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Hand-Me-Down Ranma -- A Good Fit?

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Nabiki dressed in a hurry the next day and ran out of the house after wolfing down a quick breakfast. Today was going to be a fun day. She smiled to herself, she had a lot to do. She hummed happily as she ran to school.

Ranma arrived alone at the gates of the school about a half hour later. Nabiki smiled to herself, he was right on time for his usual schedule. She was surprised that Akane wasn't with him, but she had to admit that she wasn't sad about it.

Ranma nodded politely to her as he entered the gates and headed towards the school building. He was playing it very cool. She smiled back at him in return and let him pass in silence. He twitched at that. Oh yes, today was going to fun. She always enjoyed taking people out of their center, especially powerful people. With Ranma inexperienced with the ladies, it would be easier than usual to do that, but it wouldn't be any less fun. She smiled to herself as she began to follow him. It would only be a matter of time now. She could already hear the commotion starting as students called out to themselves about the news.

"Hey did you hear?"

"What?! Ranma and Akane split?!"

"I hear he switched to Nabiki!"

"Wow... an older woman!"

She couldn't help herself, she knew she was grinning. Some of the students noticed her walking behind him, and ran up to ask her to confirm or deny the news. She happily handed them the flyers she had made last night, without speaking as she continued to follow Ranma.

Akane arrived at a full run at that point, but slowed when she saw Nabiki following Ranma. As she reached Nabiki's side, Nabiki teased her, "I wonder how they found out?" She said as she continued to hand out flyers to the students who approached her.

Akane wasn't in a joking mood, though. She replied in an annoyed tone, "gosh, could it be because..." she trailed off and just pointed at her as she continued to hand out flyers.

Nabiki simply smiled. To herself she thought, any minute now...

"Akane! Come! Leap into my arms!" Kuno yelled at the top of his lungs, with a rose clenched in his teeth, as he appeared from nowhere and lunged at her sister. It was uncanny how he was able to do that.

Here we go. Nabiki thought smugly to herself as Ranma leaped into the air as Kuno lunged. Her eyes tried to follow him as he moved, but he was just too fast.

Akane danced back out of Kuno's range and yelped, "K-k-kuno?!"

Ranma landed on Kuno's head at that point and glared down at him as he said, "mornin', Kuno."

Kuno, to his credit, simply stood up and brushed Ranma off his head as he smoothly pulled the rose from between his teeth and handed it to Akane before he turned to grasp Ranma's hand with a friendly smile plastered on his face. "Good morning, future brother-in-law!"

Ranma recoiled at that, "hey, who're you callin'--?!"

Nabiki took the opportunity to remind Ranma of what had happened last night, she quickly stepped forward and looped her arm through his and said to Kuno, "oh, yeah...that's right..."

Kuno reached over and wrapped his arm around Akane's shoulders as he smiled in a way he probably thought was magnanimous and said, "yes! Brother and sister-in-laws! Akane will be mine!"

Akane was twitching in anger, Nabiki leaned back a bit to make sure she didn't get hit in the crossfire of what was coming. Akane smoothly slipped Kuno's arm from her shoulders, pivoted her hips and then kicked him so hard that he sailed away across the courtyard. Many of the guys in the school cheered and whistled as she did so. They not only liked watching Kuno take it in the teeth, but they also enjoyed seeing Akane in action.

As Akane calmed down, Nabiki leaned over and pulled Ranma behind her as she taunted quietly into Akane's ear, "Akane ... admit it. You want Ranma back, don't you? Act now and I'll give him back for five thousand Yen."

Ranma protested, "I'm not for sale!"

Akane growled and turned on her and again denied her claim on him, "I don't want him!" She then turned to walk away in a huff, but paused and said over her shoulder, "since you have decided to tell the whole school about this, just one word of warning, Nabiki ... if you're going to be engaged to Ranma ... you'd better do some training." She walked away quickly after that, hurrying to class.

Nabiki called after her, "huh? What do you mean?" But Akane didn't respond. Nabiki looked up at Ranma who shrugged.

Nabiki's mind was going a mile a minute. What had Akane meant by that? Was she just trying to confuse her? Was she threatening to fight her for Ranma? Ranma interrupted her train of thought, "um ... Nabiki?" He asked nervously.

She simply looked up at him, annoyed at the interruption.

"I-I need to get to class..." He said, looking down pointedly at his arm. She realized that she was still holding on to him. She smiled sweetly at him and released her grip on him. He took a couple of hesitant steps away from her, unsure of what to do, so she shooed him towards class.

"Well, go on, you'll be late." She added, to get him moving. He nodded sharply and pivoted on his heel and dashed off towards the school building running at incredible speed. Instead of entering through the main doors, though, he jumped up into a nearby tree, and then into the window of his third floor classroom. She had to admit, he was good. She hummed happily to herself as she walked into the school building while she pondered what Akane had meant about needing to train.

She was sure it was nothing but Akane trying to rattle her.