The Return

A Ranma Sailor Moon fic thingy.

By Sunshine Temple

 

Naturally, I own neither Sailor Moon nor Ranma. So here's the disclaimer

 

Ranma 1/2 and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.

 

Previous chapters and other works can be found at my fanfiction website.

http://jtemple.florestica.com/

 

Temporary Backup Site.

http://www.fukufics.com/fic/

 

 

Other website Temple of Ranma's Senshi Seifuku

http://fukufics.com

 

C&C is appreciated.

 

Book 3:  Raising Trouble

Interlude:  Down Time.

 

 


            The booth was in a quiet corner of the Greek restaurant. It was made more-so by having the neighboring booths emptied. The coifed redhead leaned back, careful to avoid hitting the wall with her updo. Curving upward and held with purple pins, the hair bun added nearly half a foot to her height and was crowned by a pair of purple ribbons that spiraled down from the summit.  She wore a backless purple dress that was edged in lace and embroidery that bordered on ostentatious.


            "This is relaxing," Ranma smiled as she looked at her sisters flanking her and Nariko and Akane who sat across from her. Nariko was wrapped in a dark blue kimono with a white sash and little cloud and lightning  accents while her mate wore a matching short cheongsam in a brighter blue.


            Pulling the corners of her lips, Eve gave a little nod. "Just so you have a good time. This is supposed to be your day," she said, returning to her lunch.


            Ranma sipped her juice and eyed a small plum that sat alone on a yellow plate with green leaf-partnered edging. "A day off?  How luxurious."


            Cecilia gave a tiny smile. "Isn't that the idea?"


            "It's starting," Ranma admitted as she picked up the plum and nibbled onto it.


            "So, you're getting down to Condition Yellow?" Cecilia picked at her bougatsa. She had requested minced meat added to the custard and cheese filling but was reconsidering her order.


            The other succubae swiveled to the lavender-haired woman.


            "What?" the former call-girl asked. "Isn't that the right term?"


            Eve raised an eyebrow. "Well, yes. It's just odd to hear it stated that way, from –well- you."


            Nariko wiped her mouth. "Auntie Cecilia has a point. You're pushing yourself into Condition Red when dealing with Miss Tsukino."


            Eve gave a little smile. "Conditional threat. If X then Y, 'I may have to shoot that person.' " She frowned into her coffee and looked up at Ranma. "My, is that how you've been feeling? Constantly on? Continuously waiting and readying yourself?"


            Holding her knees together, Ranma coughed. This was part of why she found the long hem of her dress troublesome. Sure she could simply morph out of the dress, but in a fight that would be a split second delay. "Well, it's not like I was alone. We all feel that way."


            Akane leaned onto her mother and let a burst of love pour over the redhead.


            Smiling, Ranma purred slightly and returned the gesture.


            "I suppose Yellow is as relaxed as you can get," Cecilia put her fork down. "Condition White isn't an option for you anymore?"


            "Speaking for yourself?" Nariko asked with a bright smile. "Would you like to live in that world? Unaware? Unprepared?"


            "There's nothing wrong with living at Condition Yellow." Cecilia exhaled and picked up her fork.


            "One hopes. That's the reality of the universe. Condition White is an illusion, those that live in such a state are –well- deluded." After glancing behind herself, Eve took a sip from her cup. "A relaxed alert is the best we can hope for. After all you may have to kill someone today."


            Cecilia nodded. "It just seems so hard."


            Ranma put an arm around the slightly taller woman and pulled her into a group hug with Akane and Nariko. "You're doing great!  You're the most devoted brood mother I've seen. There's nothing you won't do for your girls."


            Blushing slightly, Cecilia coughed. "I'm supposed to be helping you."


            "You are." Her smile growing, Ranma gave the woman's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "It's good to know why I'm putting myself though all this pressure, and it's good to know I'm not alone."


            "So you won't try to suffer in secret or take on a greater burden all to try to protect us?" Akane asked.


           "Oh, Akane honey," Ranma laughed before turning somewhat pensive. "But you're not worried about me getting hurt, not physically at least. It's something else?"


            Akane glanced to Nariko.


            "Perhaps solving the Tsukino situation sooner rather than later would be for the best," Nariko gave a little sigh. "It would seem that Misa-chan has managed to be right again."


            "Don't confuse directness with wisdom," Eve stated. "Often the quick solution isn't the best."


            "But it's often the most satisfying," Ranma smiled as she bit the sausage she had sliced.

 

***************

 


            Stepping out of the dojo, Ranma surveyed the backyard. She then looked down and wriggled her bare feet. High heels would not do inside; not on the mats. 


            "Well, aren't you pretty," Kasumi drawled walking up to the brood mother. The officer was wearing a grey coat and pants cut in a severe business style. A bit of fringe on her blouse was the only feminine accenting.


            Ranma blushed slightly.  While she had removed her heels she had stuck with her dress. The ankle-length shimmering purple silk gown stuck out, especially when compared to the Lycra exercise suits the other succubae wore. "Well, it was Cecilia's idea..." Her cheeks pinked slightly, the extra, the special, attention her brood gave her was... nice.


            Glancing into the dojo, Kasumi smirked. "Yes, and how is she?" The older woman's question coincided with the sound of rushed feet, impacting bodies, and gasps. "Having fun?"


            "Training's good for her." The redhead's eyes brightened. "Fun? Why? You making an offer?"


            Kasumi inclined her head. "We... we have been down that road."


            Ranma turned away. "Yeah, not much new to see."


            "I wouldn't say that, you do look good with your hair up." Kasumi stepped towards the demoness but hesitated. "Think it'll impress your date?" she asked, crossing her arms behind her back.


           "Maybe. I mean, it should be easy; I am a succubus." Ranma sniffed the air and frowned at Kasumi's emotional state. "Least it'll be fun for you guys to watch."


            Kasumi snorted. "Please, you've been on surveillance duty. You know what it's like in the barrel. Besides, isn't that what you're doing right now?"


            "Oh?"


            "You're not actually sparring dressed like that,"  Kasumi waved at the long and ruffled dress Ranma wore.


            "No...  Nariko's doing most of the teaching. What's your point?"


            Kasumi let go of her arms and had them go to her sides. "Not sure."


            Ranma whistled. "Uncertainty.  Doesn't suit you."


            "Yeah, it's just been strange.  Good to see you realizing." Lieutenant Tendo frowned.


            "Oh!" Ranma's eyes flashed slightly. "Jealousy." She tilted her head and gave the officer a mock inspection. "Yes... that seems to fit you. Worried about tonight?"


            "On sexuality? I hardly have a leg to stand on with that issue." Kasumi coughed.  "What about you? You've been... limited on this aspect of your powers."


            Ranma put a finger to the dangling gold necklace she wore. " I am curious," she admitted. "I'm not even sure what I'll do. But... I want to at least try it."


            "All you've done and this is what you hesitate on?"


            The demoness looked down. "Fighting is easy...  it got easy.  Even all the spook games and surveillance are straightforward, when you get to the core of it.


            "Things go bad and I'm right at the front, regardless of what I was doing. This time-" Ranma turned back to Kasumi. She pushed aside one of the ribbons that spilled from her updo. "I feel like you guys are actually guarding me. That I'm some silly princess."


            "You're not talking about today," Kasumi stated.


            "Hah,  no... today's a break from dealing with something I can't... simply napalm and gut."


            "And yet a blind date is what makes you scared." Kasumi shook her head. "Well, in a way...  you are a princess.  Technically."


            Ranma rolled her eyes.


            "Ignore that. The whole idea for today is to give you a break from Miss Tsukino. Anything else on your mind?  Other than Tsukino and your date?"


            "I did see Cecilia change into her little lavender Lycra leotard and-"


            Kasumi raised an eyebrow.


            "Not like that. I've already seen her naked. No, but she got to train, she got to go down and grapple, get all sweaty and tired."


            "Oh my, too easy." The Company agent laughed. "I think Cecilia's right. You do need to get out."


            Ranma sighed. "Yes, very funny, I'll have my chance tonight."


            "I was more thinking Cecilia's more than experienced in sweaty grappling."


            The brood mother shook her head.


            "If you want to train, go train. Hell, you could change into your leathers and go for a nice ride."


            "Yes, I could, but Sissy and Eve already got me the dress." Ranma idly smoothed a bit of purple skirting.


            Kasumi stepped closer and looked down at the demoness meeting her gaze. "You know how easy it is for you to change clothes and back. That's just an excuse. This is supposed to be your day, and a lot of people went through a lot of trouble to make sure of it."


            "And I am having a good time." Ranma shook her head. "Can't I just watch? I'm going to use this day to not do stuff, and if that requires me to wear a fancy dress then okay. Besides, Nariko's more than capable at teaching and she wanted to lead a class today."


            "Ah, you are having fun?"


            "Watching my girls is very nice, relaxing."


            "Really? Even with what Nabiki and Misako have planned?" Kasumi asked.


            "Misako?"


            Tilting her head, Kasumi smirked. The sounds from inside had stopped.


            "Cute," Ranma's voice was flat.


            "It's okay." Kasumi closed to Ranma and put a hand on her shoulder while the other went to her head and pushed aside a couple lavender ribbons.


            Ranma leaned into the hug. "Really? You've read the reports. You know the Love Coda and the approaching Cycle."


            Kasumi sighed. "Yes, yes. Apocalyptic collapse and madness; all the more reason for us to keep you sharp."


            "Right; a dull tool isn't very useful."


            "Company compassion at work," Kasumi said as her hand ran through Ranma's bun. She stopped when she found one of the horns. "Huh."


            Ranma happily murmured.


            "Interesting," Feeling the succubus start to go limp, Kasumi pulled the hug tighter


            The door slid open and Cecilia stepped through. Her hair had been pulled back into a tight ponytail and sweat gleamed on her brow. "Huh... looks like Akane won the pool, Nabiki won't be happy."


            "Wha?" Ranma dreamily asked.


            "No kissing though," Cecilia held a finger to her chin. "Challenging."


            "Of course." Kasumi nodded, but did not release the redhead.


            "Yes of course, this is Mother's day," Nariko walked up behind Cecilia. She could read a calendar as well as the others and knew the importance of this day.  Ranma's eldest daughter wore a black leotard with dark red trim and her sword and scabbard was slid though a sash around her waist.


            Shifting in the embrace, Ranma smirked. "Yes, so keep it up."


            "What about the sparring?" Cecilia tapped her foot.


            Ranma looked to the doorway where both her and Cecilia's daughters were watching. "I'm taking a break, the rest of you can get back to work."


            Nariko bowed her head and gently touched Cecilia's elbow.


            Ranma smiled toothily and turned to her brood. "Girls, get your sparring partners back inside. We won't be long out here." She turned back and looked up at Kasumi. "Right Lieutenant?"

 

***************

 


            "Red!" Sam said as she and Naoko ran up to the coifed redhead. Both teenage girls were wearing matching sleek black dresses with blue trim.


            "Hi!" Ranma hugged them both. "Oh, it's great to see you too." She looked down. "Been a while."


            Naoko looked around the Cajun Thai fusion restaurant. She caught Eve's eye. The tall blonde gave a little nod. "Guess you've been busy."


            "You've got no idea." Ranma sighed. "But it's great to see you guys! A wonderful surprise." She turned to look back at Eve who was talking with the hostess. "I'm guessing she called you two."


            "Yeah, said something about a surprise vacation for you, but she didn't mention it was fancy dress," Sam said, eyeing Ranma's clothes.


            "She did pick up these for us," Naoko admitted, pulling at the sleeve to her dress.


            Ranma laughed. "Eve is full of surprises today. Though Cecilia may have been behind that one."


            "Cecilia, the brood mother you just met?" Naoko asked.


            "That's her, very sweet woman," Ranma nodded. "Has a good leg sweep too."


            "She's very nice, real sweet," Naoko said.


            "Yes, a lot like you," Sam added as they went to their table. She sat down in the booth next to Ranma, while Naoko sat next to Eve.


            "Oh? The mother thing." Ranma blushed a bit.


            "I believe the phrase is 'sappy demon mommy'," Naoko grinned. Her expression was cut short by the quizzical look of the waitress.


            "Ah, civilians," Eve said with a tight lipped smile as the server left with their drink orders.


            "Other than work, how have things been?" Sam asked.


            Ranma blinked. "Huh." Sighing softly, she looked down.


            "Oh, it's not that bad," Naoko put an arm around the redhead. "How's things been with your family's school?"


            Ranma relaxed further into the soft red booth's cushion. "Good, I mean I've been busy, but I've been working on some new stuff. Trying some things to speed up reaction time, also trying to figure which hits you can take with the least combat loss."


            Naoko blinked. "Huh... what, letting yourself get stabbed so you can win?"


            The redhead smiled.


            "That's crazy," Sam said, sharing Naoko's admittedly mild shock.


            "Cecilia said the same thing today." Ranma's grin sharpened.


            "Her girls do need more training," Eve allowed.


            "Oh dear... training fun?" Naoko asked.


            Ranma smirked.


            "I've warned her," Eve shook her head. "But we do heal well and in some fights..."


            "And sometimes you don't get to pick where you're hurt. Galina's got a real edge in speed, and you're the one that's real big on shooting with only your off hand," Ranma crossed her arms over her chest.


            "And dragging yourself if you've got a bum leg," Eve added.


            "And I'm the one that needs a warning," Ranma sniffed. "Anything can be a weapon."


            "Of course, I agree with that."


            "My how manly," Naoko joked, playfully leaning on Ranma's side.


            "It's sensible tactics," Ranma pouted.


            "Awww, don't get too sad," Sam teased.


            "I do put a lot of work into it," Ranma frowned as the waitress came up to the group; she eyed the coiffed well-dressed women and gave a big smile.


            Eve intervened ordering their appetizer soups, twin orders of tom-yum and gumbo that the four could share for their late lunch. "Sometimes too much," Eve noted once the waitress left.


            "Hey, if it wasn't for training I'd hardly have any down time."

            "Yes, that is my point."


            Sam looked down. "Oh. Um... Sunny, you know that's really pretty bad."


            "Yeah, we thought you guys pulled out of high school to get some time off. Did it all get eaten up?"


            Ranma sighed. "Yeah."


            "Work's been busy?" Sam frowned. "There haven't been that many explosions."


            "At least after the big fire on the East side," Naoko added.


            "I kinda prefer if there'd be a fight. That way maybe this mess'll get sorted out."


            Eve narrowed her eyes. "Careful now."


            "What? I can't say bad things about the Princess?" Ranma grumbled as the waitress returned and presented their water and their tea.


            Eve waited for the waitress to leave. "I was more concerned about you tempting fate."


            Ranma winced. "You think?"


            "This is your first real day off since this combat cyborg thing heated up. What do you think?"


            The redhead nodded. "My, my." She sunk deeper into the booth. "That'd make a mess of things."


            "Combat cyborgs?" Sam asked.


            A bit of apprehension flickered across Ranma's face. "Enemy group, they're causing trouble."


            Nodding, Eve looked between Ranma and the human girls. She leaned back slightly. "It's a group of Russian cyborg mercenaries. They're targeting someone under contract. You should not be a target, but your observation teams know what's going on."

            Sam looked up at the redhead. "When were you going to tell us?"


            "Huh?" Ranma blinked.


            "To be fair, we don't tell you about every threat. That would take too long." Eve kept her face neutral.


            "We're your friends, Red," Naoko said.


            "Which means this is normal, isn't it?" Sam asked.


            Ranma sighed. "Yes, yay for normality."


            "Not that there's anything wrong with being strange."


            The redhead raised an eyebrow. "Really now?"
           

 

***************

 


            Smoothing his tie, Murdock descended the steps into the dive. The bright light at his back was rapidly replaced by scant fluorescent lighting that buzzed behind cheap red-tinted plastic filters. Built into a basement, the establishment had a low ceiling and walls done in gaudy faux wood paneling that was starting to pop out of place. Walking up to the bar, the mage noted that it was really a series of mismatched kitchen countertops strung together and held up by cheap cabinetry.


            He gave a smile at the dregs of humanity that surrounded seedy, warped bar and the wobbly, darkened tables. After all, he was not so different. He had been in worse bars. On the other hand, he was still better dressed, rumpled suit notwithstanding.


            The runic mage nodded to bartender, who gave a blink of vague recognition. "So, ya gunna order somethin', or not?" the balding, unpleasantly-greasy gourd of a man asked.


            Murdock smiled. "Yes, I think I will. Gin, neat."


            The bartender eyed the watery-grey eyed man but poured the drink.


            "Thanks," Murdock accepted and took a sip. It was watered down, but given the cheapness of the liquor that was an advantage. "Gimmie three more."


            The bartender shrugged, and filled three more glasses. Murdock paid and turned away from the bar. As he studied the tables, he ran the tip of his left index finger over the rims of three of the four glasses. In one corner sat a trio of glowering men. Pulling a broad smile, Murdock sauntered over to them.


            "Hello, Mister Posh," the man in the center smiled, revealing bright clean teeth that contrasted with his rough stubble and unkempt brown hair. A natty sport-coat was draped over a threadbare black button-down shirt. Brown-black eyes sparkled with a wry amusement that contrasted with the rest of his rough brutality.


            "Why, hello Mortimer," Murdock sat down across from the man and nodded to his two companions. Both were larger than Mortimer but one was thinner while the other was stockier. Wearing cheaper, even more worn coats and shirts, they loomed over Mortimer as if they were a budget bodyguard.


             Murdock put the drinks down immediately, grabbed his glass and took a sip. He then pushed the others forward, paying particular attention to the center one that ended up before Mortimer.


            "I was worried that you'd have chickened out, given how long it took you to you finally decide to take our services. Now, as I understand it the clock is ticking on your... friend," Mortimer leered after gulping down the dodgy gin.


            "Well, this will be my last opportunity," Murdock reached into his jacket. He paused and noted that only Mortimer seemed to be watching his hand. Shrugging, he pulled out a pair of envelopes. One was thick and heavy with bills while the other was thin containing a handful of photographs.


            Murdock handed the packets over while Mortimer's companions downed their drinks.
            Mortimer thumbed through the tan-brown notes and pocketed the envelope. His attention then turned to the photographs. "My... isn't she a piece of class."


            The taller man to his left chuckled. "Prissy. You want us to take her down a few notches?"
           

            "Lenny, quiet," Mortimer growled.


            "Yes Leonard, be polite." Grinning, Murdock picked up his tie and slid the silver pin off. With a light toss, it landed between the photographs.


            Picking up the tie clasp, Mortimer frowned.


            The stocky man to the right chuckled. "Oh, that's good. You want us to show her it before or after?"


            "What?" Mortimer asked.


            "Your friend Gerald is rather perceptive." Murdock sipped from his glass. "Wear it on your shirt. I want her to see it right off the bat."


            "You're the boss." Mortimer snorted. "So we've got the who, now we need the where and the when."


            "Not going to ask for a why?"


            Lenny looked to Gerald and both men sniggered.


            Mortimer leaned forward. "You see, Mister, I have my own reasons. We all do. It's enough that you've given me something pretty." He tapped his jacket where the money was. "Two things."


            "Well," Murdock gave a greasy smile, matched by a dull glint in his watery-grey eyes. "I can't argue with that."


            "Details?" Mortimer pressed, eagerly.


            Smiling, Murdock reached into his coat again. He pulled out a small pad of paper, tore a sheet off, pocketed the rest of the pad, and wrote down two addresses and a time.


            After being slid to him, Mortimer looked up at the grinning man. "Fancy hotel and... someplace nearby? No room number though."


            "Oh no, too risky inside. She'll be leaving out the back. That's what the other address is for, backs to an alleyway. I'll drive her to you and..." Murdock flipped up his hand and let it go limp.


            "We'll do what you paid us to do," Mortimer completed.


            "Yes, yes you will."
           

 

***************

 


            It was the gap between late afternoon and early evening and most of the seats in the Red Turtle were full with the post work crowd. The rush of people venturing downtown for a night out would come later. Amid the drab, almost business-like patrons four pale women shone brightly.


            "You are shameless, Mother," Nabiki said from her seat next to the redhead. She radiated innocence and youth, but with enough maturity to make the temptation less guilt-ridden. A long shiny lacquered case was slid through a blue sash tied around her waist, highlighting her hips.


            She had powder blue hair cut into a playful hime-cut, long and straight with level flat bangs with the addition of twin pastel pink bows tied in back. There was little makeup, letting her youth carry the day. Her cheongsam was shiny white with blue snowflake and butterfly accents along the skirting that was barely below her waist. Wedge-heel sandals dangled off her feet, while a triangular neon-blue spaghetti-strap purse was slung over her shoulder.


            "I am?" Ranma asked as she sipped scotch from her tumbler. It was her first of the night and had hardly been touched.


            Nabiki ran a hand along her mother's thigh. "Everyone's looking at you."


            Looking around the bar, Ukyou raised an eyebrow. "A third of the people here are Company." She wore a metallic sliver-white slip of a dress with gold accents that matched her long platinum-blond hair. A big light orange bow tied some of her hair back at the base of her neck.


            "I'm still seeing no less than four men and two women that are intrigued by you... non-professionally," Cecilia added from her stool next to Ukyou. Her lavender hair held up with a long white ribbon, she was dazzling in an airy periwinkle skirt and a stiff white blouse with matching accents.  Her light purple eyes twinkled with mirth.


             "Only half a dozen?" Nabiki giggled and patted Ranma's thigh. "You can do better than that, right Mom?"


            Ranma gave a little smile. "I guess... I mean, I've already got a date."


           Nabiki reached up and adjusted one of Ranma's hair pins such that it ran into one of the horns concealed in her updo. "Treat it as practice then..."


            "Oooh?" The redhead straightened her shoulders and things shifted. Her sleeveless low-backed dress now seemed perfectly cut for her body and the position she was sitting in. With her thighs crossed, shoulders square she sat like a magazine girl from a previous age, only now with more experience. She looked as though she could have posed for a bomber's nose art and had done so, before the practice was banned.


             "Much better," Nabiki whispered as she continued to "adjust" her mother's hair.


            "Lovely," Ranma smiled as she adjusted her seat. The scalloped hem to her dress fell higher revealing more leg. Darker, now smoke colored stockings and held by crimson garters that flashed whenever she moved her thighs.


            "I thought you'd like it," Nabiki sat back down and motioned to the bartender. She then whispered into his ear. The man looked at the redhead and nodded.


            "Are you nervous about tonight?" Ukyou asked, giving a smile at her mother. She put a hand on the woman's backside and gave her a light hug.


            "Well..." Ranma looked down and her shoulders slumped a bit.


            "Cheer up, Mom!" Nabiki assured, returning to the hair pins


            Hit by the multiple contacts, Ranma found herself grinning and letting out a slight purr. "Nabiki...what-" the redhead almost asked before the bartender returned and placed a large cocktail glass in front of her.


            Incongruently, the delicate glass was filled with a thick-pinkish fluid of a malt-like consistency. Next to the glass was a large metal cup used in making milkshakes. "Strawberry chocolate rum. Enjoy." The bartender said before slipping a slice of chocolate-dipped strawberry on the edge of the glass.


            Ranma took an experimental sip that quickly turned into an almost greedy gulp. Still keeping a hand on a pin, Nabiki made sure to keep the glass full. After a couple glasses, the redhead's cheeks began to flush bright red. She gave off a smoothed, happy murmur.


            "How is it?" Nabiki asked with a smirk.


            "Delicious, you can't even taste the alcohol."


            "You going to finish?"


            Ranma eyed the freshly refilled glass. "Well..."


            Ukyou who had kept her hand at the base of her mother's spine and tail, nudged it forward. "Come on Mom, it's not enough to hurt you, and you can have a bit of fun."


            Giving something almost like a giggle, the redhead found the glass being pulled to her waiting mouth. For a while all she knew was chocolate and strawberry and seemingly hints of rum, all swirling with the massive pressure of her daughter's love.


            Her shoulders returned to their straight, thrusting position and her posture sharpened even as her eyes got duller and her dress more strained. The lacy edging gave  the illusion of modesty. Despite having a tiny lushness to her middle, she had an hourglass figure, if only due to the rest of her. While there was little skin visible, the cut of her dress combined with the fact that it seemed at least one size too small helped make that almost a technicality.


            Poised, confident, playful, and predatory, the redhead sat at the corner of the Red Turtle like a big cat surveying her hunting grounds. Fingers bearing inch and a half long pearlescent purple nails gracefully picked up a cocktail glass by the stem.


            Behind her, at the bar, Nabiki took the tumbler of scotch and pulled it to the side and ordered another shake for her mother.


            "Well, that got more interest," Cecilia noted.


            "Nothing changed... right?" Ranma frowned and took a sip.


            Ukyou smiled. "Body language does count for a lot."


            Nabiki's smile was somewhat strained. "Oh? Well, Misa-chan could have some fun."


            "Yes... Misako's at the hotel, right?" Ranma asked.


            "She does have a surprise for both of us," Ukyou smirked.


            "My, how lovely," Ranma took another sip and recrossed her legs.

 

***************

 


            A trio of succubae walked along the hotel's balcony. Below them and across the rich lobby carpet was the bar. Their attention was on a specific patron who sat at a table on the open border between the bar and the rest of the hotel.


            "There's Charles," Cecilia lazily gestured towards a man in charcoal suit sitting at the bar sipping scotch. His black hair was graying at the temples, giving him a distinguished air, which was enhanced by a  roguish smirk that only partially met his eyes. Their playful mirth was tempered by how his gaze kept moving, scanning.


            "Are you sure?" Not breaking her stride, Ranma glanced down. She focused her senses and caught of waft of his scent. She smiled slightly.


            "Oh yes, that's him." Cecilia smiled.


            "Yes, yes, that's a spook," Ranma nodded.


            Eve gave a tiny smile as they exited the balcony onto a branch hallway.


            "A spook?" Cecilia shrugged.


            "He's had training," Ranma noted before taking in another breath. They then entered the elevator.


            "I suppose Navy counts," Cecilia said drawing mildly critical glances from Ranma and Eve.


            "A bit more than Navy," Eve corrected as they arrived at their floor. "And he's done... work in this part in the world. He's a useful consultant."


            "But he's retired." Cecilia said, reproachfully. "I figured that someone more... experienced would be more Ranma's speed. He's also had problems in love, so seemed like a fair match. You did approve this," she said; the group gracefully stepping out of the elevator.


            Following her sisters down the corridor Eve smiled. "Yes, after doing my homework."


            Ranma looked down at her hands. "I don't know... I mean he's..." She sniffed her nose and blinked at the hotel door.


            "One sec." Pausing before their room door, Eve took stock. Feeling nothing untoward, she unlocked the door and swept into the room.


            Cecilia chuckled as Eve relaxed.


            Already inside the room, Misako looked up from a large tacklebox she had open on a dresser. "Hello mother," she said, sweeping across the room. After hugging the redhead she gave her a critical look. "Yes, very workable."


            Closing the door behind her, Cecilia raised an eyebrow.


            "You were one of Mother-Alexia's treasures.


            Cecilia raised an eyebrow as Misako addressed her, "You..."


            "Which is why she tried to hide you," Misako assured putting an arm around the brood mother.


            "Misa-chan?"


            Misako smirked. "What? You didn't think I'd miss out on this? Did you Mom?"

            Ranma shook her head. "I guess you do have experience."


            "Some," Misako allowed with a broad toothy smile.


            "I was worried she'd affect your nerves," Eve coughed.


            "Oh, no it's not that," Ranma said hugging Misako again, but she did eye the makeup box suspiciously. "I'm more worried about how... mature he is."


            "Age? You're concerned about that?" Eve ran a hand over Ranma's bun.


            Sitting on the bed Ranma brightened. "You're right, he can't be much older than you were as a man."


            Eve blinked.


            "That explains why you agreed to him," Cecilia poured herself a glass of water.


            Misako giggled.


            A hint of pink crept up Ranma's cheeks.


            Eve cleared her throat. "Sunny... how old do you think I am?"


            Ranma blushed. "Sorry!"


            "Charles is over a decade older than Eve, I'd suppose," Cecilia clinically said as she studied the redhead. "Nariko's seventeen.... but how old are you Ranma?"


            "We normally go with about thirty-five. About my age," Eve groused.


            Cecilia sat down at Ranma's right and summoned her wings. "Well that's no fun. Let's give Charles something more... becoming."


            "What I thought you'd already made-" Ranma's concerns were cut off by a membranous cocoon engulfing her body. Purring, the redhead felt herself ensconced in Cecilia's love. The lavender haired woman kissed Ranma and held it, deepening the embrace. Maternal and other energies washed over her. She felt a weight hitting her left side and the extra pressure and softness of Eve's wings. Finally, Misako's doting, but prickly love, was added when her wings enveloped too.


            Cecilia shifted her wings to allow Eve access and the three succubae traded off embracing, feeding their sister, their brood mother, their brood queen. Ranma tried to return the favor but found herself receiving more than she gave. Overwhelmed three to one, she felt herself being washed away.


            The only respite came when Misako occasionally stepped aside, but the orange-haired demoness soon returned with some new trinket or cosmetic. As Misako worked her hands would slide in, inspecting the progress and basking in the love of her aunts. In one brief free moment, Ranma gasped as her body filled with love and then overfilled. Love pulsed through her seemingly washing her away.


            Eventually, the wings withdrew and a beaming and star-marked Cecilia helped the brood mother so she could sit under her own weight. Misako took out a makeup brush and did a final smooth on her mother's blush. The blond-highlighted redheaded woman caught a glimpse of Eve's awed shock before looking at the mirror before her. "Oh my," Ranma said, as she studied... herself.


            Her makeup was a more adult and... subtle style. Eye shadow was a pale lavender, and her cheeks were rouged to give her a slight, by human standards, blush. However by the standards of succubae biology, she would look furiously flushed.


            Eyelashes curled and fluttered in broad arcs while her eyebrows were trimmed to tiny blonde arcs. Her lips had grown, becoming plumper, fuller and had changed to a glossy pink. It emphasized her sensuality, it obscured her age with a feminine ideal which could place her within a span of a decade from matured youth to preserved prime.


            Her bun had swelled, gaining several inches and delicate waves and dangling curls. Technically red, the crimson was beginning to be crowded out by a bit of blonde streaking through. Ranging from platinum to honey tips, streaks and curls of blonde were laced through her hair becoming more dominant the further from the root. This included thin blonde eyebrows and a pair of curled tendril tresses that ran from her temples to frame her face.


            "You really have lovely hair," Misako assured as she replaced her mother's hair pins. They were fixed to one side in a backwards arc to look as if the brood mother had put them in herself. Their obsidian heads had bloomed, transforming into tiny black lotuses with amethyst centers.


            However there were four that were out of place. Near the wide bottom of the bun, they were two to a side and the brood mother practically swooned as Misako slowly, lovingly inserted them. Misako leaned in and whispered into a bejeweled ear. "We gave you something special, don't let the other pair poke out."


            As Ranma gave a happy nod, Misako adjusted the frothing hair ribbons. More of them had spiraled out, adorning the summit of her bun, forming a gentle avalanche of periwinkle curls.


            Her nails had lengthened into feminine talons lacquered French-tip style with pearlescent purple bodies and reflective white tips that overhung by nearly half an inch. They were then hidden by a pair of pink gloves that were slipped up her sleeves.


            Checking the shoes, Misako smiled. She had managed to grow them into soft violet patent leather pumps and sneak more heel onto them and add platforms in the toes that added nearly half a foot to her mother's height. Snaking up her mother's skirt, she then gave a brief check to the brood mother's foundation garments, as they would be on display later in the night.


            Giggling, Misako pulled back and looked up at her flustered mother. Immediately her new "height" became more apparent when Ranma stood up, with her expanded but tighter purple gown constricting her legs. The bottom hem had grown from just below knee to nearly ankle length.


            The slip beneath her skirting had stiffened forming straps and supports. A cross between a crinoline and a bustle the structures and gatherings fluffed out around her hips exaggerating and thrusting out her butt and thighs. Combined with the tightness of the dress around her thighs and knees made it look like her hips had broadened, and that she had a heftier, rounder bottom.


            This formed her skirting into a smoothly fluted shape. The dress flared out  near bottom of the skirt at shin level. The scalloped hem was edged in fluffy lace and puffed out adding to the fluted look. She took a tiny step forward and found that bottom of the dress flounced with enthusiastic femininity.


            Her bosom was divided by lines of ruffles that went down the center of her torso to meet up with more ruffles that encircled her waist in several light purple tiers. Filled with ruffles and lace the dress above her waist gave a strong contrast to the smooth expanse below.


            Lacy and puffy loops, like strands of icing edging a layer cake, connected her dress’ upper hem and encircled her upper arms to form the tops of thin sleeves Her shoulders and back were bare, giving a clear demarcation between the dress and her body,  in much the same manner that her wasp-waist was the line between her sleek skirts and her ruffled top.


            All these masses of frills accented her chest such an over the top fashion that the exposed cleavage was expected, anticipated. Smiling, Misako took a few of the dark purple  bows and began pinning them in place: one between her breasts just below the hem, several tiny ones on the upper frills of her sleeves, one on the toe of each shoe, and one with wide bows on the base of her spine, drawing attention to the swell of her backside.


            A purple choker  bearing star shaped rubies served as the anchor to a great amber pendant. Silver chains went from the choker to the egg-shaped gem, supporting it half way between her choker and the edging frills. A series of dangling pearls also hung from her neck in long loops, further drawing the eye low and to the front.  They were matched by loops strung around her wrists and just above her demi-sleeves.


            Together it all formed a sensual woman, one who might still be wild but was now festooned in feminine finery. The brood mother looked at her reflection entranced.


            Closing up her box Misako gave another smirk. Now mother was starting to look her station. "So, you need me?" she asked hugging her mother.


            The brood mother gave a little gasp at the nursing nip. "You're not going to... watch?"


            Misako continued draining her mother, who now towered over her. "Well... Ukyou will be coming off her watch and..."


            Running a hand over Misako's head the strawberry blonde giggled. "I understand daughter." She hugged tighter, and Misako leaned onto the slightly shorter woman. "I'm sorry I ever called this 'Slut Warpaint', you have a gift Misa-chan." Stepping forward, the brood mother found narrow almost pencil-skirt style gown caused her to take short little steps, especially when combined with her shoes. A tinge of anxiety borne of how hobbled she was combat-wise swam in the sea of contentment that filled her.


            "That's more what you said about Akane." Purring into her mother's embrace. Misako smirked.


            "Though this isn't really your style," the brood mother noted.


            "It's not," Misako lightly said. "It's yours."


            The blonde and redheaded woman frowned fractionally.
           


            "Well... it's what I thought would look good on you. Speaking of that," Misako rose up slightly, due to her mother's very high shoes, and planted her amber lips against her mother's glossy pink.


            The brood mother gave a happy murmur and returned the kiss. For a moment she lost herself in the layers of makeup, hair product, silk, leather and lace. When she blissfully came out, she found Misako withdrawing. The brood mother pouted slightly.


            Misako took the strawberry-blonde's chin. "Good.... solid hold, won't need much touchup."


            "You... you know your makeup," the brood mother gasped.


            "I'm glad you love it, Mommy. Have fun tonight." Misako hugged her mother again and gave another little push both physical and mental and was rewarded by more warmth and another giggle. She eyed the strawberry-blonde. "Well...  Ukyou better hurry up."


            "Or she'll miss my new look?"


            "That and I really want to... talk with her."  Misako flashed her fangs.


            After hesitating for a step, Cecilia added to the hug. "Yes, we promise whatever happens you should enjoy yourself, that's the important part, don't let yourself be uncomfortable."


            "You look like a true mother; you look like Nodoka; you look delicious," Eve purred, taking position along the brood queen's backside.


            "I do?" the brood mother said with a little whisper. The blonde streaks in her hair throbbed softly and her thick lips curled into a blissful smile.


            "Very much," Eve said reaching out to rub the redhead's middle, feeling the lace edging, and smooth tautness of the gowns' silk.


            The brood mother happily cooed and stepped forward, her flared and bustled bottom swaying behind her in a puffed out and built train. Looking at her reflection she angled her backside and her thrust out and ruffled front. Her cheeks flushed pink and then stayed flushed as she gave a light giggle.


            "Are you ready?" Eve asked, rubbing her sister's waist again.

 

***************

 


            Charles had moved to the intimate low lights of the dining room and was quietly, almost whispering, to his phone. "All I'm saying is that you should make your class a bit more... interactive. Yes, I'm sure your students learn a lot. I know, I was there for a lot of it, but come on, it's a bit dry. Maybe you should go out on a date. Well... I know a certain Irishwoman that would love some excitement."


            After taking a sip of his scotch, Charles felt a chill roll down his spine like a combination of a soft caress and lover's whisper. Adjusting his stance so his rig carried better, he swallowed and turned around. A vision approached. "Hey Mikie, my lady friend just came. So, no calling until morning... maybe later." There was a slight tremor when he closed his phone. A slight flowery scent tickled his nose


            Watching her steadily, contently close-in Charles studied the woman. He recognized her from the balcony but closer she seemed almost unreal. The deep purples, rich reds, and ivory whites were too vivid. Her curves were too luscious. Her hair looked too soft, too two-toned, and also somehow too sculpted and it also bore spiraled ribbons that should have clashed with the whole playfully coy, but buxom matriarch vibe.


            The whole look seemed far overdone, she looked more appropriate for a ball or wedding, not for dinner, fancy or no. Despite wearing a dress that should have restricted her movement, she moved with a fluid, almost predatory grace.  Though she did have to pause as she stepped up over a lip when the floor transitioned from carpet to tile.


            He found himself standing up. The woman was shorter than him, but her piled hair, and ruffled gown helped extend her presence.


            "Why hello, Mr. Finley. I'm Sunshine Vestal." Rose lips quirked into a grin as the woman extending a hand.


            "Well Mrs. Vestal, you can call me Chuck if I can call you Sunny," the man grinned taking her hand and giving it a kiss. Feeling a slight jolt he got a bit more of her sakura scent from her perfume or herbal oils she used in her hair. It could also be the dyes, given the blonde eyebrows and red roots her hair had to have been dyed some color.


            Enjoying the gentle nip of energy from the contact Sunshine smiled. "Oh please do." She returned her hand to being clasped before her.


            Giving a quick smile, Charles pulled out a chair for her, then took her outstretched hand to help her to her seat and once she was settled pushed her seat in. He watched as the complex structures that extended her buttocks compressed revealing the true, and generous, shape of her backside


            "My, manners." Sunshine said, taking note of the muted grayscale tie, gold wrist watch, pinky ring... and concealed shoulder holster he wore. She then watched him take his seat, noting the crease of his suit pants.


            "I aim to please." Studying the well-coifed woman, he flashed another grin. "So how do you know Sissy?"


            "Our daughters play with each other." Sunshine said.


            "You've got kids? No kidding," Charles smiled.


            Looking down Sunshine blushed. "I'm sorry..." she pulled back.


            "Oh look, I didn't mean," Charles took her wrist and for a split second it tensed and felt hot. It passed and he pulled her willing arm forward. "We don't have to do anything. Cecilia's a good friend of mine and she said you needed some relaxation."


            Exhaling, Sunshine's shoulders sagged, the oscillating results of which caught Charles' eye. Though when that much lace and frills moved it was hard to miss it. She pulled herself back up and nodded at him. "That's fine; you don't need to worry about me."


            "I take it there's no Mr. Vestal?"


            Sunshine raised a delicate blonde eyebrow. "No. There... well there was recently a blonde. Pretty... self-centered... incompetent."


            "Sunny, younger men are nothing but trouble. You should know that buy now."


            The demoness stared and blinked. After a moment she put her hand to her mouth and laughed awkwardly. "My, my Chuck, speaking from experience are we?" Sunshine then smiled broadly, showing her teeth.


            Charles coughed. "Well, no that's not what I mean, I've just seen a lot of stupid things young people have done, I've done most of them myself.
           


            Sunshine put a finger over his lips, the point of her nail scratching his nose. "Don't worry. We've both got plenty of baggage. And besides, it was a young woman."


            Charles waited for her to withdraw her finger. "Oh? Oh my."


            "You don't mind?" Sunshine asked.


            Charles laughed. "Nah, I always enjoyed a bit of competition. Same holds true for women. You have to be careful with the young ones, especially those with a temper. They can blow up like that."


            "Do tell," Sunshine dryly said.


            "I'm not speaking figuratively either."


            "My," Sunshine noted.


            A waiter came up and took their drink orders. To Charles' surprise, Sunshine ordered what he was drinking.


            "So you're a Scotch drinker?" Charles asked after the waiter returned and Sunshine took a sip. The sparkling cuts in the heavy crystal tumbler complimenting the pearlescence of her manicured nails.


            "My boss got me into it," Sunshine said, taking in the aromas around her. "I was drinking something else tonight but... it was too sweet."


            Charles nodded. "So, after this pretty girl you decided you needed a change?"


            There was a flicker of hesitation as the woman tilted her head and seemed to look though her companion.  "Something like that." She quickly said, seeming to snap back. Even her eyes had resumed their delighted shine.


            "Well old Chuck is more than welcome to help a lovely lady make the rebound a bit softer."


            "Really?" Sunshine felt her cheeks burning with a bit more nervousness


            Feeling a shapely leg brush against his and rise up to his knee. Charles' eyebrows shot up. After making sure the foot was there for contact and not to kick him, he reached down and removed the shoe and began to massage. Special attention was paid to the toes and inner arch.


            Sunshine gave a surprised gasp and her chest heaved. "Mr. Finley!" She cried nearly spilling her scotch.


            "Lady, you put it there."


            "Yes." Looking him in the eye, she placed her glass on the table and raised her other leg. "There, now there won't be any... more spills."

 

***************

 


            "I did not expect this," Eve said after taking a glance at Sunshine.


            Cecilia raised an eyebrow but did not look. Both were sitting at an angle to Sunshine and Charles' table. "This is how it works for us." She said, taking a look as part of a sweeping glance over the room.


            After the appetizers, Sunshine had Charles move her seat so it was next to him, and was blissfully leaning on his side. Like her stole, his left arm was wrapped over her shoulders and disappeared into the frills and cascaded down her chest. That left his right arm to ferry food from their plates to their mouths.


            Eve inclined her head slightly. "She's playing him?"


            Cecilia nodded. "Look at how she's got both her arms free and how he only feeds her at her signal. We are mimics; we look like our food. Of course overt appearances will be misleading."


            Eve caught the two kissing. Sunshine leaned forward to initiate, but after that Charles took charge and led the kiss. He took her cheek in his palm, while he used his right arm to go under her bosom and split the difference between that and her belly.


            "My, she's a natural." Not even looking, Cecilia's nostrils flared.


            "Is this hurting him?"


            "Not unless our sister wants to."


            "Is this hurting her?" Eve quietly asked.


            Cecilia put her hand on Eve's. "You wanted her to unwind. You're the one that marked her so. Frivolous carnality is a natural. I know Charles; he's happy entertaining his lady friends and doesn't get that hung up about it."


            "One wonders why he needed to buy your services."


            "Who said I charged him?"


            Eve blinked. "I suppose you aren't required to charge someone."


            "I'm not running a tab on either of you," Cecilia smirked.


            "So he can handle it, what about our sister?"


            Cecilia shrugged. "She's a succubus. He's a human. There's no chance of it becoming anything more than what it is."


            Eve took a bite of her steak. "Tell that to Kasumi."


            "They broke up because of that very incompatibility. Also he's male." Cecilia gave a little smile. "Males are quite delicious to us, but that's about it. I don't think we need to worry about her getting infatuated with her food." Cecilia daintily ripped an arm off her lobster.


            "Really?" Eve looked at the blood oozing out of her rare steak.


            "Well if something does develop, then we have a new sister, and Sunny finally gets a mate."

 

***************

 


            Bearing a guarded little smile, the woman with blonde-highlights closed the door and slowly turned away.


            "I trust you had fun," Eve said, somewhat muted.


            "Jealous?" the blonde-highlighted woman teased as she glided towards the full blonde.


            "It's simple deduction," Eve's eyes went to the door. "He's still alive, therefore you had to have had fun, otherwise..."


            Cecilia raised a lavender eyebrow. There was another simple deduction; one that could be found by the mere half hour their sister had spent with Mr. Finley. The gown alone would have taken several minutes to remove, not that the process could not be made most enticing. Putting it back on, however, would be more difficult to make entertaining.


            "Oh yes, if he had been... naughty I would have had to have taken care of him, which would have been fun... afterwards." Licking her lips, the brood mother put a hand to her belly.
           


            Cecilia continued to study the coifed matron. Her gown was slightly askew though her bustle and tight bodice looked to still be in place, even if the ties on the latter looked freshly redone. Lipstick and had been redone and there was now dainty cream colored lace edging her gloves.


            "But he was such a gentleman," the blondish-redhead purred. Her expression sharpened. "You two must have done your homework to dig him up."


            "Well, when one finds someone on both my list and Eve's," Cecilia coughed.


            "Yes... you found an operator with experience and playfulness." The demoness stalked closer to Cecilia.


            The lavender-haired demoness looked up as the redhead dominated her vision, her senses. High heels, bustles, bodices, sculpted hair, layers of silk, piles of ribbon, constellations of jewelry, and shimmering makeup gave a hint of the brood queen's power. It was a placeholder, a representation of the immense scale and pull the matriarch commanded. Cecilia found herself drawn in and for a moment was lost in a wash of softness and warmth.


             Embracing the younger demon, the brood queen leaned down to whisper into her ear. "You know my... tastes better than I do. Maybe... maybe another time I'll be more ready." Ranma kissed Cecilia on the lips. "But, I still had a wonderful time."


            Flushing, Cecilia found herself stepping free of the hug and bowing her head. "Thank you. I had hoped you two would hit it off."


            "And he's not upset?" Eve asked.


            Clasping her hands, Ranma giggled. "I still showed my appreciation and... interest," she said, somewhat primly.


            Raising an eyebrow, Cecilia glanced at Eve.


            The blonde cleared her throat. "Ah, so you had a good time?" she asked as they walked down the corridor towards the elevator.


            "It was certainly interesting." Waiting for the elevator, Ranma shifted her dress. "Is that how it normally goes?"


            "A high class call-girl set you up with a former spook who's been seen drinking with those Tan Berets up in CFB Trenton."


            "Which special forces group, ours?" Cecilia asked, having learned what the tan beret meant on a Canadian.


            "Same overall command as the JTF2 platoon we're training, but no he's been seen with CJIRU. Which is on par with what our boys'll deal with." Eve said, referring to the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit.


            "And yet I'm still not sure he's related to our little Spearhead Project." Ranma rubbed her chin. "Strange no?" she asked as they stepped into the elevator.


            "Mr. Finley has his fingers in a lot of pies. Granted not in any of the NH areas, as far as we know." Eve let the implied question hang.


            Ranma laughed. "I'm supposed to be on vacation today."


            Eve looked at the polished steel door before them. "You do know what day this is?"

 

            The brood mother tiled her head.

 

            "Pluto's ritual, the one Murdock sabotaged."

 

            "Yes, the day I turned into a demon, how could I forget that?" Ranma sarcastically asked.

 

            Eve gave a tight little smile. "It was a year ago today."

 

            The succubus blinked. She glanced down at herself.   "Oh. It didn't... seem that long."

 

            Cecelia gave an encouraging smile. "It did take you three months to get to Canada after being changed.  And you've only been living full time as a demon for a about half of the time you've been here."

 

            "Huh,  but that means you girls have been demons for even less time."

 

            Eve and Cecilia shrugged.  "This is your day.  Just focus on your fun."

 

            "You mean the date your se me up with?" Ranma pondered.


            The doors opened and the trio stepped into the lobby. "Yes.  He's been talking with CJIRU.... So the guys called in when a nuke or a biological weapon gets out are on par with what you all do?" Cecilia asked.


            Eve smiled thinly. "I suppose when put that way, that makes our situation a bit melodramatic."


            "Vacation me," Ranma muttered with a bit of mock frustration as they went through the lobby to the back side of the hotel.


            "Oh hush, it's not like we asked you to pump him for information," Eve sighed wistfully. "He's done plenty of work in the Caribbean and in Colombia, you know. We always were weak in South America"


            "I thought you guys were everywhere, waiting to pounce on any wayward demon," Cecilia said with a trace of bitterness.


            "Well, we like to cultivate that impression," Eve patted Cecilia on the back and opened the pair of service doors.


            Ranma stepped out into the night and smiled as the cold tried to cut through her layers of silks. The wind blew against her and she had a moment of enjoying it ruffle her dress about while her hair stayed frozen, instead of the more normal opposite effect.


           Shaking off her brief reverie, Ranma looked at the Company truck waiting at the service exit. She sniffed the air. "Oh, dear."


            "What?" Eve turned away from Lieutenant Patterson. She tried to work out what had her sister's attention.


            "Another present," Ranma grinned, revealing her teeth. She pulled up her skirts and started down the alleyway, away from the Company truck. After a few steps she stopped and looked back to Eve. "You are coming, right?"


            "Should I try to stop you?"


            Cecilia blinked. "Trap?"


            "Probably!" The woman with blonde-highlights giggled.


            Eve sighed and motioned to Patterson before taking off after her sister. The tiny lanes and alleys got tighter as the glass buildings gave way to brick. Cans of refuse, broken crates and other bits of debris, began to crowd out the crumbling walls and uneven ground.


            Though all this, Ranma smoothly glided ahead. Her piled, sparkling hair, and fluffy gown completely at odds with her surroundings.


            Hand on her sidearm, Eve followed her around a blind curve and saw three large men in grungy slacks and black synthetic coats crowding around the redhead.


            "There they are! Just like he said," the man in the center gloated as he drew a large knife from a scabbard concealed by his jacket.


            Ranma gave a little pout at the knives the other two had drawn. Noticing the silver tie clasp pinned to the center man's shirt pocket, she instantly perked up.


            To his left a stouter man in between the height of his two partners, looked up at Eve in her tight blue dress.


            "Go after the redhead. She can't run all fancied up," the man sneered. "Hello, whore, Mr. Murdock's got a problem with how you treated him, so he sent me and my boys to repay the favor." He tapped the silver clasp idly. "Though according to him you've got enough kinks that it'll be hard to make you squeal, in pain that is." He wriggled the knife. "But me and my boys aim to do our best."


            Just behind Eve, Cecilia's eyes flared.


            Looking at the trio of glowering... hungry men and their shining knives, Ranma clapped her hands in joy. "My, my. Such a lovely gesture. Maybe I was wrong about Murdock."


            Not taking her eyes off the men, Eve suppressed a sigh. "You want to play, then?" she asked Ranma.


            The trio blinked with the two flanking men looking to their leader. "Don't think you can get away!" he shouted.


            Ranma smiled. "He went through all the trouble to set up a pathetic little ambush."


            "And if it's a real ambush?"


            "Patterson and his men are right behind us. I know you, they're securing the area."


            "What the fuck are you talking about? Crazy bitch, you don't even look that much like the photo."


            "Shhh," Ranma stepped forward and put a finger to the man's lips. "You were talking about how you were going to cut me up, make me scream? Bask in the power of just taking another person so totally?" She gave a little purr. "Were you going to save anything? Or maybe take a little snack right here?"


            "He said you were twisted," the man spat to the ground. "Lenny, Gerald, grab her."


            The two men on either side each took an arm at the wrist and pulled them to the sides putting her in a bit of a T shape. The third man stepped closer to her and loomed over her.


            "Could you tell me your name?" Ranma asked arching her neck back.


            The man pricked his knife into the top of her gown and slit it to the side, the gauzy white covering, silk décolletage, and streamers of pearls were cut away, revealing heaving, upthrust cleavage. "You can call me Mortimer, Mort."


            "Lovely, someone had a sense of drama then." Inhaling deeply, Ranma licked her lips and arched her back a bit more.


            Mort snorted. "You're one kinky bitch, but you know this isn't some little game."


            "More than you do."


            "Yeah, right," Mort looked up, he saw the blonde and the light purple haired one standing several paces behind the fluffy blondish-redhead. Both bore disgusted and strangely... critical expressions. "Guess your little friends like to watch. What do you say we give them a show?"


            " Lenny, Gerald, rip!"


            The two men pulled and the lacy sleeves and puffy hemlines tore away, taking much of the top of her gown with them. Lenny blinked as the sleeve and ruffles he held seemed to fall apart, but he simply dropped them and readied his knife.


            Pearls rained onto the sidewalk. As that happened, Mort sliced her bodice down, leaving her bare from her choker to the fluting of her skirt. Somehow the little cream colored gloves managed to stay on.


            "There, showing you more of what you really are," Mort pressed the knife below her belly button. "You can try to cover it up, but beneath all this you're just an animal."


            Squaring her hips, the strawberry blonde held up her arms so they could be grabbed again. "My, my. Where did Murdock find you?"


            "Shut up!" Mort sliced across her beehive hair bun, taking the top off. Hair pins joined the pearls in falling to the ground. The remaining hair fell, mostly down her back, but some settled across her eyes forming a crimson and blonde curtain that veiled everything but her glossy lips and bright, bright teeth.


            "Enough playing," Mort snarled as he drew his blade lower. The instant it crossed the woman's waist her expression hardened and the smile on her lips went from amused to something... else.


            Ranma's arms muscled in and Lenny and Gerald tumbled forward. Claws flicked out and both had their right hands neatly lopped off. Her tail shot out the front of her skirting, dispatching Mort's hand with far more mess.


            Eyes flashed and burned messy lines into Mort's temples and along the sides of his head. She dove forward and tackled the crying man to the ground. As she knelt down on his stomach, her skirting fell around him. She put a hand around his mouth and with a thumb under his jaw kept it closed. Claws sliced as she began to cut away his coat, peel off his shirt sleeves, and then his skin.


            Inhaling, Ranma gave a dreamy smile. "Do you want to see what you really are?"


            Behind her immovable grip, Mort gibbered.


            Watching, the lavender-haired succubus nearly cried out in shock. Her mother was Alexia, she had seen such violence before; she had felt the sympathetic hunger and was able to revel in the sensation. However, the predatory savagery still worried her.


            The blonde-red tressed demoness narrowed her eyes and started running her tail over his right leg. Twisting her back she looked over to Eve and Cecilia. Glancing back to the stunned, bleeding Lenny and Gerald, she narrowed her eyes and raked twin purple beams against their gasping mewling forms.


            Satisfied she returned to her sisters. "Would you two be a dear pair and help me?"


            Cecilia swallowed, and after hesitating indulged herself. Kneeling down to the man, to her prey, she began to feed. It was different. Instead of having prey that needed to be coaxed into release, this time a lump of yowling meat was presented before her.


            In spite of the blood loss, the ripped muscles, the shredded entrails, and the swaths of missing skin, the man the redhead straddled was still alive. His heart and lungs were still intact, and air bubbled out of the ruin of his nose and around the hand clamped over his mouth.


            Straddling the man her face clouded. As she drained, she took the choice bits of muscle and organs. She narrowed eyes gave a quick claw swipe and took his life. She had felt his pain, his fear; too much soured the meal.


            Pausing she looked over and saw Eve performing a similar maneuver as she cracked open a rib cage to extract a freshly-stilled heart. However, the part that truly chilled and exited the lavender-haired brood mother was seeing the queen work.


            Then with a contented sigh, the demoness looked down.  Foreplay was over and she started deeper, more excavating cuts. Now, she was simply cutting up her food into manageable bites. Though she would occasionally skip that aspect and dive into the carcass with her mouth. Blood and viscera splattering against the remnants of her dress and caking the accessories that had yet to fall off.


            After finishing, the demon queen rose from the pile of broken bones, torn muscles, shredded clothing, offal, and generous splatters and pools of blood. The alley darkened. Shadows spread from around her torn skirting, covering the brutalized bodies and littered ground. Her bare torso shone before the shadows deepened and her form obscured further.


            Then the inky tendrils drew in. Bits of silk, silver bows, blonde and red curls, pearls and other debris were pulled with the retreating darkness. The ground was scoured of blood and flesh was scoured from the bones.

 
            Pulsing with purple flashes, the shadows obscuring her form shimmered. Once the alleyway was picked clean, the shadows covering her began to lighten and fade revealing that bloody torn cloth and pale skin had given way to lace, silk, and ribbon all crisp and clean. Stepping forward, the demon queen held a small contented smile, and folded her hands before her. The melting darkness revealed that her hair had regained its curled and piled structure.


            After dabbing at her lips with a handkerchief, Cecilia gave an appreciated whistle, especially at the curves that the strawberry blonde was resting her hands on. Feeling her body tingle, she closed her eyes for a moment, savoring the sensation.


            After radioing in their status, Eve walked over to the queen. Smirking, the blonde put a hand close and patted the redhead's hands, and then her full stomach. "I suppose that works. Suspicious though," she said feeling her sister's stretched side skirting, confirming wider more powerful hips.


            "Yes, but still, lovely little gift," Ranma smiled and bowed at the waist to the waiting agents behind her sisters. "Apologies for the delay Lieutenant Patterson, I promise I'll make it up to you and your men."


            Patterson looked up and met her gaze. "I'm sure we can work out some training," he said, his voice and eyes steady. The carnage was bad, but that's what happens when one tugs the tiger's tail. It was especially one sided, these were punks, at least cultists had an idea what they were up against.


            He turned to his men and took a read of their expressions. Porter seemed a bit green about the gills.  Franklin had worked with the brood before and seemed more contemptuous of the punk's foolishness than anything else. Only Stockton was frowning with disapproval and distaste.  Though it might be at the thought of having to stay and guard the alley until he cleaners came.


            The lieutenant was reminded of the bank robbery that Red, the late Aram and Gabriel had foiled. She didn't eat anyone that time. Then again the Company did set her loose in an Assembly base where she gleefully slaughtered them by the dozens. Compared to that the cleanup and containment for this would go much quicker.


            Blissful almost dazed, Ranma happily nodded before turning to Eve. "Shall we go?" She looked as she did before, perfectly polished and poised.  
            There were only two changes: her form had bulged out, gravid with food, and she bore Murdock's silver tie clasp nestled upon her chest.


            Looking  demurely content, she looked at the agents; a frown fluttered across her face.  The demoness made a show of turning and looking back at the alleyway and inspecting the carnage. It could have been worse. When she had reformed her dress she had pulled most of the... mess in with her, scrubbing as she went.


            Idly sniffing the air, she zeroed in on the most apprehensive of the agents.


            "Red?" Patterson asked as she glided past.


            "She's just checking something out, Lieutenant," Eve assured as she straightened up herself.


            Approaching Stockton, Ranma looked at his stance and how the black-haired man held his arms.  "It's good to see you on active duty. Was the recovery difficult?"


            Stiffing his back and keeping his eyes on her, Franz Stockton shook his head. "No Ma'am, turret rounds went through and through. Bleed bad but could have been a lot worse. Spent more time getting my muscles to mend than anything else." His tone was stiff but undercut with pride.


            "I'm glad." Smiling, Ranma reached out, but then pulled her hand back and clasped it before her. "The Russians..." she shook her head. "Not to mention what happened to Green and Gold team."


            "Green is making a comeback," Stockton assured, as Porter and Franklin nodded in agreement. 


            Ranma glanced back again. "I am sorry," she eventually said, softly seemingly surprised with herself.


            "Ma'am."


            The demoness' smile returned. "Such a useful phrase."


            "Yes, Ma'am." Stockton nodded to himself, approving her answer. "Sorry for what, Ma'am?"


            A blonde eyebrow rose. "For inconveniencing you all.  I shouldn't have indulged in such a messy way."


            "I'd rather this than babysitting those Pattern Silvers," Patterson added, glancing at Stockton.  Normally, he would end his subordinate's line of questioning, but the officer was curious too.


            "You could have taken them out and feed later," Stockton suggested.


            "Yes, I'm sure you'd be far more comfortable playing the deliverymen.  Ranma laughed. "Going to stock our larder too?" 


            Ranma looked down. She was still in all her finery. Ruffles and pearls replaced blood and claws so smoothly that they were two sides to the same coin. "No, this is better...  for you."


            Stockton narrowed his eyes fractionally. "Yes.  Enjoy the rest of your evening, Ma'am."

 

***************

 


            Following the heady, overpowering scent, Eve stepped into the kitchen. Her eyes widened at the sight before her.


            Her back to Eve, Ranma bent down and opened the oven. Lace edged hips flared out in generous and widely spaced arcs. Her gown had pulled in closer and had lightened from shades of purple to off-white with lavender ruffles and lace. It was like night and day.  The pallet-swap had gone from dark solid colors fit for evening wear to fresh, almost spring-time, pastels that made her radiant and bright.


            A tail thicker than Eve's arm swished out behind the blonde-highlighted redhead. When viewed from behind, her curves pushed against her silk gown. Carrying a pan bearing glistening cinnamon buns, the brood mother returned to a standing position. Giving a happy giggle, she closed the oven and placed the pan atop the stove


            Her horns had finally broken free from her shiny hair bun. Glossy ebony, they were tightly spiraled like a ram's and stuck out to nearly shoulder width. A smaller more delicate pair was immediately before them, their tips just sticking out of the bun.


            Gracefully, she spun on a heel. Her stiletto-heeled purple platform pumps, also now periwinkle, nearly dug gouges in the tile floor. Eve found herself gasping. The brood queen wore a sleek, shiny white half-apron that ended just under her bosom.


            A mix of smoothing chin-line and subtle age lines had further converted her. She bore the face of a woman proudly standing on the dawn of middle age. The ethereal, almost painful beauty of her youth shone through the imperfections, and the mischievous inviting smile up on her glossed lips. If anything they were an enhancement, the earned battle scars of a life devoted to her children. A slim pair of silver-framed half-lens glasses were perched on her nose.


             Blushing brightly, the brood queen clasped her hands before her and coquettishly lowered her gaze. The blonde demon before her had more of a presence, her tail seemed more energetic, her motions stronger, her hair brighter and more full of body.


            Ranma smiled. Looking over the purple lenses her gaze faintly glowed and Eve felt her knees nearly give out as she grabbed the counter.


            "My... so you met Nodoka?" Eve coughed. When she dropped Ranma off from their meal after the hotel... the redhead was... refreshed, but not quite like this.


            Lips glistening, Ranma pouted. "Perhaps this was a bit much."


            Eve nodded. "Maybe, maybe."


            "Did you come in just to ogle my buns?" Ranma asked as she bent forward to check out the oven again.


            "Breakfast themed double-entendres aside, I came to tell you that the object is secure." She said her face growing more concerned.


            "Yes, Murdock's little gift is either his resignation to the order or a trap to me." The blonde and redheaded brood mother stood back up and looked over the cooling pastries.


            "Either way you shouldn't have put it on," Eve stated.


            "I wanted to save it, and I was pretty messy."


            "You cleaned up well," Eve's frown retreated when she rubbed her belly. "And really, I shouldn't have eaten either..."


            "That crossed a line for you?" Ranma blinked.


            "Please, I'm thinking security not morality. We didn't know who those guys were, only that Murdock set them up, that's a risk."


            "What risk? They're dead, we ate them. That's what we do with our enemies."


            "And he knew that." Eve frowned. "I know we reject most any poison and regenerate but he might have tried something, like maybe the poisons we're not immune to, or something that would have retarded regeneration."


            "Right, but you're researching those boys, just like you're running tests on the samples Lieutenant Patterson took," Ranma crossed her arms before her. "I know you were doing more than just locking up a silver tie clasp in the C facility."


            "Yes, I was doing more than just that. I was talking with Cecilia."


            "Oh? What's wrong? I told her I had a wonderful time and that Mr. Finely was a true gentlemen. Just because I wasn't ready for... sex."


            Eve broke into a smile at the brood mother's bashful blush. "That's not what has her worried."


            "Does she think Murdock's stunt ruined things?"


            Eve eyed the ruffled and aproned brood-mother. "You tell me. How did it make you feel?"


            "Good." Ranma turned and neatened up a few items on the counter. "You know what they were trying to do. This was their business.  Not my fault they got in over their head."


            Eve tapped her chin. "You've been talking with Nodoka about it?"


            Turning back, Ranma gave a little smile. "She was... worried that I drew things out but... that's different. I have done worse.


            "Really?  These were basic street scum, and you seemed to... go with particular relish tonight."


            Ranma's eyes clouded. "So?  This wasn't the first time I've made it slow, and it's not the first time I've crushed someone like a bug.  Remember the Assembly base?  They weren't all Priests and Acolytes. Would you have rather I took prisoners or... what? Or how about all the broodlings, baby succubae that fell by the dozen, what about them?"


            Eve gave a bittersweet little smile. "Are you sure I'm the right person to ask? Even with all you've done,  all you've help me do torture Murdock, torture that poor little green-haired broodling of Alexia's, my hands are still far dirtier than yours."


            "And you're the one worrying I crossed some line tonight." Ranma laughed. "Dirty hands? We all have those."


            "Not Cecilia."


            "Even with her feeding?"


            "You know how gentle she is; she doesn't need to compel men towards her, especially when you consider what Alexia did to make her."


            Ranma blinked and lowered her head. "Oh... so this would have been shocking."


            "Yes, you see, tonight was her first."


            Ranma laughed. "Hah! Really? Miss Seduction was a virgin? She's drained plenty of people."


            "Drained yes, this was the first time she actually killed someone and tore out their organs."


            "Good for her," Ranma nodded thoughtfully. "And here she was trying to setup my first time."


            Eve raised an eyebrow.


            "What?"


            "It's just that you think her first time killing a man is a good thing."


            Ranma sighed. "It had to happen eventually.  Better like this." She looked at her clothes she wore, at the costume.


            "Sounds more like something I'd say."


            "I did make you my sister."


            Eve felt the love pulse from Ranma's form,  but she also felt a growing knot of anxiety.


            "You know the first human I killed, I ate?" Ranma's tongue flicked across her lips.  "I don't even know his name."


            "Paladin, Earl Winters. Assembly of Man sniper," Eve automatically supplied.


            "Yes, I remember that last part."  Ranma's hand went to her side where the Demon Bane round hit, taking a shot meant for Ukyou.  "That was..."  She looked down over her clothes at the apron and ruffles and shoes.  She could feel her hair and horns weighing down her head. Her lip quivered and her shoulders rose then slumped.


            Eve nodded. "I've read the reports on the scene."


            "It was the same!  The man I killed tonight. I savored it." Sobbing, her face fell, her stance that of a woman under immense loads.  "I've done it before, right from the start. And you know what kept it from being worse?  It started to taste bad!"


            Scooping her in her arms, Eve embraced the shivering demon. "Tonight was different. You know what they wanted to do to you."


            "That's not it,  I've got no sympathy for hired rapists. I might have more for a soldier doing his job but that won't stop me. I'm in control." Soft giggles came out.  "Self control won,  but at the cost of the self."


            "I'm scared because I can't blame the demon. I am the demon."  Her voice was a tight whisper. "I can't blame some dark side of me taking control and having me do these things."  She looked up and despite the filtering of the purple glasses her eyes locked onto Eve's. "We are in control.  Everything I've done, I've done.  It was all me.  I made it happen, and with this body, my body I... liked it."


            "Ranma?"


            The demoness laughed. "I was a innocent kid named Ranma.  Bit of an ass, a clueless dope really, but a good heart. He never would've done what I've had to do. He never had to face what I'd have done, the choices I had to make. I don't know what he would have done. He left....That's for the best. I don't think he could have handled it, not without..." Smiling, the redhead pulled into the hug and opened the floodgates. "I'm whole with all of you."


            Eve's eyes widened the love and anxiety she had been feeling before was just a trickle, she was now under a torrent of emotive power. "Sunny?"  she eventually gasped out.


            The redheaded brood mother's eyes flashed. "That's a fake name, a name given as a joke. No. No, I'm Ranma.  He left; he couldn't hack it. I stayed; I fought; I bled; I killed.  I've sacrificed everything for my children. I won that name. It's mine. Mine." An almost growling edge entered her voice.


            Eve barely noticed the words. Especially as the emotive equivalent pounded her. Ranma had been put into a crucible and much had been burned away:  Her innocence, her humanity, his gender.  But what remained was a tempered loving strength that stood and supported the whole brood.


            The sensations grew and Eve felt the web of connections, the empathic bonds that ran out from Ranma.  There was the bright channel that wrapped around the two of them, the throbbing beams that stretched out to her daughters.  There were connections that reached out to Cecilia and her daughters, and, Eve noted with a blush,  there were links with Sophie, Morgan, and Morison.


            There was a smattering of other connections.  Ones that when compared to the others seemed almost stunted and one-way.  Two stuck out in Eve's mind.  One that despite the limitations was still heavy and full of love that linked to Nodoka who was nearby and another that was fussed over had been broken but mended, that could only be to Kasumi.  Eve sensed others ones that were less distinct but could guess that they went to Ranma's father, Nariko's father, her school-girl friends, many of the agents, and even Jacob.


            Eve found herself falling into her sister's arms.   Her mind drifted, floating on the flooding emotions coming from Ranma.  Her experiences, her sacrifices had taken much, but what remained and what was reinforced stood. Ranma stood.  She supported her brood,  but they in turn supported her. They gave her the drive to move forward.


            Looking at the bonds between herself and Ranma and Ranma and her own daughters, the next realization hit Eve, weakening her knees.  She had the same bonds and the same support structure that drove Ranma.  Her daughters depended on her; she depended on them. She was not alone. :


            Purring, the blonde pulled into the embrace and sank to fluffy contentment. "Love you, Sis," she said before giving her a quick, sisterly kiss. 


            Blissful, Ranma tightened the hug.

 
            Leaning onto Ranma cheek to cheek, Eve almost missed the redhead's quiet question. "What?" Eve blinked, focusing her attention.


            "Cecilia, I asked if she was worried?" The redhead frowned and helped Eve get up. "She seemed happy when you guys dropped me off here. How's she taking it, now?"


            "You were thinking about her?"


            "I was thinking about both of you." Ranma smiled. "But I know how you're feeling."


            Eve blushed.


            "Thanks for the help,"  Ranma squeezed her. "I have to know it's... worth it."


            "It is," Eve assured. "For Cecilia... she's still thinking it over. It's a lot for her, she's not like us."


            "Not killers you mean?" Ranma's eyes glinted. "She should be so lucky. I should go see her after breakfast."


            "She would get a kick out of your latest additions," Eve said, pulling at Ranma's apron.


            Ranma blushed again. "That was Nabiki and Mom, they thought it looked cute."


           Eve smirked. "Yes, I can see their influence." She tilted her head towards the entranceway that led to the back porch. "Have they been helping you?"


            "Is it that obvious?" Nodoka entered the kitchen, with a languid, relaxed pace. She looked at the hugging demons with a bit of apprehension and put her hands to her sides. "I felt...  are you okay."


            Ranma split away from Eve and went to her mother. "Mommy," she purred.


            Nodoka drew the shorter, if larger, woman to her side and kissed her on the forehead and patted her on the belly before giving her another hug. "Are you still having... trouble?"


            Eve watched as the brood queen, happily purred and seemed to almost melt into the... younger woman's embrace. The blonde raised an eyebrow. Looking between the two, Ranma seemed to be obviously older, if far more attractive. She looked almost the same as during her date,  perhaps the location and hue of her dress contributed.


            "Eve helped remind me of who I am. I missed you," Ranma added in an almost soft voice.


            "Mmm, now dear, you wanted to be mature, be the mommy. I'm only helping." Nodoka idly straightened the top hem of the brood queen's apron. She then adjusted the puffy ruffles that added to the width and girth of the brood queen's bosom.


            "Thank you, Mother," Ranma happily said.


            "Well, I'll have to compliment your technique," Eve pulled herself up and with Ranma's attention diverted regained her composure. She could see Nodoka's pressure and guidance at work and wondered if this was how she was "correcting" her daughter. Was she nudging Ranma to a less violent, more domestic... more domesticated style? Or was the senior officer simply getting bleedback from Ranma's own maternal feelings.


            Fussing over her happily purring daughter, Nodoka chuckled. "I am her mother. That and you and Cecilia did soften her up."

            Ranma squared her shoulders. "Really, the pun?" She asked picking up a bowl of icing. Introspection aside, breakfast had to be made. Again, responsibilities trumped.


            "Well you do seem to be enjoying the... good life," Eve coughed as Ranma used a spoon to drizzle sugary white icing onto the buns.


            Shaking her head, Ranma went to the pan and ran a finger over the white icing that had spilled off one of the buns. "You're being a naughty little sister aren't you?" she asked, licking some off.


            Laughing Eve, watched Ranma's stance.


            "Careful, naughty sisters might not get their breakfast." Ranma said before busying herself with a cast iron pan and a bulging paper packet of bacon.


            Luxuriating in the scene of a well-fed, well-satisfied brood mother, Eve pulled the brood mother away from the meat and kissed Ranma.


            Pausing Ranma happily moaned.


            "No." Eve ran a finger down Ranma's cheeks, first those on her face and then down the strawberry-blonde's other pair. "You've got a lot of hungry mouths to feed."


            Blushing, Ranma returned to her work. A contented smile grew, as did her full lips, and she spread the bacon and set the pan. For her brood, she could endure. For her brood, she could accept who she had become.


            "Don't forget the sausages," Nodoka said.


            Ranma was intercepted on her way to the fridge.


            "You really must be careful with up there," Nodoka admonished straightening the top hem of her daughter's tight dress.


            Still blushing, Ranma looked down, and wondered if her collar bones were always so hard to see. She shrugged and went to the fridge and bent down to get the sausages off the bottom shelf.


            "And watch the skirting," Nodoka admonished as she pulled the material in and had it lie flatter against the strawberry blonde's thighs.
           


            "Yes mother," Ranma assured as her bottom swayed. She got up, and put the sausages on the counter and after bending over to get a second pan out she felt Eve adjusting her apron.


            The meal preparation continued in this fashion. The brood mother arranged, cooked, moved, and set places. While her mother and sister gave suggestions, made adjustments, and gave various displays of affection of support.


            Hearing a transport pull into the driveway, Ranma quickly carried a juice carafe to the sideboard and then inspected the dining room.
             Giving a satisfied nod, she flushed with warmth and turned to face her broodlings who had just arrived.


            The five demons stared. Before them stood their mother. "Daughters."


            "Mommy," Nariko cried as she rushed forward and latched onto her mother's side. The spell broken, the other broodlings followed. Forming a purring group hug that the brood queen seemed well-suited to support.


            On either side Ukyou and Akane reached out and gave a gentle stroke on each of their mother's horns. They gasped as mother's tail snaked around. It pulled the daughters in closer, and Ranma's wings appeared and slipped over the broodlings.


            In the kitchen Nodoka stood with Eve. "Well daughter, that seems worth it."


            "Uh-huh," Eve nodded.


            "We can join in." Nodoka said to Eve. Laughing, she followed the demon's gesture and embraced her family and sit down with them for breakfast. The meal passed in relative silence. Though, Nodoka noted, her daughter, her daughters, still had full appetites.


            After the meal, Ranma happily purred and slid out of her chair.  Standing, she twisted her neck causing her hair to fall down her back. She arched her shoulders and smoothed her hands down her torso shifting her ruffled silk dress into a sleek Lycra bodysuit.


            Smirking, her features shifted to a slightly sharper cast and she pulled off her purple glasses. "So, training then?"  The brood mother looked at her mildly shocked daughters. "Misa-chan,  Akane-chan, I noticed you were a bit slow on your forms yesterday... and Nari-chan... you really should be sparring more with Misako, she's got experience. Nabiki you're also lacking in upper body strength, and all five of you need to work more on your abilities."


            Nariko frowned slightly while the other broodlings whimpered.


            "Well, that was quick,"  Eve muttered sipping her coffee.


            "And then there's you and your girls."


            Eve nodded her head in acceptance.


            The redhead chuckled. "You were right, I did need a vacation. I needed to recharge. Your love, your concern did that for me. I can now focus on what's important, and what's important is making sure I'm doing all I can for you." Ranma looked over her family. "All of you." She clapped her hands. "Right, let's get started."


End Interlude
           

 

I'd like to thank my pre-readers. They read through my most egregious mistakes so you don't have to. J St C Patrick, Pale Wolf, DGC, Wray, Kevin Hammel, and Ikarus.

 

I'd also like to thank frice2000 on the Fukufics Forum for some excellent comments that triggered a pretty big rewrite.

 

 

"If that was REALLY Chuck Finley" quickie Omake by Bree R (frice2000).

 


            Not taking her eyes off the men, Eve suppressed a sigh. "You want to play, then?" she asked Ranma.


            The trio blinked with the two flanking men looking to their leader. "Don't think you can get away!" he shouted.


            "Now, now didn't your mother ever teach you it isn't nice to threaten a nice sophisticated set of ladies like these?" Chuck Finley asked approaching from the opposite direction seemingly having come through the wall.


            "Chuck?" Sunny asked bewildered.  Turning to Eve she quietly sniped, "How exactly did he get through Patterson's team?"


            Overhearing Chuck only laughed softly. "Those guys in the grey uniforms?  Heh, they might be nice guys but they're nowhere near my level.  Did a classic Mike-inspired misdirection."


            "Damn it! None of you are taking this seriously enough.  You see this! It's a big damned knife! And I'm going to cut all your heads off with it." Mort proclaimed angrily before tears came into his eyes.  "The least you could do is at least pretend to act afraid."


            "Hey man! Don't worry we'll kill the guy and make the girls squeal don't let them get you down." Lenny said patting Mort on the back.


            "Err...actually maybe Murdock was just laughing at us huh, Sis?" Eve said, amused.


            "Now, now the ladies and myself know not to worry about trash." Charles said icily.  The succubae only rolled their eyes at the posturing the humans were going through.  "Now if you would be so kind ladies I'll take out the trash for you...especially if I get a extra little gift later." Chuck winked at the ladies causing them to uncontrollably swoon before shaking their heads shocked they had been effected by such blatant macho male charm.


            "Look Chuck I didn't call you in to get hurt they can handle..." Cecilia began flustered and blushing at a almost human level.


            Chuck Finley only shook his head.  "Don't worry just give me five minutes with these guys."


            Five minutes later.


            All of the attacking men were on the ground bleeding from a few wounds but alive.  The succubae were all attached to Chuck's body hugging and cuddling with  him.


            "That was the most impressive and indescribable piece of martial arts and soldiering I've ever seen..." Eve commented before kissing Chuck on the cheek.


            "I told you he was a manly man." Cecilia swooned from her position on Chuck's other arm.


            "Yum...Sorry about before Honey...Will you be my sensei in the Art?" Sunny said burrowing deeper into Chuck's chest fiddling with his nipple briefly before kissing him.  "And show me those big muscles in better detail?"


            "Heh of course.  Now then ladies why don't we go back to my motel room and I can show you all a few...moves."


            "Oh of course Charles!" the three succubae said dreamily walking out of the alley all hanging onto Chuck's body and past Patterson's arriving men.


            "What just happened?" Ramirez asked looking over the unconscious men and the retreating succubae.


            "God damn I hate Seals." Paterson grumbled.

 

End OMAKE

 

 

Revision Notes:   This was a bit of a change of pace from the rest of Raising Trouble.

It also is neat that this is a good anniversary for Ranma/DarkStar.