Strained Harmony


A Ranma Sailor Moon fic thingy.


By Sunshine Temple and Trimatter

Regrettably there was difficulty in contacting Trimatter for much of this chapter. Time and other RL issues have made co-writing not as feasible. I have tried my best with the story.


Naturally, We 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 our fanfiction websites.

http://home.austin.rr.com/trimatter/

http://www.fanfiction.net/u/553057/Trimatter

 

 http://jtemple.florestica.com/

 http://www.fanfiction.net/u/90308/Sunshine-Temple

 

Other website Temple of Ranma's Senshi Seifuku

http://fukufics.com


C&C as always is wanted.

 


Chapter 6 Part A Growing Developments

 

 


            Akane looked around the exhibition hall and concealed a bored expression. Next to her, Kasumi amiably chatted with a sewing machine vendor. Looking down one of the four rows, Akane glanced at her phone to check the time. The long room was full of booths for various fabric suppliers, boutiques, clothing distributors, fashion houses, equipment manufactures, and even a few custom boutiques.


            Eyeing one of the modeling agencies, Akane chuckled to herself. This event was really more Ranma's speed. She sighed and looked at her phone again. She had not seen her friend for a while. Though they had talked... after she and Kasumi had moved.


            Tugging at her black and green dress, she laughed at the irony. Though Ranma would probably clap her hands in delight.


            "Akane?" Kasumi gave her sister's arm a gentle tug.


            "Yes?" Akane smiled at her. The eldest Tendo sister was smartly turned out in a dark dress with a slim suit coat. Auntie Saotome had purchased the materials as a gift for Kasumi, and it was the first entry in the leather design portfolio Kasumi carried under one arm.


            Kasumi caught her sister's distracted expression. She knew her sister was putting off meeting her friend, especially with the looming unpleasantness. "I'd just like to thank you again for being here," she said as they walked down the aisle.


            "It's my pleasure."


            Kasumi idly straightened one of the shoulder straps to Akane's dress, which was the second entry in her portfolio.


            "You have many resumes left?"


            Opening the leather valise, Kasumi flipped through the printed pages. Each one had a plastic binder clip that doubled as a thumb drive that was loaded with photos of her work and a handful of detailed designs. She frowned, other than the position at White Crane, her experience was lacking. "Half left," she admitted.


            "That's great!" Akane cheered.


            Kasumi looked down.


            "That boutique that does all those slinky silk dresses and business-suits liked your stuff. Even Midori complemented them."


            "Midori? Oh your friend."


            "We hardly know each other," Akane waved off.


            "Well, she would know slinky dresses," Kasumi teased.


            "You'd know! She was modeling some of your dresses," Akane idly flipped to a picture of a willowy long-legged, sapphire-blue eyed, brunette in a light green dress with a tight pencil skirt.


            "Only when she's not doing her real job, or showing off her brother's designs," Kasumi modestly said. "Besides you wear them much better."


            Akane blushed, unsure how to process the complement. "Still... you can do so much more."

            Now the elder Tendo blushed. "Really, I'd be fine doing alterations, you know until..."


            "Until you get married?" Akane's eyes hardened. "You don't have to stop working once you get married."


            "I know but..."


            "But what? You know how much passion you have for this. Even when things got their worst..." Akane blinked her eyes; she had feared they were going to get worse.


            Kasumi looked down. Father and Nabiki were still a sore point for them.


            "Even then you didn't give up on your sewing club, did you?"


            "Well..."


            "Look at all you've accomplished!" Akane said as she gave a spin in her dress. The fluted hem floated up around her.


            Smiling, Kasumi picked at her own skirt. She was proud of it, all of it. Even looking at her portfolio filled her with a sense of accomplishment, but it was tempered. It was not her idea. The portfolio, putting memory sticks onto the resumes, wearing one of her creations, and even going to this convention was all Auntie Saotome's idea.


            Catching Akane stealing another glance at her phone, Kasumi smiled. She was certain that her sister's volunteering to accompany her was also Auntie Saotome's idea.


            Kasumi cleared her throat. "You know, I think I can handle these next few people myself. Why don't you take a breather?"


            Akane's cheeks flushed with mild embarrassment.


            "I heard there's a place you can get refreshments a level down by the atrium," Kasumi added, a twinkle to her eye.


            "Okay," Akane said, trying not to sound too relieved. "But if you need me, you give me a call."


            "Of course," Kasumi beamed. She then leaned in and hugged her sister. "Thanks," she whispered. "I'll repay you for helping me tonight."


            Despite herself, Akane grinned as she strode out of the exhibition hall. Her low kitten-heels echoed as they clicked against the tile. She approached the guardrail to her left, which overlooked the Tokyo International Forum's atrium.


            A long rounded multi-story open space, the atrium was built out of shining glass. Several foot bridges crossed its span, connecting the various rooms. Akane leaned on the railing and looked down. Gentle instrumental music wafted up.


            Looking around the atrium, she could not see any sort of refreshment or snack bar. However, she did catch sight of a couple women in evening wear and men in suits cutting across the lower story. "Huh, guess those models know where it is," Akane murmured as she walked towards the stairs.


           She was halfway down when she realized that, technically speaking, she was a model too. Reaching the ground floor, she spotted a black-haired woman in a thigh-slit ruby dress.


            Akane followed her down a hallway. The music grew louder. The well-dressed crowd thickened. Entering a large room, Akane's confusion grew. There was a moment of relief when she spotted a pair of long tables adorned with drinks and food on the wall adjacent to the door.


            Her disquiet increased when she noted the dozen or so tables right next to the buffet. Nearly everyone there was in either a suit, dress, or gown. Akane's fragile hope that this was merely an event just for models evaporated based on the numbers. The convention above them was not very large, and there were easily twice as many people down here than all the models she had seen upstairs.


            The hope was utterly crushed when she looked over and saw the rest of the room. At the far end was a little stage where speakers and a mixing board had been setup. It was the source of the smooth orchestral music she had been hearing.


            However between the buffet and the sound system was a large dance floor of large interlocking wooden tiles. Atop that, a dozen pairs swept around in a smooth waltz.


            For several seconds Akane was content to watch the figures dance and rotate. Dresses flounced and bobbed. Suit tails flailed and spin. Crossing her arms, Akane felt a bit self-conscious.


            After several more seconds she looked down and, her arms dropped. She was wearing a pretty dress too! She smirked; hers was also custom made. Her smirk withered on reflection. While there were only a handful on the dance floor, those glittering gowns had to be custom jobs too.


            Her gaze wandered between the dancers. Especially the big gowns; they  were breathtaking.  One was white and sparkly, one was velvety violet, another was green with black tracery, and yet another was sleek and silvery.


            With bright strawberry-blonde hair, the dancer in the violet gown was rather aggressive and seemed to be leading her partner. The woman in silver seemed to be a novice but danced with a joy and easy tempo, much to the amusement of her older companion.


            The one in the green gown and her partner, a stout man in a dark suit, danced with a machine-like, almost clockwork, precision.  They were well-practiced but not inspired.


           Akane's gaze fell upon the woman in white, and held with rapt attention. She was graceful and gentle with her partner. Rich red, her glossy hair reflected the room's lights. Defying reason, two red ribbons seemed to hover in front of her dress; attached and, yet not, flipping up every time she twirled.


            Several inches taller than the others, the statuesque woman in white's motions were also more precise, as if she was afraid that one misstep would result in bouncing her willowy effeminate partner clear across the room.


            The music's melody changed, and Akane watched as the woman whispered to her partner. The pair finished their dance and glided off the polished tiles, making their way to the buffet. Akane's smirk reappeared as she noted the woman's free hand move to her middle; Deflecting her partner may have been exactly what she was afraid of.


            The Tendo girl's expression froze as the pair turned towards her. The young man had short, blonde hair and wore a tailored black suit and a deep red vest. Slim, bishonen, he was a few inches taller than his dance partner and nearly half a foot taller than Akane. However, Akane's attention was all on the woman who happily clung to his arm. Closer, the gown was even more breathtaking. Layers of white glossy silk set with sequins flounced. Pastel purple accents adorned the shoulders and the bottom hem of the floor-length dress.


            Powder blue lace edged a plunging neckline that, on any other woman, would have been modest. A generous figure was highlighted by blue lace and floral gathers expertly placed around widely flared hips. Akane was struck by the image of an hourglass... but instead of blown glass, one made from polished stone block.


            Akane swallowed as the two neared. The hourglass came not from the pinch of her waist but from the rolling build of her hips and bust. The gown emphasized this with greater padding around the hips and chest than over the torso.


            A gold-edged jade pendant hung from a white silk band around the woman's short, plush neck. Fully proportional with the rest of her solidly generous figure, her heavy chest seemed fully-anchored and flush with the rest of her.


            Managing to draw her eyes away from the jutting bosom, Akane looked up at the woman's open, innocent face. This close the height difference was obvious; the woman in white was at least three inches taller than Akane.  Full, dusty pink lips smiled over a gentle, rounded chin. Matching blush adorned filled-in cheeks. Behind silver-framed glasses were happy blue eyes. Bright, warm, and seeming just a bit too big, they were accented by sweeps of lavender eyeshadow and capped by thin eyebrows.


            Double curls of deep ruby tresses framed either side of her face. The heavy, tubular spirals fell  past her shoulders and draped down over her arms and torso like swaying wind-chimes. Tightly curled bangs bounced around her face, with a longer central spiral that draped over her button nose.


            Akane had finally found something that was almost as eye-catching as the woman's well-rounded chest. What she had initially assumed to be red ribbons looked more like a pair of very long crimson rabbit ears. Akane's sanity held on, when upon closer inspection, the bunny ears turned out to be a pair of two inch wide, waist-length sculpted ponytails that were merely intended to look like something from a giant bunny-lop.


            Pausing in her smooth stride, the woman in white twisted one of her legs. "I think you might be right about those shoes, Ittou-kun," she said in a quiet aside.


            "I did warn you," Ittou replied.


            The woman nodded, thoughtfully, before catching sight of Akane staring at her. Now only a few feet away, the woman's warm smile bloomed and recognition lit her bright eyes. Lacquered nails patted her rounded belly while her other arm tightened her hold on her dance partner and diverted him.


            Her attention being re-captivated by the gyrations of the redhead's prominent and heaving bust, Akane seemed not to notice that the pair was coming straight towards her.


            Ittou frowned at the girl in the black dress before them. "You know her? And... is she okay?"


            "Yes, and I'm not sure, but one way to find out," the redhead happily whispered as she slipped out of his arm.


            Akane blinked. The pair was now close enough that she could reach out and touch them. She could smell the woman's hibiscus perfume. Looking down, she blushed. The yawning chasm of cleavage was so close that she could fall into it. She tried to tear her gaze back up to the taller girl's face but failed, her mind stalled.


            "Akane! What a surprise seeing you here! I love your dress!" the redhead squealed as her arms went out.


            Akane would have screamed, but there was no time. The redhead's limbs were like hydraulic rams, there was no resisting them. Soft warmth enveloped her. For a moment Akane lost herself. There was no escape; there was nothing but the silken and smooth embrace. That, and the scent of hibiscus with a hint of cherry and cinnamon.


            Then, after a seeming eternity, the arms withdrew. Gasping, Akane lifted her head. Before her eyes, the redhead's curves moved back into shape, reasserting their presence. With a giggle, the redhead absently, and unnecessarily, smoothed her gown.


            "I didn't know you liked ballroom dancing!" The redhead cheered, taking Akane's hand. "Sooo... are you with anyone?" she playfully asked.


            Her fingers twitching, Akane wobbled on her low heels. She blinked, and her gaze lowered, drawn back down by the shuddering gravity of the redhead's chest.


            "I know isn't it something? I had it specially made." The nanny ran her hands up the curves of the dress. "It's a bit of an indulgence, but this is a special night," she winked at her partner.


            Ears turning red, Akane absently nodded; her gaze didn't drift.


            The nanny ran a hand down one of her "ears" and giggled. "You know Akane, if Ittou-kun stared at me like you are I'd think he was a very naughty boy."


            Akane's eyes darted to the blond man then back to the redhead. She forced her eyes to look up. The shimmering gown still framed the bottom of the vision, and there was all that hair to deal with, but the redhead's face was less... distracting. Though Akane did note that those lips were very glossy and seemed almost too large.


            "And where did you get that dress? It's wonderful," the nanny gushed.


            Cheeks flushing, Akane blinked. She knew she should respond. She tilted her head. It was hard to think with that floral, cinnamon scent tickling her nose. "Kasumi made it; I'm here with her," she eventually said.


            "Oh?" the redhead's smile grew. "Wonderful? Is she dancing too? I don't see her." She began to look around.


            "Ranma?"


            The nanny turned. "Yes?"


            Akane tried to shake out of the daze she had fallen in. "What's going on?"


            "Are you sure she's okay?" Ittou asked.


            "Know what, I'll find out." Ranma leaned in and kissed the taller young man on the cheek. "Girl talk! Be back in a bit." She took Akane's arm and glided out of the room.


            Futilely trying to peel the fingers off her wrist, Akane almost stumbled. She then resigned herself to being pulled out of the room.  Having to keep up, she found it hard to not step over the gown, or press against the redhead's hips and backside.


            To Akane's relief, the strong bunny-girl let go of her wrist when they reached the stairs. The dark-haired girl stared at the bright diamond and emerald ring on the nanny's hand.


            "Is that?" Akane goggled, as the question tried to articulate itself in her mind. "Are you... to him?"


            "To Ittou?" The nanny giggled with a demure upper class way.


            Akane froze.  the tone was... familiar.


            "Of course not! I'm not engaged to him, silly," the redheaded continued.


            Akane exhaled with relief. Her breath caught when she saw the redhead begin to ascend the staircase.


            Without a quiver or a wobble, the nanny simply put her foot down and smoothly pushed up to the next step.


            Akane followed, somehow stomping even harder and yet less steady in her own far-lower heels. The nanny started to open up a lead as she rose at a quicker pace.


            The effect was to give Akane a clear view of the swaying filling to the gown's bustle.


            At the top, Akane shuffled to catch up with the graceful wafting of the voluptuous girl in the ball-gown.


            "It looks like someone needs more training," Ranma lightly teased. "How did you get down the stairs in the first place?" she asked, idly adjusting her heavy bodice.


            "I went down toe to heel and put my foot down flat," Akane harrumphed. "I'm a model too you know."


            "Oh, I'm no model," Soft cheeks blushed as the nanny walked up to the railing that overlooked the lobby below.


            With a jealous flare, Akane expected the nanny's heaving chest to jut out well past the guard-rail. Instead the padded bodice, confectionary lace, and plump cleavage were kept back by the flare of the gown's skirting and the swell of the nanny's thighs.


            Manicured hands with soft rounded fingers played against the railing, causing her bracelets and rings to flash in the light. Big coils and curls fell from her head and a pair of bright red rabbit ears swung out further in front of her.


            Taking a short measured step, Akane approached the fluffy bunny. "So... girl talk?"


            Plump glossy lips curled up. "Appropriate, no?"


            Walking to the railing, Akane found herself striking a pose as she used her heels and a half-turned stance to show off her dress.


            "You really do make a lovely model," Ranma said.


            Blinking, Akane saw something in the nanny's rounded face she had never expected. Jealously danced in the bunny's big eyes, and her soft chin line and thick neck were set with trepidation.


            "Ranma... what happened to you?"


            "I got engaged!" the bunny happily said, her mood immediately brightening.


            "To?"


            "I'll introduce you to her later," Ranma assured as she batted her eyes.


            Akane frowned.


            The big girl in the ball gown blushed. "We're now going to be a family."


            "Congratulations," Akane said, with more cheer than she had expected. A smile crept across her face; she might have lost Ranma, but at least she had not lost her to some guy.


            "I would have told you sooner but..." Ranma's hand daintily came to rest on Akane's.


            "But I was avoiding you. Because..." Now alone, Akane looked the girl up and down, taking some time to think. The ball-gown and accessories made it hard to tell, but at a guess she would put the bunny's hips and bust at least thrity centimeters larger than her own, and a waist that was half that increase in size.


            "Oh?" the nanny put her other hand to where the flare of her hip curled over to the plush of her front. She gave a smug smile. "I have become quite the woman haven't I?"


            "Built like a brick," Akane teased, finding the superiority a bit easier to come by.


            The bunny pouted and turned; her chest swiveling aside like a pair of alabaster wrecking-balls. "Is that why you stopped visiting? You didn't want to see what I was becoming?"


            "I was busy! I was running away from home!" Akane hissed.


            "Troubling, isn't it?" the nanny sympathized, gently squeezing Akane's hand. "Losing everything you knew, striking out on your own."


            "I wasn't alone," Akane admitted. "Kasumi.... " the model blinked. "That's right. Kasumi set this up! You've been meeting with her!" Akane accused.


            "She does work at the White Crane."


            Leaning on the railing, Akane's accusation wilted. "She knew." the martial artist eyes made a sweep of the nanny's figure.


            "Knew? She set this up!" the bunny giggled behind a hand, causing her bodice to bounce a bit.


            Akane pulled her gaze from the hypnotic display. "Yeah, you may be a dumb bunny but you've got more than enough self-control to notice..."


            This time the nanny's giggle was a bit more nervous.


            Studying the nanny, Akane nodded. She could see Kasumi's hand in the bunny and now the contented softness, the polite fluff covering adamantine will, and the feminine finery made sense.


            Rising from the railing, getting closer to the nanny's... interesting curves, Akane approached. "If I may ask... how... how much are you?" she quietly asked.


            The nanny froze. Long lashes fluttered and her derriere swayed as she considered the question. "Well... since it's just us girls."


            She then leaned in and Akane stiffened as once again the cinnamon scent filled her nose and those curls swept over her face. The rabbit ears swung around and flopped over Akane's shoulder, trapping the model from all sides. Giggling, the bunny whispered a number, withdrew with a playful smirk.


            Akane's eyes widened and she took a step back and looked down at the floor below. The number was.... bigger than she expected. It was almost seventy-five percent heavier than her own weight. Her mind went back to seeing the effortless control and precision the nanny had on the dance floor. Then she recalled that muscle was denser than fat. "You must be very... strong."


            Giving a soft smile, the nanny picked up one dainty hand and extended a single finger and pressed the knuckle against the steel surface. Akane stared as thick, slab-like muscles rose out of the soft, rounded arms. After a couple seconds there was a metallic groaning as the welds on the upright next to the railing gave way, and the burnished metal tube deformed and bent.


            Akane frowned. She had seen Ryoga do a similar trick,  but he had needed his whole fist.  There was also something unnerving about the slow deliberate pressure.  She was used to overpowered martial artists punching through things, not inexorable, patient crushing.


            "There you two are," Kasumi's cheery voice announced.


            Akane turned and saw, next to her sister, a taller woman with tanned skin, dark red eyes, and long dark green hair. She confidently wore a forest green suit skirt with a lavender blouse and crimson ribbon tie and effortlessly strode towards Akane and the bunny.


            Giving a happy noise, the begowned redhead glided towards the taller woman and snuggled up to her side. Bustle and skirting pressed against the dark suit-skirt.


            "Are you two having a lovely night?" the older woman asked, wrapping an arm around the bunny's soft bodice.


            "Of course," Ranma cooed as she put her hands over Setsuna's arm. After a moment her eyes refocused. "Oh Akane! This is Meiou Setsuna." Plump lips curled into a possessive, prideful smile as she held out her hand to showcase her ring. "She's my fiancee."


            Akane stiffened. The redhead's very stance and smug expression were familiar, just something she had never expected to see on her ex-fiance's face. It had become more common in her new school, but even in Furinkan there were girls who would pridefully show off their men. At TA Girls, the expression became even haughtier, especially in the cases where her classmates, now in their final year, actually got engagement rings.


            Cheeks pinking, Akane exhaled and looked away.


            "You must be Akane." Setsuna bowed her head. "Your sister and my Bunny have told me so much about you."


            Akane's gaze went from the plush, curvy, and softly nuzzling nanny to the older woman. Here was the woman who had taken Ranma in. Here was the woman who had overseen the martial artist's slow change into the big, soft, and feminine bunny before her. "Uh... Ranma's told me a lot about you."


            "How wonderful," Setsuna diplomatically said as the nanny squirmed a bit to lean more heavily on her thigh.


            Nodding, Akane smirked at the bunny's nervous, demure pout.


            "It is great to finally meet you, things have been very... hectic these last couple years," Setsuna said giving Akane a meaningful look.


            Controlling her breathing, Akane exhaled. "Yes. I suppose Kasumi, Ranma and myself were lucky to have people willing to take us in," the marital artist said, giving Kasumi a sidelong glance.


            The older Tendo girl coughed. "It was fortunate wasn't it?"


            Akane raised an eyebrow. "Are you one of Auntie Saotome's friends as well?"


            "Acquaintances really." Setsuna gave a pleased smile. "Not that I don't approve of her taking action," she said, tightening her grip on her fiancee. "It was the least she could do."


            Akane blinked, then once more looked between the redhead and Kasumi. Again she exhaled. It was something she had thought before... if Nodoka had taken in Ranma... even if Nodoka had taken in 'Ranko'... how different would things be.


            "Oh Puu, we simply must arrange a night out." Ranma gushed. "The four of us. We can make an event of it. Ooo! Have Hotaru come too."


            "You have some place special in mind?" Kasumi asked.


            Ranma gave a naughty little smile.


            Akane's ire melted when she realized what the inclusion of Hotaru meant. After the years of hiding, Ranma was opening up.


            "But I should really change out of this gown," Ranma admitted. "It wouldn't do to get it mussed."


            "Really, you're going to find something more casual?" Akane asked.


            "Of course, I didn’t come here wearing a gown," Ranma teased before bounding away.

 

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

 


            The almost citrus-like scent of lemongrass blended with the rich aroma of tuna and shrimp cooking in shallots. A minty tinge was added to the savory scents wafting from the kitchen.


            Lounging on a leather sectional couch, Haruka smiled and sipped her port. "It smells lovely, Dear," she said, putting down the cut-crystal glass.


            "Complement Hotaru," Michiru said as she swept out of the apartment's kitchen, idly rubbing the back of her right hand.


            "Oh?" the blonde appreciably watched Michiru's legs as the turquoise haired woman sat down to Haruka's left and crossed her ankles. Her gaze slowly rose and lingered just below the hem of Michiru's teal skirt.


            Michiru's eyes went to the blonde's glass.


            Haruka lifted a bottle of 10 year Colheita port off the thick glass surface of the square table beside the couch.


            "Yes please," Michiru flexed her right hand.


            "Hotaru's cooking then?" Haruka asked as she took a fresh glass from the drinks set on the shelf beneath the tabletop and filled it with port.


            "She was most insistent," Michiru said after accepting the glass, with her left hand.


            "I suppose she has been getting lessons." Haruka smiled as she took another sip from her own glass.


            Michiru slowly rotated the glass around by the stem. "Remember the first time she tried to cook for us?" she quietly asked.


            Haruka smiled. "That was what... a year before Ranma moved in with them?"


            "More like eight months." Michiru sipped her wine.


            "Ah yes." the blonde's expression grew wistful. "Setsuna had us over and..."


            "It was a good meal," Michiru stressed.


            Haruka simply took a long sip from her glass.


            "Fine, but it wasn't bad just..."


            The blonde raised an eyebrow.


            "She was so proud, and you knew telling her it was bland would have broken her heart."


            Haruka lowered her glass. "Despite that, she did spend most of the night trying to hide behind her hair."


            "Ironically it's longer now," Michiru said


            "Ranma's done a lot of good for her," Haruka pensively stated, running the tip of her finger around the rim of her glass.


            Michiru watched the blonde sigh. She reached over and took Haruka's hand. "It's not like we turned her down; Setsuna insisted on taking care of her," she quietly assured.


            The blonde squeezed back. "I know, but..." she rolled over Michiru's hand and blinked. There was a slight red mark on the back of Michiru's right hand.


            "Oh, that," Michiru coughed.


            "What did Hotaru hit you with, a wooden spoon?" Haruka teased.


            "It was ladle." Michiru slipped her hand back. "She didn't like me 'meddling' with the soup." The elegant woman raised her fingers to give the air quotes.


            Haruka gave her lover a long look. "Assertive," she eventually said before taking a sip of her port.


            "And?" Michiru asked.


            "Ranma's done the same. You know how particular she gets about having just the right spices in her soup."


            "Or that dough has to be kneaded for the exact amount of time," Michiru laughed.


            Haruka refilled her glass. "I remember when you two were making danishes and she put that timer in front of you."


            "It did free her up to make the apricot filling, and they did turn out wonderfully." Michiru laughed before her expression sobered. "So, she's taking after Ranma?"


            "Her hair is getting longer, but there's no perm... yet," the blonde lightly added.


            Michiru raised an eyebrow.


            "Is that so bad?" Haruka contemplatively asked, slowly turning her glass by the stem.


            "Of course not!" Michiru caught herself. "Ranma's wonderful."


            "But?"


            "She also can be pretty assertive, and if Hotaru takes after that..."


            Haruka chuckled. "Assertive? We're talking about the same heavily voluptuous girly-girl that revels in finery and frippery and dotes after Setsuna like the luxurious, loving trophy housewife she dreams of being?"


            "It's all relative, Dear," Michiru smiled thinly. Her voice quieted again. "Remember just how introverted Hotaru was."


            "So was Ranma, back when she first arrived," Haruka turned thoughtful.


            "She was living in hiding and now...."


            "Now she's eager to force people to acknowledge her."


            "Dressed like that they could hardly miss her."


            "Quite so." Eyes twinkling, Haruka lifted her glass. "Though I'd say Ranma's more into influencing her dear Setsuna-sama."


            "Nights like this are a more frequent event," Michiru allowed, with a hint of jealousy entering her voice.


            "Yes, ever since the engagement I'd say." Lounging back, Haruka took a long sip. "Odd how that's made Ranma more... eager to have Hotaru sent off to have a sleepover here."


            "Ranma's behind this?" Michiru exclaimed with mock surprise. "I thought you said she was too submissive to plot such schemes?" she asked, teasing.


            "Point." Haruka raised her glass in salute.


            Michiru reached out and chimed her glass against the blonde's.


            "And really, can you blame her?" the blonde asked with a smug grin.


            "Whom? Ranma or Setsuna?"


            Haruka's lewd smile grew. "For people with certain preferences, well... our big bunny is-"


            Michiru narrowed her eyes.


            "You have to admit, many would be jealous her figure," Haruka smoothly said.


            "Or jealous of Setsuna."


            Haruka gave another salute with her wineglass.


            "They do make a natural couple."


            "The femme and butch dynamic is a bit on the nose," the blonde smirked.


            After raising the glass to her lips, Michiru rolled her eyes. "One hopes that Setsuna commissions Ranma's gown close to the wedding date. Otherwise..."


            Haruka chuckled. "I think she's waiting for Ranma to graduate."


            "I suppose if that's good enough for our Princess." Michiru nodded thoughtfully.


            "In either case that's not very long." Haruka noted.


            "And what about us? Neither of us is in high school. Sometimes I wonder..." Michiru's look was faraway.


            Haruka coughed into her glass. "Is this because we'll miss that string quartet's tour?"


            "Oh, nonsense, I'll get to see them some other time." Smiling, Michiru took the blonde's hand and slid a bit closer on the couch. "Or are you waiting for a double ceremony?"


            Dabbing at the corner of her lips with a handkerchief Haruka regained her composure. "Very funny." She said, stuffing the dark silk square carelessly back into her sport coat's pocket.


            Michiru crossed her legs at the thigh and demurely folded her hands in her lap, balancing the wineglass between thumb and forefinger. "I thought so. I do let you pretend at your dashing playboy act."


            "Act?"


            "I'm sorry, Dear. I've forgotten how much you still like making all the young women swoon," Michiru innocently said as she straightened the blonde's handkerchief.


            Haruka harrumphed.


            "I'll just point out you have been monogamous for a long time," Michiru teased.


            "Is that a challenge then?" Haruka asked, an easy smile reappearing. She refilled her glass. "Well, speaking of swooning young women, Ranma-"


            Michiru finished folding the handkerchief and then left her right hand on Haruka's lap. She simply quirked a brow at the blonde.


            "When put that way," Haruka straightened her tie before taking Michiru's hand. "A double ceremony? Are you sure that's not what our Princess and our bunny are waiting for?"


            "And steal Usagi's thunder?" Michiru laughed. "Ranma would be mortified."


            "Our little redhead would be the center of any event," Haruka smiled. "It'd be hard for her to not draw eyes away from Usagi."


            Michiru nodded. "The poor blonde bunny has grown nicely but compared to our bunny?" The aquamarine-haired girl took a sip and shook her head.


            "And the gap will become only more stark."


            Michiru's expression clouded.


            "What? It's okay when you note Ranma's figure but not when I do it?" Haruka gave an exaggerated pout.


            "Precisely." Michiru sipped the port. "We know my intentions are pure."


            Haruka snickered.


            "You don't believe me?"


            "Oh, I'm not the one you should be worried about," Haruka laughed. "Unless..."


            Michiru raised an eyebrow.


            "Well, I suppose Puu isn't that much of the jealous type."


            "Right. Somehow I doubt that, of the two of us, I'm the one that should be worried."


            Her easy confidence returning, Haruka simply shrugged and ran her fingers over Michiru's wrist.


            With her free hand, Michiru slowly swirled her wineglass. "Though maybe Puu isn't the one we should be worried about," she idly mused in a quiet voice.


            Haruka snickered. "Now that's silly. Hotaru loves us. I'm sure she'd be thrilled if..."


            Michiru squeezed Haruka's hand, silencing the blonde.


            Stepping out of the kitchen, a dark-haired girl briskly crossed the dining room. She wore a lavender apron with black piping and a violet bow over a dark purple blouse and a silver, black-trimmed, pleated skirt. Still youthful, her face was starting to mature, especially around her sharper cheekbones. Though some of her features were hidden by the shoulder-length glossy black hair that fell around her ears and neck like an ebony veil.


            "Haruka-Papa, Michiru-Mama," Hotaru straightened herself and looked between the two older women. "Dinner is almost ready," she stated, pride in her voice.


            Haruka smiled. "That's great!" She filled with pride.  Ranma had done great things to help Hotaru. "It smells delicious."


            "Yes," Michiru beamed sharing a glance with Haruka.


            Bowing slightly, Hotaru then idly spun the ladle she held in one hand. She paused, then cleared her throat. "I need some help."


            "Of course, what do you need?" Michiru said putting her glass down and standing up.


            "The serving tray is on the top shelf," Hotaru's eyes narrowed. "I can't reach."


            Michiru looked down at the bemused blonde. "It's okay. It's too high for me too."


            "What? It's efficient," Haruka defended as she stood up to her full 173 centimeters.


            "Don't worry, I'd be glad to help," the blonde assured as she patted Michiru on the shoulder and Hotaru on the head.


            Purple eyes narrowing, Hotaru slipped out and started walking to the kitchen.


            Haruka followed. Entering the kitchen she inhaled. "Smells even better." Her attention then went to the soup pot and the large plate of thinly sliced and marinated roasted tuna steak.


            The blonde's attention was diverted by Hotaru gently tapping the end of the ladle against an inverted saucepan in the drying rack.


            Just inside the threshold to the kitchen Michiru leaned against the brushed-steel dishwasher and laughed.


            "Right, what do you need?" Haruka smoothed her suit coat.


            Hotaru opened a cabinet and pointed to a top shelf. On it was a thick, stainless steel platter. "Ah, that one?"


            Hotaru nodded as she checked the soup. She put the ladle down next to the stovetop.


            "I think she takes pleasure in putting things where she's the only one that can reach," Michiru said.

            Haruka reached up and grabbed the platter by the looped handles on either end. With a grunt she pulled it down. "Okay where do you want it, kiddo?" she asked with a smile.


            "You can give it to me," Hotaru said.


            Haruka paused.

            Giggling, the dark-haired girl slipped the platter out of the blonde's grip. "I asked for your help because it was too high, not because it was too heavy," she sweetly said.


            "Oh..." Haruka paused. "What else do you need us to do?"


            "Dinner's almost ready." Hotaru smiled sweetly. "You two can go back to the couch and gossip about how pretty Ranma-Mama is while I set the table and finish up."

 

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

 


            Akane paced a bit as she waited.  The convention center's atrium was spread before her.  And she watched the finely dressed models, dancers, and designers come and go.


            Her eye was caught by a zaftig redhead gliding towards her. The larger girl's feet were perched in glossy, peppermint green, four-inch heels. Emerald and silver flashed within round, gilded anklets. White stockings curved up along shapely legs under the knee-high lace-edged hem of a shimmering blue-green satin dress.


            Tinted the same deep mint green as her shoes, tiers of lace also adorned the waist and cuffs. However the biggest display was the cascading lace rows edging the inverted teardrop-shaped cutout on the front of her dress. A slim strip of silk separated the rounded end of the teardrop from a high, choker-like collar. The pointed cleft only revealed a bit of skin, but combined with the curve of the dress and the arching of the lace, it was more than enough.


            Draped over the precisely fitted dress was a jet black, rabbit fur cloak with silver fox trim and mantle. The left and right halves of the mantle that was draped over her shoulders were linked by a delicate gold chain. Somewhat short, the cloak itself ended a bit below the redhead's buttressed buttocks. A few inches above that was a silver-furred puffball at the base of her spine. Tightly spiraling ruby curls and crimson lop bunny ears had been touched up and nearly glowed against the black and silver backdrop.

 
            Ranma's eye makeup also had a minty cast, but the too-big blue eyes remained.  Those overly full glossy lips were also colored a shiny pastel green that Akane would bet smelled of spearmint. If she got close enough to smell them, that is.  Or taste them, Akane idly added.


            Ranma wore a choker of dark pearls over the collar, with jade and gold broach been pinned above her left breast. Gold bracelets peeked out of the ruffled cuffs of her dress' long sleeves.


            "This is more casual?" Akane gasped as she heard a soft chime coming from the bunny's bracelets.


            Idly lifting a heel, Ranma smiled. "I know? The shoes that go with that ball gown are like fifty-percent taller. Worth it though."


            Swallowing, Akane ran the numbers. That meant the heels the bunny wore previously were over half a foot tall. No wonder she looked taller. The dress also had a slit on the left side that went up to mid-thigh. When the redhead lifted her leg, Akane could see the matching minty bows to the redhead's garters.


            The black-haired young woman shook her head. "No not the shoes! I mean the... the dress."


            "Oh?" Ranma smiled coyly as she sidled up next to Akane and took her arm.


            Akane felt the, artificially taller, girl's hips and chest press against her.


            "I'll tell you a secret, Akane," Ranma whispered as she leaned in.


            The scent of sakura and cinnamon filled Akane's nose as curls began to drape over her shoulder and the redhead's curves felt like they were about to swallow her arm.


            "I'm jealous," Ranma whispered. Then a second later she kissed Akane on the neck.


            Face flushed, Akane eeped.


            Slinging on a green circular purse, Ranma pulled back. She fondly stroked the floral patterns of teal sequins that adorned the  purse's shiny leather sides.


            "Don't toy around like that! You're engaged" Akane cried, hurt entering her voice.


            Ranma blinked unsure if she should pout or preen. "Yes?"


            "It's nothing," Akane groused. "But are you sure your fiancee would approve?"


            "Oh..." The redhead gave a smile. She looked around it was only the two of them. "Where is she? And Kasumi?"


            "Your fiancee," Akane grumbled, " had someone she wanted Kasumi to meet about her portfolio."


            "And you stayed here"


            Akane blushed. "I'm... I wanted to wait, for you."

            "And you don't think I could be jealous of you?" Her stilettos clicking, Ranma began to orbit the other girl. "That dress of yours shows just enough while not giving the store away."


            Controlling her breathing, Akane tried to push her blush down. It did not help that, without the ruffles and petticoats, the redhead could orbit in a much tighter circle. Nor did it help that the side of Ranma's dress that faced Akane was the one with the slit in the skirt.


            "And I love the way it hugs your waist."


            Lacquered nails came out and brushed Akane above one hip, around her backside, and left off at the opposite hip.


            Akane found her knees locking together.


            "I simply must know who made your dress," Ranma purred as she flipped open her purse and unfolded her phone.


            "I uh..." Akane's mind focused. "Wait, you don't know?"


            "Now don't be greedy." Ranma adjusted her slim oval lensed silver-framed glasses. "I promise whatever pieces I commission will be made after the ones for you."


            "Oh my, is that a firm order?" asked a woman, whose double breasted blue-black silk dress was complimented by a finely tailored charcoal suit coat
           


            To one side of her was a thin, blonde man, plain by comparison, wearing a dark blue blazer and dark grey trousers. To the other was Setsuna, a tiny smile secreted on her face.


            Joy bloomed on the redhead's gentle face. "Kasumi! Look at you!" she cried running over to the taller woman. They both paused, looking each other up and down momentarily, then embraced.


            Akane's breathing stopped when, during the hug, Ranma's coat rode up and she got a full view of the backside of the redhead's blue-green dress.


            "That's why you've been hiding your designs from me!" Ranma laughed as she looked between Akane and Kasumi.


            "Oh, you're too kind. My work's got nothing on your gown. Kasumi assured. With a  small smirk, she continued "Akane certainly thinks so."


            "She sure does," Ranma winked to Akane.


            The youngest Tendo blinked absently and her gaze drifted slightly. Though it did occasionally stagger, being momentarily drawn back to the gravid swell of the redhead's chest.


            Ranma stepped over to Ittou. "You sure you want to have dinner with us?" She asked, running her fingers over her belly then up his forearm. "It'll be a lot of girl talk."


            Ittou gave a wry smile. "I did spend the day at a formal ball. Besides, why should I turn down an amazing and free meal?"


            The redhead pulled a mock pout. "You paid when we were dating."


            "Ah, but we aren't dating, are we?" Ittou reached over and straightened Ranma's broach which had been disturbed by the hug.


            Ranma chuckled.


            Akane's mind slammed back into gear. "You dated?"


            The redhead took his arm and patted Ittou's hand. "I know, we would have made a cute couple but alas-"


            With his other hand Ittou had reached around Ranma's hips and patted her plush midsection. "Alas, the red string of fate tied her to another," he completed, putting the redhead's hand onto Setsuna's waiting palm and stepping back with a bow.


            Staring at the hand that had been moments ago cupping the redhead's soft middle, Akane shook her head. "You have a fiancee and a... what?"


            Ranma blinked. "A friend. You know, like us."


            Ears turning pink, Akane nodded.


            Ittou sighed. "This is the second time this has happened to me."


            Kasumi and Akane looked to the blond.


            "Yeah, I dated one of Ranma's friends a while ago. A lot like Ranma, acutally. A beautiful girl, fantastic cook, mag-. Uh... martial artist."


            Leaning on Setsuna's side, Ranma shot him a guarded look.


            "My, what a patient young man." Kasumi said. "Well, you know Akane here's a martial artist too."


            "But, she's a lousy cook," Ranma added. "Hmmm, that might be enough to break Ittou-kun's curse."

            "But how would we know for sure?" Kasumi asked with mock obliviousness.


            "Perhaps a test! Or at least a blind date!" Ranma cheered.
           


            Appearing to consider it, Ittou nodded thoughtfully.


            Akane nervously laughed.


            Slipping out from Setsuna's arm Ranma glided back to Akane.


            Once again the redhead's body pressed against Akane's side and her flowery, cinnamon perfume filled her nose. This time Akane's eyes widened as the redhead simply lifted and pirouetted off with the martial artist.


            Several feet away Ranma let go and Akane's shoes touched back down. The redhead whispered, leaning on Akane's shoulder. "It's okay, we're just playing. I'd never set you up on a blind date."


            "Never?" Akane found herself asking.


            "Well, unless you've got a crush you can't bear to ask out yourself." Her expression grew serious for a moment.


            Despite herself Akane giggled. The nanny's soft round features did not lend themselves to such certainty and, combined with her long, red ponytails, the zaftig girl resembled a plush, pensive rabbit.


            "I'm sorry if I teased you too much, Ittuo's actually a good guy." Behind her glasses a moment of panic crossed her wide, made-up eyes. "Not that I'm forcing you!"


            Akane's giggling grew. "Oh Ranma, you're being such a girl!"

            A high heel stomped and Akane could swear she heard tile crack. For a moment the Tendo girl's heart flittered with hope that the redhead had taken offense.


            Frustration cleared the redhead's features. "It's not that, I know how... awkward a blind date could be. And if he's not your type, well that would just make things worse." The nanny gave a little sigh.

 
            "Oh," Akane laughed nervously.


            "Oh no, Ittuo's not my type," Ranma grandly waved with a manicured hand.


            "That's a relief and here I was worried you were two-tim... were with both him and your fiancee," Akane said, only half in jest.


            "No, the engagement came after the blind date with him." Blinking, the redhead idly fingered the bejeweled ring on her finger.


            Nodding Akane saw the redhead's contemplative look and frowned. "Uh, Ranma?"


            "Oh, nothing!" the nanny blushed.


            Akane stepped to the side and tilting her head saw that Ranma's ears were pinked too. "Right."


            "How's your new school?" the nanny asked, idly thinking about sharing Setsuna with those who were her type.


            "TA Girls? It's fine. A bit prissy I guess."


            "It is a fancy school, but it must be keeping you busy," Ranma observed with forced innocence.


            Exhaling, Akane tried to ignore the sweetly-stated bit of passive aggression. She wondered if one of Ranma's schoolgirl friends had been giving her lessons, or if the redhead had learned that on her own.


            "I have been pretty busy. But that's no reason why I should have ignored your calls," Akane admitted. To her surprise the martial artist found herself suddenly engulfed in a bear-hug. Cinnamon perfume filled her nose as plush, silken softness once more threatened to consume her.


            "I understand," the nanny gently promised, giving another squeeze before letting go. "It took me a long time to reach out after I moved... after I realized there was no going back to my old life."


            Gasping, Akane glanced past the fancy-dressed, coiffed, and permed redhead to look into a row of mirrors running down the wall.  Yes the bunny was pretty, if overly made-up. But after a moment of studying her own evening dress Akane reached a conclusion: She looked marvelous, and her look was far more subdued.


            "There's a friend of the family who also goes to TA. I think you'd like her," Ranma offered seeing the martial artist's apprehension. "Rei's also continuing with TA's university program."


            "Rei?


            "Hino Rei; she's a friend. Very fiery, passionate."


            "Oh... yeah I've seen her around," the martial artist tried to clear her head.


            "We can make some introductions," Ranma offered.


            Akane nodded. "And how is school going for you?" she asked, leading the redhead back to her sister and the others.


            "Great!" Ranma smiled. "It's a shame school only started to get fun at the very end, but I suppose that's how it goes." The nanny saw the older green-haired woman and her eyes brightened.


            "This will be the end of school for you?" Akane asked.


            The bunny nodded.


             "Some of us are staying in longer," Akane noted.


            "True, but at least I can have some fun with my uniforms before I go." Her expression brightened and she waved to Setsuna. "Hi, Honey!"


            "Fun," Akane absently mumbled, watching the redhead bound over to the red-eyed woman. While she had not really expected Ranma to be the college type, she had certainly never expected her to be the homemaker type.

 

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

 


            The sound of a cooking show, overlaid with the swishing noise of a running stationary bike, filled the oblong room. The original carpeting in the room had been pulled up and replaced with sturdy, polished solid oak planking.  Half of the wood was covered by a  firm exercise mat. A waist-high horizontal rail, or ballet barre, and a bank of mirrors ran along the long wall, with floor to ceiling windows on the opposite wall.
            Positioned in front of a wall-mounted screen, the heavy duty bike a reinforced lavender step-through frame and a pink gear case. Resistance set to near the max, it protested the constant, machine-like pumping of the pedals.


            A redhead in a thick emerald green terrycloth dress sat on the wide, well-padded bicycle seat. The absorbent, fluffy material clung to her torso, especially the broad curves around her straining sports bra.


            The knee-length skirting flared as her thick-set legs worked up and down.  The pedals hooked with the gap between the toe-box and chunky heel of her suede slippers. Knee-high purple socks ran up her legs.


            Her arms were casually draped over the handlebars as she worked. Her two crimson ponytails were tied off behind and down her back. Despite the bike having a skirt guard over the chain she was still worried about losing one of her "ears".


            However, she had also pinned back her shoulder length curls and slipped a sweat band over her brow. Plain lips free of makeup curled into a smile; Kikuko had put too much work into her hair for it to get ruined.


            Other than occasionally checking her barely elevated heart rate and the bike's speed, her attention was completely focused on the show before her. Her body simply ran on its own. She finished the first show, then a shorter second one, and was on the third when a little chime came from the dish set between the handlebars.


            She found this was more soothing and private than exercising in public. The idea of just going out and running off into the distance disturbed her, even if she knew she would run right back. It was too... open, not to mention what it would do to her hair.


            Picking up her phone, she turned off the alarm and stopped pedaling. The heavy wheel, with its high resistance strap practically smoking, quickly coasted to a stop. Savoring a deep breath, the redhead patted her face with a towel.


            Still wearing the wireless heart monitor, she hopped off the bike in a smooth leap. Bouncing on her high-heeled slippers, she took a sip of water from the plastic bottle behind the handlebars and flipped up a platform that was folded in front of the bike. With a couple snaps, a sturdy, slightly inclined wooden desk was now in front of the bike's seat.


            The redhead took out a box of recipes, the household budget ledger, and a box of writing instruments and placed them on the desk. The tools slid down to the raised ebony lip that ran around the edges of the high, smooth surface. 


            She slipped on her gilt-framed glasses and hopped back into the seat. The dark-ruby haired nanny resumed her pedaling, though at a far slower pace. She opened the ledger and began to work. By the time she had finished sorting the bills and balancing the books her cool down period had finished.


            After folding the desk back up and packing up the paperwork, she took a drink of water and walked over to the bank of mirrors. Still damp, the dress clung to her body and the nanny took a moment to twirl and primp, inspecting her figure.


            Looking back at the curve of her backside, she smiled softly before straightening up and running a finger from her bellybutton, down her hip, and past her thigh. A fierce look of concentration marked her face as her hand made the journey, as if every plush curve and swell had to be accounted for.


           Her ring sparkled in the mirror and her lips parted as her mind wandered to Setsuna's own inspections of said curves.


            She untied her ears and smiled as they sprang back to her sides. Idly running a hand over her upper arm, she made her way to a set of free weights that sat on the side of the room with the exercise mats. Glancing at the dance floor. she ran over the lesson plan she had in mind for Hotaru.


            Giggling, she slid weights onto the barbell shafts and tightened the screws. With each fist holding a barbell swollen with weights, she planted her feet and set to work. It was over in less time than the bicycle work, especially as she concentrated on adding more weight. It was certainly helping augment her Hestia power and better wield her immense tetsubo.


            Giving herself another pat of the towel, she took a drink and slipped out of the room. High-heeled slippers clicking on the hallway floor, the nanny went straight to the bathroom. After using the toilet, she washed up and inspected her nails and hair. She gave a relieved smile at the lack of damage then frowned at her reflection. Seeing herself without makeup gave her pause. She looked... half-made.


            All her work and effort in her hair and the rest of her, and here was this... plain face. It was enough that she once again considered exercising in Senshi form. The makeup she had as Sailor Hestia would never run or smudge.


            Glancing at the clock on the wall, the nanny giggled at that. The problem was that her Senshi form was too physically powerful, there would be no shaping, no managing, of her muscles. It would be that much harder to ensure, despite their growth, they stayed comfortably concealed by the right amount of soft curves.


            Checking the time, she idly chewed a lip. With a shrug the nanny put up her hair, wrapped it in a big fluffy towel, and drew a bath. It was a quick affair as she did not have time to put in all the bath oils and scents she normally used. Giving a sigh, she even went light on the special soaps and just a bit of skin conditioner. The terrycloth dress, sports bra, and panties were soon replaced with an even fluffier bathrobe.


            Walking on the balls of her feet, she padded to her bedroom and went to work. There was a bit of a pause as she selected her foundation garments, but she eventually decided to go with the beige stockings. Then she slipped on a matte gold silk dress with a plunging V-neck. Relatively plain, the knee-length garment simply tied in the back with a big puffy pink bow and had matching bows over her chest and holding up the gathered shoulders. After a moment's thought she retrieved a pair of five inch gold leather stilettos; she was going to be teaching, her dance style did use heels, and she told Hotaru to train whenever possible. Ranma intended to teach by example.


            Going from her closet to her vanity, she slipped off her headband, brushed and sprayed her curls, and fluffed her bunny ears. The latter she did bare-handed and her fingers tingled and sparked as the tresses thickened and gained a glossy luster. She smiled at her rolling gait; the practice was paying off. With expert quickness she slipped off her glasses and did her eye makeup, blush, and lipstick. Bracelets, anklets, pearls, and jade pendant were all slipped on. Finally feeling complete, she rolled her wrist and limply presented her generous chest with a manicured hand.


            While her other hand, she slid open a drawer on her vanity and took a few of the caramels she had hidden there. Blowing her reflection a kiss, the nanny grinned and demurely ate a few morsels. Then a few more. Turning her head from side to side, she sampled a few more of the threats as she inspected her reflection. All her work was certainly paying off. Smiling contently, she got up and left her room. She hoped she was not too late.


            Nearing the exercise room, the nanny pushed the ajar door fully open. A smile crossed her lips. Hotaru was already in her purple leotard and using the barre on the wall to lace up her slippers.


            "Hi!" Hotaru cheered as she finished tying and bounded over to the bunny-girl.


            "I heard you in the tub. Bathing right away? You must have had a real good run, then" Hotaru coyly guessed.


            "Run?" Ranma asked there was something odd. It was as if she had to fight to put the sound Hotaru had made into a recognizable word.


            "Yeah, pretty bunny Ranma, running off into the distance. Bunny running away," Hotaru happily said, though her eyes were shadowed, almost secretive. "But you'd never do that."


            Feeling her stomach flutter the nanny shook her head; where was this coming from? She had been here for a two years.... she would never run away from her home, from her family, not from those she loved. "I'm not going anywhere. Hotaru know that I would never abandon you."


            Hotaru clung to her. "Good, because I don't want to lose my mother," she muttered.


            Wrapping her arms in an embrace, Ranma's heart melted and she smiled at the girl. She blinked back a couple tears and held Hotaru.  "You won't," she whispered.


            Hotaru sighed happily. "Of course, you're where you belong, Mother."


            Ranma swooned again and reveled in the hug.   


            Eventually the embrace broke apart. Hotaru wiped her eyes and smiled.


            Giggling, she circled the larger woman. "Did you have a good time with your bike?" she asked, patting the stationary bicycle.


            The curly-haired nanny blushed. "Oh yes, it was a wonderful gift. Haruka and Michiru are so thoughtfu."


            "Do you wish they'd have gotten you a real bike?" Hotaru looked at the exercise equipment and her nanny contemplatively.


            The redhead shook her head slightly. Her ward's words sounded strange again. "And what would I do with a... real bike?" The fluttering in her stomach grew, that is until Hotaru came up to her and gave her a hug.


            Relishing the embrace, the nanny smiled. "Would I go out on the street? It's hard enough to keep my hair out of trouble inside. And then I couldn't do our bills and paperwork."


            Hotaru giggled.


            "You're imagining me trying to pay the bills while running down the sidewalk aren't you?"


            "Maybe." Hotaru's coy grin returned.


            "That's it," Ranma swept the girl up in her arms.


            Hotaru's coo at the hug was short lived.


            The nanny then lifted the younger girl off her feet and spun her into the air.


            Giving a surprised eep, Hotaru's had to curl her torso and tuck her head to avoid the room's high ceiling. Twisting, she set her feet, bent her knees and landed gracefully complete with a bow and a flourish of the arms.


            "Great work!" Ranma clapped.


            "You know if you really want to throw me, maybe we should go to the park," Hotaru said as she went up onto the tips of her toes and did a lazy twirl.


            "Nah, we're doing dance today," the nanny tapped her chin. "Though your style is more suited to grace and speed, so there's a lot of good overlap there."


            "We can't all be built for strength and power. Some of us have to rely on maneuverability," Hotaru happily teased.


            Pausing to glance at her reflection, a ghost of a frown crossed the voluptuous redhead's face. It was easy to forget she had not always been... Shaking her head, the nanny fluffed her curls and stepped onto the dance-floor with a firm click from her heels.


            She held out her arm. "I'll show you who's maneuverable."


            Hotaru took it and the two began to dance. It was a strange hybrid with the larger girl mixing in some of her ballroom moves in between the ballet drills that she insisted the younger girl perform.

 

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

 


            The treasurer of the poetry club was a fairly tall, slender girl with a long torso and short blueish-purple hair. Leaning on a counter in the school's kitchen classroom, she idly tapped her fingers against the edge of one of the stoves that ran along the wall of the room.


            Next to her, a brunette with twin braided ponytails idly flipped through a notebook. "Calm down, Misaki, she'll be here."


            Misaki bristled. "Why's she late, Nami? I thought your little friend's got plenty of free time. I called her; she agreed to the time. This isn't like her."


            Adjusting her glasses Nami frowned. Misaki was being a bit familiar with Ranma.  But that didn't make what she said untrue: without having to worry about the near imminent entrance exams, her friend had a much easier go.


            Heck, for most students their last year, let alone their last term, was dedicated towards exam preparation. Not counting the all-too-frequent supplemental cram school. Part of her was jealous about her friend's almost indulgent free time, another indulgence of many.


            "Is this the room?" a contralto voice asked as the door slid open and a tall brunette wearing a crisp blue and white Juuban High uniform stepped inside.


            Nami gave a smile of recognition at the statuesque girl. Her hair was a lighter shade of brown than Nami's and worn in a high ponytail held up in back with a pair of green spherical ornaments.


            Eyeing the visitor's uniform, the girl in the glasses gave a tiny, jealous sigh. While both brunettes wore ostensibly the same uniforms, the taller girl's fit much better and cut a more flattering figure.


            She glanced over at her club's treasurer and saw Misaki making a similar appraisal. However, Nami noticed an almost hungry look in the treasurer's eyes. She briefly wondered about the rumors surrounding Misaki.

Wearing a tighter blouse, with a smaller, darker red bow, and a shorter skirt, the bluish purple haired girl was familiar with custom uniforms. However, hers was the result of personal alteration to a stock uniform, where the other girl's was a bespoke job. As she slowly looked the willowy brunette over the realization came that the custom uniform was an act of necessity. She was far too tall for a normal uniform to fit.


            "That's the one!" a happy voice cheered as another girl entered the room.


            "There's the princess," Misaki  grumbled, said before getting a look at the curvy redhead. She knew the girl with the bunny-hair had taken to embellishing her uniform during the last term. She had come to expect longer skirts, shiny, white and red bows on the chest and back, ruffled trim on the collar, and bits of applique and ribbons.


            Even with that expectation, the treasurer's reddish purple eyes widened in near disbelief. First into the room was a sweeping blue skirt. Its hem just brushed against the floor as she stepped. Lace accents curled around the bottom hem of the deep pleats.


            Shimmering white, her top had a built-in bustier making it sturdier than the uniform blouse it distantly resembled. Strips of silver fur edged the bustier, highlighting the stays and lines of the garment as it rolled over her soft midsection to support her bustline.


            Glossy sleeves were tied off with sky-blue ribbons threaded though the cuffs and tied off into floppy little bows. Gauzy puffball shoulders and a pastel blue sailor suit collar with pink ruffled trim topped the garment which contained, with seemingly only slight strain, the globular curves of her vastly buxom chest.


            A polished brass disk inlaid with silvery metal bore the familiar Juuban high school seal was at the center of the fuchsia-flecked cinnamon bow that rode high and prominent on the girl's bosom. Behind the bow the collar was pulled back to expose a lace-edged neckline that came down in a U shape. Despite only showing a modicum of the top of her bosom, the plunging cleavage helped make her bust seem even more expansive.


            Below the bows, a ruffled, pure white apron ran to her shins, covering much of the front of the skirt. Embroidered across the top of the apron was the school motto, while beneath and to the left of that was a bunny stitched in golden thread.


            As the voluptuous girl passed by, Misaki caught sight of the skirt's backside. Long, trailing fuchsia-flecked cinnamon ribbons erupted from a great puffy bow in the same sparkly hue and draped over skirting that was gathered and fluffed into a swelling bustle. Above that a line of narrow cinnamon ribbons tied in bows went up her back before disappearing under her curled hair.


            The treasurer was confused until she realized those cinnamon bows were actually the lace ties for the redhead's bustier. An idle thought entered her mind: which was softer, the fur in front or the bustle in back?


            Blinking, Misaki took some comfort in the dark red drill-curls that marched out beyond the bunny's shoulders and brushed down past those gauzy puffballs, and the swaying ruby rabbit ears.


            Casually held in a manicured hand was a shiny pastel blue leather schoolbag. With curves on the top and sides that went in slightly, the wide briefcase looked a bit like a flat-bottomed heart. Its double-hinged split-top was tied with white leather straps.

 
            Misaki eyed the white carrying handle. The case, at least, was not new. Though she knew the casual way the redhead carried it was misleading. The bag was heavy, and Misaki often wondered if there were rocks hidden in it.


            The silver band circled by rubies on the manicured finger was also not completely new. Though Misaki still had difficulty accepting the ostentatious diamond flanked by emeralds. On anyone else such an adornment would be gaudy. On the redhead, it was expected and almost understated.


            Like her glasses, the cinnamon perfume, soft pastel makeup, and ever present golden bracelets were comfortingly familiar. There was even the gentle chiming the gem beads within made.  Misaki had noticed that the jingling had reduced over time, it was almost like the bunny's motions had gotten slower and more graceful to compensate.


             What did stand out was  the crisp, ruffled, white satin tiara the redhead wore on her brow.  It made her look like the crown-princess of the maids which was a bit disquieting.


            After taking Nami's hand and giving a kind word the redhead turned to the treasurer. Plump lavender lips curled into a smile as big bright eyes widened. "Oh Misaki-san! I'm so, so sorry I'm late." She glided towards her and, clasping her hands over her apron, gave a deep bow.


            Misaki was struck by three thing: First, the seeming difficulty in the redhead's first action given the displacement of her chest. Second the result said action had on said chest. Third, and most overriding of all, the wonderment that the redhead didn't topple over whilst bending forward.


            With total grace the nanny straightened her torso. "Again, my sincerest apologies. I was detained by family issues. However," a manicured hand gestured towards the taller brunette. "I found Makoto was willing to volunteer and to help cook for our booth at the festival."


            Makoto nodded and gave a slight bow. "Ranma's told me all about your club."


            "Oh?" Misaki asked. When contrasted against the redhead's indulgent extravagance, Makoto became all the more appealing.


            "She also told me that Nami found her boyfriend while organizing one of these things," Makoto laughed.


            "Do tell." A ghost of disappointment entered her voice as Misaki raised an eyebrow at Nami.


            Blushing Nami looked between the girls. Unknowingly, she shared some of Misaki's disquiet. Not about the uniform exactly, as she had been there when Ranma and Hotaru had designed it, but there was something amiss.


            "There is more! Makoto's a top notch cook; she's given me lessons in baking," Ranma assured.


            "You're really quite good already," Makoto reassured with a slight flush.


            Misaki looked to the taller brunette. "Well then, welcome aboard!" she briskly said. They could always use another pair of hands cooking. Even if said hands belonged to someone interested in boyfriends.


            "Excellent! I had hoped you'd be happy, and I had stored some treats in here earlier today." As the bunny smoothly bustled across the room she brushed against Misaki. The skirt swished over the girl's socks and bare legs and then the redhead's hip bumped her in a collision that was as soft and gentle as it was weighty.


            "Oopsie, sorry," the nanny apologized giving a playful wink and coquettish smile. She performed a quick, but deep and a bit too close, bow before moving on towards one of the fridges in the room. It had a lock on the door and was officially limited to the instructor use.


            Watching her friend's smooth motions, Nami blinked. Ranma now came up to level with Misaki's eye, and the redhead was now only a few inches shorter than Makoto. Frowning she tilted her head and caught a glimpse of her footwear. Instead of normal slipper-like Uwabaki, the inside shoes, the ones the nanny wore had a high wedge heel and a thick platform under the toe-box.


            "You planned on being late?" Misaki asked as she hurried behind the larger girl.


            "On getting Makoto," Ranma said as she took a key out of a side pouch on her great leather bag and unlocked the side-by-side fridge. The key went back into the bag and the bag, which was gingerly placed atop the adjacent counter.


            Standing a couple steps back, Misaki laughed; she knew when it came to the redhead and her treats humoring her always yielded results. "And the new clothes? This would make a good costume for the festival. I know they'll be a hit at the booth this time."


            Holding the handle to the freezer door, the redhead blinked and tilted her head. She beckoned with her hand.


            "Costume? She's been wearing this to class," Makoto explained, her eye drifting to the redhead's ring.


            "One's final school days should be special," Ranma added as Misaki found herself next to the nanny.


            "I know you agree it's special." Ranma took Misaki's hand and pulled it in atop her chest, much to Misaki's surprise. "Besides I've made some great friends and learned a lot here. Why not treasure the memories?" she asked, pressing Misaki's hand to the Juuban seal on her chest bow.


            Letting go, the nanny patiently waited for Misaki's hand to reluctantly leave, but not before brushing against her bustier's fur trim. Smiling, she opened the freezer and bent over to find the tray of sorbets she had stashed on a lower shelf.


            "And Principal Rokubungi is okay with this?" Misaki asked. She had run into problems with uniform standards in the past. Taking one look at the long ribbons and the way the bustle beneath was pushed up, the treasurer turned away with a blush. The bow was one thing, but this had... Misaki coughed.


            "Well, I was giving him and the other administrators some creamy custard pies with bits of fudge and I asked him if it would be okay to show my school spirit." Rolling her grand hips side to side she pulled a box of frozen crab off of the sealed sorbet tray. "And he loved it, in fact it was his idea to add the seal." The nanny paused in her work to giggle behind a hand.


            Makoto winced as the bunny gave an upper class princess laugh. But other than that she had run into a similar... discussion when she had first arrived in Jubban.  She too had found it impossible to find a uniform that could fit.


            "And the motto?" Nami asked. She had thought the motto had been added to the apron by Ranma's friend Kasumi, but maybe it was all the principal.


            "Oh yes, that was his idea."


            Nami frowned.


            "He made it sound like I'd be school property... I mean a real part of the school," Ranma added, her plumped backside resuming its hypnotic sway as she worked.
           


            "He's seen this?" Misaki asked her eyes going back and forth.


            "First thing...  Well before classes started, I went to his office. He was already there. I gave him some sorbet and submitted for inspection." A little twist was added to the sway of her backside. "Afterwards he rewarded me with this school seal and told me to wear it with pride."


            Makoto raised an eyebrow. The favoritism alone... She looked to the nanny's jewelry and sighed. The ring alone had to violate some part of the dress code, but if the bunny had submitted to being, essentially, a school mascot...


            Rising up and ignoring the red on Misaki's ears, the nanny put the sorbet tray onto the counter and removed the lid. Taking her leather case, she undid the white straps that crisscrossed the top. The top half split apart into two sections that folded down on either side.


            Manicured hand expertly paged past the top section that had a compartment holding snacks, candy carrots, some of those green chocolate mints, and her green purse. The other top section had a medical kit strapped into the velvety pocket.


            Her hand went into the deep center section of the bag and ignored the compartment to the side that held more "rations", the handmade Green Mountain recipe book, her personal cooking journal, her schoolbooks, and finally to the twine-tied box that held the baked treats.


            Pulling out the box she turned and went to the fridge.


            A mountain of softness and lace rammed into Misaki, and the treasurer found herself pinned to the refrigerator door. Cascading over the treasurer like a tsunami, the nanny's chest heaved up and over, spilling over Misaki's arms.


            "I'm so sorry! I didn't see you," the nanny gasped. Putting a hand to her face, however the school seal still pressed against Misaki's sternum, among other things.


            Misaki lowered her hands and tried to push, but the girl was immovable.


            "I need to go to the fridge and get our drinks," the nanny pouted.  Her tone was innocent but a mischievous gleam sparkled in her eyes.


            "Maybe if you weren't pinning her with your chest," Makoto said as she examined the sorbet tray behind the nanny.


            "Oh my," The nanny giggled putting a hand over her mouth. She quickly slid back until she met resistance, then bowed deeply, jutting herself further rearward.


            Bustle, bows, and skirting pressed over the brunette's thighs, flattening Makoto's pleats, until the nanny's puffy skirt practically encircled the brunette's thighs as she was pressed up against the counter.


            "Ranma!" Makoto gasped, while Misaki watched with a distant, but contented, look on her face. Makoto's  hands went down to try to keep some space but they vanished into the glossy pleating.


            "I didn't bump into you, did I?" the nanny innocently teased, bending over a bit more.... pressing further onto Makoto inadvertently cupped hands.


            "Um..." Makoto tried to slide to the side but found herself pinned. Sometimes she preferred the introverted and shy nanny; this more playful nanny was more than a handful. Makoto then groaned to herself.


            Sighing, Nami marched over to the fridge and gave the redhead a rap on the backside. The puffy skirting swallowed shorter brunette's hand.


            The curvy girl tilted her head, causing curls to sway back and forth while Misaki and Makoto observed raptly. "Yes, Nami?"


            Shaking her head, Nami pulled her arm back and gave the nanny's hip a sharp business-like smack.


            "Owwie! Nami!" the big bunny whined as she straightened up. She then took a couple steps forward in her wedge-heeled slippers rocking her hips back and forth.


            Makoto raised an eyebrow; she knew the redhead was tougher than that. She also noted that Misaki was almost... hypnotically following the bunny's skirt while the short brunette was...


            Nami rolled her eyes. "Are you through showing off your fancy jewelry and figure?"


            Blushing, the nanny pouted, but bowed her head to the short brunette.


            "Besides you're engaged."


            A proud smirk grew with the bunny's blush. "It's just us girls."


            Makoto saw Misaki's eyes light up and felt a pang of sympathy for the girl. She knew about crushes, and knew when they were futile and hopeless.


            Nami simply crossed her arms.


            The nanny looked down at her chest and then twisted to look at her hips, feigning surprise at what she saw.


            "Yes, yes, Meiou-san's very lucky to have a woman like you," Makoto had to agree that the thickset redhead was impressively endowed. Though she preferred her own proportions; Makoto was, in her own way, a large girl too. She could sympathize with how difficult things must have been, especially before puberty.


            A tall broad-shouldered girl without curves was almost as awkward as a chubby girl without...


            Makoto frowned. Ranma was always... she shook he head.


            "Mako-chan?" the redhead asked waving a hand in front of the brunette.


            "And I thought I had it bad," Misaki murmured, misreading Makoto's woolgathering.   She shrugged and spooned some sorbet into her mouth.


            "Sorry," Makoto eyed the ring. "Congratulations on your engagement."


            "Thanks! You've said it before," Ranma teased.


            "Still it is hard to imagine, I mean we're almost done with high school... and you're going to get married."


            The nanny blushed.


            "Have you picked out a dress?"


            "I'm sure Meiou-san will commission something enchanting for me," the bunny put her arms over her bosom. "Oh, that'll be so wonderful."


            "She's laying it on a bit thick," Misaki groused.


            "No... she isn't," Nami corrected.


            "Ranma, you are such a girl." Misaki then turned to Nami. "Come on, you can help me organize a shopping list," she started to walk over to the other side of the room where they had dropped of their bags.


            After a few steps, the poetry club treasurer stopped, spun on a heel, went back to the fridge, took another sorbet, gave the bunny's figure a once over, dug her spoon into the mango treat, and then dragged Nami with her.


            "Nice way of getting rid of them," Makoto quietly said.


            "Oh... we're not going to talk about pretty dresses," the bunny sounded crestfallen, even her "ears" seemed to droop.


            Makoto giggled. "You're too good at that."


            "It helps that I really do want to talk about dresses," the redhead whispered.


            "So, why the sudden privacy?"


            The nanny looked down. "I'm... arranging something special for Michiru."


            "A date?" Makoto blurted.


            "It'd be nice... but... " The redhead's blush flared. "No, I wouldn't want to upset Setsuna."


            The brunette smiled. "Or Haru-kun?"


            Giving a little nod, the nanny seemed to hide behind her glasses. "It's not like that. The... friend of my dance instructor got me invitations to a dress rehearsal, for a string quartet."


            "And Michiru's a fan?" the brunette ventured. "What's the problem then?"


            "Well... I'm not sure what to wear. Or do I tell Michiru what to wear?"


            "You? You don't know what to wear?" Makoto disbelievingly said running a hand over the fur trim to the nanny's bodice.


            The nanny leaned a bit closer. "It is a rehearsal."


            "Right, so no gowns," Makoto joked. The brunette blinked when she saw the redhead thoughtfully nod. "You had to be told that?"


            "Meiou-kun likes it when I dress up," Ranma teased, idly lifting her hand.


            Eyeing the gem-encrusted engagement ring, Makoto pushed down the bubble of jealousy. Besides, she was not sure she really wanted to be a "kept" woman, let alone one for another woman.


            "You don't want to overshadow Michiru," Makoto slowly explained.


            The nanny tilted her head, her curls swaying cutely as her bunny ears swung in alternating  crimson pendulums. 


            Makoto exhaled. Sometimes she wondered about the nanny's blank spots.  The girly redhead seemed to be rather... inexperienced. "Setsuna is your-" the brunette stopped. "No, you are Setsuna's fiancee. Thus how... extravagant you look reflects on her."


            "Oh." A little frown crossed Ranma's glossy lips.


            The tall girl sighed. "When Setsuna takes you out you're a status symbol for her."


            "Ah! I'm arm candy." The redhead happily clapped.


            "Right," Makoto nervously chuckled. "A pretty bauble to show off her own power and uh-"


            "Virility?" the bunny teased as she leaned forward brushing her plump chest bow against Makoto's bow.


            "Uh, yeah," Makoto looked away. "But you won't be doing that with Michiru."


            Ranma gave a slow nod.


            "Instead you'd be competing with her."


            "Haruka won't be at the rehearsal," the redhead muttered, regret edging her voice.


            Makoto shoot her head. "Doesn't matter that you're both engaged. We're just competitive like that."


            "Is that why Misaki keeps eyeing me like that?"

            Makoto blinked. Was Ranma really clueless enough to miss the purple haired girl's crush on her? "Well, you did give her quite the show," Makoto gently offered.


            Nodding, the nanny pulled back out of Makoto's personal space.


            "Look, just do something nice and casual." The brunette frowned at the bunny's uniform. "Maybe casual's a bit hard for you."


            "I don't want to look like some sort of tomboy."

            Makoto laughed. "Please! Compared to you Michiru is a tomboy."


            Cheeks blushing slightly, the readhead's thoughtful expression grew. "So, I shouldn't try to be arm candy for her?" she asked, innocently.


            Makoto laughed, hoping the bunny was joking.


            "Just wear something nice." Makoto patted the plump girl on a soft shoulder. "I'm not saying you should straighten your hair."


            The bunny's curls shook as she drew back in shock.


            The brunet smirked. "Or wear pants."


            "I don't have any pants." The curvy nanny blinked. "The last pair stopped fitting a while ago," she quietly added.


            "No pants? I know you and Hotaru train." Makoto lowered her voice "Do you just wear leotards and miniskirts... wait...   Hestia's skirt's longer now."


            Ranma nodded. "But I also use tights and exercise dresses."


            "How long are the dresses?"


            "My exercise dresses are pretty short," Ranma assured as she bent forward and ran the edge of a hand just under her knee.


            The brunette tapped her chin. "Are those the shortest skirts you own?"


            "Well..." the bunny blushed. "There's some special stuff Meiou-kun bought me," she said picking up her titanic purse.


            For a brief moment Makoto saw the corded steel-like muscles flex in the nanny's arm as she effortlessly picked up the giant heart-shaped case. The strain quickly vanished under the girl's soft curves returning her limbs to a smoothed, if full state.


            "Special?" Makoto asked, once again taking in the redhead's luxuriantly plush femininity. It was hard but if she imagined the bunny with straight red hair in a simple fall, a plain Juuban Seifuku, and without her excessive curves...


            The nanny simply blushed.


            Nodding to herself, Makoto wondered if the redhead was deliberately being extra girlish to cover up that she'd otherwise be a short, stout, muscular girl. Idly, the brunette wondered just how "tomboyish" Ranma would look without the extra weight giving her curves.


            "You know, I have to deal with being an unusual height and unusually strong too... that's part of why I play up my cooking skills, hair, and wear dresses too," Makoto murmured, half to herself.


            "Pardon?" The nanny asked, once again tilting her head causing her cascading curls to cant to and fro.


            "Oh nothing!" Makoto put on a smile. "Just noting how we both do our best to make sure no one thinks we're tomboys.


            Once more leaning close in, the redhead giggled. "You're no tomboy," she assured slipping another pastry through the brunette's lips.


            Chewing Makoto blushed. "Thanks. That help you with Michiru?"


            A polished nail idly tapped glossy lips as the bunny put on a thoughtful expression. "Should I talk with Haruka about what Michiru's wearing?"


            "Well, don't put it that way!" Makoto laughed, continuing to look the redhead up and down. "Haruka'd get the wrong idea."


            Smiling slightly, the nanny blushed.


            Noting the redhead's bashful expression, Makoto started to circle the overly dressed girl. She had the figure and bearing to pull off a seifuku-style gown, but Makoto could also see she had the patience and grace to move around in what had to be heavy clothes, and possess the endurance to do so for hours.


            "Still, I'm sure Haruka would be more than willing to help a lovely young woman," Makoto lightly said.


            "She does fancy herself the lady-killer," Ranma readily agreed.


            "She does have her charms," Makoto admitted.


            The redhead laughed. "Hohohoho."


            "Well, all this has to be a lot to walk around in." Makoto pulled on the gathers above the nanny's bustle.


            "You know anything about ballroom dance?" Ranma coyly asked, lifting a leg.


            "Not much we've had a couple lessons... but-" Makoto lowered her voice. 'The teacher was a monster. Then there was this ball that Mamoru got us all invited to but..."


            "Monsters again?" Ranma quietly asked, shifting her hips.


            Feeling a bit of pressure against her hand, Makoto nodded remembering Eudial stealing the host's heart crystal and the overly dressed minion she summoned.


            Ranma looked up at her stepping closer. "Part of ballroom dance is learning how to move in a big fancy dress."
           


            Makoto tried to take a step back from the curves and frippery threatening to envelope her. Her mind went back to the daimon Eudial summoned. Chikuon had a heavy ball-gown too


            The brunette's gaze lowered. At least the nanny's hair was better; that daimon's curls and ringless were too stiff and unnatural. Which was expected given Chikunon was an artificial construct. Absently considering the parallels, Makoto's arm went out and brushed against a handful of the crimson curls. Makoto made a surprised noise; they were softer than she expected.


            Ranma blushed. "It's a shame you didn't keep up with your lessons," she gently admonished while with her free hand she grabbed Makoto's hips. Muscles tensing slightly, she forced the brunette to the side and started to slowly guide her into a waltz.


            "Uh..." Makoto said weakly flexing her fingers and taking comfort in the fact that Ranma was one of the Senshi. If she was not on the same side...


            From the other side of the room, Nami looked up from the ledger she was filling up. She saw what looked like the tall brunette leading the redhead in a slow, if somewhat halting dance. "Huh.... that's... odd."


            "Pardon?" Misaki raised her gaze. "She's dancing." The prim violet haired girl blinked. "She's dancing with Ranma!" she repeated, envy edging her voice.


            "Good for her," Nami said, walking over.


            "Wait!" Misaki  rushed to catch up.


            "Oh, not again," Nami muttered eying the twirling pair.


            "What?"


            "Hair talk,"


            "Oh no, you're a lovely brunette," Ranma assured as she gently, but forcefully, shifted Makoto around. "I wouldn't dream of changing your hair color."


            "What are you selling this time?" Nami demanded.


            Makoto turned her head, her hair swishing.


            "Nothing much," the redhead sweetly assured.


            "Be careful with her," Nami cautioned the taller brunette. "She'll tempt you with trips to fancy salons."


            "I was just suggesting a new shampoo and maybe a curled brush," Ranma fluttered her eyes before having Makoto give her a little dip. "I mean it's done wonders for your hair."


            "Well... yes," Nami coughed.


            Misaki raised an eyebrow.


            "It's not like that," Nami assured.


            "Your hair has gotten shinier," Ranma pointed out.


            Misaki coughed behind her hand. "Unless this makeover is part of a costume for Miss Kino to wear at the festival, I think we'll have to go back to planning what we'll be cooking."


            "Makeover?" Makoto tilted her head. "I didn't agree to that."


            Misaki gave a thin smile. "My dear, even I know you can't say no to Ranma when she wants to play with your hair."


            The tall brunette's eyes narrowed and her stance shifted.


            Stepping back, the purple-haired girl raised a hand in placation. "Don't look at me." Misaki then smiled. "But you have let her pick clothes for you."


            "They didn't make uniforms in my size," Makoto grumbled.


            "That won't be a factor since you'll be helping us run the booth." Misaki glanced at the plush redhead. "Still..."


            "What? Taking hair care suggestions is some slippery slope?" Nami asked.


            Misaki  shrugged.


            Leaning in so that her chest bow brushed past Misaki, Ranma's princess laugh returned. "Well, I won't object to providing what small help I can."


            Blushing, Misaki stepped to the side.


            "Though Makoto does look wonderful already." Ranma gave a satisfied nod.


            Misaki gathered her thoughts. "Please, like you don't have a full makeup kit in that case of yours."


            "Not a full kit..." Ranma shook her head.


            "That would be like a couple tackle boxes," Nami reminded.


            Misaki huffed. "Fine, you've still got more makeup than the rest of us."


            Cheeks blushing, the redhead's glossy lips curled into a smug little smile.


            "Didn't you come over here to keep us from talking about hair and makeup?" Makoto teased.


            Misaki flashed a smirk. "Okay, okay, you win."


            Makoto blinked.


            "Let's go back and discuss the menu for the festival." Misaki motioned back towards the counter. "Ranma you can give Mako-chan a makeover while we talk."


            "Yay!" the nanny cheered clapping her hands with a little hop.


            "Wait? What?" Makoto's eyes darted around as the redhead's hand clamped around her wrist.


            "Oh don't worry, we'll just brush your hair some," the redhead assured.


            "Maybe add a bit of product to give some body," Nami suggested while Misaki rolled her eyes.


            "Ooh," Ranma twisted back and gave the tall brunette a once over. "And a little makeup, well... we'll see. What do you think about perfume, Mako-chan?"

 

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

 


            As the convertible slowed to enter the hotel driveway, Michiru gazed out the window. The crowd on the sidewalk seemed to part as a flash of pale pink and purple, and a cascade of  crimson curls burst through the mob.


            "And you were worried we'd arrive too early," Haruka said with forced casualness as she slowed the car to a crawl. Even while driving, it was easy to spot the redhead.


            "You were the one that rushed me out of the apartment, even after you'd suggested I do my hair," Michiru adjusted her hair-band slightly.


            "It didn't take that long," Haruka assured. "Besides I know you don't like me racing down the roads at this time of day."


            "You didn't speed that much," Michiru absently conceded as she studied the nanny's heaving low-cut periwinkle top. Given the wantonly curvesome cleavage on display, the salaciousness indecency of her opulent bosom was averted by layers of delicate gold decolletage adorning the scoop neck hem.


            Michiru focused on the girl. In light of the support the redhead's bosom had and the way her glossy blouse lay around her plush middle, she was certain the nanny had some kind of padded bustier on under that top.


            Falling from puffy shoulders, gauzy sleeves ended in crisp little cuffs. Delicate-looking hands were sheathed in lavender lace gloves. One rested on the swell of a gravid hip while the other, almost daintily held a shiny rounded lavender purse. Behind trim glasses big-blue eyes scanned the street and crowd. Plump lips curled into a smile as she began to turn back in the direction she came.


            Michiru raised an eyebrow;  she had been told this was not a formal affair.  Though she supposed that the redhead was not wearing an evening dress, let alone a gown.  She wondered if  maybe this was Ranma's honest attempt to be... casual.


            Busy examining the redhead's calf-length pale rose-colored skirt, Michiru felt a jolt when the car suddenly stopped short. She glanced over and saw the tall blonde's gaze was fixed.


            Michiru raised an eyebrow. "I suppose you're not checking out the gold accents are you? Or maybe the glossy material?"


            "The way it shines when stretched out in the back is lovely." Haruka gave an easy grin. "And I do like that slit up to her mid-thigh on the right side."


            Michiru pulled herself from the sybaritic nanny's lavishly plump tush.


            "What? She has lovely stockings." The blonde's grin grew. "Maybe you should ask her where she got them. You have been looking for a set of garters."


            "Puu probably bought them for her," Michiru said, watching the way the nanny's posterior rocked just out of phase with the swing of her ruby bunny-ears.


            "I still say you should have gone with those teal heels," Haruka added.


            ""They make my ankles hurt," Michiru said.


            "Fine, fine.  Still the stockings are worth looking into," Haruka offered as she eased on the brake and let the car creep to the curb.


            "You just want to get closer to her so you can cop a feel."


            Haruka laughed. "And you don't?"


           Leaning forward to get a better view, Michiru watched as the zaftig nanny idly lifted a pink high heel. Sleek and shiny, the stiletto was adorned with a gold bow on the three-quarter inch thick platform toe and a matching ribbon tied around the six inch stiletto spike.


            The balancing act caused interesting movements to the nanny's posterior, especially when she leaned forward to place her purse on the ground.


            "Admit it..." Haruka teased.


            Michiru blushed. "I'm just worried. She said to dress nice but casual. So, her surprise can't be too formal..." She looked down at her dark blue knee-length skirt.


            "This is casual, she's not wearing a gown." Haruka idly tapped the steering wheel.


            "I thought the same thing..." Michiru gave a slight nod.


            The blonde grinned. "Besides, you're both wearing skirts and frilly blouses."


            Michiru glanced at her pale blue blouse with its demure white ruffles. "Mine's far more understated than hers."


            Shrugging, Haruka lifted her left hand off the steering wheel. Running down the green accents of her lover's skirt, her fingers played against the aqua-haired girl's smoky stockings. "You are far more elegant."


            Michiru put on a sweet smile. "Aww, you want me to forget you've been ogling her ass."


            The blonde's smile grew as she took a white gloved hand. "Can you blame me?"


            Michiru gave an exasperated sigh and crossed her arms in front of her. "Hurry up and escort me out of the car. Unless you want a hotel valet to do it for me."


            "The things I do for a grand entrance," Haruka sighed as she jumped out of the silver convertible. Walking around the front of the car, she gave her charcoal suit coat a tug and straightened the silver tie over her violet shirt.


            Opening the door, Haruka held out a hand, clasping Michiru's white glove, she gracefully lifted the blue-skirted woman up. Michiru gave the blonde an elegant little bow. "Thank you, Dear," she then assured with a quick kiss.


            "Hi, you two! Oh, how lovely!" the redhead cheered with a bounce in her step followed by the rest of her curves.


            Pulling Michiru to her side, Haruka gave a satisfied grin at the display before her.


            Cheeks flushing at the attention, the nanny clasped her hands before her, clutching her purse. She looked from the blonde to the shorter woman. "I love the blouse! And the accents on your skirt are adorable. Oh, is that a new hairdo Michiru? It looks great," the nanny cooed with a demure blush.


            "Oh this? It's not new, I used a hair band all the time in school," Michiru smiled, putting a hand to the aqua and turquoise hair band that pulled her hair back. The redhead was laying it on a bit thick, but the complements had an eager honesty.


            "And the flower?" Ranma asked, uncertainty entering her voice.


            Michiru's hand pulled back from the blue forget-me-not that had been slipped into the band. "You've got flowers in her hair too," she said after a moment, suspicion entering her voice.


            The nanny's blush turned almost smug as she twisted her head to show off the twin emeralds silk bands tied around the base of the redhead's bunny style ponytails. Each was adorned with little clusters of white spider-lily and cherry blossoms that gave a striking contrast to the waves of scarlet curls.


            "I may have given her the idea when I called to confirm the time," Haruka chuckled.


            The two women turned to the blonde; their gazes hardening.


            "What? You both look pretty. I know Ranma wants this to be a special surprise," Haruka smoothly assured, stepping back to close the car door behind Michiru.


            "Speaking of special..." The nanny reached out and ran a lacy glove over the side of the convertible. "My, I didn't think you'd bring her in such... style."


            "Michiru was worried about arriving on time," Haruka said.


            "How fast did you go?" the redhead asked, just brushing her hip against the blonde as she stepped closer to the car. "It must have been exhilarating," she added, leaning forward to get a view of the interior.


            Haruka's gaze drifted down, momentarily lingered at the redhead's jutting gold decolletage, and then came to rest on the expansive flare of the back of her pale rose skirt.


            The nanny shifted her weight to inspect the dashboard and then swung her torso back to look behind the leather seats.


            Happily observing the consequences of such motions, Haruka cleared her throat. "If you're interested; I could give you a ride. Maybe later tonight."


            Michiru laughed. "Really? Could you be any more blatant?"


            Haruka smirked. "You asked for it."


            The aqua-haired girl frowned. "Wait..."


            Haruka's hand came down on the swell of the pale-pink skirt, cupping near the top of the nanny's posterior.


            Giving a surprised squeak, the redhead's hips swung and hit Haruka's thigh, putting much of her weight on the surprised blonde who reflexively tightened her grip.


            Gasping at the sensation, the redhead tipped forward and had to grip the top of the door to keep from falling over.


            Blinking at the display, Haruka eased her grip, but not before adding a bit more pressure when the redhead leaned into it. The blonde looked back to Michiru and with her free hand waved over the tableau. "You asked if we could be more blatant?"


            "Shameless," Michiru sighed. Despite herself she ran a hand along Haruka's side and then leaned over to get a better view of the redhead. "Are you okay?" she asked the bending bunny.


            Seeing where Michiru's attention was focused, the blonde gave a light chuckle.


            Exhaling, the nanny pushed up off the car door. Rising she twisted and looked back down her side. A smile crossed her glossy lips. "Oh Haru-kun, thanks for helping steady me," the nanny playfully pouted.


            "Shameless," Michiru repeated. "Both of you."


            "She did fall forward," Haruka defended, lifting her hand to actually help the bunny straighten up.


            "I'm amazed you weren't staring down her blouse," Michiru murmured.


            "Oh?" Haruka's cocky grin returned and she raised an eyebrow at her lover.


            Michiru blushed slightly.


            "Me?" Haruka said with mock indignation. "We're talking about an engaged woman. I do have some decorum."


            Michiru snorted.


            "Puu trusts us," Haruka assured, patting the nanny's side for emphasis.


            The bunny twisted her hips.


            "Maybe it's for the best that it'll be just us girls today," Michiru murmured.


            "Ah how true, I'll have to seize the opportunity," Haruka thoughtfully said before she slapped her hand back down, cupping the surprised squeaky bunny's backside while her other arm slipped across the nanny's back and drew the curvy girl in close.


            As her gasp shifted into a happy murmur the bunny leaned onto the taller girl. The weight of her bosom pressed on the blonde.


            Indulgently taking a moment to enjoy the voluptuous bunny's embrace, Haruka let her fingers drift slightly. Noting the aqua-haired girl's slight ire, the blonde released a hand from the contently cooing nanny.


            Reaching out, Haruka draped an arm over Michiru's shoulder and pulled the reluctant redhead until she faced the elegant teal-haired woman.


            "Are you done?" Michiru quietly asked the blonde.


            Ranma gave a slightly dazed and blissful smile.


            Running one hand down Michiru's back while the other went across the nanny's hips, Haruka gave a theatric sigh. "It's a shame I can't escort both of you lovely ladies tonight."


            Ranma's blush grew and Michiru found her own cheeks reddening at the cheesy line. Finding herself having to look up to meet the redhead's eyes, Michiru blinked. Ranma should be shorter than her by at least eleven centimeters. Instead the nanny was noticeably taller by a few centimeters.


            Confused, Michiru's gaze drifted back down. She looked between her two centimeter low-heels and the nanny's massive sixteen centimeter high platform stilettos.


            She then caught sight of Haruka making the same confused and look between her and Ranma followed by glancing down at their shoes.


            "I uh....  didn't mean to..."  the bunny blushed.


            Michiru tapped he fingers. "You just happened to stumble into those skyscraper stilettos?"


            "I was told me you'd be wearing high heels, and I thought.." the nanny pouted. "I thought you'd still look taller than me."


            "So that's why you wanted me to wear those teal platform pumps!" Michiru accused turning from the plush nanny to the blonde.


            "You'd have been wearing the same style,"  Haruka nodded. "And those shoes make your ass look great." She added with a wickedly playful grin.


            Michiru huffed.


            "Oh but I must bid you farewell," Haruka exclaimed, and with a smooth flourish pushed the two women towards each other.


            Thrusting out further and riding higher Ranma's bosom pushed forward swamping over Michiru's chest. The blonde's grin sharpened and with a twist of the wrist Michiru's shoulders went forward just at the moment of impact.


            The musician had an instant to react but her gasp was cutoff as her face was buried in ruffled gold decolletage and plush plunging cleavage. Off balance, Michiru's eyes widened as the nanny's arms seemed to instantly shoot out and catch her. Michiru could feel the iron muscles beneath Ranma's tender embrace.


            Haruka moved the arm around Michiru down her chest, placed the other lower on the nanny's backside, and then tightened her embrace of the pair.


            "Well, good for airbags huh Mi-chan?" Haruka crowed, while Ranma shifted slightly torn between relishing the attention and the embarrassment that was pinking her ears. She did loosen her arms, realizing that Michiru was no longer at risk of falling.


            "Shameless, and a creep," Michiru's muffled voice pouted.


            Still holding the two, Haruka leaned in. "You know I stopped pushing your shoulders," the blonde teasingly whispered.


            "But maybe we've given enough of a show," Haruka pulled back, her eyes twinkling as she smugly looked at the other patrons pointedly not staring at the amorous display.


            Michiru lifted her head up and glared. "Oh? Now you're playing the responsible one?"


            Haruka released her arms, but not before giving both girls a final squeeze. "While I would like to stay and... entertain you lovely ladies. I don't want to ruin Ranma's surprise for you."


            The redhead's blush brightened at the attention.


            With visible reluctance Haruka pulled herself away from the bunny. "Shameless," she snorted at the cocky blonde. "If Puu were here-"


            "Yes?" Haruka's teasing grin grew.


            Michiru shook her head.


            "Thank you for... driving, Haru-kun," Ranma said with a bow.


            "My pleasure," Haruka said, taking the nanny's gloved hand and kissing the back of her palm.


            Ranma blushed and gave another bow.


            "Now, you two do enjoy yourselves, but don't have too much fun," Haruka added winking at the redhead.


            Michiru scoffed as the blonde swept around the front of the convertible and neatly hopped into the driver's seat.


            "She seemed a bit..." the nanny blushed. "exuberant today."


            "She wanted to make a good impression," Michiru dryly remarked as Haruka grandly waved before driving the car away from the hotel. "I doubt she was the only one," she quietly murmured to herself.


            "She succeeded." The redheaded bunny brightened. "Shall we?" she asked, offering a gloved hand.


            "Shall we what?"


            "Your surprise," Ranma coyly said as she pulled Haruka into the glass-filled lobby.


            Michiru had a moment to catch herself before she was pulled across the floor, her heels clicking on the polished granite. She soon found herself taken past the broad swept-back stained oak check-in desk to a smaller desk, this one of a darker wood in an alcove off to the side. A small gilt sign marked this as the concierge desk in four languages, including French and English.


           Letting go of Michiru, the redhead clasped her hands and gave a bow to the smartly dressed man behind the counter. "I trust we're not too late."


            "Of course not Miss Ranma, everything is in order. You and your guest can go when you're ready. If you wish to make use of the balcony take the stairs at the ballroom vestibule, if you please," the man in a charcoal suit and dark green vest assured. "And Mashuu-san called at one oh seven; he sends his regards and compliments."


            "Thank you," Ranma bowed again.


            "Mashuu?" Michiru asked as Ranma led them down a corridor "That's your..."


            "Why yes he is my ballroom dance instructor," Ranma smiled.


            "And what did he do? Why the specific time?" Michiru asked as the pair entered a gleaming antechamber. Bisecting a row of pale-white gilt columns adorning the far wall was a pair of large ornate double doors. To one side was an unused coat-check counter and to the other was a winding set of oak stairs. Off in a corner was a three-legged display easel with a tarp over the poster.


            The nanny's blue eyes sparkled as she tilted her head. Long ponytails swayed for a second and her expression broke into a broad smile


            Michiru's confusion grew until she heard the sound of string instruments waft from beyond the double doors.


            Giggling, the nanny once again took Michiru's arm and led the teal-haired musician up the winding stairs. Twin pairs of high heels clicked against the wooden steps as they made their way up the winding stair. On reaching the landing Ranma pulled apart a pair of curtains and escorted Michiru out onto the arced balcony that overlooked the far end of the cream-colored ballroom. At the far end on a raised stage were four musicians working stringed instruments.


            Rapt, Michiru descended an aisle that ran between the half dozen rows of seats that filled the balcony. "This is..."

            "The Shikoku String Quartet doing a private rehearsal," Ranma quietly said, appearing at Michiru's side. "Friends of yours, I trust?"


            "Well..." Michiru blushed. " After the Tokyo String Quartet disbanded, with the retirement of the violist and first violinist, the cellist and the second violinist were freed to do some more mentoring. This was near the end of my schooling and I was still thinking of going on tour with a group. This was before..."


            Ranma nodded. Being a Senshi could interfere with such... activities.


            "But I heard that mentoring did wonders for the Shikoku quartet," Michiru quietly said as she sat in the first row and Ranma took the aisle seat beside her.


            "They work well together," Ranma noted as they started to play. "They're a good team."


            "Practice," Michiru quietly smiled. "That and they their rivalry with the Pacifica Quartet. Why a group from the middle of North America would pick that name I'd never know..." she shook her head and waited for the quartet to finish the piece.


            Contentedly smiling, the redhead leaned back in the plush seat with her gloved hands folded in her lap. "I checked, when they're done you can come down and meet them. They'd love the surprise."


            "Why? Why all this?" Michiru asked, quickly looking away from the redhead.


            The nanny blinked. "I thought it would be nice."


            "Thank you," Turning back, Michiru took Ranma's hand.  The redhead demurely blushed and put a hand to the decolletage of her blouse.  Michiru gently laughed, it was readily apparent what Setsuna, and Haruka, saw in the bunny.


            "It's a shame you didn't ask me to bring my violin, but I suppose that would’ve ruined the surprise."


            "Perhaps you should look under seat one oh seven?" the nanny innocently suggested.


            Michiru raised an eyebrow, but stood up and went down the aisle. There under the seat in question was a familiar violin case. Her smile grew as she tapped her fingers over the case. "Okay... how'd you get this? Haruka didn't have enough time to rush this up here, right?" she asked returning to take her seat next to Ranma.


            The nanny smiled innocently.


            "Ah, Puu was in on this wasn't she?"


            The redhead giggled. "She was more than willing to help."


            Shaking her head, Michiru undid the clasps on her violin's case. "I guess I'll have to make sure the meal following this lives up to your surprise."

 

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

 


            "Have a delightful lunch," the Green Mountain hostess bowed after sliding open a door.


            "Oh, you got us a private room? My how... enterprising of you." Ranma put a hand to the side of her face.


            Michiru frowned and turned to the hostess. "I only reserved a table for two."


            The hostess smiled. "If you insist I'm sure we can accommodate your wishes. There is a lovely table with a view of the courtyard garden."


            "The room will be just lovely, Keiko," Ranma assured as she took Michiru's arm.


            "But how did..." Michiru looked down at the coifed bunny on her arm.  "Ah,  another example of Setsuna's assistance."


            The kimono-clad hostess simply bowed her head slightly.


            "O, Hoho," Ranma giggled behind a hand.  "Not that I'd mind a garden view."


            "I see," Michiru looked into the room with its paneling,  lacquered accents, polished table, and vibrant plants.  


            She glanced down. Some curls brushed against her shoulder. Her lips turned up.   "We'll take the room." She tugged Ranma's arm and pulled  her across the threshold.


            Smiling, the bunny let herself be pulled into the room.


            The door slid closed behind them.


            "It is a lovely room," Ranma fondly looked around the intimate space.


            "If a bit large," Michiru  placed her cased violin  on a red-oak serving table on a side wall.


            She then turned to the table and with Ranma still on her arm, pulled out one of the four chairs around the table.


            Lifting Ranma's hand Michiru watched as the redhead slipped onto the padded seat and backing of the hardwood chair. There was a slight creak, and Michiru pushed it towards the table.


            The violinist took a chair across from the redhead.


            "Maybe I'll have soup; I heard the chef got some good shrimp today," Ranma said.


            "That's awfully forward," Michiru teased.


            The nanny blushed.


            Michiru squared her shoulders. "I expected Setsuna's fiancee to be a bit more ladylike," she lightly said her eyes sparkling.


            "That's not fair," the bunny pouted.


            "Not fair would be wondering if you were a tomboy under all those curls."


            Ranma's cheeks pinked.


            The door slid open and a waitress entered with a bow.  Carrying a platter with a  pitcher of water, glasses, and menus, she apologized and after getting permission handed a bound menu to Michiru.


            The teal-haired woman glanced at the menu, she could have sworn the restaurant used red leather for the covers, not green.


            The waitress held the other in her hand. "Will Miss be ordering for the lady?"


            Michiru raised an eyebrow. "Really?  Is that common?"

            The waitress gave a smile. "It's not my place to say."


            Chuckling, the teal haired woman opened the menu. "My, and here I was just teasing about ordering for her."


            The nanny's blush grew.


            The waitress nodded and placed the two fluted glasses on the table and began filling them.


            Michiru appraised the curvaceous redhead. On some level she could understand Setsuna's...  pleasure.  "I think one menu will be sufficient."


            "I'll return shortly, unless you have drinks or appetizers in mind now?" the waitress inquired.


            "That sounds fine," Michiru flipped to another page.


            "Shall I mention the specials?" the waitress asked.


            Ranma's eyes brightened.


            Michiru flashed a grin. "Perhaps I'll allow some of that."


            "Lovely. Thank you,"  Ranma bowed her head.


            "When you come back," Michiru added to their server.


            The waitress then bowed and excused herself from the room, closing the door behind her.


            Michiru turned to another page.  "My, my,  I don't know how Setsuna does it."


            "My tastes aren't that exotic," Ranma pouted.


           The violinist chuckled. "No, but appearances do have to be maintained," Michiru ran a finger across the soup section.


            Ranma blushed. "We're both engaged there's nothing... improper."


            "What a pity," Michiru dryly noted.


            "Now if I were having lunch with Haruka..." The nanny took a sip of her water. "Or..."


            Michiru's cheeks pinked.


            Ranma giggled. "I can't blame you, not really.  Puu is a wonderful woman."


            Straightening the menu, Michiru coughed. "That she may be."  She paused and tried to have her flush reduce. The water helped, somewhat. "But she's still got a lot on her plate."


            Tilting her head, Ranma let her curls sway. "Making sure I have a lot on mine?"  she then pointedly looked down at her chest.


            Michiru's lips curled in a smirk. "I wouldn't be quite so crude."


            The bunny pouted.


            "But the results do speak for themselves." Michiru took another sips. "Physically at least."


            "Hey..."


            "While it's not my place to tell the Mistress of the house how she should punish her future wife..."  Michiru exhaled and went to the fish menu.  The possibilities were endless. It seemed like the restaurant had expanded their menu since the last time Haruka had brough her here. "I wouldn't be surprised if naughty bunnies shouldn't get a spanking."


            "You'd tell on me?" Ranma sipped.


            Michiru laughs "Good point, why should I wait?"


            Ranma giggled and shifted her hips in her chair "Oh?"


            The violinist folded the menu and clasped hands over it. "You can't very well be punished for lunchtime behavior when we haven't even had lunch."


            Blushing slightly the bunny giggled. "Well..."


            "Don't tell me," Michiru smiled. "That hasn't stopped Puu?"


            Ranma's blush grew. "Sometimes, it's not about what I did."


            "Well, given Haruka, it's not like I haven't been in your-" Michiru coughed, and took a sip from her goblet.  "I mean, not that I don't understand," she added, swishing the water in her goblet.


            There was a gentle rapping on the door and after Michiru consented the waitress crossed the threshold.


            Michiru ordered some tea and opened the menu.  "What specials are there?"


            "The chef has some skewered whelks with a house shrimp sauce.  There's some takoyaki garnished with katsuobushi made from our own smoked skipjack tuna.  There's also some Chankonabe."


            "Really?" Michiru noted.


            "Oh yes,  the chicken broth was made yesterday and the chef found a delightful sake to mix in.  It also has some quartered chicken,  tofu,  daikon, and a friend of the chef's found a wonderful section of top round beef to broil before mixing into the pot this morning."


            Ranma's eyes lit up and she smiled at Michiru.


            "Quite the hearty stew," Michiru noted.


            "If I'll confess the chef had some help." The waitress leaned in.


            "The friend?"


            "Indeed. A retired rikishi, he has his own restaurant in Ryogoku and they reminisce sometimes."


            "A former wrestler cooking a training stew? My how authentic," Michiru glanced at the big bunny.


            The redhead blushed.


            Michiru smiled. "Yes that will do nicely."


            "The Chankonabe? Or one of the other specials." the waitress asked.


            Michiru gave her a flat gaze. "All of it."  she handed the menu over.  She flashed a smile at the redhead.  "Plus the sunrise sushi platter, the one with the selection of roe, and the sauteed grouse."


            The waitress bowed her head in understanding. "And for you?" she ventured.


            "I was thinking of a lobster broth with  tuna and somen noodles. But if the chef has some of that Chankonabe broth over udon noodles that would be wonderful too."


           "Of course. I'll be back with your tea," the waitress gave a bow and quietly left the room, closing the door behind her.


            Michiru swirled her water. "I wonder if  Puu also told the chef in addition to asking for the special room."


            "It might have been his own initiative," Ranma suggested.


            "Perhaps," Michiru chuckled.   She took a sip and relaxed in her chair.  She smiled obviously amused.


            The redhead worked her glossy lips. "If I may ask?"


            Michiru nodded.


            "What's so funny, Mi-chan?"


            "Pet name? How forward,"  Michiru teased.


            "Mi-chan..." Ranma added drawing out the word.


            "Naughty bunny." Eyes full of mirth, Michiru put her glass back on the table.  "I was just amused at your mention of initiative."


            Ranma gave a confused murmur.


            "Remember what we were discussing before the waitress returned?"


            "Not really... I mean we were talking about being punished.... Oh." the redheaded bunny blushed.


            Michiru chuckled. "Yes, the first few times I had to talk Haruka into it."


            The bunny's cheeks flushed further. "My, but Haruka's so..."


            "Oh she's quite the playboy, but really...."  Crossing her legs, Michiru gave a satisfied grin and picked up the goblet.


            "Doesn't that mean you'd... have to be... naughty on purpose?"  Ranma asked with a  teasing little smile.


            "If only to knock some sense into that blonde's pretty thick head." Michiru chuckled. "But in your case, I'm not sure Puu needs the extra push."


            Still blushing, the nanny's grin grew. "But what if we're not talking about Puu?"

 

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

 


            Haruka watched Ranma sway up to the apartment doors. The blonde's eyes tracked the motions of the redhead's well-filled skirt. The doorman bowed and let the redhead in.


            She turned to Michiru,  who for her part had also been watching the redhead.  The blonde smiled as she put the car into gear.


            Out of the corner of her eye she caught Michiru's smile increase, with the violinist grinning wickedly while playing on her cell phone.


            "Was the date nice Michiru?"  Haruka asked running a hand along the edge of Michiru's dress.


            "Oh very much so."  Michiru absently noted.


            As the convertible stopped at an intersection, Haruka glanced over at the phone. "Thanking her for a lovely time again?"


            "Nah,"  Michiru smiled and her eyes twinkled playfully. "Telling Puu she should spank Ma-chan for me"

            Haruka blinked, twice. The light turned green and she drove as Michiru put down her phone.


            The blonde worked her jaw. "I thought you had a good time, Dear/"

            Michiru smiled coyly. "I did, and Ma-chan loves a good spanking"

            "Ahhh," Haruka accelerated the car and enjoyed the rush of speed. "Lovely, so you and her have that in common?" the blonde teasingly asked.

            "Mhmm..."  Michiru flashed a grin. "Though I can't help but wonder if Puu could use a spanking to keep your playboy ways in line better,"  she teased.  The teal-haired woman then noted the deep flush on Haruka's face.


            Before she could comment, her phone lit up.  Michiru looked at the message. The violinist considered the words. "Oh...' she muttered with a slight blush.


            "Sooo, what did she say?" Haruka asked trying to glance over at the phone.

            "She'll do that, but said next time I was welcome to do it myself,"  Michiru then turned to the blonde. "She trusts me to, and I quote, 'handle her bunny'. "

            "Oh wow." Haruka gripped the wheel. "Kinky. Don't do anything I wouldn't do," she added with a cocky grin.

            Michiru leaned back in the leather chair. And let the phone fall to her lap. "Is there anything you wouldn't do to Ma-chan?"

            "I wouldn't do more than tease her," Haruka admitted.

            "Really?" Michiru gave a little disbelieving laugh.

            "Yup, I don't wanna hurt you or Puu." Haruka seriously said, before her playful tone returned. "But you gotta admit, she's got an amazing body."

            Michiru thoughtfully ran a finger over the phone. "Mhmmm.....That she does...."

 

 

End Chapter 6a

 

Sincere apologies for the long delay in getting this out.

 

I'd like to thank the prereaders for their help in this project: Milanda Anza, Mahou Sensou, J St C Patrick, DCG, Pale Wolf Kevin Hammel, and Ellf

 

And I'd also like to mention two bits of fanart (with a third on the way) made by CheaplyMade (NSFW) for this fic.

 

I will warn that CM's art can be NSFW and one of the pieces of fanart is, in and of itself, rather risque.  That would be  A Moment of Passion

 

Strained Harmony Fanart is more vanilla.

And here's the third pic which references this chapter and is also pretty risque: A Naughty Surprise