of his dick was lodged somewhere near her tonsils, and a thick burst of hot goo hit the back of her throat. The realization that Ranma had face-fucked her to completion made Sam's internal mind shudder in disgust and wail, (Oh my God! He's cumming in my mouth! Oh, Ew-ew-ew-ew-!)

The redhead's conscious mind blinked in surprise as she felt her physical body warm with greater desire from getting a load of sperm in her mouth. Said aspect of Sam's personality gaped slack-jawed as she cleared the sticky blockage with a loud gulp, and was stunned senseless her tongue tenderly rubbed the swollen vein running underneath the length of Ranma's dick, clearly encouraging him to give her everything as his dick spat more gobs of warm cream down her neck.

(I'm...swallowing?) Sam's internal self refused to consciously go with the flow, which only made her disconnect more pronounced when another obvious swallow sent more of the viscous, heavy-scented fluid into her belly. (How the hell am I swallowing? Cum feels gross and tastes even worse! Is it because I can't taste it?)

Another blast of off-white paint for her palate was cleared away, and Sam's internal confusion gave way to self-deprecation as she groaned (Oh, why the hell did I suck Ranma off? It's totally degrading and he's gonna think I'm a slut!)

Further recriminations were halted as Samantha heard her name, and very briefly, her conscious mind took over control of her body again. The situation hadn't changed; Ranma's sack was still clenching against her chin as another shot was sent through his dick and into her mouth, but her awareness was different as she stared at Ranma's toned groin. Slowly, her eyes traveled upwards, along his abs and upper body, until she was looking at his face. The sight of Ranma, a damn near bonafide superhuman looking down at her with flushed cheeks and a damn near perfect O-face brought a feeling of pride and happiness to Sam, and she started to reconsider her stance that being on the giving end of a blowjob was the weaker of the two positions.

The idea that sucking dick was far more dominating than it seemed at first gained some credibility when she consciously tucked into the remainder of Ranma's release, as the pigtailed boy moaned her name a second time while she imbibed in a salty, protein-rich snack. Feeling like she'd rocked Ranma's world, the corners of Sam's lips quirked up and she thought (Actually, I don't think he's gonna look down on me for this at all~.)

Further affirmations that giving head didn't immediately qualify for an 'easy slut' license ended with another time skip, and Sam found her mouth suddenly unoccupied. This was both a pro and a con, though the redhead couldn't spare the brainpower to decide which was which, since she was currently using her empty mouth to scream bloody fucking murder at the top of her lungs.

Sparking zaps were racing out from her loins, locking up her muscles and making her back arch like a parenthesis, while her pussy spasmed and seized between her legs. Eyes wide and staring at the ceiling, Sam's analytical mind shrieked in tandem with her body, but for very different reasons.

(Oh my God, I'm cumming! I'm cumming!? Why am I cumming?! Ranma just blew his load in my mouth! Why am I cumming-)

A sudden flick against her clit sent a bolt of fire up Sam's core, and her scream cut off with a gasp as she hunched over, teeth gritted as her stomach and chest burned in a way that she prayed would never stop. With great effort, she opened her eyes and everything became crystal clear, due to seeing Ranma's closed eyes just underneath her landing strip of light red pubic hair.

As more wet flicks against her clit made Sam's hips buck, her other senses registered the finer details of current circumstances. Namely that she was on her knees with Ranma's head between her legs, and her hands were death-gripping the wooden frame of her bedroom door. When all the evidence was put together, she could only theorize that she hadn't even waited to make it to her bed after guzzling Ranma's spunk before jumping him and riding his face for all she was worth.

Question satisfied and then some, Sam trembled as she looked down at the boy who was eating her out like she tasted like ice cream, and gave a weak smile as she thought with a giddy sort of calm, (Oh...that's why I'm cumming.)

Then Ranma's tongue pulled away from her clit, and a sudden blast of cold air against her sensitive nub bent Samantha's back like a capital C while her body spasmed in renewed release, and she strained her vocal chords to the limit screaming Ranma's name as long and loud as she possibly could.

-0-

Gabriella Simpson stepped out of the hotel bathroom, dressed in a see-through, spaghetti strap, dark-green nightie. She grinned widely at her lover's reaction, which was everything she expected from him after 20 years of marriage. "Hello~ handsome."

"Hello yourself." Roger Simpson replied, his hard-on swelling at the sight of his lustful wife as he lay back on the bed with his hands behind his head. Running his eyes up and down her body, he murmured, "Still as beautiful as the day we met."

"And you're still just as handsome." Gabby replied as she strolled slowly towards her husband, hip-rolling seductively for his benefit.

Roger watched his wife approach, before that same worry that had flared up occasionally came to the fore again. Despite himself and the situation, he asked, "Gabby? Before we get going, are you sure Sammy's gonna be okay?"

Gabriella sighed as she reached the foot of the bed. "Trust me, baby; I vetted Ranma thoroughly. He's the best self-defense instructor I could find, and he wouldn't dream of hurting Sammy." smiling sultrily as she lowered herself onto the bed and began crawling towards her husband on all fours, she murmured silkily, "Samantha's a smart girl. I know she'll be safe."

-0-

When Ranma returned to awareness again, he was still smiling proudly from hearing Samantha scream his name and could still taste her juices on his lips, a strangely sweet and musky flavor that was far from unpleasant.

Then other things became more important than yet another mark in his column for having a dan ranking in pussy eating. Like the feeling of wrinkled cloth under his knees, and the delicate, smooth skinned ankles he was holding in each hand, and the unmistakable feeling of a woman's welcoming sheathe around his bare prick as his hips lunged forward and brought a familiar sounding moan of delight.

Ranma groaned in pleasure and disbelief, this time from the renewed debate inside his mind versus asking 'why' or 'now what', since he'd obviously crossed the line between fidelity and infidelity yet again, and with his own student no less. Just as before, practically minded Ranma insisted he stay the course since Clover had already given permission, he was enjoying himself far too much to stop now, and more importantly; Sam was a very willing partner in their dance.

All control surrendered to the part of him that lived 'in the moment', Ranma looked Samantha, who was laying on her bed, completely exposed to his eyes since he was holding her legs open like he was getting ready to make a wish. At this moment though, any wish would have gone to waste, since he giving a surprisingly passionate redhead the most vigorous sex of her life. Despite his frustrating lack of control, Ranma couldn't help but be mesmerized by Sam's reactions to their lovemaking. The way her body quivered and she gave the tiniest of half-gasps when he bottomed out brought a smile to his lips and his practical mind insisted that he could see more if he made damn sure she enjoyed herself as much as he was, which lead to his next few thrusts being extra forceful so he could make her orgasmic tells more pronounced.

Sam wanted to be upset. She really, really did.

Giving a blowjob to, having her pussy eaten by, and finally having sex with Ranma Saotome, a master martial artist who was supposed to be her teacher and thus beyond off-limits should have made her outraged beyond belief. The fact that she was doing exactly what she'd read Clover the riot act over, who was still technically Ranma's girlfriend, should have made the redhead so angry she'd want to slap some sense into herself.

But at the moment, Sam's intellectual side was bound and gagged in corner while she focused on how she could feel the ridge of Ranma's crown rubbing against her G-spot with every descent and withdrawal, and she was stretching out her vocal chords in preparation for a swiftly approaching orgasmic opera. When his tempo changed, becoming more forceful and determined, any and all thoughts of regret and hesitation were swept away as she waves of pleasure seized control of her muscles and she began her aria of ecstasy.

Ranma smiled widely, thoroughly proud of himself as Samantha made up for all the breaths that had been catching in her throat by letting loose a wordless moan that gradually rose in pitch and volume. The movement of her heaving breasts caught his eye and Ranma couldn't help but watch in fascination and rising arousal while Sam's teardrop-shaped, C-cup breasts bounced with his increasingly forceful motions, the strawberry-red nipples jumping in time with reverbs in her vocal performance.

Sam was hitting the crescendo, her inner walls spasming as they vainly tried to entrap the hot iron bar pistoning into her body. One last gasp of air as the waves crested, and the redhead wailed her lover's name in pre-climactic gratitude.

A flash of green brought Ranma's attention away from Sam's chest.

He looked up and found himself looking into the half-lidded eyes of a woman on the verge of orgasm and suddenly hit him. It truly struck home where he was, what he was doing, who he was doing, and found himself thunderstruck.

Time slowed down as Ranma's eyes lowered, running along Sam's body while he came to grips with the fact that their relationship had been altered from 'master-student' to 'a girl I screwed silly until she soaked her bedsheets'. From her beautiful face, along the smooth curve of her neck. Down her chest and then across the undulating muscles of her stomach, with a brief pause to wonder if her abs had been as well-defined before his training, until he finished his visual inspection at the junction of Sam's legs.

He watched as his shaft moved in and out of the redhead's sex, saw the gleam of her natural lubricant along his prick thanks to the dim light of her bedroom before burying himself and feeling her nether-lips wrapped around the base of his dick. Fully imbedded, he could feel her fluids dripping off his sack and the pre-cum dripping from his cock, and knew the building tension in his groin meant he was ready to snap and release a flood of male essence into Samantha's depths.

That was the moment practical Ranma tallied up all the facts, and realized something very important.

He was having sex with Samantha.

He wasn't wearing a rubber.

He was close to cumming.

And he didn't know if she was safe.

Sam's eyes squeezed shut as her orgasm hit, and she gave a wordless howl of joy as her back arched like a strung bow, hard enough to press the top of her head against the bed. As her walls instinctively squeezed and tightened around the pigtailed boy's shaft, she prayed it felt as good for him being buried inside her pussy as it did for her to be stuffed to the brim with his dick.

Philosophical Ranma had beelined back towards the pilot seat when practical Ranma started panicking, but stumbled when the sudden tightening and pulling sensation of Samantha's velvet glove sent a bolt of pleasure rocketing through his body. He shuddered as the charge started, and his more deep thinking side sprinted the rest of the way while time continued to move a pace that made it feel like like his jism was crawling it's way through his manhood. Slowly and inexorably his seed made it's way down the final lap, while his philosophical self found his practical side in a stammering mess, since at the moment, there was nothing stopping his student-Clover's best friend-his friend from possibly being impregnated by him.

The two sides of himself put their heads together to come up with a plan. But then, a third figure emerged from the recesses of Ranma's mind. The newcomer looked like a burly, middle-aged man in a dirty karate gi with a bandana covering his bald head, wearing a pair of wire-frame glasses that were held on by strings around his ears rather than earpieces.

Practical and philosophical Ranma gaped at this portly figment of his psyche, as it smiled in a lazy, 'cest la vie' manner and opined, 'Samantha's a responsible girl, so she's probably on the pill.'

Ranma's cock throbbed and hardened, preparing to deliver his sperm into his lover's unprotected womb.

The figure strolled forward, it's gait slow and self-assured as if offered with what it believed was inherently superior reasoning, 'And besides, it feels really good when you stay inside, doesn't it? For her and you! Didn't Clover and Alex love it when you didn't pull out?'

His breath left his throat in a gasp of pleasure as the flood finished what felt like some sort of loop-de-loop through his loins.

Ranma's other mindsets were glaring at the intruder, who scoffed at their disapproval and waved a hand dismissively. 'And besides, if she isn't safe, so what? It takes two to tango, you know, and she didn't give us any warning before letting us go bareback.'

The tide within had reached the base of his shaft at the same moment a pair of meaty arms were slung across philosophical and practically minded Ranma's shoulders, and a jovial, carefree voice proclaimed, 'Come on, boy! You're a man aren't you? Time to act like it!'

The two other parts of Ranma's psyche shared a meaningful look and nodded in unison.

While in the outside world, he came inside Sam.

...technically.

Because her inner walls had already been lightly glazed with his pre-cum.

And as deep as he was, the first shot traveling through his shaft was inside her, even though it had yet to be launched from his body.

But technicality isn't the same as actuality, which is why Ranma tapped into the speed that saw him master the Chestnut Fist, and by the time his semen traveled the remaining inches between his manhood and freedom, it leapt out to ineffectively splatter against the underside of Samantha's left breast, rather than into the unprotected depths he'd nearly invaded.

As his cum painted Sam's chest, stomach, and groin in thick spurts of off-white jism, the walking embodiment of every short-sighted, selfish and carelessly cruel impulse Ranma had ever witnessed and accepted was hit by dual Moko Takabisha's, one from each of his utterly disgusted and outraged higher impulses.

And as the figure burned away to nothing under a onslaught of his ultimate technique in stereo, philosophical and practical Ranma shared a high-five and went about their duties, while Ranma himself felt a sense of relief that was separate from the easing tension of a blown load. His muscles unwound, and his nerves went slack as Ranma realized on some level that he was not a man.

Or at least, he was nothing like the man he'd been sired by.

Sam trembled, gasping softly at the light impact against the underside of her chin that left behind a warm, sticky residue. As more goo splattered across her burning body, Sam debated cussing Clover out for teaching Ranma how to give porno-style moneyshots, along with putting the idea of screwing the pigtailed boy in her head. In the end though, the feeling of his cum staining her skin filled Samantha with far more pride than anger, and she smiled to herself as she thought, (Oh yeah. I rocked his world.)

As his shots seemed to peter out, Sam pushed herself up on her elbows just in time to watch Ranma's one-eye'd python send one last weak spurt of jism onto her groin, just above her 'landing strip'. She then gaped as her eyes followed the trail of off-white splotches and streams coating her upper-body, making her look less like a human river map and almost like a glazed donut. (Holy shit! Forget moneyshot, I just got bukkaked!) The thought of what a release like that would have done if it'd been inside her sent a shiver of fear through Sam, despite the arousal of their tryst. (God...if he hadn't been wearing a rubber, there's no way I wouldn't have gotten…)

Flashes of taste, touch, and sight ran through Sam's mind, making her stop short as a scary thought occurred to her.

Eager to allay her worry, her eyes moved back up to Ranma's dick.

Which was flaccid, soaking wet, and completely bare.

Among Samantha's relatively few lovers, none had ever been with her without protection, due to fear of her scholastic career and life goals, even when she was 100% safe. The sight of a dick when ungloved wasn't an unusual sight to her, much less one after an energetic romp.

But Ranma's dick did not look like the others she'd seen after the guy was out and took the rubber off. Even if Clover trained Ranma to whip it off before he nutted, which Sam couldn't bring herself to doubt, the timing between his dismount and hosing her down was too fast for that.

Samantha's eyes bugged and a shot of metaphorical ice water down her spine, cooling her burning flesh like she'd been tossed in a snowbank. Feeling the blood drain from her face, she internally begged and pleaded her theory would remain as such, she whispered, "R-Ranma. Were...were you wearing a rubber?"

Ranma panted slightly, catching his breath with his eyes cast down towards his drained dick, wondering if it was because of Sam or a side effect of her earlier lust-aura that made him cum harder than he had with Clover and Alex. Dull-witted due to a busted nut, Ranma didn't catch the subtext behind his lover's question and replied, "I...no, no I wasn't."

Confirmation sent a chill all the way to Sam's bones, and she slowly raised her eyes to look at the pigtailed boy with naked horror. "Why not!?"

Not seeing her expression, Ranma blushed and smiled embarrassedly. "Everything was kind of a blur, and I didn't have time to grab one before…" he chuckled as he added, "You're not disappointed I pulled out, are you?" as he looked up.

And saw his redheaded student/lover staring at him in raw, haggard fear.

Socially dim as he might have been, Ranma was not dumb enough to take this particular 2 + 2 and fail to come to the right conclusion. His eyes slowly widening as the pride and feeling of bliss he'd been laboring under vanished, the pigtailed boy asked, "Sam...a-are you…"

She slowly shook her head, and Ranma's knees weakened as the weight of his close call with shirked responsibility almost bore him to the floor. "Masaka! Oh God, Sam, I'm sorry! I wasn't-"

"Neither was I." Sam quietly offered as she looked back at the piece of modern art that had been made across her body. Almost numbly, she dragged her fingers through a trail across her abdomen, that same wonder and worry about his release undercut by a little relief that he'd pulled out in time. "It...happened so fast. I can't believe I was so out of it. I mean, I never bareback for exactly this reason-"

The fear came back, of what could have happened-might happen even with the swift retreat, and Sam's vision blurred as she grimaced and a shiver rolled over her body.

Ranma saw her grimace, her lips twist and recognized the sign of a girl about to cry and felt a wave of panic hit him. Swiftly following this shot of adrenaline was the thought that Samantha wasn't like the girls back in Japan when he made them cry, and wouldn't hit him if he followed his instincts in this situation.

Sam's eyes widened as her legs were let go and she found herself pressed against Ranma's chest, his steel-cable arms wrapped across her waist and back as he hugged her tightly and declared solemnly, "I'm sorry, Sam! I promise, I'm gonna take care of you! I'll get a job somewhere, I won't leave you alone!"

Samantha blinked, her tears and the fear dimming ever-so-slightly as she repeated, "Take care of me?"

"Hai, Sam. I'll take care of you." the arms holding her tightened their grip. "Both of you…"

Shocked understanding coursed through her and Sam's breath caught in her throat for an entirely different reason than a minute ago. Her vision blurred again, but this time in relief as she gently returned Ranma's embrace and rested her cheek on his shoulder. "Ranma, you pulled out, so the chances of that are low."

"But-"

"And I'm going to a pharmacy, first thing tomorrow." The redhead added, noting that her lover was trembling a little, which only made her want to hug him even tighter, as he was just as aware and afraid of getting her pregnant as she was. "It takes two to tango, you know? And I'm not ready to deal with that either."

Ranma's shivering eased at that, and he let out a slow, deep breath of air. "Yeah...yeah, it does." relaxing his hold, he pulled back from Sam so they were face-to-face, and he gave her an apologetic look. "Deimo, I'm really, really sorry."

"I know." Sam reassured him with a grateful smile, wiping away a streak from her cheeks before adding softly, "Thanks for saying you'd stick around, Ranma. That...means a lot to me."

Thinking back to the now-discarded part of his mind that had almost landed him neck deep in shit-creek, Ranma's smile returned as he offered, "What kinda guy would I be if I didn't?"

"The kind of man I thought you were when you first showed up." Sam replied as she brought her hand up and cupped one of his cheeks, her eyes softening and her smile turning more fond as she added, "And I've never been happier that you proved me wrong."

Returning her warm look, Ranma pulled her back in and gave the Samantha a kiss. It started gentle, but slowly grew to something more than an expression of mutual reassurance and gratitude as their lips molded against each other, and Sam gave a soft sigh before experimentally sliding her tongue forward…

Then stopped, her eyes bugging as she snapped her head back and broke off contact with an audible *pop*. "Okay! Let's not risk a repeat!"

Ranma blinked quizzically, then blushed and chuckled shyly, "Right, right, sorry. But, I don't think that'll be a problem, cause you really drained me…"

Sam's flat look made Ranma blink again, before he noticed a tightening feeling growing in his loins. The pair looked down in unison and saw that Ranma's dick was laying against her mons, at half-mast and swelling quickly, while his balls were tucked snugly against the entrance to her sex. Meeting each other's gazes again, he smiled apologetically and said, "Shower?"

Sam gave a small sigh, but smiled too as she replied, "Shower. Me first though."

00000

"You know something...I actually think we needed that."

Ranma, who was leaning against the edge of the bathroom sink and looking at the mess that had been smeared across his torso when he hugged Samantha, snapped his head up and gaped at the frosted door to the occupied shower stall and the redheaded blurry figure within. "Nani!? Sam, I almost-"

"Not that part!" Sam rebuffed him quickly with a slight hint of annoyance. Tilting her head back, she let the bodywash and her hands wipe away the trails of drying semen from her body and pointedly ignored the arousing and fear-inducing memories that lead up to her looking like the star of a gangbang porno. "Ever since Clover put that idea into our heads, there's been some sexual tension between us, and I think today happened because we've been ignoring it."

Ranma thought about that and nodded, while his eyes drifted across the dimly visible feminine figure only a few feet away from him. Then he realized she might be able see him, and that he was getting hard again from trying to check her out, and promptly looked away with an awkward cough. "I get it. But...I don't think it was all Clover-chan's fault, you know?"

Sam's eye twitched. "True...but her telling you to 'Swap out the stick up my ass for your dick' probably didn't help matters." The redhead smiled widely at the sound of a choked off exclamation from outside the stall, and went about lathering up one of her legs. "I mean, maybe there would have been tension, but that's only because I saw how good you were with Alex-"

Sam stiffened as that slip-of-the-tongue registered, before facepalming and stifling a groan as Ranma blurted, "Wait, what!? You saw us?!"

"I was watching Alex," Sam explained with a small sigh as she spread soap across her calf and thigh. "So I could warn her if she had any 'company' during her 'me' time. By the time I got there, she was heading to the locker room with Dominique right behind her and I followed them."

Ranma wondered if he looked like he had a full body sunburn from how hard he was blushing, and why the thought of Sam spying on him and Alex was turning him on even more. "Why...didn't you stop her?"

"I wasn't there in person, otherwise I would have. All I could do was watch and wait until you two were done." Sam explained as she let the one leg rinse clean and switched to the other. She paused briefly and frowned before admitting sullenly, "Which is funny, considering I remember more about that than what we did…"

That distracted Ranma from his embarrassed arousal and he looked curiously at the stall again. "Really? You don't remember anything either?"

Sam was silent for several moments as she processed that, before offering a contemplative, "No...well, bits and pieces after we both reached for the remote. What about you?"

"Same here. I remember kissing you…" Ranma trailed off as the sudden feeling of soft lips wrapped around his manhood made him stammer. "I, uh, I meant like, regular kissing, not-"

"Yeah, I know." Samantha replied, feeling flush at the memory of being skull-fucked to completion and not gagging on Ranma's cum. "We kissed in every sense of the term. Then we...did it."

Silence descended as the two teens each recalled the feeling of their tryst, and the fallout of the near miss. The quiet was eventually broken by Ranma asking, "Sam...do you remember telling me if you were safe or not?"

She paused, running the scarce moments leading up to their wild sex through her head before offering, "No. I don't think I did." She shook her head as she rinsed more soap off of her body. "Unbelievable...not only did I forget to make you suit up, I didn't even warn you."

"It's not your fault."

"Well, it sure as hell isn't yours." Sam returned sardonically. "You had enough sense to pull out in time." At the memory of what almost happened, the redhead couldn't suppress a small shiver and wrapped her arms around her stomach. Ranma was silent outside the stall, and after a moment, Samantha said quietly, "Thank you, Ranma. If you hadn't been careful, we'd have a lot more to worry about."

Ranma frowned at that and looked down. "You don't have to thank me, Sam. I realized what was happening about a minute before we finished, and I didn't stop it. It wasn't until I was there that the risk slapped me in the face, but I was gonna take it anyway. Until…"

Sam, curious and a little nervous about how close their close-shave had really been, turned and looked out at the blurred image on the other side of the clouded shower door. "Until what?"

Ranma grunted in disgust. "The same thing that happened with Clover-chan. Suddenly, I heard my old man throwin' out his opinion, and I told him to go fuck himself."

There was a pause, before movement caught the corner of Ranma's eye, and he looked up to see Sam opening the shower door and sticking her head out, her sopping wet red hair much darker as she looked at him with concern. "Ranma, I know your dad was a piece of shit, but you can't base your entire life on what he might have done. Even if it is just so you can do the opposite."

"I know," Ranma nodded, standing up and walking over to Sam so he could speak clearly to her. There was an impulse to cover himself up, but he figured she'd already seen enough, and since her outline was still blurry, she wasn't likely going to get angry at him for looking at her. "And I'm not tossin' away everything. I'm trying to be more self-reliant and I'm still learning and teachin' the Art,"

(Though that's just another way to tell the old bastard to screw himself) a vindictive part of Ranma's mind offered.

"-it's just that, anytime I think of somethin' that means duckin' responsibility, lyin' about important stuff, or not doing the right thing; I know now that he'd jump into it without question." Ranma raised his eyes, meeting Sam's with a serious expression. "But not all the time. I didn't think of my old man at all when I said I'd take care of you, Sammy. And if goin' to the pharmacy doesn't work, I'll be there, all the way. Okay?"

Sam blushed brightly, and despite herself, she found the idea of his hypothetical situation rather appealing. That thought was quickly suppressed as she shook her head, before giving Ranma a soft, grateful smile. "I believe you. Thank you, Ranma." Her eyes roamed his figure briefly, and her blush deepened as she saw his manhood, which was hardening a little as she watched. "Umm, I'm all done in here."

Now Ranma was feeling a little nervous as Sam ogled his package, and he looked away from her as he scratched the back of his neck and chuckled, "Uh, okay; my turn then?" his eyes flicked to the glass, noting that her obscured outline wasn't that obscured as he offered, "If you don't mind me askin', why'd you want us to take turns?"

Noticing his shy behavior, Sam likewise averted her eyes and answered honestly, "Well...that thing in the locker room was really hot, and I was worried I'd wouldn't be able to resist re-enacting it if we showered together."

Ranma chuckled a little, his pride mollifying his embarrassment a little as he offered, "Well, it's not just you, you know? I know I haven't given the best impression since I got here, but I do have pretty good impulse control."

Silence greeted that statement, before the shower door opened and Ranma looked up again. His jaw dropped at the crisp, clean image of the freshly bathed and soaking wet Samantha Simpson, giving him a flatly disbelieving look along with a completely unrestricted view of her body. The redhead's nude, dripping form made his breath catch in his throat, following the rivulets of water flowing from where her darker-than-normal redhair was clinging to her nearly glowing skin, running down over her body, across the breasts, stomach and mons he'd admired less than a half-hour ago, shortly before blowing his load across it. All that plus the dripping from between her legs which he intellectually knew was just water, but otherwise didn't care about anything except how hot it looked, brought him to attention at a speed that was just plain ludicrous.

Sam watched Ranma's dick went from half-mast to rockhard in a literal heartbeat, and she resisted the urge to giggle or moan as she met his eyes and smirked coyly. "You really think we could share a shower and not have sex with me?"

It took all of a nano-second for Ranma to shake his head in a negative, without taking his eyes off of her body. "Not a chance in hell."

Sam smiled at the praise. "Thought so. Your turn."

00000

Sam awoke the next morning, refreshed and ready for a new day, even though her first stop was going to be for decidedly serious matter following her and Ranma's dalliance.

Unfortunately, she stalled out when she stepped out of her bedroom and saw her mother, sitting in a pink bathrobe and sipping some coffee at the dining room table. The older redhead gave her daughter a grin and asked, "So, have fun last night?"

Sam schooled her expression quickly, and after glancing towards her parent's bedroom door to make sure it was closed, she walked towards the table and offered, "The training went really well, and I think I'm ready for a breakthrough."

"Oh? Was that before or after you and Ranma made the beast with two backs?"

Samantha nearly tripped over her own feet, catching the back of a nearby chair before she hit the ground and staring dumbfounded at her widely grinning mother. "Y-you, how-how did-"

"You changed your sheets a few days ago, and there was no reason for them to be in the dryer, you used way too much febreeze to cover up the smell, and the bathroom was a little steamy from your shower when your father and I got home." The older redhead replied cheerily. "You can't put one over on your mother, Sammy. So, how was it?"

Sam's coloration shifted from red to stark white, then grey and pallid, before her normal skin tone returned as she hung her head and sighed as she accepted her fate and moved to sit in the chair opposite her mother. "I don't remember. One second, we were watching a movie and everything was fine, and the next…" She dropped her face into her hand and mumbled, "We both just lost control, and I can't explain how it happened."

Gabriella's eyebrows rose, not expecting that statement among her daughter's possible reactions. Her smile turned less girl-talky and more comforting as she asked, "Was it wild?"

Sam nodded in affirmation.

"Like your body was running on instinct?"

Sam didn't respond for a moment, before nodding very slowly, still without lifting her head up.

"And right now, you can only remember the 'good parts'?"

Another moment of silence, before Sam raised her head and looked at her mother in surprise and confusion. "Yeah...that's exactly what happened. How did you know?"

"You didn't just inherit my good looks, Sam." Gabriella replied with a gentle smile. "I had the same reaction to your father, once upon a time."

Sam blushed deeply. "You...you think I like-like Ranma?"

"I think you're attracted to more than just his body, and even though you got off to a bad start, he makes you happy." the older redhead reached across the table and held her daughter's hand. "That's all I want, sweetie. And as long as Ranma treats you right, I trust him and you not to do anything irresponsible."

Sam gave a small flinch, which wasn't missed by Gabriella, who blinked curiously. "Sammy? Did something happen?"

Sam pursed her lips, and took a moment to collect her thoughts. She knew she could trust her mother, but couldn't bring herself to admit to how irresponsible she'd been, even if the older redhead could understand the hereditary 'lust fog'. "Mom," She said softly. "There was an...accident."

"Accident?"

"The...rubber broke." Sam clarified, letting the embarrassment of admitting something so personal hide the tells from her tiny bit of deception. It apparently worked as her mother's eyes widened, and Sam quickly followed up with the truth, "Ranma realized what happened and pulled out in time, and I'm not saying that makes everything fine, but I'm gonna get dressed and go to the pharmacy for a-"

"Do you need me to drive you?"

Gabriella's question, asked with complete seriousness and not a hint of reproach made Sam sag in relief and she gave her mother a grateful look. "No...no, mom. I'll be fine. It was just really scary when we realized what had happened." Sam lowered her eyes and whispered, "He said he'd stay. First words out of his mouth when he-we thought about what might happen was that he'd take care of both of us."

The older redhead's mouth opened, and then closed again as she squeezed her child's hand. "Sammy, if you didn't like-like him before he said that, I'm positive you do now."

"Me too, mom." Sam sniffled quietly, before giving her mother a despondent look. "But, what do I do about it? He's with Clover, even if they have some weird pseudo-open relationship, and I don't want to be someone's side-piece."

Gabriella pursed her lips as she mused over her child's problem. She had to admit, experienced as she was with 'complicated' relationships, this did seem like something that would leave her daughter miserable no matter what option she chose. Either by pining for Ranma from (relatively) afar, or coming between him and her best friend.

Suddenly, an image came to the older redhead's mind. Last spring, she'd discovered Samantha relieving Clover's stress via a deep-tissue massage. Which is to say, the blonde was face-down ass-up while her daughter pounded her with a big black strap-on. The older woman hadn't been seen and had spoken to no one of the incident, and there was a brief moment of confusion as to why she remembered that now.

Until she remembered the added details of Sam, Clover, and Alex's mission. And how her daughter's partners had compromised themselves with Ranma, simultaneously...several times. Then the phrasing of her daughter's comment, about not wanting to be a 'side-piece' twisted in on itself.

The younger redhead watched with growing confusion as her mother's expression went from sympathetic, to surprised, and then finally settled on something mischievous and giddy. "Sammy...I think I have an idea…"

00000

Samantha smiled widely and called out "Hey guys!" to her besties, who were standing in front of the mall's main entrance. While more at ease due to having gotten a morning-after pill at the pharmacy, butterflies were merrily flapping away in Sam's stomach as she considered the wholly crazy and utterly irresponsible idea that her mother had come up with in regards to her, Ranma, Clover, and Alex. Everything had the chance of going wrong with this new plan, and possibly screwing up her relationship with her best friends on a million-to-one chance was beyond insane.

But then again, a wise man once said, 'million-to-one chances pull through nine times out of ten'.

As the redhead neared, Alex raised her hand and returned Sam's greeting with a cheery, "Hey, Sammy!" While Clover made to do the same, but stopped with her hand half-way in the air as she blinked quizzically at the approaching redhead. As Sam came closer, Clover's hands lowered as her expression became studious, then surprised. In the remaining three steps it took for Samantha to reach her two friends, Clover was sporting the biggest shit-eating grin that anyone had ever seen as she asked delightedly, "How was the rodeo, Sammy?"

Samantha sputtered, her train of thought and attempt to bring up innocuous topics like clothes and shopping derailed completely by her friend's comment. Alex didn't catch the reference though, and looked at Clover curiously. "What rodeo?"

"The Nerima rodeo," Clover chirped as she gave Alex a wink. "Featuring everyone's favorite 'Wild Horse'."

Now the lightbulb clicked and the relatively innocent latina gasped before turning to the rosy-cheeked redhead and whispering, "Sammy! Did you do that with Ranma too!?"

"What the hell!?" Samantha snarled-whispered while shooting a look over each shoulder. "Is it tattooed on my face or something!?"

"Nope. It's just that there's something a little more...at ease about you." Clover exclaimed cheerfully. "The kind of relaxation and happiness that only comes from a girl in dire need of a deep-dicking getting one in spades."

Sam grumbled while Alex eep'ed and shushed Clover, who ignored the easily embarrassed latina and giddily asked her friend, "So like, how was he? Was he backed up? I bet he was filling buckets considering how much he normally shoots-"

"Clover!" "CLOVER!"

Sam and Alex's simultaneous shouts, one outraged and one terminally embarrassed, only made the blonde break into a fit of giggles. Sam took a deep breath to steady her nerves, and after a moment to calm down, she met her friend's eyes and said, "Clover, as much as I would love to share girl-talk, there's something really important I need to talk to you about."

The serious tone in Sam's voice, which was almost to the level that the redhead normally sported pre-rodeo, brought Clover and Alex's attention to her and away from further questions regarding the redhead's dalliance. Clover looked confused at the tonal shift, while Alex bit her lip worriedly, "Sam, you're not gonna...tell Jerry what happened, are you?"

Sam closed her eyes, and after a moment of visbily struggling with herself, she ground out, "No...no I'm not gonna tell Jerry."

"Woo-hoo!" Clover cheered, throwing her hands up as she crowed, "Welcome to the sisterhood! Now, how about we celebrate with a fourso-"

Alex slapped a hand over Clover's mouth before she could attract more attention. The blonde shot her friend a glare, but froze as the latina was easily matching and eclipsing her outrage and not-quite growled, "Clover. Stop. Being. So. Loud."

The blonde nodded in fearful agreement while Sam leaned away from Alex, wondering why she saw a red light and an 8-pointed star in the latina's eyes before she shook her head and refocused her attention on Clover. "Just because I'm not going to tell Jerry doesn't mean I'm going to sneak around with you and your boyfriend, Clover." Sam took another breath to steady herself before meeting her friends eyes with a sad, fearful expression. "And...that's why I want you to break up with him."

00000

Ranma's breathing eased, though it was barely noticable considering the light workout he'd been through. But while the exercise had been easy, there were other factors that had sent his heart racing from worry, fear, and a fair bit of desire.

Namely, the redhead standing next to him, who'd thrown her head back and was chugging from a bottle of water following their workout.

Watching Sam act so nonchalant during their training had been a relief and also concerning for the pigtailed teen. On the one hand, she wouldn't be so calm if something had...gone wrong with her precaution, right? But she could also be upset because of how they'd both gone crazy the night before, except she seemed okay when they shared a slightly awkward goodbye. Maybe it had finally sunk in and she was-

"Ranma?"

Ranma shook his head and found Sam; the sweat-soaked, exhausted, and utter gorgeous redhead looking at him quizzically. "What's up?"

"Nothin'!" Ranma replied, or rather, yelped in a panick. He caught himself quickly and looked away from Sam, schooling his expression and trying to maintain his calm as he said in an over-compensatingly serious voice. "I was just...wondering if you were feeling okay. You're movements seemed a little stiff."

Sam couldn't suppress the smile, though she managed to hold back the giggles at Ranma's horrific attempt at pretending they were still just a teacher and student. Though a small part of her sullenly declared that she should go back in time and give her past self a dopeslap for thinking someone this bad at lying could have been a master criminal. Ignoring that guilty feeling for a moment, Sam offered, "I'm fine, Ranma. I know you're worried about how I lost control yesterday."

Ranma blinked and turned back to her. "Lost contro-" He stopped as her smile disappeared for a second, becoming a deadly serious, pointed look as her eyes meaningfully flicked towards his apartment building. He caught on quickly, remembering he was still under observation and paled briefly before offering a shaky smile in return. "R-right. Lost control…"

Sam sighed and rolled her eyes before going back to the cover she'd thought up. "Yeah, mom was a little worried. But it was only a coffee cup, and I explained to her how your training will help me get a grip on my new strength."

Ranma blinked several times, wondering if she was still talking about them having sex, when he noticed the redhead side-eye'ing him with a half-lidded, 'don't be dense' expression on her face. After a second, he connected the new addition to the conversation and after a moment of turning white as a sheet, he whispered, "Y-you're mom...knows?"

"She was expecting it, actually."

Ranma did a double-take and stared at Sam, mouth agape as she added casually. "She was a little worried about me being hurt, but she wasn't angry about it, and told me to take some aspirin if there was any pain." before taking a drink of water.

As she drank, Ranma parsed that out mentally. (Sam's mom knew we were gonna have sex!? No, she was expecting it, that's different. Did she do something to make us go crazy? Put something in the water, a hypnotic suggestion in that movie? Why would she do that? For a grandchild? The next generation of super-spy? But aspirin...Sam must be talking about the birth control, but if her mom was fine with it, then why-)

"She studied martial arts, you know."

Ranma was brought out of his Nerima pre-flight disaster checklist by his student's voice, and he found the redhead looking at him with an innocently intrigued expression, like she was offering a interesting piece of information. "Really?" Ranma smiled at the return to a familiar and less worrying subject. "What kind? KempoJu jitsu-"

"I'm not sure." Sam's voice hardened a little, letting Ranma know that no, she hadn't changed the topic of their conversation, even though it sounded like it. He couldn't help but wilt a little, which she noticed as she offered in a more conciliatory tone. "But she studied enough that she knows a little bit about broken coffee cups."

Having picked up the flow of conversation again, it didn't take much for Ranma to pick up on that subtext, and he managed to respond in a way that sounded closer to the speed of a normal conversation. "Really? Did she have any advice?"

"Some." Sam turned to Ranma, holding her water bottle in her hand, looking at it melancholically. "But she said it was a serious problem, and could become even worse if I didn't get a handle on it."

Thinking about what would have happened, or at least been more likely if he hadn't pulled out in time, Ranma shivered and said, "No kidding. Last thing I want right now is for you to get hurt."

Sam smiled half-heartedly and replied, "Thanks for that, Ranma. But...that's not what I meant by serious."

"It's not?"

Red hair waved as Samantha shook her head, then looked up, meeting his eyes with a heartfelt, emotionally exposed expression as she whispered softly, "Serious about us."

Density was a relative thing, and at times subject to fluctuation. Such was the case for Ranma as he looked into Sam's green eyes, and suddenly clicked on the true meaning of her words, aided slightly by the memories of times that other girls had looked at him in similar ways back in Nerima. His back stiffening as he realized he'd somehow amassed another 3-way romantic fuster-cluck, Ranma swallowed heavily and made an attempt at keeping their conversation disguised. "Um, I thought we said-I mean, you were gonna be...serious about learnin' Anything Goes, not about...other stuff?"

"I did. And I still do." Sam replied quietly. "But apparently that's why I lost control, and the only answer my mom could offer was to...give it a try."

"B-but I'm with-I mean, you didn't want to be a side-Erk! I mean, you wanted to be my only student! No, wait-!"

"Ranma!" Sam cut off his panicked statements before he accidentally blew their carefully crafted subtext, even though she was at a loss for how to explain her plan without doing the same. "It's not that I don't want you to teach anymore, I just-"

The sound of a keyboard interrupted the pair, and they turned to where Ranma's phone was sitting on a bag next to them, blinking owlishly. "Light your heart up?" Sam repeated aloud. "What's that from?"

"Ah, a show back home." Ranma chuckled embarrassedly. "It's crazy as hell, but one of the characters reminded me of-"

Sam heard the 'erk!' as Ranma cut himself off, and gave the pigtailed boy a dry look. "Let me guess. That's Clover's ringtone."

Ranma's fear-stricken expression slowly became a grimace as he braced himself for an eruption. "Y-yeah…"

Sam narrowed her eyes, more from how Ranma was flinching than her irritation at being interrupted. Turning away from him, she offered a terse, "To be continued." as she picked up his phone.

"Hey, what're you doing?"

"Making sure Clover isn't breaking the rules again." Sam replied with a pointed scowl as she flipped Ranma's cheap phone open, seeing that Clover had sent a text rather than calling him.

Ranma watched as Sam clicked a button, and her eyes widened before rapidly running back and forth, her cheeks getting redder and redder and her expression becoming more furious as she read whatever Clover had sent her. They both jumped when the song played again, only to end when Sam tapped a button and read the new message, her eyes narrowing until one spasmodically twitched and she was scowling at his phone like it'd insulted her lineage. When the third rendition of Makonshoku Mako's theme song was cut off, Sam glanced at the latest and last message, and whispered, "Dammit." Under her breath before handing the machine to it's rightful owner and turning to the side, folding her arms across her chest and huffing angrily as Ranma read the formerly private message from his girlfriend.

[We're breaking up 'Ron' ;) but 4 realsies this time. ;_; But don't worry, it's all part of Sammy's master plan 2 join the PARTY!]
[If SHE becomes your GF, then she's not a side piece, and I still get lovin' from my Stallion XXX!]
[Give the phone back 2 Ranma, Sammy! I want 2 see the look on his face and hear his answer!]

Ranma's eye twitched, his mouth agape, and probably causing his now definitely ex-girlfriend to laugh hysterically. But he couldn't express the sheer levels of WTF he was feeling in any other way as he looked up at Sam, who was still standing in profiile to him, looking irritated and embarrassed with rosy cheeks as she huffed, "Of all the nerve. Who does she think she is?"

"S-Sam?" Ranma asked weakly when he found his voice. "Is Clover-chan-is this...right?"

The redhead looked at him out of one eye, her blush deepening a little as she gave a small nod.

"You're...really okay with this?"

"...I don't know." Sam admitted, lowering her eyes, her posture becoming more uncertain, nervous. "I don't hate the idea. It just makes me feel a little weird, but I can get over that. But if I don't, Clover and Alex both agreed they'd...opt out, rather than try to push things."

Ranma's mouth opened and closed a few times, in that state of abject shock that can turn otherwise sane and rational people into fish and locking their higher brain functions down.

"But that all depends on you."

That broke the water level and brought Ranma's full attention onto the redhead. More importantly, the green glimmer as she looked at him out of the corner of her eye, lips quivering just a little as she murmured, "It's your choice, Ranma. I won't...we aren't going to decide for you and just expect you to go along with it." She lowered her eyes and whispered, "That wouldn't be fair to you."

Those words, spoken by himself earlier this week when he'd explained why he wasn't going to do this-and-that with Samantha just because Clover gave her approval almost made Ranma say yes right then and there, except sudden fourth rendition of Light Your Heart Up brought his attention back to his phone again.

[I know u had bad experiences, but me, Sammy and Alex luv u, Ranma. Wut evah u want, we'll support u, ok?]

Ranma snapped his flipphone closed, eyes shut as he valiantly pulled back the tears that threatened to leak from his eyes, old habits dying hard after all. Once he got his traitorous emotions under control, Ranma smiled at Sam and replied, "Yes, Sammy."

The redhead stiffened, and slowly turned to look at Ranma, eyes wide in surprise. "Yes?"

"Yes. I'll try-" He blushed and wiggled his hand and the phone in it. "-it, if you're willing...if that's okay."

Something burst inside Sam, like a firework in her chest that sent streamers of joy through her body. Before she could stop herself, she let out a gleeful whoop and launched herself at Ranma, wrapping her arms around his neck and laughing happily while he spun her around, equally as exuberant but also to bleed off the momentum of her flying tackle.

-0-

"YES!" Clover stood up, hands in the air as she cheered, "WE DID IT! Way to go, SAMMY!"

The slap of skin-on-skin followed as she shared a high-five with Alex, who spun in place and giggled excitedly. "He said yes! He said yes, he said yes, he said YES! This is the best day EVER!"

"Oh, I'm getting my saddle and I'm gonna ride that stallion until my hips break!" Clover cackled maniacally. She then turned a maddened grin onto Alex and crowed, "First dibs on him after Sammy's turn!"

"Why dibs?" Alex returned Clover's ear-to-ear smile with one that was less crazy, but more sneaky as she chortled, "We can just share him! We did it befo-"

The latina's eyes bugged and she let out a shocked 'eep!' as she covered her mouth with both hands, but it was too late as Clover was gaping at her in utter shock. Aggressive in bed was one thing, but the fact that 'sweet and innocent' Alex had actually proposed another ménage a trois with Ranma caused Clover to sniffle. Before the embarrassed latina could react, she soon found her head pressed against her friend's chest and flailed helplessly as the more boisterous blonde wailed dramatically, "My little girl's become a woman! I'm s-s-so PROUD of you-huu-huu-huu!"

"Clopher!" Alex's yell was muffled by her besties shirt, which also hid her glowing cheeks. "Cam' breef!"

Her moment of drama done, Clover let go of her friend and beamed ecstatically as Alex swayed dizzily and gasped for air. "You little genius, Alex! Why should we share at all!? You, me, and Sammy can just take turns with him, like musical chairs! Except, you know with sex!" An evil gleam came to Clover's eyes and she snickered wickedly. "Ohh, musical holes! We totally gotta give that a try!"

"CLOVER!"

The pair's discussion was interrupted by the sound of the man who would someday discover if it was really possible to be killed by snu-snu, (if they had anything to say about it) as he said, "Arigato, Sammy-chan." and brought their attention back to Clover's TV. Ranma and Sam had stopped spinning and were simply holding each other as most couples would and smiling with light blushes. "I'm glad you thought of this. I mean, it wouldn't have been my first thought-"

"Me either." Sam giggled as she closed her eyes and touched her brow against Ranma's, who returned her gesture with gentle smile. "God, I never would have come up with something so crazy, but I'm glad you approve."

"Of course I do. I trust you three."

Clover and Alex tilted their heads quizzically while Sam opened her eyes and smiled in a confused way. "Trust us? Why wouldn't you trust us?"

"Iie, that's not what I meant." Ranma shook his head and looked at Sam, his smile sending flutters through Alex and Clover's chests as he said, "You, Clover-chan and Alé-chan, you've been friends for a long time, and you're doin' this 'cause you don't want them left out." His eyes lowered and his smile turned a little melancholic. "You three ain't gonna stop bein' friends 'cause of this. If I screw up, somehow."

Clover and Alex let out mutual wordless moans or heartache and heart melting at that, while Sam took a half-second to stare at Ranma before firming her expression and pulling him into a searing kiss that their two lovers could feel the heat of through Clover's TV screen.

"Until our hips turn to dust." Alex sniffled as she wiped away a tear.

Clover nodded in agreement, then heaved a sigh as she groaned miserably. "But now we gotta figure out how to get rid of this recording and keep Jerry from figuring out why, 'cause we can't let him find out about this."

"Or our moms." Alex whimpered with a shiver of fear.

-0-

Jerry tapped his index finger against his temple, watching as one of his best agents sucked face with her instructor-cum-boyfriend, who had apparently brought her fellow agents back into a web of debauchery and sin with said boyfriend. "I should have all three of them dismissed for this. At the minimum."

"But you won't, because that's not part of the deal."

Jerry's eyes narrowed at the entirely too smug voice from behind him, and he turned to send a pointed glare at the one who'd spoken and initially proposed the bargain that he was regretting more with every passing second. "Considering how you cheated, I should consider our deal null and void."

Gabriella Simpson brought a hand to her chest, gasping dramatically as she declared, "Why Jerry! What kind of a mother do you think I am!? I'd never turn down my little girl if she wants my advice!" Her scandalized expression morphed into a satisfied smirk as she held her hand out to him. "I didn't say anything to Sammy except how to make up her own mind. Now pay up."

Jerry closed his eyes and groaned as he pulled out his wallet, and fished out a Benjamin before politely laying it on the older redhead's palm. He grunted as Gabriella giggled and held the bill up to the light, checking for any sign that it was counterfeit, and muttered, "I'm doing this under stern protest."

"Duly noted, don't care!" Gabby chirped happily like she was decades younger as she brought out her own wallet and deposited her winnings inside. She then gave the older man a pointed look. "And for the other part?"

Jerry frowned. "The moment this affects the girl's duties as W.O.O.H.P. Agents-"

"You can come down on them like a ton of bricks." Gabby waved a hand dismissively before returning his warning look. "But they aren't your children, and it's the parent's job to keep their kids safe, or bring them to task when they screw up." She perked up suddenly, a bright smile on her face as she said, "Oh, speaking of that!"

Turning to her right, Gabriella held a hand out to her partners-in-crime; Stella, who was watching Ranma and Sam passionately kiss with one twitching eye and furiously muttering, and Carmen, who was tittering like she was watching the ending to a favorite rom-com. Stella glared at the hand and the owner of said hand like both had personally offended her, before reaching for her backpocket with a grumble, while Carmen sighed in a resigned way and did the same. Another $100 and a $50 were soon placed in Gabriella's hand, which brought a quizzical blink from Jerry, who turned his eyes on the older latina spy. "What did you bet, Carmen?"

"I thought Alex would be too shy to join in with Clover and Sam." The older woman replied with a shrug. "Officially, anyway."

"Ah." Jerry took a deep breath and straightened up, adopting a more professional air as he turned his chair to face the three women completely. "Now that this business has been somewhat settled,"

"Sore loser." Gabby said to herself, loud enough for him and her two partners to hear.

"We need to move on to a related topic." An image appeared behind Jerry, of a teenage girl with shoulder-length blue hair and a matching spy outfit. "In 48 hours, Agent Britney's 'radio silence' will officially have reached the maximum allowed deadline for such actions. Unless she contacts us with a report on the situation, a request to continue the blackout, or a completion of her mission, I will be sending you three into Nerima to discover her whereabouts."

The three older women straightened up, each of their expression synchronously severe as Gabriella asked, "What information do we have, besides what Ranma has told us?"

"Very little, but more than enough to glean some useful information, such as the fact that you can largely slip into what passes for civilization in Nerima without attracting too much attention from the local's."

Carmen cocked an eyebrow. "They're not gonna bat an eye at three Americans walking around Japan?"

Jerry shook his head. "Not in the way you're thinking of, Agent Vasquez. You and the others will slip beneath the notice of the 'Wrecking Crew' because you are adults, and will not be interfering with their business, unless it involves safeguarding Agent Britney or keeping your knowledge of Ranma Saotome's whereabouts from becoming widespread."

"I don't know," Stella muttered. "Seems to me like a lot of the problems there could be solved with some discipline and adult supervision."

"Provided said adults are capable of holding their own against martial artists who laugh at the dan ranking system and are not as crazy as the teenagers they are supposed to be raising." Jerry added dryly. "Anyway, the gadgets we will be providing are-"

"Jerry." G.L.A.D.I.S. interrupted the old Brit abruptly. "You have an urgent message."

Jerry's eyes narrowed. His assistant's programming was such that she wouldn't interrupt a briefing like this if it wasn't truly important, and he turned to the screen displaying the image of his currently missing agent and said, "What is the message, Gladis?"

The still image of Britney disappeared, and Jerry's eyes widened as it became a live image of his agent, smiling sheepishly as she waved a hand and said, "Hi boss...miss me?"

-Omake-

Sam and Ranma walked back to his apartment, the two of them eager to clean up and talk a little more about what they would do first as an official couple. As Sam gently squeezed Ranma's hand in hers and got a squeeze in return, a thought occurred to her and she asked, "Hey, Ranma?"

"Hmm? What's up, Sammy-chan?"

She giggled. "Okay, that's cute, but can you just call me Sammy? That doesn't exactly role off the tongue like Clover-chan or Alé-chan." Ranma chuckled and nodded in agreement while she went on. "But I wanted to ask, you said you had the same problem I did last night? Because mom said she had times where she was so turned on that everything just became a rush, but neither of us could think of why you were affected by it.

Ranma thought about it for a moment, taking from Samantha's cues that W.O.O.H.P.'s cameras weren't covering the entire area outside and they could speak plainly, (Rather than her being so giddy that she forgot they were being monitored) and offered, "Actually, I think I do. Remember when I told you about battle auras? Usin' your willpower and a bit of ki to intimidate someone so you don't need to fight them?"

"Yes."

"Well, you were...kinda giving off one last night while we were sparrin'." Ranma scratched the back of his head awkwardly. "'Cept, your's wasn't exactly a fightin' aura."

Sam blinked. "There are other kinds of auras?"

"Kinda. It's more like…" Ranma pursed his lips as he thought of how to phrase it. "An aura shows up when someone's concentratin' and focused on a goal and has a lot of ki, even if they don't realize it or can't control it consciously. Most of the time, it shows up when people are spoilin' for a fight because they have one goal, beat their opponent." A small pang came to Ranma's chest as he remembered an irate bluenette with a mallet. "A lot people make 'em accidentally when they're really mad…"

Sam heard the hurt in Ranma's voice and looked at him sympathetically.

Turning his mind away from his fiancé to a less hurtful subject, Ranma recalled his former father-in-law looking down on him with fiery eyes the size of floodlights and a tongue as long as a boa constrictor demanding explanations for his supposedly bad behavior. He shuddered and said, "But Tendo-san could make one that was based on fear, and that was a lot scarier than somethin' that just says 'I'm gonna kick your ass'."

"Wait, you told me that ki was about focusing your willpower until you're not just feeling determined, you become determined. He could just say 'I am scary' until he became scary? Or was he-" Samantha blinked as a thought occurred. "Or...was he scared?"

"For his kids." Ranma supplied with a nod, impressed with how Sam put that zen puzzle-pieces together. "He could slip some real terror into his aura because he was afraid of his daughters gettin' hurt, and he usually brought that out on me when he thought I stepped out on Akane or did something that hurt her."

(A worried single father. Makes sense.) Sam nodded in understanding before smiling at Ranma. "So, what kind did I make? 'Cause while we were training, I was-"

Sam stopped.

As in, stopped dead where she stood and almost pulled Ranma off-balance as it clicked in her mind. Eyes wide, mouth agape, she ran the theory through her mind while Ranma watched her with an increasingly worried expression. His worry turned fearful when Sam lowered her head, concealing her eyes with dark shadows as she intoned quietly, "Ranma. Tell me that my first ki aura was not a goddamn beacon screaming 'do me here, do me now' to you or anyone else who might be sensitive to it."

"Uh, it wasn't the first time you made a ki aura?" Ranma tensed as Sam's hand squeezed his uncomfortably tightly. "And it wasn't a beacon! It was just kinda...obvious?"

The redhead stood there for a few more moments, before asking in that same quiet and too-calm 'no, I'm not thinking thinking about pickaxe to a NAMBLA meeting, why do you ask?' tone. "Has anyone ever created a lust-aura before?"

Ranma swallowed heavily, sensing a shit-storm on the horizon as he replied, "Yes."

His brief prayers that she would end the questioning there were for naught as she asked, "Who?"

"...Happi."

Sam twitched violently, like she was suppressing some kind of full-body spasm before whispering, "I made the same kind of aura as an old pervert who can't survive without going on panty raids?"

"No, no!" Ranma stammered hastily. "You didn't make one just like Happi's! His was a lot bigger-" Ranma paled as she spasmed again. "And it was a lot different in other ways!"

"How."

The one word not-request made Ranma break into a cold sweat, and he tossed out a hail-Mary. "Yours affected me and his didn't?"

Sam seemed to freeze at that, or at least, she paused in a way that made Ranma's sense of foreboding ease, and he quickly pressed his advantage. "When Happi did it, it was 'cause I tricked him for an edge in a fight, and it really freaked me out. When you did it, I was surprised, but I like you-I mean, I wasn't thinking about doing this-and-that when we were trainin', but I wasn't grossed out like it was with the old lech and spent so much time getting close to you-I mean it, so that might be why we both went a little crazy in the same way-"

"Ranma."

His jaw snapped shut as Sam raised her head. Twin blotches of deep crimson were on the narrow-eye'd, apparently furious girl's cheeks, as she reached up and pinched either side of his jaw and brought his face close to hers. Ranma winced at the emerald fires burning only a few inches from his as Sam stated with calm menace. "You will never tell anyone, not even Clover or Alex, that I made a ki aura from sheer hornyness, or that it was powerful enough to brainwash you into fucking me goddamn senseless. Got it?"

"Got it!" Ranma squeaked.

"Good." Sam let go of Ranma's chin, which he rubbed with a wince before she stepped in and pressed her face against his shoulder and proceeded to warm his body with her burning cheeks alone as she moaned in embarrassment, "I can't believe my first ki aura acted like Spanish Fly..."

Despite the sudden shift in tone , Ranma chuckled lightly as he wrapped his arms around the humiliated redhead who just discovered just how hard being sexually repressed can backfire on the unwary.

However, while a spymaster and three of his agents were to distracted by a conversation with someone who's face had almost ended up on a milk carton missed the pair's conversation, two teenage girls were shrieking with laughter while their best friend was consoled by the boy that all three of them had gotten biblical with.

-AN-

We ain't done yet, bitches! Hopefully this thing won't end up dragging onwards and still be entertaining to y'all, but I've got more to say now that Ranma's hit the trifecta. (Though not the hat-trick...yet) Especially since I haven't had anything involving Ranma-chan yet, and that is a very important (and hot!) element that needs to be addressed. Why it hasn't shown up before now though is simply a lack of inspiration, but that will change, hopefully.

Also, I shouldn't NEED to explain most of the jokes in here, but for shiggles, (shits and giggles) Donna called Mandy tsundere for Clover, and it seemed fitting from Ranma's perspective to associate Clover with Makonshoku Mako, who acts like a cross between Sailor Moon and a puppy with ADHD that fell into the Nannichuan.

One thought occurs to me, and frankly worries me a bit, is that Ranma is acting like a Marty-Stu. Or rather has become one by dint of 'harem get' and being painted like a huge victim. Trust me, the victim thing is half-accurate, a quarter my interpretation with judicious wiggle room, and a quarter of personal bias on Ranma's part since he isn't quite dumb enough to tell a bunch of girls that he'd call Akane a "Flat-chested Gorilla Tomboy" and not expect a righteous ass-whupping.

However, that may change in the chapters to come as the story of Britney's trials back in Nerima are revealed. Along with OTHER things...

-Omake…?-

Somewhere far away from Beverly Hills...

Just as a boy, bitter about his flawed upbringing and past circumstances, decides to show an amorous and eager girl a night of passion she wouldn't soon forget...

A figure awoke with a start by a clatter and a loud *crack*.

They sat up, the fitful, indistinguishable nightmare fading quickly as they looked around. Their bedroom looked normal at first blush.

Until their eyes settled on the picture frame lying on the floor.

They blinked quizzically, as the picture had been alone itself on the desk and nowhere near the edge. The figure emerged from their bed and walked over, delicately picking up the wooden rectangle and turning it over.

And froze.

The glass of the frame had split, sending a jagged, uneven crack across the sheet. The part that had caught the formerly sleeping figure's eye was the fact that the crack had almost perfectly separated the subjects of the picture held inside.

A boy with a pigtail, curled up in the lap of a girl with short blue hair, smiling in an affectionate, strangely feline manner as he pressed his lips against the very shocked bluenette's mouth.

Tears fell onto the glass, and a feminine, utterly heartbroken voice moaned, "Ranma…" in the darkened bedroom.



You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story