Categories > Anime/Manga > Ranma 1/2 > A Werewolf in Nermia

Chapter 11

by USA_Tiger 0 reviews

Category: Ranma 1/2 - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Humor - Characters: Nabiki,Ranma,Ryouga,Shampoo - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2013-02-15 - Updated: 2013-02-16 - 6718 words

Disclaimer: The characters of Ranma 1/2, of course, belong to Rumiko Takahashi (and lots of others). Sati Li, and any other strays that may appear, belong to me, unless otherwise noted.

A Werewolf in Nerima

By: USA Tiger

Chapter 11

A few days later, after the nights of the full moon had passed, Ranma and Akane were heading down to Ukyo's restaurant. Luckily for the residents of Nerima, it was one of the few times that the gender-bending boy and the violent tomboy, even if she wouldn't admit it, were getting along. In this moment of relative peace, the pair of teens had both decided that some okonomiyaki would make an excellent afternoon snack. And despite their rivalry as fiancées, even Akane would readily admit that Ukyo made very good okonomiyaki. Upon arriving at their destination, however, both could easily hear the sound of raised voices emerging from within and they quickly rushed thru the entrance of Ucchan's Okonomiyaki to assess the situation.

As it was well past the lunch hour, and the dinner rush had yet to begin, it was no surprise that the interior of the restaurant was almost completely empty of patrons... save for one, seemingly. Standing at the counter, and almost nose-to-nose with an obviously irate Ukyo, was a rather oddly dressed gaijin girl of about their own age, maybe a little older. She stood around five-foot-eight, with a slender build, a slightly pale complexion, and a mop of messy brownish-black hair with uneven bangs, the right side reaching down to her jaw, while the left side stopped just below her left eye.

The girl's clothing was definitely strange, almost looking as if the various parts of her outfit had been chosen at random from a pile of discards. Much like Sati, when she'd first arrived at the Dojo, the girl wore a black, long-sleeved, fish-net undershirt, over which she was wearing an odd dark-red collarless blouse, perhaps a little too small for her as the two buttons which had been fastened to cover her modest bust appeared to be under some strain and the blouse did nothing to cover her flat stomach. The sleeves of the blouse ended just below her elbows, and like the bottom edge of the blouse, which only extended to her waist, were adorned with an inch-long black fringe and upon the left breast of the blouse a black-and-white Tao patch had been sewn on. Baggy, well-worn blue-jeans adorned her hips and thighs, the legs of which appeared to have been torn off, more or less evenly, just below her knees, and the Chinese character for Yang had been boldly embroidered onto the right front thigh in crimson-red thread. And finally, to finish off her strange ensemble, were darkly-stained tan work boots, large hippie-style sunglasses, and fingerless black-leather gloves with iron-studded knuckles.

"Look, I already told ya’s, all I want is fuckin' directions to dis place. I'm not some--"

"I don't wanna hear it!" Ukyo interrupted, snarling, and looking as if she was about to jump the counter and tackle the other girl. "I ain't giving you any directions, and I strongly advise you to forget all about going there and just go home! You'll have a much healthier and longer life!"

"Hey, Ucchan!? What's goin' on?" Ranma called out, rarely having seen his best friend this upset with anyone not engaged to him.

"Nothin', Ranchan," Ukyo replied, never taking her eyes off of the gaijin girl, but backing off and clearly making an effort to calm herself. "Merely a disagreement with a departing customer."

"I don't need ta deal with dis crap. I'll find someone else ta tell me how ta get dere," the girl muttered, slapping a few yen onto the counter before striding over to one of the booths and retrieving a black-leather messenger bag with a large Yin-Yang symbol on the flap. Bag in hand, the girl then strode right up to Ranma and Akane, before growling, "Ya mind?"

"Huh?" Ranma intelligently responded. There had been something about the way the girl had moved that had reminded him of Sati for some reason, but he couldn't seem to put his finger on it. And now that she was practically standing right in front of him, her scent was also bringing Sati to the forefront of his thoughts.

"Idiot! We're blocking the door!" Akane growled, sharply jerking him out of the way by his arm and further into the restaurant.

"Hey, watch it! That's attached ya know!" Ranma grumbled, rubbing his shoulder. With Akane's brute strength he was mildly surprised that she hadn't dislocated his shoulder with her violent jerk.

"What are you looking at?" Akane growled, ignoring him and causing Ranma to look back at the gaijin girl where she'd remained standing. He noticed that her nostrils were flaring slightly, and there was a puzzled expression on her face as she looked back at him. Then she seemed to take notice of Akane's belligerent expression and stance, snorted loudly and walked out of the restaurant.

"What the heck was that all about, Ucchan?" Ranma asked, walking up to the counter and sliding onto a stool, Akane doing the same.

"You probably don't want to know," Ukyo responded, before quickly taking their orders and starting to prepare them.

"Not another fiancée?" Akane growled, giving Ranma a glare.

"That, or a challenger," Ukyo responded. "She never gave Ranma's name, or even mentioned the Saotome’s, but she said that she was here looking for some 'Playboy' and asking for directions to the Tendo Dojo. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that she's looking for you, Ranma-honey, what with all the girls you seem to attract."

"I ain't no 'Playboy'," Ranma muttered. "And I never asked any of you girls to come after me!"

"Yeah, right, Ranma," Akane snorted. "Either her family had made an agreement with your father, or you did something to insult her or something."

"I ain't never seen that girl before in my life," Ranma said in his own defense.

"With your memory for faces?" Akane snidely responded. "I'm surprised if you can remember anyone that you haven't seen in over a week."

"Ha ha, very funny!" Ranma responded, before digging into the okonomiyaki Ukyo set before him.

"In any case," Ukyo said, quickly cleaning off her grill and strapping her battle-spatula onto her back, "I think we should get over to the Dojo and ask Genma a few questions about that girl. Don't you?"

"Definitely," Akane responded, setting down her own okonomiyaki after only a single bite, before grabbing a hold of Ranma's arm and dragging him off his stool. "Let's go!"

"Hey!" Ranma protested, lunging back to the counter long enough to grab the second okonomiyaki Ukyo had prepared for him. "I haven't finished eatin' yet!"


"Whoa! Check it out!" Ranma called, as the trio of teens arrived at the Tendo Dojo. Parked out front, next to the gate, was a large, black-and-red, Honda dirt bike. By itself, the motorcycle wasn't in any way unusual, as street-legal dirt bikes were far from uncommon in Japan, as they were far less expensive than their strictly street oriented counterparts. This particular model of dirt bike, however, was one of the largest currently on the market. And the sticker on the fuel tank, from one of the larger rental agencies in Tokyo, was an indicator that whoever had current possession of the vehicle was likely able to easily afford actually owning one, rather than just renting one.

Akane barely gave the Death Machine a cursory glance, and she snorted at the way Ranma was looking it over with blatant interest. A couple of years ago, Akane had tagged along with Nabiki and some of her... associates, on an outing in the country, and a trail ride on dirt bikes had been a part of the trip. She'd almost been killed just kick-starting one of the infernal machines, and within minutes had totally demolished the thing, having fallen off when accidentally popping a 'wheelie' and sending the dirt bike careening over the nearby ridgeline into the rocks below. All she'd gotten out of that little fiasco had been some embarrassing bumps and bruises, and an intense hatred of the overly-complicated all-too-sensitive contraptions. Of course, it hadn't helped in the slightest that Nabiki had seemed to have a talent for handling a motorcycle, and had teased her ceaselessly for months afterward.

"Forget it, Ranma!" she snapped as he'd been about to climb onto the motorcycle. "You can dream all you want to about owning a motorcycle of your own, but they're far too complicated for someone like you. Besides you could never save up enough money to actually buy one, and even if you did, there's no way I'll allow one of those things in my home."

Ukyo quickly took notice of the frown that appeared upon Ranma's face at Akane's declaration, and grinned internally. Several times over the years, she'd overheard conversations between newly married women and older, more experienced, married women that had been giving the younger women marital advice, and one of those gems of experienced wisdom had been to never get between 'boys and their toys'. The younger women didn't have to like it, share in it, or even approve, but if they wanted a successful and long marriage, then they'd have to let their husbands indulge themselves upon occasion. But never, ever, outright deny them. That was a fast lane to marital discontent.

On the flip side, if the newly married couple could share the same interests, so much the better. And another reason not to dismiss them out of hand, as Akane had apparently just done.

As for herself, Ukyo didn't really have anything for or against motorcycles, just considering them another form of transportation. In fact, she'd been considering the purchase of a scooter to help with some of her more distant deliveries. In light of Ranma's interest, however, she began considering the possibilities of a small motorcycle instead, and decided to look into a motorcycle magazine subscription or two. Just so Ranma could have another reason to visit her shop more often.

"I wonder whose it is?" Ranma commented, having returned his attention to the motorcycle. Then, a somewhat hopeful expression crossed his features. "You don't think Nabiki conned it offa someone, do ya?"

"I doubt it," Akane said, her own expression dubious. If Nabiki had gained ownership of the thing... Akane wasn't looking forward to the teasing and taunting that would inevitably follow.

"Guys? We still need to talk to a certain panda..." Ukyo said, not wanting to waste any more time, as she had to get back to her restaurant soon for the dinner rush.

"Right," Akane agreed, thankful for the change of subject, and led the way into the house.


"You!" Ukyo growled as they stepped into the main room of the house, only to find the gaijin girl from earlier seated at the table.

"Yeah, me. Since ya didn't give me directions, I had ta get 'em from dis nice old lady wit' a ladle," the girl responded with a frown.

Before anything else could be said, by anyone, Sati emerged from the kitchen with a tray of snacks and treats, followed by Kasumi with a tray containing the ever ready teakettle and cups.

"Oh, I see you've met Jasper," Sati commented, placing her tray on the table and sitting beside the girl.

"Yeah, we've met," Ukyo growled, being echoed by Akane. "She came into my place, asking for directions here. Well, you can forget it! Ranma's my fiancé, and you can't have him!"

"Hey!" Akane snapped, glaring at her rival. "I'm the one engaged to him! Not like anybody would want the jerk!"

"Who's..." Jasper began, more than a little confused, only to be interrupted by Sati who'd seen the opportunity for some harmless mischief.

"Jasper! You didn't tell me you'd gotten engaged!" Sati squealed, hugging the smaller girl. "Does your father know? Oh, I can't wait to see his reaction to this!"

"WHAT?!" Jasper gasped, wondering just what the heck they were all talking about. "I ain't..."

"So, I was right!" Ukyo snarled, drawing her battle spatula from its holster across her back. Beside her, Akane dropped into an offensive stance.

"HOLD IT!" Jasper barked, jumping to her feet and facing down the other two girls. "I ain't engaged ta /nobody/! An' who's dis Ranma character, anyway?"

"Yo," Ranma responded, giving her a small wave from where he'd quickly taken a seat across from Sati, who was struggling to contain her mirth, and began helping himself to the tray of snacks and some tea.

Jasper just blinked back at him for a moment, before glancing at the two other girls, then back to him. "You're engaged ta both of dem? I didn't think polygamy was legal in Japan?"

"It isn't," Sati chuckled, reaching up to pull Jasper back down beside her and waving for Akane and Ukyo to sit down as well. "Anyway, this is MacTavish Jasper. Jasper's not another of Ranma's many fiancées you two, at least not yet. She's a friend of mine that I asked to come here to help me with a few things. Jasper, these are Akane Tendo, Ukyo Kuonji, and Ranma Saotome."

"Just how many fiancées does he have?" Jasper asked curiously, before leaning over to whisper into Sati's ear. "And why does his scent smell both male and female?"

"I'll let Ranma explain his fiancée situation," Sati grinned, rising from the table. "As for your other question, seeing is believing."

Ranma groaned, his increasing sense of hearing having easily allowed him to hear Jasper's whispered question about his scent, and knowing that Sati was intending to demonstrate his curse. He'd also finally identified what it was about Jasper that had been reminding him of Sati... Jasper was another werewolf. It was the only reason he could think of for the similarity in their scents and movements. Still, he didn't like showing his curse to others, as it embarrassed him, but... he supposed Sati had her reasons for letting Jasper in on it.

"Well, if she's not a fiancée, and I don't see the panda around..." Ukyo said, rising from the table. "I'm headin' back to my place."

"Catch ya later, Ucchan."

"Bye, Ukyo."

"So..." Jasper began, after Ukyo had left. "Just how many girls ya stringin' along?"

"Hey! It ain't like that!" Ranma protested.

"Yes it is!" Akane said, earning a glare from Ranma as she rose from the table. "I've got some homework to do. Call me when dinner's ready. Oh, and Ranma, don't forget to tell her about your boyfriends, too."

Ranma could only growl at Akane's retreating back as she left the room laughing. Looking back to Jasper, he found her waiting for him to say something, one eyebrow arched in question.

"It's all my stupid Pop's fault," he said with a heartfelt sigh.

Jasper merely shifted which eyebrow was elevated and continued to sit quietly.

Sati returned from the kitchen, complete with the expected glass of cold water, which she set before him before resuming her seat beside Jasper.

"Perhaps, if you told her something about yourself, Ranma-kun," Kasumi said, refreshing everyone's tea, before heading back to her kitchen.

With another long-suffering sigh, Ranma launched into the story of his life.


"Man, that is one screwed up life," Jasper commented, pondering the social ramifications of mixing some whiskey into her tea, as Ranma finally wound down. Hmm, maybe she should offer some to the poor boy... er, girl. She sure sounded like she could use it.

"So," Ranma said into the ensuing silence, "since yer not another of my fiancées, what brings ya to Nerima, Jasper?"

"I asked her to come, Cub," Sati said.

"She was the person you called the other night, right?" Ranma asked.

"Yes. Jasper here, like myself, is another werewolf. I asked her to come for two reasons, actually. First, I thought it would be better if you had another Were around, closer to your own age, to help you to understand things as they change, as you approach your first transformation. And then, help you to adjust, afterwards. Second, I need her to keep someone... annoying, busy for a time," Sati explained.

"Who?" Ranma asked, frowning.

"A Werewolf Hunter," Sati replied. "Someone you're far from ready to face. I was trying to put a stop to his hunting, while I was in Romania. Transylvania, to be more precise." From beside her, a low, rumbling growl emerged from Jasper.

"What's the matter with you?" Ranma asked curiously.

"Let's just say, I don't have any good memories o' dat fuckin' place," Jasper responded.

"Oookay," Ranma responded, taking the hint to drop the subject, before returning her attention to Sati.

"Anyway, I didn't get the chance to finish the job there, as I felt that helping you with your first transformation was more important," Sati continued. "If it's not handled correctly, it could easily turn bad. Very bad. Especially for those around you."

"How so?" Ranma asked, nervously.

"The first change is always the worst, especially in those who weren't even aware that they were Weres," Sati explained. "The more... bestial instincts, are strong. Almost overwhelming. If you're not prepared for them, they can leave you as little more than a very powerful, very dangerous, animal, that will act upon those instincts without regard for the consequences of those actions."

"Like...?" Ranma asked, not really all that certain she wanted to know.

"If dere's someone ya don't like nearby," Jasper jumped in, "you'll attack 'em, an' rip 'em limb from limb. If yer hungry, you'll hunt, an' ya won't be all dat particular 'bout what ya hunt, kill, an' eat. An' if dere's a fertile girl 'round..." Jasper paused, looking over Ranma's presently very female form, "...or a strong guy ya find attractive, if you undergo your first transformation while female..."

Ranma visibly paled at that, and made a vow, right then and there, to ensure that during her first transformation that there wasn't a drop of cold water anywhere in the vicinity.

"That's the worst case scenario," Sati said. "The real danger, however, is psychological, in those cases. Often, once the Were reverts back to human-form, and they were unprepared for what occurred, their minds refuse to accept what they'd done. So... much like your Neko-ken, they deliberately forget everything that occurred. A sort of self-induced amnesia. Until... the next full moon, at which time their bestial instincts take over again. And, since they refuse to accept what they've become, the cycle repeats itself, over and over. Reducing them to the same level as the Cursed variety of Lycanthropes." Sati didn't bother to mention the ones who did remember, but who had reveled in their new powers, believing themselves unique and all but all-powerful gods. Those individuals were hunted down by the various clans of Were, almost as zealously, if not more so, than the others.

"But... uhm... if I know it's gonna happen... and... uhm..." Ranma stammered, seriously concerned about the potential loss of control of her own body and actions, which, for a martial artist of her level, was unconscionable.

"Don't worry about it, Cub," Sati said, smiling to lighten the mood a bit. "That's why I'm here, and Jasper'll be here as backup. A few precautions, a little preparation, and your first transformation will go without a hitch."

Jasper gave Sati a sidelong look. While she'd never actually been present at a first transformation, other than her own, she was fully aware of what all was required. Surely Sati wasn't considering her for that particular role, or doing so herself? Sure, the guy was handsome and all, but she wasn't presently on the market for a boyfriend, and Sati, herself... well, maybe... Still, that particular role was usually reserved for someone close to the individual, if any were available. And the guy had to be close to at least one of the various girls pursuing him, didn't he? Of course, there was Ranma's female-form to take into consideration, as well. If Ranma underwent his first transformation in that form... Hoo boy! That would be a real mess!

"Okay..." Ranma sighed, confident that Sati had everything under control and planned out. Then, her mind made a few connections between Sati's earlier comments and her physical state upon arriving at the Dojo. "Say, Auntie... the person who shot you... they wouldn't be... is that who Jasper will be taking care of? They followed you here?"

"Don't even think about it, Cub," Sati growled warningly, having noted Ranma's tone turning protective. "As good as you are, you're not ready to face down even the weakest of Werewolf Hunters. Not yet, at least."

"Hey! I can take any--" Ranma's prideful boast came to a sudden halt, as she felt something cold and unyielding pressed right against her forehead. Eyes crossing slightly, she could just make out the shape of the large revolver Sati had in her hand, and the fact that the hammer of it was at full-cock.

"When I think you can anticipate, and avoid, a bullet, then and only then will you be ready to face off against a Hunter... Got it?" Sati growled.

"Uhm... Yep," Ranma said, releasing a breath she hadn't even realized she'd been holding when Sati removed the firearm from her forehead and promptly made it disappear.

"Cub... Ranma," Sati sighed, rubbing her own forehead, "you have to understand something. Martial arts are all well and good, and will serve you well, but... they won't save you from a determined Hunter with a fully-automatic firearm. Yes, you could train to the point where you can actually catch a bullet, but... when you have a Hunter firing a machinegun at you... which bullet do you catch? Even as good as I am, that bastard managed to put two bullets in me, and if I didn't have a strong resistance to silver... I wouldn't be here now."

"Well, what about her?" Ranma asked, pointing at Jasper.

"Jasper is... special, in certain ways," Sati said. "For one, she's immune to the affects that silver has on the rest of us. And she's been in a few gun battles before, not that I expect such to occur. In any case, what we should be discussing are the upcoming preparations for your first transformation, and what you can expect to happen."

Meanwhile, in the kitchen...

"Ranma's a werewolf?" Kasumi asked, turning to face Nabiki who'd recently returned to the house.

"That's my understanding, Sis," Nabiki responded, helping herself to a cookie from the plate on the counter. "Well, he will be, anyway. I haven't been let in on all the details yet."

"Does Akane know? And the others?" Kasumi asked a concerned look on her face.

"No, and we're not going to tell them, either," Nabiki stated, looking her sister straight in the eye. "Daddy probably wouldn't care, so long as the schools were still joined. Akane would freak. And I don't even want to think about what the others might do."

"But Nabiki, as his fiancée, Akane should know about this," Kasumi said. "And Father, as well..."

"Kasumi..." Nabiki sighed, a bit of frustration evident in her voice. She'd done a lot of thinking on the subject of her younger sister and Ranma, and looking over past events in a different light. "Akane may very well be Ranma's fiancée, but don't continue to delude yourself into thinking that they'll ever marry, or that they love each other. Care for each other, yes. But they don't love each other."

"But that's not true," Kasumi protested. "Ranma's rescued Akane numerous times, and fought for her. And despite what Akane might say, she knows that he hasn't done anything with those other girls. And there's the honor of both families to consider."

"Saotome Genma broke the honor agreement with our family," Nabiki stated coldly, "when he agreed to engage Ranma to the daughters of other families. Daddy just refuses to see that. And the fact that his agreement with Uncle Saotome is the oldest, so far as we know, is completely irrelevant. And as far as what Ranma's done for Akane... Can you look me in the eye and tell me that Ranma wouldn't have done the same for any of the other girls, or anyone for that matter, if they had been placed into similar situations?"

Kasumi looked down to where her hands were nervously wringing her apron, and remained silent.

"I didn't think so," Nabiki sighed, before continuing. "Look, they like each other, but neither will trust the other enough to let their guards down. And without that trust, love simply cannot exist. You know that. Ranma's made some attempts to open up to Akane, and even be nicer to her, but... what did he get for his trouble? Suspicion, or outright hostility when Akane jumped to some outlandish conclusion before he could finish talking, or... they were interrupted. And I'll admit that I haven't been all that helpful in that respect. Quite the reverse, actually. And there's also the fact that Akane hasn't even made an attempt to do anything similar."

"She just doesn't want to risk possible rejection," Kasumi said softly.

"And you think Ranma wants to?" Nabiki asked in turn, a bit more acidly then she'd intended. "That's one of the problems with you and Daddy. You're both all too eager to make excuses for Akane, and her behavior. She'll never grow up and learn that the world won't bow to her every whim, until you and Daddy stop sheltering her from everything that might even remotely harm her. As it is now, she's in for some very rude awakenings when she graduates from high school and goes off to college... and neither of you'll be there to protect her, then. And my influence can only go so far."

"But, surely Ranma..." Kasumi began.

"Is that his purpose in life, Sis?" Nabiki asked, gazing upon her sister in concern. "To replace you and Daddy? To be her bodyguard, scapegoat, and punching bag for the rest of his life? To make excuses for her violent behavior? Ranma has his own problems to deal with, Sis. A fact which everyone seems to blithely ignore. Gods, I'm continually amazed at the fact he hasn't completely flipped out and killed anyone yet, myself included. I certainly haven't made his stay with us a pleasant one."

"Hmm, yes, I had been rather curious about your behavior towards him," Kasumi said thoughtfully, while looking at her younger sister. For her part, Nabiki suddenly turned and reached for another cookie.

"Let's not get off the subject, shall we," Nabiki said, turning back to face her sister, only after she was certain of controlling her expression. "The fact remains; it would be a bad idea to tell anyone about what we now know. If Ranma, himself, chooses to do so, well... we'll deal with that when and if it occurs."

"Of course, Nabiki," Kasumi said, a knowing smile spreading across her face. "I'm sure you're right. You're only suggesting what's in Ranma's best interests, after all. That's very kind of you."

"Yeah, well, I have a reputation to maintain, so don't tell anyone," Nabiki said, a little nervous about the smile on Kasumi's face. It didn't quite match her usual seemingly oblivious one.

"Of course not, Nabiki," Kasumi said, turning about and opening the refrigerator. "Do you suppose MacTavish-san will be staying for dinner?"

"You'll have to ask her, yourself, Sis," Nabiki responded, feeling a sudden chill up her spine. "I've got some homework to finish up. Call me when dinner's ready, okay?"


Later that night, Ranma jumped onto the roof, hoping to enjoy a little peace and quiet before going to bed. It appeared, however, that he wouldn't be alone, as Sati was already there.

"Hey, Auntie. Come up here to get away from the glare fest, too?" he asked as he sat down beside her. Dinner had been a rather tense affair that evening. Somehow, Akane had managed to get into the kitchen and attempt to cook something. What it had been intended to be, he didn't have a clue, but whatever it was, had affected himself, Sati, and Jasper... badly, just from the smell. Both Jasper and himself had become violently ill, and even Sati had looked more than a little green around the gills before she could get whatever Akane had concocted out of the house and far away.

As it was, Jasper had openly accused Akane of attempting to poison them with whatever it had been and, honestly, he hadn't helped matters any with some of his comments about some of her earlier cooking attempts. Akane had spent the entire meal glaring at the three of them, and muttering about how there had been nothing wrong with her cooking and that they just had oversensitive noses and weak stomachs. With dinner over with, however, Jasper would be leaving shortly, having reserved a room at a nearby hotel, but would be returning to the Dojo often until sometime after Ranma's first transformation and she'd dealt with a certain Werewolf Hunter.

"That's one way to put it," Sati agreed as she stretched her legs out. "Though it's mostly because it's a good thinking spot."

"So, what ya thinkin' 'bout?" Ranma asked.

"The past mostly," Sati sighed, gazing up at the stars. "I always tend to think of Seto on star-filled nights like this. He loved to go out into the night and look at the stars."

"...You miss him a lot, don't you?" he asked, noticing that her expression seemed a bit more sad and wistful than her usual.

"You always miss your first love, Cub. No matter how many others may follow, and you can come to love others, none of them will be as great, or as deep, a love as the first. That's something you'll come to understand, yourself, if you live long enough,." Sati explained then turned a mischievous look his way. "Of course, you also have to understand the differences between love and simple /lust/. The two are completely different."

"I know that," Ranma scoffed.

"Do you, Cub? Do you really?" Sati asked, before releasing a sigh. "There's a part of the precautions for your first transformation that we haven't discussed yet, or even mentioned... directly."

"What's that?" he asked, curiously.

"One of the strongest instincts you'll be subjected to, will be the instinct to mate, and to reproduce," Sati explained. "For most Weres, this isn't a problem, as they undergo their first transformation while quite young. Half-breeds, like yourself, however..."

Ranma was silent for quite some time, while he digested that bit of information. Finally, he was able to manage a few words. "I... I'm not ready to get... m-married..."

"No one said you had to, Cub."

"But... what if... pregnant... honor..."

"Relax," Sati chuckled, "you'll be shooting blanks. You've a few years to go yet, before you'll be ready to get anyone pregnant. Unlike humans, it takes us Were a bit longer to reach sexual maturity. The urge will definitely be there, along with the will and determination, but... nothing's going to result from it. Well, no cubs, at least."

Ranma let out a relieved sigh at that bit of news, but there were other problems. "Still..."

Sati sighed, feeling the urge to go beat up a certain panda. "Ranma, sex does not equal love. Nor do you have to love someone in order to feel the urge to have sex with them. All that is required is the urge to have sex, and a willing partner with similar urges. Yes, sexual intercourse can be an expression of one's love for another, but... that's all it is, an expression/. I've known many couples, deeply in love with each other, that have /never shared a single intimate embrace, of any kind, with each other. Some, because they were incapable of the physical act, and others because of other reasons, including marriage to others. When you transform for the first time, love is not even going to occur to you, your only interests are going to be food, territory, and... reproduction. The most basic instincts for all life, including humans."

When they had discussed their plans for his first transformation, Ranma had quickly grasped the reasons for having a large supply of fresh meat on hand, as well as ensuring that he didn't come into contact with any other males, especially those he wasn't on good terms with. A full belly would greatly reduce the instinct to hunt, and the absence of other males would tend to blunt the instinctual need to mark out his territory and assert his dominance. Both of these basic instincts were already well-known to Ranma, and the only difference, that he could see, would be in their intensity and affect upon him. But... he hadn't even considered something like the instinctual need to... reproduce. Now that he was considering it...

"I... I c-can't stay here... I... I gotta..."

"Easy there, Cub," Sati said, soothingly. "You won't be here during your first transformation. Before that happens, we'll be leaving on a short /'training trip'/. It's best to be outdoors, in a forest somewhere, during one's first transformation. We just need to decide on a location, and ensure that we have everything in place before then. Jasper and I will be taking care of most of that, although we'll consider any ideas that you may have as to the location. You, on the other hand, need to find a girl, or girls, that you can trust with the knowledge of what you are, and who would be willing to engage in some down and dirty bestial sex for a few nights."

"Uhmm... do we really need to..." Ranma hesitantly asked. "I mean... we'd be out in the woods, away from everyone else..."

"Jasper and I would be there," Sati said, and gave him a seductive grin. "If you don't want any of the girls around here, or they won't go along with the idea... I wouldn't mind a few tumbles with you. Jasper probably wouldn't either, but I can't say for certain. Traditionally, however, it's someone you're already close to and familiar with, a friend or loved one. All that's really required though, is that they be of the opposite gender, somewhat attractive to you, and capable of bearing young. Trust me, you'll know, instinctively at least, whether they're capable or not, it'll be in their scent. Until I can teach you how to discern that fact consciously though, I'll have to reserve the right to reject any choice you make, if I find them to be incapable of bearing young."

"But... if I can't..." Ranma hesitantly asked, "Why would it even matter?"

"To put it in the most basic terms," Sati explained. "If they're incapable of being impregnated, and not Were themselves... you're bestial instincts would simply label them as 'meat on the hoof', so to speak."


"Even if you select a girl that meets the basic requirements, I'm going to have to instruct them on some 'dos' and 'don'ts' of behavior and movement." Sati continued. "On the first night, your behavior will be almost entirely bestial in nature, and you'll respond to stimuli pretty much as any wolf would. The important thing that the girl, or girls, will have to remember in that situation is that you are not a wolf, but a werewolf, just as cunning and intelligent as they are, but acting under instincts that overwhelm your usual intellect. So, you won't have a normal wolf's usual wariness of Man, or aversion to such things as fire."

Sati allowed him to think over what she'd said for a time, noting his concerned and weary expression.

"Listen, Cub," she sighed, resting a comforting hand upon his shoulder, "very little in this world is without its price, or trade-off. And none of us have any say in our parentage. We can only take what life gives us, or throws at us, and make the most of it. As a Werewolf, even a half-breed, you've been given certain advantages over other forms of life; a longer lifespan, better overall health, accelerated healing, increased senses, strength, reflexes and so on. But, you've also been saddled with some notable disadvantages; instincts that can overwhelm your intellect upon occasion, and a vulnerability to silver, just being two. I'll get into all of the pros and cons of being a werewolf at a later time, though.

"Right now," she continued, rising to her feet and brushing off her bottom before moving to the edge of the roof, "you need to start thinking about your first transformation, and if there's any particular girl you trust enough and find desirable enough to let in on the truth of what's happening to you." Sati was just about to leap off of the roof to ground, when she paused, and added, "Oh, and just so you know, at least one member of this household already knows, or at least suspects, if her recent behavior has been any indicator."

Despite what most people may have believed, Ranma wasn't nearly as dense as he often appeared, so it didn't take him long to understand to whom Sati had been referring. What to do about it, though... that was going to take some considerable thought, as well as some thought about the other girls in his life.


"So, I'll trade yas dis little statue for any info ya gots on dat bastard, Taeko, any notable places o' interest 'round here, people I should be on da lookout for, an' anything else I want ta know 'bout later on."

Jasper and Nabiki were in the latter's room, seated on the bed across from each other and... conducting business. After they'd been properly introduced and got to talking with each other, they'd discovered a great deal in common. Namely, the gathering of information and the acquisition of money. At the moment, Jasper was needing the former, and willing to part with the latter... or at least something just as good as money. Between them, making a noticeable indentation into Nabiki's firm mattress, sat a small statuette of a dragon, only two-inches tall, but seemingly made of solid gold with precious rubies for eyes.

"Where did you get this? And is it real?" Nabiki asked, lifting up the statuette to examine it in closer detail. Just the weight alone, confirmed that it was lead or gold. If it was lead, though, Nabiki determined that it was still heavily plated in gold, which when combined with the detailed craftsmanship, would place the value, in American dollars, in at least the triple-digits.

"Hell, yeah! If dere's one thing I know, it's m' treasure. I got dat whilst I was in Europe, explorin' dis ol', fallin' down castle. Had a lot o' good shit in dere, too. I walked outta da place wit' five full bags," Jasper boasted, a proud smirk on her face. "I can say dat m' boss was very happy wit' what I brought 'im. So, do we have a deal?"

Looking over the statuette again and weighing it in her palm, Nabiki came to the conclusion that even if it was a fake, she was still getting a bargain.

"Alright, we have a deal," Nabiki said, rising from her bed and stepping over to her computer. A few moments later, and the attached printer began spitting out sheet after sheet of information on all of the major players in Nerima, local hotspots, and a copy of the file on one Taeko Kuno that she'd gotten from Sasuke and scanned into her system. A tourist booklet on Nerima, which included a map of the area with the hotspots already highlighted and labeled, completed the transaction.

"Tanks. Now I gots ta be headin' off. I've got a long night in front o' me, an' I ain't even had a shot o' whiskey yet," Jasper said, placing the folder of printouts into her bag and heading out, leaving the Tendo Mercenary to savor her newest possession.


Edit 5-12-14: Just fixed a few things here and there.
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