A Ranma Sailor Moon fic thingy.
By Josh "Sunshine"
Naturally, I own neither Sailor Moon nor Ranma. So here's the disclaimer
Ranma 1/2 and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.
Previous chapters and other works can be found at my fanfiction website.
C&C as always is wanted.
Chapter 3 Learning to Settle... into Place.
The Kuno Estate was a sprawling, walled compound in the middle of Nerima. Water diverted from one of the ward's canals fed the meandering streams and still ponds that dotted the intricately landscaped grounds.
In the property's center a multi-tiered shiro fortress rose above the trees, walls, and outbuildings. Smaller than any of
One of the adjacent outbuildings was a dojo. Built of the same painted and polished wood as the rest of the compound, sheer scale alone made the two story tall structure ostentatious and indulgent.
Ranma padded across the dojo's mats in gauzy bootie-like slippers. She wore an open-backed sparkling green leotard with leaf patterned accents. Translucent petal-like skirting swished around her legs. Sparkling ruby hair fell back in a smooth wave with a sapphire streak in the center and on the inside arcs of curled bangs.
A couple steps behind her another fairy followed. He wore a green and silver Hakama with his sheathed sword at his side.
Wide-eyed, Ranma gazed up at the beams and banners. She let out a high whistle. Her attention shifted to the floor and some of the equipment neatly stacked against one wall.
Ranma looked back at her... fiance. "Heck of a place you got here." The room was pristine but it was not museum quality. It had been used regularly, although maybe not recently. "The kendo club use this place?"
"On occasion," Kuno chuckled. "Though my sister's exuberance can make things... difficult for guests."
Ranma shook her head. "I did warn Wolf about Mr. Turtle."
"Are you concerned for your familiar?"
The redhead crossed her arms. "He's a giant magical wolf."
Kuno nodded. "I suppose his experience will serve him well, and the ponds are kept well-stocked with koi," the bronze-skinned fairy eventually
"Mr. Turtle gets hungry?"
"My vile sister indulges her pets." Shaking his head, Kuno walked past her and inspected the dojo. "I presume you sympathize, my love," he said as he slipped off his scabbarded sword and took a wooden bokken off a wall-rack.
"Wolf ain't my pet," Ranma declared. She turned and planted her feet in a loose stance.
"Apologizes for my presumption, I dare not tempt your righteous ire" Kuno lightly said.
Blue sparkles flickered around Ranma's tiny fists. "You... you... you're teasing me?"
"Pardon my familiarity," Kuno bowed his head.
"Oh, you're gonna play it that way?" Smirking, Ranma darted forward. In a flash the diminutive girl was within Kuno's defenses.
The swordsman stepped back with his left leg and pivoted with his right. His bokken came out in whisper, the wood blade almost glowing in the bright light of the dojo.
His arm twisted and the practice blade fell towards the fairy queen.
"Yah think you can hold back now?" Ranma taunted as she rolled back, flipping under the bokken. As her legs went up, her right knee kicked out, slamming the edge of her slippered foot into the underside of Kuno's chin.
Dazed Kuno withdrew and squared his blade.
Ranma completed her roll and bounded back up to her feet. "You seem a bit off your game."
"Do you doubt my prowess?" Kuno lunged forward, his blade slashing.
"Hah!" The redhead was faster, slipping a step over and, pushing her left arm against his hand, she thrust her forearm into his neck.
Choking, Kuno pulled back his arm and slammed his sword hilt against the back of Ranma's head.
Glitter flew as the redhead yelped. Kuno brought his arm down to hold her against him. Still keeping his arm to the side, she leaned forward and hooked Kuno's leg.
The two fairies fell in a mess of sparkles.
Kuno found himself on top. Eyes wide Ranma wrenched the bokken from his hands but Kuno responded by putting a knee across her thighs and pressing a palm onto her sternum. Ranma stabbed forward with her left fingers into Kuno's solar plexus, pulling the blow. A punch to his temple was similarly held-back.
The two panted. Ranma idly noted that Kuno's hakamashita had loosened, exposing some of his muscled chest. She rolled her shoulders and frowned at the weight being pressed down on her.
"Right," Ranma's eyes turned critical. She inspected how she fell, how she was being held, how far away the bokken was, and where her hands had landed. "You're adapting, but you can do more."
"I can, my love?" Kuno said as he got off her. He winced a bit at the tenderness in his side.
Ranma sat up. "You're more flexible now; there's potential you're not using. You're stronger than I thought." The redhead pouted. "I guess male fairies really are better at that."
"Are you troubled?"
The redhead looked down. "Look, this isn't about my body. I'm... I'm fine."
Kuno put his hand on her shoulder. "You've endured much, but you are stronger for it. I've seen you blossom in-"
Ranma put a finger to his lips. "No, no, don't you try to blow that up my skirt. I'm weaker as a fairy. You are too, just not as much." She stood up and rolled her shoulders.
"I wasn't talking about physical strength."
"Well, I was." Ranma rolled her eyes. "Anyway, the better speed and flexibility are only part of the story. Our antennae can sense magic and I think our hearing's better. But Wolf thinks that's in my head."
She began to circle Kuno who had just stood up. "Fairies also have other advantages. Someone all into art would say that fairies are more elegant." She put a hand out and ran it over Kuno's shoulder. "That we've got more... aesthetic advantage. But that ignores the functionality." She concentrated and her wings with their sparkling spiraled blue and red whorls fluttered throwing off more glitter.
"Are we going to fly?" Kuno looked up at the ceiling. "I would have arranged for a bigger room."
"And leads to the next advantage." She smirked and in a shower of glitter shrank down to a couple of inches in height. Her wings buzzed and she continued to lazily circle around Kuno at eye-level.
"There would be less reach," Kuno remarked as he picked up his wooden sword.
Ranma rolled her eyes. "Obviously. But the mobility and difficulty to hit are some interesting advantages. Not to mention the strength."
"My Love?" Kuno eyed the tiny fair as she flexed her arms. "I do not understand."
"Ah, the student asks for a demonstration!"
Kuno blinked and a glittering comet raced towards him in a jerking pattern of dashes and jinks. She flew past his right eye then as Kuno turned landed on his left shoulder.
Pain exploded from his jaw as the tiny fairy's punch landed. Gasping Kuno worked his jaw. "Such spirit!"
Smirking, Ranma crossed her arms and paced on his shoulder. "Strength."
Kuno held his mouth in his hands and worked his lower jaw. "But you're weaker... Oh I see. Clever. You true form may be less strong than your pig-tailed larval stage."
Ranma stared. "Ew."
"But it has the same strength no matter the size."
"Correct!" Ranma's wings beat and she took off. "Problem is leverage. You don't have much of that unless you land, but we've got some other advantages." She hovered in front of his eyes. "Or at least us female fairies do."
"Us? I assure you my manhood is-"
Ranma rolled her eyes and cut him off. "Yeah, you don't get to complain, not to me, Tachi-kun." She pointed towards his bokken. "Hold up your sword and channel your magic into it."
"Are you sure?" Kuno asked.
"Do you think you can't keep it up?" she pointedly asked poking the bokken. "I think I know what you can and can't do," she thought back to her previous fights with her fiance.
Kuno flushed. "Nonsense. I've been able to charge ki into a sword since before we met."
The fairy queen blinked. "You can?"
"Remember our first fight?"
Ranma frowned. "The lame speech or that you were holding back against Akane?"
"My cutting a chain link fence with a wooden sword," Kuno patiently said.
This time the fairy's blinking caused glitter to sparkle off. "Oh yeah... you cut some concrete, a tree limb, and a bookbag too didn't you?"
Smirking, Kuno wordlessly raised his sword. White light started to burn from the tip. It poured down the length of the shaft as the wood itself began to shimmer and tracery of ivy vines began to form. There was a fizzling noise and the scent of ozone rose from the brown and green winged fairy. Kuno gave a surprised noise.
"Don't stop! Keep the concentration!" Ranma ordered. She frowned; Kuno had pulled the dark green hakamashita tighter. Her fiance's chest was no longer visible.
Ranma landed on Kuno's shoulder. "Don't stop, keep the magic up"
"But I won't change back," Kuno said, her voice now a fairly low alto.
"Yes, shame that." Ranma looked down at the newly female fairy's chest and then at her statuesque features. Looking over her fiance, a smile crossed her face. "You know you look a bit like your sister."
"You've told me before," Kuno noted with distaste.
Ranma took to the air again. She flew in front of her fiance's face and studied it. She closed in and brushed a bit off glitter off one of Kuno's ears. Both fairies shivered a bit at that. Grinning despite herself, Ranma gave the stunned fairy a quick kiss on the cheek.
Smirking, the queen pulled back and resumed her contemplation. "But you're prettier than her; none of that haughty, angry-crazy."
Sword still glowing, Kuno struck a pose. "I'm happy that my manly magnetism can overcome whichever body I wear."
Ranma gave a smile. "Ah, now there's the sweetly obsessive crazy that I know and... er..." The tiny fairy coughed. "That I... anyway, it's time for you to shrink down."
"I want to try some air-to-air, and for that you've gotta be able to cast magic."
"As you wish, my Queen."
Ranma crossed her arms. "Well?"
Kuno lowered her head. A blush started to color her cheeks. "I don't..."
The redhead smirked. "Oh? You just need to think small."
"I find it hard to diminish myself," Kuno ruefully noted.
The redhead stared. "You're a fairy... and a girl."
"I'm engaged to my love."
Her wings fluttering a bit faster, Ranma gave Tatewaki a long hard look. "Anyway..." she eventually said. "We can do this the hard way."
There was a burst of glitter and a human-sized Ranma appeared, she grabbed Kuno's free hand with one hand and wrapped the other arm around Kuno's torso. Despite the gender-change, Tatewaki still towered over the redhead.
Ranma's arms glowed blue and in another sparkling flash both fairy girls popped into tiny forms.
Releasing the hug, Ranma let Kuno drift off for a bit. Her own wings fluttering, Tatewaki's grip tightened. "I..." Kuno looked around. The dojo had become cavernous and imposing and her love... She could see the streams of power cascading off of the queen in sparkling streams.
"You're amazing," Kuno gasped.
Ranma preened "Of course I am, now don't lose grip."
Kuno squeezed Ranma's hand.
The redhead laughed. "Of the sword."
Ranma twisted her hand and slipped out of her grip.
Wings fluttering, Kuno tried to control her balance as she bobbled up and down in the air.
The redhead then resumed her circling. A trail of glitter shed from her wings. Inspecting her fiance's wings, clothes, and sword, she held her chin in her hand.
Kuno watched the redhead orbit around her. "Is my noble form up to the standard's of my Queen's inspection?"
"You're not falling screaming." Hovering in front of the dark-haired female fairy, Ranma gave a smug grin. "It's a start."
Kuno nodded; her face determined. "What is the next phase of my training?"
The redhead's grin turned mischievous. "Oh something you've got plenty of experience in: agility training."
Kuno blinked, her face confused.
Ranma flew forward and ran a hand over Tatewaki's chin. "Even as a chick, you can pull off that cu- that confused lummox look." She smile despite the verbal stumble.
"Anyway, your part is simple." Drifting back, Ranma spun around and wiggled her hips. "You do know how to chase me, right?" she asked with a wink before vanishing in a flash of sparkles.
Blinking, Tatewaki's sword dimmed for a second. Then watching the rapidly shrinking glittery comet, she turned over and dove towards the redhead.
A smile crossed Tatewaki's lips and she raced after her fiancee. The dark haired fairy caught up to the sparkling redhead, or tried to. As Tatewaki approached Ranma broke out of her lazy dive and shot off to one side.
Wings buzzing, Tatewaki turned aiming to intercept the redhead. Pushing more speed, her sword began to glow brighter and the occasional mote of glitter stared to fly off her wings.
Hair whipping about, Ranma glanced back. Tatewaki was gaining. She gave a little laugh and cut her speed.
Grinning, Kuno began to catch up. Tatewaki had chased the redhead for a long time, and she was starting to figure out when things were going too easy.
There was a flash and the redhead suddenly went vertical and shot past her fiance, flipped over and charged towards Tatewaki's back. Readying for the strafing run, Ranma's fists began to glow blue.
Kuno then rolled over and blocked the blasts with the flat of her sword.
Ranma's eyes widened, and she let out a high pitched laugh as she dove past Kuno.
This time Tatewaki managed to maintain the distance and the pair began twisting about in tight scissoring maneuvers as they raced across the dojo trailing spiraled contrails of glitter that slowly sprinkled to the floor.
It was after a spate of tight turns that Tatewaki caught up to Ranma and managed to land her sword across her backside. She still got blasted by the redhead's glowing fists, but Kuno did slow to a hover and bow to her.
After that the chase resumed this time the redhead's moves were faster and she cut through the air in tighter turns and was even more aggressive whenever Tatewaki managed to get close.
After Kuno had scored her fifth hit, Ranma took the taller fairy's hand and led her to one of the polished crossbeams near the ceiling. Sitting down, Ranma idly rubbed the small of her back as she kicked her legs back and forth as they dangled over the ledge.
"You really like hitting me back there don't cha?" she demanded as Kuno landed next to her.
"It's an easier angle. You don't protect it as well as other places," Kuno admitted. The taller fairy's forest green hakamashita was loose and had a slight sheen of sweet and glitter.
Ranma eyed her and gave a little smirk. She might be a glitter-factory, but even Kuno could start to get sparkly if you worked her hard enough. The redhead was rapt by little grey sports bra straps she could just see. She hummed in thought, that must have materialized on Kuno sometime during the fight.
"You're holding back," Tatewaki noted.
Ranma tried to keep from rolling her eyes. Instead she reached out and patted Tatewaki's cheek, her fingers lingered. "Of course. This is what... your first time flying?"
"Still... you're leaning. Over-powered and jerky. Clumsy and too straight forward. But you are very single-minded and focused." She snorted, though it sounded a bit more like a giggle.
"There's also my stamina."
Ranma crossed her hands and huffed.
"It's true. You can be... worn down."
The redhead glared.
"Will you deny it?" Tatewaki asked idly rolling her glowing sword.
Ranma smirked. "That's the whole reason we're together
Tatewaki tilted her head. Looking off into the distance she gave a wistful smile. "Yes, we are together."
Ranma lowered her forehead into her hands. "Yes, yes we are."
Kuno put her arm out and wrapped it around Ranma's shoulder. "Perhaps some more training?"
The redhead looked at Tatewaki's hand. She reached out and grabbed it. She sighed. Even fae and feminized her fiance's hand was still larger than her own delicate digits. Her mood brightened. "Training?" She began to snicker.
"Oh no. This is just a warm up. I haven't even started to formalize moves and maneuvers." Ranma idly peeled Tatewaki's hand off her shoulder. She then tapped her chin.
"Has my energetic pursuit of you inspired you, my love?" Tatewaki asked.
The redhead snickered. "Having a partner is better than trying to solo things."
Tatewaki blinked; she then turned her head to the side. A mirthful smile crossed her lips.
Ranma noticed her fiance's expression. "Oh shut up!" She punched her in the shoulder. "Don't think you can get away with stuff because you're al cute now!"
"Pardon my rudeness."
Ranma huffed. "Just for that we're going to switch off."
Frowning, Tatewaki's sword began do dim.
"Oh no you don't," Ranma touched the sword and it flared brighter. "You're going to need all your strength," she assured running a finger over the silver wood.
Ranma cracked her knuckles. "I'll give you a head start," she promised as her fists began to glow.
"My love, that's too kind but-" Kuno then screamed and shrieked as Ranma smacked the larger fairy in the back, knocking her off the cross beam.
Ranma nimbly stood up. She looked down to confirm that Tatewaki's wings had started to flap. Slowly counting, she turned her back to the edge. A lazy smirk crossed her face. When she got to ten she jumped backwards and flipped off the edge in a backwards dive.
Glitter trailed behind Ranma as she built up speed and dove towards the floor. She spotted movement in one corner and her antennae buzzed. Sighting her fiance, her fists glowed as she took more velocity.
The pattern of pursuit, close, and spar continued.
Tatewaki gasped; the sword almost slipped from her hands. She looked back then down, then ahead. Ranma was relentless. She did a slow barrel roll and exhaled. Kuno had dreamed of this day.
The fairy shrugged her shoulders and used a free hand to tighten her top. Tatewaki blushed; there were some things that she had not dreamed of. However, being pursued by the redheaded girl was one of them.
Her antennae twitched. She flipped over as one wing stopped while the other continued to buzz. Her bokken whipped out and the flat slammed into Ranma's slippered feet.
Kuno looked up. Ranma gave an approving nod. For a moment, the two fairies seemed to hang in midair.
The spell broke; the pair tumbled down. Blue fist met silver wood as the two grappled. Glitter flew between the two. Tatewaki blocked the first barrage of strikes and managed to tap Ranma's side just below her waist, but the redhead soon overwhelmed her.
The sword went flying. Ranma's eyes widened. She grabbed Tatewaki, her wings resumed their rapid flutter, and the two began to slow down... just before they hit the mats of the dojo.
The tiny redhead shook her head. She looked down and saw that her fiance had broken her fall. "Huh. Maybe we should take a break." She frowned. "You okay Tachi?"
Looking up, Tatewaki gasped. Kneeling down, Ranma was straddling her chest. "Oh my spirited love!" Kuno coughed, her stomach felt fluttery. Her hand closed and opened. Her sword was missing.
Ranma patted her on the cheek. "I mean: are you hurt?" She tilted her head as the fairy beneath her quivered. The tall, statuesque female form shifted into a larger but still sleek and beautiful male form. "Yeah, you're fine."
Kuno shifted his hips. "Injured? Only my foolish pride. I dared to think I could best you."
Standing up, Ranma shrugged. She held out her hand and helped pull Kuno to his feet. "Well, you did... at least once," Ranma added under her breath.
Kuno nodded. He looked around. The dojo towered above them. The room appeared vast with the walls in the far distance. "We're still small."
Ranma shook her head. "I can't believe you outsmarted me."
"I would not presume to declare that much." Kuno said as he looked around. "Indeed I would say the challenge you gave me was most clever."
Ranma stared at Kuno. She then looked off into the distance, or at least to the other side of the cavernous dojo. After several seconds, she slowly shook her head. Her wings began to flutter. "Come on, I think I can see your sword." She grabbed his hand and took to the air.
After crossing the dojo the pair retrieved the bokken. Kuno graciously accepted the wooden blade. Ranma took his hand, closed her eyes and in a burst of glitter the two returned to human size.
Moving from foot to foot, Ranma pulled at her leotard. "I guess we're done?"
After replacing the bokken Kuno picked up his katana and glanced at a clock discreetly hung near the doorway. "Perhaps that is wise, it would give us time to clean up and visit your mother."
"Yeah, a wash would be good." Ranma rolled her shoulders noting the mix of sweat and glitter that had accumulated on her body.
Adjacent to the dojo was a changing room that bordered on the opulent. However it managed to be understated enough with its stonework and fixtures to be tastefully understated. Though the heavy silver framed mirrors on many of the walls were a bit much.
Following her fiance Ranma idly bounced from one heel to the other as she looked through the various doorways that branched off of the paneled room. One went to a pool, another to a large furo, a couple that were for supply and store-rooms, one went to an ante-chamber that opened to a sauna, yet another went to a hot tub and there was even another smaller dojo.
It looked a bit cramped, but Ranma could see possibilities for fairy-sized practice.
"No need to rush my love, this is all yours," Kuno assured, putting a hand on her shoulder left.
The fair queen turned and looked up. "Once we're... married right?" she reached up and lifted his hand off her shoulder.
"But a formality, I will not deny my queen anything."
Ranma swallowed and her right hand fell, dragging Kuno's with it until it settled on her left side. "What you want me to move in? Here?"
"If that is your wish." Tatewaki shrugged.
"Yeah I'd bet you'd love sleeping with me."
Kuno raised an eyebrow and patiently looked at the redhead. He then reached out and gently tapped the engagement ring Ranma wore.
"Shut up Tachi" The fairy queen flushed and slipped out of his arm.
"Apologies my glittering goddess," Kuno bowed. "I know how trying this is."
Ranma crossed her arms; glitter sparkled off her green leotard. "Honestly, you don't."
Kuno nodded. "Perhaps I should try to make my sword glow again. You seemed... intrigued by that form of mine."
Recalling her fiance's statuesque female fae form, Ranma gave a distracted smile. The queen then happily laughed; it had a musical bell-like quality. "Yeah, yeah, but you don't have to deal with glitter."
Using a handkerchief to wipe his hand, Kuno nodded. "That is true my love. Your burdens are many but you handle them with such grace."
Ranma smiled and looked at their reflection. The dashing gentleman in his green and silver Hakama and the petite young lady in her gauzy green leotard.
Sweat shined on both of their bodies and they looked all the world like a young couple that had just enjoyed some vigorous... exercise. Her antennae quivered and she took half a step forward.
Again Kuno took her hand. "Let no doubt blossom in your mind. When I say this estate is yours I do not speak of impropriety. We have ample space. You can pick out a suite at your leisure. If you desire your own wing of the estate; it shall be yours. The only limits are the servant's quarters and the spaces my sister has claimed."
Ranma returned the grip. "You're just giving me a mansion?"
Tatewaki Kuno blinked in confusion. "Shouldn't I?"
"I didn't hear anything about your father in that. Doesn't he have any say? What about his rooms?"
Kuno smiled. "Regretfully, my father's duties force him to reside upon school grounds. Thus the burden of head of household has fallen upon me. Surely you can agree that such is a tragic situation?" He gave a theatric sigh and looked off into the distance.
"To be deprived of the wisdom of one's honorable father. And with your father absent on his quest to recover the Chalice of Avalon this is tragedy that you to know only so well." Kuno's face turned grave. "Perhaps we will find a way to suffer through the absence."
Holding her sides, the redhead bent over as her laughs broke into high-pitched giggles. Still laughing, she walked over to the stand where her clothes had been laid out next to a large lacquered case.
Sky blue, the skirt had her standard knee-length petal hem and was somewhat translucent. It had a fairly high neckline and was layered to give it some poof.
It was about as concealing and modest as she could make her clothes. Next to it was a pair of low heels along with a gauzy blue bra, matching underwear, and a silvery corset.
Ranma looked over the clothes. She could change the dress if she wanted. She did not have to wear the corset; she had brought a bra instead. It would be easy. Everything about this was... "easy".
She felt Kuno standing behind her. She also felt something else something familiar. Her antennae bounced a bit. She'd wear the corset. Why not? By getting engaged to Kuno, she had already paid for the damn thing.
"Is your armor not for special occasions?" Kuno reached out. "Or is this because we're meeting an allied kingdom today?"
"The Senshi? Don't you worry about that. This is just another meet and greet." Ranma idly batted his hand away. "Maybe you should go and get dressed. We've got a busy day."
"Oh? More flittering about followed by indulging your sweet tooths?" A haughty young woman interjected. "I see it did not take much to domesticate my brother into a indulgent hedonist."
"Ah, Sister dear," Tatewaki bowed his head to Kodachi. "Going to practice I see?"
"Once the staff is done cleaning the room. It seems someone left quite a bit of glitter." Kodachi strode toward Ranma. "But that's what Sasuke is for... cleaning up my brother's messes." She was dressed in a sleek teal leotard with black trim and black rose accents and matching black and teal slippers.
"We meet again, Lady Titania," Kodachi put special emphasis on the title, her lips quirking into a cruel grin as she looked down on the redhead. "That really is a lovely little outfit you're wearing. It very much suits a woman of your stature."
A blush manage to appear on Ranma's nutmeg-colored cheeks as she realized that she was well over a head shorter than Kodachi and dressed far more femininely than her fiance's sister.
Kodachi's leotard did not have skirting or leggings. Ranma had both, in translucent glittery layers. The accents on her leotard were also more sparkly. The redhead did smile, her bosom was presented in a far more flattering way than Kodachi's was.
Ranma exhaled and pondered how to reply. She looked to Kuno who seemed pensive. The redhead then smile. "Thank you," she bowed to Kodachi. "I was worried that our past... rivalry would sour things."
"Oh? Tell me Lady Titania, was it mistaken for me to presume that you possessed the class to abandon your pursuit of my beloved simply because you're engaged to my brother?" Kodachi smirked.
"Why do you keep calling me Titania?"
"That's your name? Titania Windgates the Second, self-proclaimed queen of the fairies."
Ranma tilted her head. "Of all the things you don't believe, it's the queen part?" She hardly noticed Tatewaki move from standing between her and Kodachi to standing next to her. An arm fell over her shoulder.
"Only a fool would deny that you're of the fae," Kodachi leaned in and flicked one of Ranma's antennae she pointedly stared at Tatewaki's. Ranma bit her lip.
"Still to call yourself a queen when your kingdom consists of one canine, one mother, and one consort? Ohohohoho." Kodachi laughed.
Ranma winced. She unwrapped Kuno's arm. "Go and get changed Tachi. I won't be long."
Kuno nodded, took her arm, kissed the back of her hand and sauntered off.
As Ranma watched him leave, Kodachi slid up next to her. "You didn't answer me, Lady Titania," Kodachi mildly said. "My own eyes tell me that you are besmitten with my idiot brother, but you have yet to deny any designs on my own beloved."
The redhead exhaled. "You mean my boy-side? Uh, you mean Ranma? That why you keep calling me Titania?"
Kodachi gave a strained smile "For someone who maintains no claim on my beloved the least you could do is not insist on using his name in my presence."
Ranma snorted; it came out a bit more giggle-like than she expected.
Kodachi for her part winced. "I suppose calling you Windgates-san is a bit too formal, we are to be sisters."
Kodachi's strained smile returned. This time added with a layer of pity. She ran a finger over one of Ranma's bangs and flicked some glitter off a nail. "I do hope there won't be any problem with the drains. Clogs are so... embarrassing."
"Glitter dissolves in water."
The redhead sighed "You don't think I'm Ranma?"
"Must you ask?" Kodachi sighed. "I worry about the intelligence of the children you'll give my brother.."
"Hey our kids will-" Ranma's mind blanked. A dreamy smile crossed her face as her eyes unfocused and she began to hum.
"Truly, my brother has found a companion who will stimulate his intellect, among other things." Kodachi said, looking the fairy over.
"Hey! You think I like this?"
"Being engaged to the heir of the House Kuno? You had better," Kodachi looked down on the fairy. "I can accept my idiot brother courting a woman with eccentricities, such things are the curse of our family, but I cannot accept ingratitude."
"And what does that mean?" Emerald eyes narrowed.
"I wonder if you care at all about this family," Kodachi sniffed.
"Well... Dear Sister," Ranma smirked. "I can't say much about this pack of loons I'm doomed to be married into, but my family's pretty bad too. My father's off on some stupid quest to get me married and my mother insists on making me into a proper fairy queen."
Kodachi tilted her head and saw the silver corset. "A quest? Like the quest you sent my brother on? I heard that 'mystical armor' was right under your nose? Someone lacking in class and decorum might even suggest that the quest was not done in good faith."
Ranma looked down and fidgeted. Kodachi was more right than she knew, but in the opposite way. Ranma had hoped to give Tatewaki an impossible quest, like the one she had sent her father and Soun on. It was cosmically bad luck that Titania's armor had fallen into Happosai's hands.
"As for your mother... Lady Titania. Don't you also insist on your royalty? You can see my concern that you have sinister designs on my beloved Ranma-sama. The fae are mischievous after-all."
The redhead rolled her eyes. "No Kodachi, I have no plans or interest in your beloved Ranma-sama."
"Thank you." Kodachi eyed the diminutive girl. "Tatewaki, stupid and clumsy he may be, is still my brother. And while he is so smitten with you to be incapable of comprehending any betrayal on your part, I am not so delusional. Please do not give me a reason to confirm which poisons are and are not effective on fae."
The redhead snorted then giggled.
Wincing Kodachi looked away.
"You're telling me you care? You paralyze and poison Tatewaki. You beat him up and mock him in public."
"And yet I still care about him." Kodachi's frosty smile returned. "Much the same can be said about you. Or are we going to pretend your antics as the 'pigtailed girl' never happened?"
"I'm still the same person, becoming a fairy didn't change that." Ranma assured, though she did look down at her own leotard and at the platinum ring she wore.
"That brings some relief, given what happened to my brother. Though I suppose he was more than eager to forfeit his humanity if it meant wining your hand."
"It wasn't like that."
"Oh? Did you simply transform your lover into a more pleasing form?" Kodachi smirked.
"He's not my lover!" Ranma hissed, her eyes shimmering, her firsts flaring blue.
"I see we both have problems with our relationship with Tatewaki." Kodachi's smirk grew. "Perhaps we're more alike than either of us cares to admit, Dear Sister."
The glow faded from Ranma's firsts and she lowered her arms, but not before Kodachi caught Ranma's hand.
"Hey!" the redhead's anger faded when she saw the sad look on Kodachi's face. "Uh? Something wrong with my ring?'
"These gems... do you know where Tatewaki acquired the two diamonds?" Studying the platinum ring with its central kink and twin settings, Kodachi's grip loosened and became almost gentle.
"He said something about them being family heirlooms."
Kodachi's hand released Ranma's. "So our father actually cared? A mixed blessing at best."
"I'll concede to some jealousy, as low borne as it is." Kodachi's wintry smile thawed slightly. "But Father did take possession of Mother's effects. And him giving those diamonds to Tatewaki is about as elegant of a signal of approval as you're bound to get... Dear Sister."
"What?" Ranma stared at her hand. "This is Tatewaki... you're mother's ring?"
"No, but the diamonds are." Kodachi patted Ranma's shoulder. It was a harsh, too rough, gesture. "Enjoy this bit of grace from our father. I daresay he'll be far worse at your wedding."
Turning and walking to her skirt, blouse, and corset, Ranma sighed. "Thanks for the reminder."
"I'll admit that such apprehension preys on my mind. Perhaps my beloved Ranma will take me and we will elope."
"That doesn't sound like a bad idea," Ranma said as she started slipping out of her leotard. Organizing her clothes, she began to hum.
She cast a refresh spell. Sweat and grime and the like were blown off her skin and hair in a flash of glitter. She would have preferred to shower, or maybe even use the hot tub, but her future sister in law had delayed her.
Kodachi watched as the fairy pulled on the corset. Squirming she tried to bend her arms back to tighten the laces. The gymnast sighed and stepped forward. "Calm down."
Ranma gave a little squeak. "Oh! Sorry, I..."
"Forgot I was here?" Kodachi shook her head. "Don't tell anyone, but I'll favor you this one time." She assured, as she began to tighten the redhead's corset.
Ranma gasped. "Thanks."
Kodachi finished fitting the garment. She stepped back and watched Ranma pull on a transparent blue skirt. "Is that really proper attire? Especially for one with presumptions of royalty?"
"You want me to show you the book?" Ranma asked as she smoothed her skirt down and went back to the lacquered case. "I've got another copy of 'Titania's Guide to Raising Proper Ladies'." She reached in and pulled out a book bound in deep green leather with gold leaf. "Do you want it?"
Kodachi scoffed but took the offered tome.. "No, I can already see the fashion priorities of your 'kingdom'." She flipped it open and frowned.
Inside was shimmering text in a flowing script with detailed sketches in the corners. Each letter consisted of spiraling silver and green lines that linked from one to the next. Each word was underlined with an emerald slash that linked the first letter with the last.
Similarly, each sentence was a contained within a silver loop that was closed by a line that ran over the text. The loops and kinks seemed to gently pulse and shift beneath Kodachi's eyes. She forced her gaze back up to the fairy. The redhead leaned forward and glanced at the text.
"Oh sorry!" Ranma apologized as she snatched the book and put it back into the case. "Wrong version. That's original Eelinu. I'll have to see if I've got another Japanese translation, though you can probably work your way through that version, it's not too hard," the redhead said as she rooted around the case.
Kodachi sniffed. "No need. I'm sure it's quite proper for you to show off the delicate tooling and beautiful patterns on your corset," she assured looking over the corset. She could now identify the loops and whirls on the edge of the corset as more of that fae script.
"Yeah... " Ranma's eyes darted to the side. "If only my mother didn't want to read that book." Sighing again, Ranma finished adjusting her gauzy blue skirt and stockings. "Still, I'm being quite proper; this isn't a formal holiday ball."
Kodachi eyed the tanned-girl. "I shudder to think what you'd wear to one of those."
The fairy nodded. "They're... interesting." She primped before her reflection and packed up her leotard.
Kodachi smiled. "I will say this Lady Titania. I was initially worried about you being the one to reciprocate my brother's affections, but unlike that ghastly Tendo wench you're at least reasonably high-borne even if you have... aspirations above station. Though your laughter does grate."
"My laugh?" Ranma's eye twitched. Of all the things for Kodachi to be critical of...
"Yes, it sounds like a box of kittens and crystal bells being tossed down a flight of stairs."
"And what about your laugh?"
"Surely, Lady Titania, you're not comparing your mirthful abomination with my graceful noble-woman's laugh. I'll have you know I practice to ensure its perfection."
"It shows," Ranma flatly noted. And while her deadpan was still sugary and high-pitched, it was not quite diabetes inducing. She started to pack up her leotard and the rest of her exercise clothes.
Kodachi frowned, unsure of what to make of the tiny girl's comment.
Ranma folded up her clothing bag. Even tied up it was still the size of a small suitcase. She frowned and rummaged around in one of the bag's pockets and withdrew a
lacquer and gold locket on a fine gold and silver chain.
Kodachi watched as the fairy put the locket on the dressing table and then, holding the clothing bag, vanished in a cloud of glitter. Emerging from the glitter, a tiny fairy flew towards the locket.
She undid a gold latch and opened the wooden case. Relative to the fairy, it was the size of a small case. The clothing bag easily fit inside and Ranma flew off and returned to her human, if diminutive, size.
"What was that?" Kodachi blinked.
"Magic," Ranma noted as she closed the locket and clasped its chain around her neck.
"Ah, of course. Indulgent, but convenient."
"Well, the dojo should be cleaned by now, I apologize for making a mess." The fairy bowed. "And thank you for helping me get dressed and –uh- I wish you the best of luck in securing your love... Dear Sister," the redhead awkwardly added at the end.
A genuine smile fluttered across Kodachi's face. "Flattery suits you, Lady Titania. And while, in the abstract, I can see why you love my brother I am concerned about my brother's judgment.
"That he saw you for the lady you are before your fae powers awakened is alarmingly perceptive."
Ranma laughed. "Dearest 'dachi, I'm thinking that was luck. Recall, that he also perused Akane. My Tatewaki is many things, but a great judge of femininity he is not."
Kodachi's vicious smile returned. "Oh, hohoho! I like this catty side to you... Dearest Sister."
Ranma giggled, and brightened at Kodachi's pained wince.
As they left the room, Kodachi eyed Ranma's silver ivy leaf earrings and the silver vine patterns edging the redhead's bracelets. "Tell me, Titania-chan, do the fae have powers over plants?"
"Uh yeah, quite a bit really, why?"
"Interesting," Kodachi glanced down the hallway they were traversing. "Any books?"
"I'll have to ask Wolf."
Kodachi laughed. "You do that."
"It may take time for him to translate a copy for you. Though Mother says Eelinu is very easy to learn."
Kodachi paused. "You claim to have your own language and you haven't bothered to learn it?"
Ranma shrugged. "I've had bigger stuff to deal with."
"Besides, Wolf says I can pick it up any time."
"Yes, magic and all that" Kodachi shook her head. "Very well, I may have to take you up on those books. If you can help on the grounds-keeping. I've also got some roses in the South Greenhouse..." the gymnast frowned.
"You want to make your toxic flowers prettier?"
"Something like that," Kodachi started walking towards the dojo. A pair of servants in black and green-trimmed uniforms bowed and slipped out ahead of her. She gave the fairy one final look. "My brother has granted you full use of the Estate. Perhaps you can help me maintain the grounds." Her wintry smile returned. "Perhaps we'll even enjoy each other's company Lady Titania."
The fairy nodded. "Perhaps so, Dearest Sister." She turned down a hallway and found herself on a sweeping stone-cut patio. Bounding down the stairs, she fluttered over to a small wooded glen.
She crossed a wooden bridge that arced over a babbling stream and curved around to a large pool. Artfully trimmed pines and miniature maple trees dotted the edge of the carefully placed pond. On the water's edge was a large sandy embankment.
A shaft of sunlight pierced down from in-between the trees. Sitting in the warm sun spot was a giant wolf and an even larger crocodile.
The wolf slowly panted with his mouth open and the crocodile sat in a similar, if more stilled position. Between them was a pile of brightly colored koi. The large fish appeared to be freshly dead having been pulled straight from the pond.
"Made a new friend?" Ranma asked as she touched down. She was careful to keep Wolf between her and the misleadingly named "Mr. Turtle".
"He's not a great conversationalist, but we share some of the same tastes." Wolf grabbed one of the koi in his mouth and tossed it to the crocodile who snapped it up "How about you?"
Ranma shrugged. "Pretty-much the same."
"So, how are you handling being a fairy?" Ranma asked Kuno after he opened the door for her. According to Minako this behavior of Kuno's was actually a desirable trait in a... boyfriend.
"I have made adjustments," Kuno admitted, his normal bravado slipping slightly.
"Well you knew there would be a price to pay." Ranma smirked as she adjusted her skirt. From their sparing earlier she had some idea as to the changes his body had gone through. "Mom! I'm home!" she then announced.
Another redheaded fairy flittered down the stairs. Trailing glitter, her wings fluttered lightening her steps. She wore a brief kimono and carried a slim leather folder. Compared to Nodoka's translucent blue and green kimono, Ranma's sky blue blouse and skirt was downright demure. Though both garments had plenty of accent-work.
Nodoka's had blue and green saw-tooth and wave patterns, while Ranma had silver spirals adorning the edges of her stockings and skirt that matched her corset.
Her fiance had managed to change into a nice green suit. Once again Ranma cursed the glitter production of female fairies.
"Lovely to see you two," Nodoka's smile brightened. "Did you two have fun practicing?"
"Mom!" Ranma groused while Wolf snickered.
"You two were talking about adjustments and prices," Nodoka reminded.
"No price is too small to pay for my goddess!" Kuno triumphantly assured.
"Really? I hope you mean that," Ranma skeptically stated.
Kuno took her hands in his. "There is nothing I wouldn't do for you! Isn't the successful end of my quest proof enough?"
Ranma blushed, her hands felt warm within his. "Well.... I mean... I never liked you!"
"No need to be coy anymore, my love! Come let us announce our coming union to the world! Even my horrible sister approves of our love!"
"I can't believe it. I'm actually going to marry you." Ranma sighed.
"It's not so bad dear." Nodoka interjected. "He's a much better catch than my husband, but you are a queen, and it's great that you're starting to look the part." She was pleased at how well the skirt and blouse looked on her, especially with the new undergarments Ranma was wearing.
"I shall not fail you," Kuno promised Nodoka. "Your daughter is in the best of hands.
"I would hope that I could trust my daughter's future husband on an unchaperoned date." She tapped the folder against her side.
"I'm doomed," Ranma sighed.
"What exactly are you worried about?" Wolf asked.
"Worry not. I will protect you from any doom," Kuno assured.
Ranma shoot Kuno a glare. "You're the doom I need protecting from."
"My Goddess? But I am to be your husband." Slight confusion and worry had entered his eyes. Things had been working for him, he could not go back to before his fiancee's "awakening".
"What's wrong dear?" Nodoka asked.
"Nothing... I just need to lie down for a bit," Ranma said as she stood up and shot a glare at Kuno. "And not with my fiance!"
"Of course not!" Kuno chuckled. "We're so much closer than that."
"Uh.... okay." Ranma shook her head.
"Here, let me help you to your chambers," Kuno said as she took her arm.
"Uh... get your hand off my butt." Ranma brushed aside his arm. He did not grab or do anything too perverted, it really just felt... odd. Yes, Ranma assured herself that it was strange.
"Sorry, my love."
"And get your hands off my tits too."
"Yes, my queen."
"I'll give you the files before you leave," Nodoka shouted as the pair retreated towards the bedroom. Wolf loped behind the two.
Ranma stopped in front of the door to her room. "Okay... why are you listening to me? What gives with that?"
"Tis a husband's duty to look after the welfare of his wife is it not?"
"So, I finally got you to listen to me and it's when we're getting married." Ranma sighed. "I hate my life."
"Fear not! I, the Blue Thunder, will assure your happiness!"
"Will you withdraw from this marriage?" Ranma raised a ruby eyebrow.
"I shall not even consider tarnishing your honor with such a thought," Kuno said with a slightly contemplative look
"You don't need him to do that," Wolf reminded.
Ignoring him, Ranma pouted. "How will you make me happy then?"
"I shall do everything within the demands of honor to make you happy," Kuno promised.
"You're serious? You'll do what I want?" Ranma wondered why her life was such a joke. It really was easy to get Kuno controlled; one just had to marry him.
"Within the boundaries of honor," Kuno reminded.
Ranma fiddled with her door jamb. "So, I'm stuck with you as my husband... but..."
"But what, my love?"
Ranma blushed. "This is hard for me, okay!" She felt herself balancing between two chasms, one of black spiraling despair, the other of fluffy sparkling glitter.
"Tis all right, my love. We all fear the unknown," Kuno said as he embraced the unresisting queen.
"I... I..." Ranma sighed and wrapped her arms around him. "You are much less annoying now. I'll give you that." She leaned her head on his chest. It could be easy... so easy.
"Then fear not, for I will be beside you until the end of time." He broke the hug and posed heroically. "You will make it through the frightening trials of matrimony!"
"I'm not afraid! I'll show you! I'll beat this wedding thing. No one'll be a better bride... " Ranma blinked. Her antennae drooped. "Wait..."
Nodoka had just left the bathroom at the other end of the hall and walked up to the pair waiting outside Ranma's bedroom "That's the spirit!"
"But... but... gah! I almost wish we could be married now." Ranma said with embarrassment. "Get this over with."
Wolf's ears perked forward.
"That can be arranged," Nodoka assured.
Ranma's face blanked in fear.
"Yes! if that is what you desire, my love. I can make the arrangements immediately."
"Hell with it." Ranma narrowed her eyes. "It gets the wedding over and then you can have your way with me . That is all you want from me." She was reassured to have confirmed Kuno's base motives. The universe made so much more sense when he was a clueless pervert, instead of a clueless... fiance.
Kuno was aghast. "Of course not. I want your love."
"Wait, you do?"
"Of course! our children must be conceived in love!"
Ranma's antennae twitched. "That's not helping."
"It is my love for you drives me," Kuno assured.
Ranma opened the door to her room and stepped inside. "Well yah won. You got me now. So what'ya gonna do now?" she asked through the open doorway.
"I prefer to think of it as a reward for my tireless devotion to you."
"But I don't love you. I only now just barely stand you," Ranma asserted.
"Now, now my daughter, we all know you're at least good friends with your fiance." Nodoka reminded.
"I shall wait for your love for me to bloom. I have waited this long, a little longer is of no consequence," Kuno promised. "Our activities today prove our complementary nature."
Ranma sat down on the chair in front of her vanity and blinked. "You'd... wait?"
"Of course! love is something that must be shared between two."
"I... that's almost sweet of you, Kuno," Ranma warmly smiled and had to stop herself.
"Foundations built in haste make for unstable houses."
"And yet you kept after me...." Ranma tilted her head. "You're scared too!"
"Nonsense! I'm merely concerned for my love's well-being."
Ranma leaned forward and gave a saucy smile. "All your dreams are coming true and you don't know what to do."
Kuno looked away.
"Awww. Again, that's almost sweet."
"It's nice to see you getting along with your husband to be," Nodoka laughed as she pushed Kuno into Ranma's bedroom.
"Holy.... gah! I am!"
"See? It is not as bad as you imagined," Nodoka smiled as Kuno nervously walked a bit closer to Ranma.
"I'm.... I'm.... I'm going to be a wife. Aren't I?"
"Yes Dear, And it's 'am I not'. " Nodoka gently corrected.
"Yes Mother." Ranma turned to Kuno. "You really do love me? And you'll... wait for my love?" It was almost endearing, the lummox was so hopelessly in love that he would wait forever, confident that things would turn out his way. She wondered how long she could string things out... she did have very good balance.
She blanched or would have if not for her deeply tanned skin. She wondered how much of this was the fairy magic and how much was... herself.
"I swear to wait as long as it takes, Ranma" Kuno assured. "I shall wait as long as my queen needs to return her feelings for me. Freely," Kuno emphasized the last word.
"What if... if I ever do begin to love him? Will I even be me anymore?" As Ranma dabbed at her eyes, she cursed that magic box that had turned her into this.
"You will always be you," Nodoka assured.
"I will?" Ranma looked down to her thin, delicate, deeply tanned arms.
Nodoka nodded. "That is one thing you'll always be."
"I see... wait... Kuno... you've been calling me Ranma. So do you know now?"
"Of course I know. One would have to be stark raving mad not to." Kuno laughed.
"Mad... but.... My head hurts."
"That reminds me, here's the paperwork," Nodoka slipped the leather folder to Kuno.
Ranma's eyebrow raised.
"Just some documents and forms. It'll help settle your accounts with the Kuno Estate, among other things," Kuno explained.
"You'll just handle that? Wait what things?"
"Well, your records show you to be of the wrong gender, height, and stature. I've provided your birth documentation, copies of the family registry and some new photos."
"I'm confident the family lawyers can straighten things out," Kuno assured. "That and some friends the family has in various ministerial offices."
Ranma's head swam. She had not considered that aspect of being a fairy. All her identification and history was wrong but Kuno... Kuno could "fix" all that.
Noticing the redhead's ill-expression, Kuno moved closer. "Perhaps you should lie down, here, let me help you."
"Hey!" She stopped when Kuno gently picked her up and laid her on her bed. "Oh... thanks."
"Ohhhh, what a lovely couple," Nodoka said as she clasped her hands together and left the bedroom.
"Damn straight." Ranma confidently smirked sitting down on her bed. "At least I got a good hus..." She shook her head. One of her legs had been lifted up and bursts of pleasure started to arch up from her toes to her sole then to her thigh.
She looked down and saw a pair of large masculine hands holding a tiny foot. "Uh Kuno... do you hafta massage my feet?"
Kuno looked up from his work. "Does it bother you, by love?"
Ranma blushed. "No not really."
"Oh my. How wonderful," Nodoka said peeking back into the room.
"I understand. You two need some privacy"
"Yes!" Ranma blushed again and caught herself. "No!"
Wolf shook his head.
"Whatever your heart commands," Kuno said, still massaging.
Despite herself, Ranma smiled at the massaging. "Okay. I'm good."
Kuno nodded. "What is your desire for this fine day?"
"I assumed we would go out on a date this evening." Ranma froze mid-shrug. She assumed. She automatically expected a date with Tatewaki, like it was normal. Naturally, she did not even consider whether or not he would consent to it.
"I shall relish it." Kuno started working on her ankles. "What about before that? Is the meeting still on?"
Gasping, Ranma reflexively pulled back her leg, or tried to. Kuno was positioned with her leg braced against his as he worked.
"Yeah, we should be getting ready to meet those Sailor Senshi at three. We'll be at that little dessert café I like."
Tatewaki smiled. "These would be the magical maidens allied with your predecessor?"
"Yeah." Ranma giving a dreamy smile leaned back. It was nice to have all the stress worked out of her. "Uh... you can come if you want. I'm bringing Wolf, and Usagi's bringing her fiance. So you being there..." She looked away.
A frown crossed Tatewaki's face. "Regrettably, I have that appointment with the family's legal counsel around that time."
"Oh? That won't interfere?" Ranma lifted her other foot and offered it to Kuno.
"Hopefully not. It's simply setting up arrangements for our coming nuptials. Identification, bank access, and so forth. As you will become a Kuno."
Ranma winced. "That almost makes me want to use Titania's family name." The redhead noticed Kuno hurt frown. "Tatchi... it's not you.... I mean your sister and your father."
"Indeed, much of my kin have sullied the reputation of a great family, but with your love it can be great again! Once more the Kuno will nobly serve royalty. As is their place."
Ranma gave a soft smile, and then quickly killed it in realization of what she was feeling warm and fuzzy about.
"The café is rather close to the law offices. It would be completely proper for you to take advantage of the family limousine."
"Right... because I'm family too," Ranma sighed. "Well... thank you. It's a bit too long to fly, and that will really beat taking the train." Packing people tightly around a glittery fairy did not make for a... pleasant journey.
"And after I conclude my business I can return to your side," Kuno assured.
Sitting in a large booth, Ranma took a sip from her tea and gave a sigh. She assured herself that she was sighing at the curveball life had thrown her, and not out of loneliness. She did not miss Kuno. The large wolf at her feet perked his ears and raised his head. The sparkly redhead took a pastry from her plate and tossed it towards the wolf, which happily ate it. She morosely played with the lacquer and gold locket around her neck.
Before the fairy could withdraw her arm, a hand darted out and wrapped itself around her thin, tanned wrist. Confused, Ranma let the blonde teen take her hand.
After staring at the dual-diamond ring, Minako turned to Ranma. Looking at the intense, triumphant, yet jealous smile, the fairy drew herself back.
Letting go of the fairy's thin arm, Minako bounded to a seat across from Ranma.
"Uh, are you okay Mina?" Rei asked as she took her own seat.
"Someone got engaged," Minako said sing-song.
Rei turned back to the redhead.. "So, the rich samurai guy that writes poetry for you popped the question?"
She then studied the jade and gold jewelry adorning the fairy's body, the shining, thick hair, and the, nearly translucent, clothing that hardly concealed a lithe "active" body. A frown briefly crossed Rei's face. "And you're not happy about that?"
"Yeah what's wrong? This is like something out of a fairy tale."
Ranma glared at the bubbly-blonde.
Deep green eyes locked onto Minako, and their pupils narrowed until they were tiny black pinpoints. Her ruby lips were set in a tiny smile that seemed to promise a future of very, very innovative pain. Malice radiated from the brown-skinned girl in waves, unfortunately, for the overall impression, so did motes of shimmering glitter.
"Sore point?" Rei asked before a waitress came up and took her and Minako's orders.
The redhead's eyes lost their intensity and she blinked at Rei. "Yeah."
"Cold feet? Are you worried about it going too fast?"
"Let's go with that," Ranma sighed. "I could go for a few years of being just engaged. Though so far it hasn't been a picnic."
Minako brightened. "Don't worry. I'm sure that after you spend some time to get to know him-" the blonde's eyes sparkled at the double entre. " –you'll be very eager to marry him."
"That's not terribly reassuring." Ranma shook her head.
Under the table, the fairy's familiar gave a lupine smirk
Noting relative lack of hair movement, Rei surmised that the fairy-queen's tresses had a bit too much volumizing fixative, though maybe the sparkly lacquer it seemed to be coated with contributed to the unnatural stiffness. "Oh?" she asked, staring at the redhead's bangs. The carefully fluffed and styled waist-length crimson fall was one thing. Thanks to her ebony locks, Rei was quite familiar with what it took to maintain hair, but those bangs...
They were sectioned into unnaturally symmetric and sculpted curled arcs. The inner curve of each arc had a line of blue hair that came from the stripe in the middle of the fairy's head. Rei shook her own head, in disbelief. The central pair of arcing bangs had actually been formed so their points just touched, forming an inverted heart of tanned skin exposed in the middle of the girl's forehead. This sort of audacious vanity convinced the miko that she was dealing with some kind kami, though the jeweled butterfly wings and antenna helped.
"I gave him a ridiculous, impossible quest! He wasn't supposed to do it!" Ranma wailed.
"Well, true love found a way." Minako gave a bubbly, manic grin.
"Yeah, go us," Ranma slumped.
"What's wrong?" Rei asked, with a hint of sarcasm. "He sounds great for you."
Ranma placed her teacup down on the table. "He does doesn't he? He sounds like the perfect husband for... someone like me." She wiped at her eyes. "I should really just give up. I mean he's the perfect guy for a... a... fairy queen... like me."
"Have you set a date yet?" Minako gushed.
Ranma resumed her glittery glare. "Where are the others?"
"Ami said something about running late, and Makoto's waiting at her place, and Usagi's with her fiance," Rei crossly explained. It was nice to get more allies, but this new magical girl did seem a bit... off. Even if the first Queens Titania and Serenity were friends.
"I wonder who will get married first," Minako pondered.
"An impossible quest, then?" Rei asked.
"Asked him to find some magic armor guarded by a powerful demon."
"He defeated a demon? Not bad," Rei gave a slight nod.
"No, he convinced the demon to hand it over. You see the demon was a wrinkled old pervert, and the armor was a silver corset."
At the word corset, Rei glanced back at the fairy.
"So, your fiance tricked the demon?"
"Sure." Ranma rolled her eyes. "And it only worked because someone forgot to consider what fairy armor might look like," Ranma gave a slight kick under the table, which produced a yelp.
Wolf then pulled himself up and sat on his haunches. His eyes were only a few inches below the diminutive fairy's. "I told you not to make the challenge. I was the one saying it was a bad idea. You thought it would be worth the risk. You're the one that is stubbornly going through with this marriage. You're the fairy Queen; you can recant your offer."
Ranma's anger dissipated into a cloud of depression and sparkles. "Fine. It's all my fault. And now I'm gonna have to marry him," the little queen's drooping shoulders sprinkled some more glitter on the booth.
"Well, it was your predecessor's idea to leave her powers for someone to find and be infused with.
"Yes, the only person I can blame for being turned into a fairy and getting engaged to Tatewaki is long dead. Great," Ranma gave a deeper sigh and ate another tiny puff pastry. The cake would be here soon enough.
"You seem to be taking this pretty well," Rei noted.
"My life's been nothing but a constant parade of this type of nonsense. This isn't the first time I've been magically cursed, or engaged." Ranma paused. "Though this is about the worst clothing and hair, and the most glitter. Well, that iron corset was definitely worse than this one."
"Still, you found out you're the resurrection of some magical queen."
"Yeah, look at the mind job that did on Usagi," Minako added.
"Mind magic remember? That damn spell's got me so mellow that most I can do is pout and eat sweets," Ranma frowned and pushed her pastries away from her.
"Still, you could just keep it a political marriage," Wolf offered. "A lot of royals marry for diplomatic reasons and only show up together for state functions." He omitted that consummation of the marriage was a traditional requirement. After all, Queen Titania the second could determine her own traditions.
"And I'm sure Mom's gonna be on my case for making her grandkids," Ranma's sighing increased as she sank further into the booth.
"Yeah, she will," Wolf admitted. "So you'll just have to stand up to her."
Ranma gave another sparkly sigh.
"At least you got a very pretty corset out of it too," Minako offered.
"How do you know what it-" Ranma looked down. "Oh."
"Not many people have the confidence to wear translucent clothes," Rei smirked.
"Confidence, Ranma's got plenty of that," Wolf smirked.
"Well sure, I am the best." Ranma automatically perked up.
"Ah, there's my queen's adamantine spirit," a male voice proudly intoned.
Minako turned and... gaped. She had seen an image of Titania's fiance but that did not do him justice. Elegantly dressed in a forest green suit with a rose on his lapel and with an almost, delicate face, and long blue-black hair there was a definite bishonen quality to the tall young man. Possessing red highlights to his ebony hair in similar locations to those in the redhead, he also had the same rich brown skin as she did.
Ranma gave a weak smile. "Hi Tachi."
"Ah my love, how does this day find you?" Tatewaki gave a broad smile and leaned in. Ranma tilted her head and offered her cheek.
"Okay I guess. How did the meeting go?" Ranma asked after the quick peck.
"Don't hold back on our account," Rei smirked, after watching the kiss.
"Perfectly acceptable. You can start drawing access to the Kuno family funds now. Our marriage is now a mere formality, financially." Tatewaki hastened to add.
Ranma hung her head.
The blonde watched as the male fairy sat down , on Ranma's side of the booth, of course. Being next to his fiancee the vast disparity in height was impossible to miss, but that was not what Minako was looking at. "Hey! How come he's not wearing translucent clothes?" Minako demanded as a waitress deposited a slice three slices of cake on the table.
The blonde's eyes widened when the redhead took all three. One was an airy piece of sponge cake drizzled in honey, one was a chunk of red velvet cake with rich white icing, and the final was a slice of chocolate that was nearly covered in drifts of powdered sugar.
Ranma narrowed her eyes. She had intended to share but... she could always order more cake. These were hers. "I wonder the same thing. Wolf?" she asked sharply.
"I told you, it's the glitter. Male fairies are weak in magic, hence no glitter."
Sighing, Ranma quickly demolished the piece of cake. Her eyes closed as the blissful sweat sugar pulsed through her body.
Nothing how the redhead shifted so she sat a bit closer to Tatewaki, Minako smirked. "What? Keeping him all for yourself."
"Damn straight!" Ranma reached out and pulled Tatewaki so he was right next to her. "This big goon wanted me; well he's got me, and he ain't gonna get anyone else."
Still holding a very male, very... appealing smelling fairy, the redhead froze. "That... that sounded straighter in my head." Groaning, Ranma rubbed her temple with her free hand.
"Straighter? But..." Minako blinked.
Ranma rolled her eyes. "Gayer. Whichever."
"Whichever?" Rei asked after her brownie and juice was served to her. "Don't you know."
The redhead's incipient glare was cut off when she realized her arm was still around Tatewaki. She withdrew it and with a yet another depressed sigh, leaned back and to the right. "Look, I really don't want to answer that. Okay?"
"I think you're being very strong." Tatewaki reassured as he pondered if he should put his arm around his love. Clearly by leaning on him, she was seeking comfort in his presence, but he did not want to raise her ire.
"Duh, I'm your dream girl." Ranma looked up at him. "At least I got you to stop chasing after Akane."
"Recent actions have made the choice blatantly obvious." Tatewaki chuckled. "Though I seem to recall you maintaining more than a slight interest in the fair Tendo daughter."
A slight blush managed to push its way past Ranma's foundation and deeply tanned skin. "It's not like that, I just..." She shook her head.
"I can see how you're confused. Feelings like that can really suck," Rei sympathetically said.
"Uh... yeah." Ranma raised en eyebrow as she worked her way halfway through the chocolate cake.
Minako stared at Rei for a moment before turning back to the engaged couple. "So Kuno-san, what's it like being a fairy?"
"Different, other than the physical changes. I feel a heightened connection to nature, which makes my sister's botanical hobbies even more vexing, and of course with my love."
"We don't have a connection," Ranma hissed.
"You're cuddling with him," Rei dryly stated.
"Rei, Ranma's right. It takes two to cuddle. Right now it's just Ranma. Kuno-san needs to put one of his big arms around his girl for it to count," Minako said with mock gravity.
"Like this?" Kuno snaked his left arm out and cupped Ranma to him. Over half a meter shorter than him, Ranma was over a head shorter than Kuno and was easily cradled by Kuno's arm
Finishing the second slice, Ranma gave a happy hum as she licked the fork.
Sniffing the air, Wolf lifted his head, Looking through his queen's translucent blouse he could see glittering tracery light up on her corset.
"Tatewaki is mine." Ranma paused and tried to parse what she had just said. She then noticed the pressure on her chest. "Uh... those are my breasts."
"Indeed they are," Tatewaki sagely nodded. He then turned to a blushing waitress and placed an order for a cup of tea and a double order of chocolate strawberry cheesecake.
Ranma closed her eyes. "There was a time when I'd beat you up for copping a feel like that."
"No one's stopping you," Kuno assured.
"You'd just like that too," Ranma shifted into a bit more comfortable position. The scent from the final slice of honey-drizzled cake tempted her. Her will lasted a few seconds. Soon she was licking the final splashes of honey off the plate.
Rei gaped. "You're... you're just gonna let him keep his hand on your breast?"
"You're right." Ranma looked down. "Hey Tachi, could you loosen up my corset? Damn thing's digging into me."
"I'd be happy to, my queen," Instead of moving his left hand, Tatewaki reached across and used his right to go though Ranma's hair, down her back and loosen the ties of her corset.
"Why are you even wearing it?" Rei asked.
"Despite it crushing in my waist, and pushing my boobs up this stupid thing does have some good combat magic, and is upsettingly comfortable. Which is good, as this stupid body's too weak." Once her the offending garment had been loosened, Ranma stretched a bit. Including, spreading her legs, causing her right leg to go over Tatewaki's left and hook his knee. "I can actually feel it humming along. That normal Wolf?"
Wolf eyed the shimmering artifact. "You are tapping into its magical enhancements."
"Makes sense," Minako nodded.
"He's still got his hand on you," Rei flatly stated. "This isn't how a girl who's against being engaged to a guy should behave."
"Eh, Kuno's been groping me for years." Ranma shrugged as the justification slipped into place. "I've got more important things than who's groping me to worry about." She looked at the empty plates and sighed. Part of her wanted to sweep them off the table and have Kuno throw his money around until the store was closed and then he could...
Kuno interpret her thoughts. "Indeed, my love. Though if this is making you uncomfortable, you only need to ask."
Biting a lip, Ranma rolled her eyes. "Tachi... please don't pretend that I've got a choice here."
"But... you do!" Rei wailed.
"What choice? I can't stop being a fairy, I can't not have these crappy powers, and I'm stuck with him," Ranma reached up and ran a hand down Tatewaki's jaw line.
"Tell him to stop fondling you!" Rei shouted.
"Maybe you should just make the most of it then," Minako suggested.
The fairy queen looked between the Senshi. Again the choice of a spiraling black chasm and a glittering path seemed to hover before her.
"Yeah, I'm not quite ready to just give up," Ranma said, wondering how much easier... and worse it could be if she just gave in. The whole Tachi issue would be taken care of, Akane too, even Ukyou if she were feeling greedy.
"You're cuddled up with him while he fondles your chest."
"And in public too! Deliciously scandalous!" Minako cheered.
"Still better than a lot of the crap I've had to deal with," Ranma's nostrils flared, and she watched as the waitress, with a knowing wink, put a large slice of cheesecake down in front of her fiance. A heavenly scent of chocolate arose from the syrup drizzled confection. A single chocolate covered strawberry sat atop the cheesecake.
"Oh dear, I didn't think it would be that big," Kuno muttered. He took a bite and as he savored the flavor, Ranma felt his left hand, the one embracing her, clench slightly.
"It looks really good," Ranma cautiously stated.
"Oh it is." Kuno picked up the strawberry and held it in front of Ranma's mouth.
"My," the redhead said after swallowing. "They got it so the hot chocolate didn't damage the fruit." She then watched Kuno taken another bite.
"Uh..." Rei blinked.
Tatewaki turned to Ranma. "Would you like some?" he held up a fork, which Ranma greedily grabbed. Swinging her left leg so that both were now over Kuno's knees, she then scooted forward. Sitting on his left thigh, she took a slice of the cheesecake and brought it to her mouth. Immersed in chocolate bliss, she hardly noticed Kuno's grip tighten. Before she could ask another slice, Kuno had beaten her and raised his own fork to her mouth. Glitter came off in a sheet and for a moment it tingled instead of itching.
After watching the couple for nearly a full minute, Rei could not contain herself. "Oh come on! You're sitting in his lap as he feeds you chocolate!"
Swallowing, Ranma pouted. "I'm on his leg," she said lightly, her ears becoming flushed. "Now this is on his lap," she smirked shifting over to the right, until her butt was straddling Tatewaki's legs and she was leaning on his chest.
"Yes, that's true," Kuno said as his fiance squirmed her bottom to find a bit more comfortable position.
"Tachi..." Ranma looked up wantonly. "I'm here because you're giving me chocolate. So if you want me to stay, keep it coming." She then licked her lips.
"Unbelievable." Rei hit herself in the forehead. "Look, the next time you complain about how you don't like being engaged I'm doing to remind you of this. Right here."
Looking up, Wolf made sure the veiling glamour he had cast was still active. Though, there was nothing too risque going on... yet. Naturally, the glamour allowed the waitress to come and go, as the first plate of cheesecake was soon demolished and a replacement was delivered. Sugar made it worse, but he was familiar enough with the decadent indulgences of the royal court.
"Oh lovely. You know what I like," Ranma gave a triumphant smirk and pulled Tatewaki's face down.
Watching the kiss develop Minako pulled out her phone. After taking a picture, she chuckled. "Wow... why don't you just take her right here, Kuno-san? We wouldn't mind."
"Minako!" Rei cried.
The kiss broken, Ranma gasped for air. "Good boy," she arrogantly smirked and let Kuno feed her another strawberry. She turned back to the Senshi. "Look, do you really think I'm enjoying this?" After the question, she opened her mouth to allow for more cheesecake.
"Yes," Rei stated.
"God yes!" Minako agreed.
Recalling Minako's question Ranma frowned; she had the exact same... fantasy. There was a bit too much pressure on her chest. She looked down, but Tatewaki's hand was fairly well behaved... "Hey Tachi. I thought I told you to loosen my corset?"
"I did, my love," Kuno assured.
"Well, do it again." Ranma squirmed a bit and leaned forward.
"What is this?" Ami tapped her flat Mary-Jane in irritation as she and Makoto stepped up to the table.
"Well..." Makoto blinked, one moment it looked like their friends were sitting around the table normally, and then.... "Ranma, I'm guessing the man with both his hands up your blouse is your fiance?"
"It's either that or some other man is getting a lapful of fairy," Ami noted with a frown.
"He was just adjusting my corset!" Ranma shrieked.
"Yes, we can see that," Rei noted as she and Minako slid over to let Makoto sit on their side of the booth.
Frowning, Ami watched as Ranma's, supposed, fiance shuffled over to free her a seat. The redhead kept the same "seat" as before. Ami shook her head and sat down, next to the two fairies
"There's enough room. You two don't have to sit like that," Rei told the fairies.
"Usagi is coming," Ranma said.
"Yes, and then you two can compete over who is the bigger romantically-mush-headed Princess."
"Hey, I'm a queen!" Ranma cried. She winced. "I mean, I have my dignity!" she amended.
"You're wearing an invisible blouse," Makoto stated.
"While wriggling in a man's lap as he openly fondles you," Ami added.
"And have shed at least ten kilograms of glitter since we've been here." Minako's eyes scanned the table. Some of the glitter seemed extra sparkly and she could swear she could now smell honey.
"All while you've been hand fed decadent sweets," Rei completed.
"It's not that bad." Ranma pouted. Seeing the Senshi's grins she looked down. "Wolf?"
"Oh, no my Queen, you've shown decorum more than befitting your predecessor."
Wolf smiled in the way only canines can. "Certainly if this was the old Jewel Court, Titania would have had the orgy well on its way by now."
Ranma's eye twitched and a cloud of glitter drifted away from her. "Wolf...."
Wolf yawned and laid back down. "I'll keep the glamour up. Just try not to scream too loud. The priestess is right, you can stop this anytime you wish."
"He's got you there," Minako laughed.
Ranma turned to her fiance. "What do you think Tachi?
"With all these guests coming I think we'll need a full cheesecake."
The redhead's eyes widened. "Pervert." Instead of an insult the word came out almost as a purr and was followed by her licking her lips. She rested her head on his chest it felt somehow... stronger more secure.
Watching the tableau next to her, Ami shifted "Uh... didn't you use to claim to not like guys?"
Ranma lifted her head from Kuno's chest. "I don't."
After fishing an aspirin out of her purse, Rei leveled her gaze at the queen. "Look. Ranma. You. Like. Guys."
"It's not that simple!" Ranma cried, realizing that she had lost her balance, and worse that it was not as bad as she had feared.
"Wait just a minute." Minako interjected. "Maybe Kuno-san is like Haruka."
"He does look rather... elegant," Makoto agreed.
"See, maybe Ranma's really just into female cross-dressers."
Ranma sighed. "Well not right now, but Kuno can be very cute."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Makoto asked.
Ami focused her attention on the tea she had just been served. Sometimes, her intelligence truly was a burden.
"You know he's really a guy?"
"She most certainly does," Ami stated her voice... flat and shocked.
"Oh?" Minako's eyes, figuratively, sparkled.
Mouth open in horror, Ranma froze.
"Ranma's skirt is... well... not only is it really thin, but it's also very flowing." Ami noticed the blank looks on everyone but the fairies. "think about where Ranma's sitting. Think about what she can feel." Once Ami finished, her eyes widened, realizing just how bluntly forward she had been.
Awkward silence reigned. Wincing, Ranma tried to curl into a little ball, which just pushed herself close to Tatewaki.
"Well, that's more than I wanted to know," Rei eventually said.
"There, there... It's not that embarrassing," Minako assured.
Tatewaki cleared his throat and moved his arms so that both were embracing his love.
"Oh yes it is," Rei countered.
Makoto tilted her head. "I don't think that's embarrassment. Not all embarrassment at least. There's surprise too."
"Now are you going to get off his lap?" Rei demanded.
Head down, Ranma's voice was a bare whisper. "Please, let's just drop this." She turned her head and buried her face into Kuno's chest.
"I don't think it's healthy for you to be in denial, like this," Rei replied.
"I'm not in denial," Ranma pouted.
"And why are you being so quiet?" Rei asked Kuno. "Not going to defend your manliness?"
"Dear priestess, given the enthusiastically amorous state of my wondrous bride-to-be it would be supremely ill-cultured to me to draw further attention to my vast virility and masculinity," Kuno assured.
"But you'll grope her in public?"
Kuno flushed. "I'm merely... assisting her."
"You're so full of yourself," Ranma sighed. She rubbed her nose.
Tatewaki chuckled. "My queen, I am trying to be understated."
"This is understated?" Makoto asked.
"For him? Yeah... it is." Ranma shook her head. She then turned aside and gave a high-pitched sneeze. The fairy had covered her mouth, but her body doubled over, causing a rain of honey-scented glitter, to fly off her hair and torso, a good part of which fell onto Ami.
The blue-haired girl coughed and then gave a sneeze too.
Dazed, Ami shook her head and coughed again.
"Ami? Can you get up?" Ranma gently asked.
"Of course!" Grinning, Ami scooted over and stood up.
"Need to powder your nose?" Minako looked over the glittering fairy.
Ranma slipped out of Tatewaki's lap and across the booth. "Well, yeah..." She hesitated slightly as she got up. Using a light, almost flouncing gait, the redhead made her way to the restroom.
Tatewaki watched his fiancee leave impressed by the translucence of her dress and its low-cut bust-line. He could now see why she had wanted the corset loosened, if he did not know better he would have sworn that her bounty had grown.
The petals that made up her hemline showed risque amounts of her thighs but it was pleasing to look at. He was glad that she had gone with a better dress than the one she had worn at her house.
Watching her companions, Rei noted that Kuno was not the only one with eyes glued to the female fairy's rear. "You're staring too?" Rei gasped at Ami. She expected Minako's lecherously jealous gaze but Ami...
Ami held her hands up in defeat. "Hey, her butt's hanging out in the open. How can I miss it?"
After gritting her teeth at her friend's comments, Ranma felt herself start to smile given the looks the other patrons gave. Of course they should notice her and be impressed, she looked great. Her shoes had enough heel to give her walk just enough sway, without being uncomfortable. They also did not slow her pace... she did not want to have anything... embarrassing happen.
"They act like I'm some bimbo," Ranma groused as she entered the restroom. "It's all this damn magic. They shouldn’t laugh, they have no idea what it's like to have this power, to be forced to be some queen."
She squeezed her legs together and bit her lip. The stall beckoned. She rushed in and the door slammed shut in an explosion of glitter. Afterwards a much relieved, queen slinked out and straightened her dress and washed her sparkly hands.
Lazily, she checked out her reflection. She looked down at her chest and frowned. She did not remember having any cleavage in this dress, and she was pretty sure she was wearing a skirt and blouse anyway. Not that her breasts were obscured, but there was at least a layer of transparent material over them.
Now the decolletage around it seemed a bit more emphasized and rounded a very low-cut opening. Those petals served to cup her breasts and present them. Silver tracery had formed around the edging around her dress, and the chain around her gold locket had somehow extended so that it was nestled itself right in the middle. She looked down to see a much higher hemline and an even less opaque dress. Her hair looked like it had gained a bit more body and bounce, though it was hard to tell.
"Well, well, Tachi-kun will love this," Ranma's, happy chirp had an arrogant undertone. She blinked. "That was... odd." She shrugged and freshened her makeup, adding more eye shadow and glitter in the process. After a pause, she changed the color of her lipstick to something with more... impact.
She sashayed out of the bathroom and made her way back. "Miss me?" she asked the Senshi and her subjects. She smiled. The suit her fiance wore was sharp. The coat was cut to show off the broadness of his shoulders and that grey silk vest really helped show off his sleek but strong chest.
Ami got up again, allowing her to slip back to Kuno's lap.
Pulling away from a quick kiss, Ranma looked at the table. Seeing the collection of various cheesecake slices and the fresh platter of pastries, she gave a triumphant smirk.
"New choker?" Minako could see the obvious intent of the jewelry.
"To go along with the new dress and jewelry. How vain are you?" Rei's attention was on the fairy's new headgear.
Ranma huffed and crossed her hands over her chest, and Tatewaki's arm. "Queen of the Fairies."
"I think you look lovely. It's very nice, also the tiara and belt," Kuno added. "Such intricate work on the loops."
Raising a thin eyebrow, Ranma looked down, finding a gold and jade belt in a low V that showed off her waist. "Oh yes, of course you're right," she happily said. She wriggled her backside. It seemed that Kuno also had a new belt buckle, in addition to some other... enhancements. The firmer, more muscular thighs were a nice touch.
"And the tiara?" Ami asked.
Ranma reached up and felt a small crown that now adorned her head. A single band, it was golden and had a couple emeralds.
"Wow you can make your own jewelry!" Minako clapper her hands. "It's so pretty. Have you ever thought of selling it?"
"Sure Usagi's friend Naru's mom owns the Osa-P jewelry store."
"Remember the last time Miss Osaka dealt in magical jewelry?" Ami asked.
"Technically that wasn't Naru's mom," Minako corrected.
"Uh, maybe I'll look into that. Couldn't hurt," Ranma distractedly said as she adjusted her legs. "I'm sorry if this is too forward," she apologized to Kuno as she took his free hand and slid it under her belt.
"Nonsense you are my queen," Tatewaki assured.
"I think Ranma was apologizing to us." Rei took a sip of her tea.
Ranma winced, and let Tatewaki feed her some more cheesecake. "Yeah, I know how uncomfortable this can be. Believe me."
"Ah. Well... we are to be married," Kuno said with a blush.
"Yes we are," Ranma giggled resting her head on his chest. It was definitely stronger, and she idly wondered what it would feel like without his suit between her and him.
Going from a dreamy, blissed state, her eyes snapped into focus. "Gah!" Lifting herself off Tatewaki's chest, she violently shook her head, flinging glitter across the booth.
Rei brushed a few sparking motes off her face. "Okay... maybe there's more to this than you being in denial."
"You don't say?" Relative to her sparkly style, Ranma's inquiry was jarringly dry.
Makoto snatched a piece of cheesecake. "If this is so bad why are you just leaning back and enjoying it?"
Ranma slumped, forcing Tatewaki to hold her up. "This IS me resisting. I'm holding back with every bit of self control. You're wondering why I'm not just being casual with him? Well, I'm guessing Wolf ain't joking about that orgy comment."
Wolf raised his head and leaned his muzzle on the table. "If the strain is too much I'm sure we can reschedule," his eyes darted between the sweets and Kuno, "maybe without the distractions."
"I'm sorry," Rei's voice was sympathetic and... horrified.
"It can't be all bad. You look totally fabulous. I mean, I love your choker!" Minako gushed.
Rei shot the blonde a dark look.
Ranma blinked. "Wait... choker?"
"It is lovely," Kuno appraised as he ran his hand over the thick jade collar around her neck. It had a golden clasp in the front with the royal symbol of fairy wings and scepter, dangling golden rings, and a matching golden hinge in the back. The redhead smiled at the contact.
"Really? Thanks," Ranma blushed.
Returning his hand back to it's customary location, Kuno noticed a golden band spiraled around her right thigh. "It's nice to see you getting more... ornamental."
"You have been treating me wonderfully," Ranma sighed happily. She took her hand and slipped it around Kuno's vest. She found a silver chain and ran it from the tie to the pocket watch, letting her long manicured nails quest along the journey.
She pulled the watch out and looked at the heavy silver and gold timepiece. The watch face was done in crystal with jade hands, revealing the internal gears and springs.
"A gift from you," Kuno assured.
"My magic?" Ranma noticed the glitter coming off of the watch. It was not the first gift she had made. But she had yet to deliver that enchanted garment; hopefully tomorrow. She knew the Tendo girl would love it, and maybe she could get that silk sash her sister had "borrowed".
She slipped it back into Kuno's vest pocket. As her hand caressed his side a realization slipped in, she was not the only one being affected by her magic.
"I've never felt so safe." As if regretting that she let those words escape, her mouth clamped shut. Her eyebrow went up at the surprise the others had.
Their attention was on the state of her dress, it had become fully translucent with only hints of green and tightened to hug her form and underwear in glittering gossamer. Fully visible her, silvery corset now presented her chest fully.
"Very pretty. You look like a real fairy queen," Ami said as a little giggle slipped out.
"Are you trying to test the glamour I set up?" Wolf dryly noted. He eyed the glow from her corset. "Maybe you can help."
"Stupid magic," Ranma muttered. "At least the damn sparkles aren't itching as much."
"You're crown's really pretty too," Ami nodded as she brushed a drift of glitter that had fallen on her chest. The dang tingly stuff got everywhere – and it itched too..
"It changed again, didn't it?" Ranma brought her hand up. Her tiara had morphed into a more intricate golden structure, one with more inlaid gems She was not quite certain, but it felt her hair had gotten more body. It was definitely longer, now reaching to her hips.
Tatewaki brushed some of his fiancee's hair out of the way. "I think you look wonderful," gave her a reassuring embrace. His own hair had become glossier and his ponytail had lengthened.
"Duh, I can tell you're happy with all this." Ranma smirked and wriggled her bottom to more comfortably fit the new topography of her future husband's lap. "You've got a big... smile." She then sniffed, her nose itching.
Rei frowned into her tea. "You poor, poor girl."
"How do you not notice stuff magically changing on you like that?" Makoto asked. "At least Kuno isn't quite so clueless."
"Oh. So there's just too much magic for you to notice? Like your hair?"
"Nah, with that I felt a little bun would make me look more regal," Ranma pouted as she patted the knotted bun on the back of her head; its presence hardly made a dent in the massive fall of crimson hair she normally possessed.
"Well it does, and the jade pins are a nice touch," Makoto admitted taking a bite of cheesecake. "Though you might have used too much eye-shadow."
Rei put her teacup down. "Wait... Ranma. You weren't aware that your dress and jewelry changed, but you went and redid your hair?"
"Well, it had gotten longer and I wanted to pull it back up to a manageable length." The redhead shrugged. "I did the same thing with my makeup."
"Heavier makeup is more manageable?" Rei asked.
"It does highlight her face better. It makes her look more exotic," Ami merrily gushed. She then blew her nose. The itching was gone at least, but she still felt a bit light-headed.
"I think Ranma just means that she consciously altered her makeup," Minako said.
"Oh." Rei gave another sympathetic shake of her head.
"I love that you have the confidence to express your true self and take charge of your transformation. It shows the spirited woman that I loved upon first sight." Tatewaki then fed her an eclair.
Taking the long cream-filled pastry in her mouth, she bit down. The redhead was able to suck most down her throat but some squirted out and spilled over her lips and Tatewaki's hands.
"Oh my," Ranma giggled. After licking her lips, she drew her mouth forward and started cleaning Tatewaki's sticky fingers.
"Wow, even I'm finding that a bit too suggestive." Minako laughed.
Rei and Makoto gave sympathetic nods, as they adjusted their seats. All this glitter was starting to get to them, like a constant tingle.
"Now that looked yummy," Ami said with a wide grin.
Drawing back in her tongue, the redhead paused. "Damn."
"You're really having that much trouble controlling yourself?" Rei dusted off her cupcake. Meanwhile, Ami didn't bother before eating her cupcake.
"Its' not just that," Ranma rubbed her neck. "Kuno can you take care of this?"
"Of course," Tatewaki moved his free hand and began to massage Ranma's neck and scalp.
For a moment, Ranma happily closed her eyes. "It's like this, I know Tachi wants to make me feel good, and this does feel good, and it's just a massage anyway..."
"But?" Minako asked.
"But I'm letting Kuno give me a massage. Higher please, Tachi. Oh yes... he's really very good at this. In a way it's actually a relief to know he's always been crazy about me."
"Oh?" Rei asked.
"Well I don't have to worry about my magic turning him into some love-sick perfect husband." Ranma said as her hand went down and her fingers began to massage his... pocket watch.
"Because he was already that?"
Ranma gave a somewhat-sad smile.
"I think it's sweet that you found someone you can trust so completely," Ami picked up one of the larger, and sparklier, eclairs and seemed to study it. She wondered it if had honey-flavored filling; it certainly smelled like it.
"He is harmless." Ranma noted Kuno's hesitation in his massage. "To me, you're... intense but you never wanted to hurt your prize."
"My tenacity paid off, did it not?" Tatewaki smirked. Everyone had thought he was mad, had thought he'd never win the pig-tailed girl, but he was right.
"Point," Ranma's eyes went to Ami. The blue haired girl tried to take a bite and nearly choked. "Let me help," the redhead reached out and kept the cream-filled pastry from falling apart.
Swallowing, Ami gave a nod in thanks. She then saw the fairy pout as she noticed that both her fiance's hands were now busy. One was holding her bosom, the other had vanished into her thick crimson tresses. "Let me return the favor," Ami giggled as she picked up another eclair and maneuvered it towards the redhead's mouth.
Ranma took the dessert and slowly consumed its length.
"Wow, I never knew Ami had it in her," Minako smirked.
"Sometimes a pastry is just a pastry." Looking down, Makoto frowned. While delicious, her brownie was nowhere near as entertaining or pleasurable.
"And a massage is just..." Rei blinked. "Kuno? What are you doing?"
"I've always loved her hair. So matching in her fiery spirit. When we first met, I called her the pigtailed-girl."
"She doesn't have a pigtail," Rei tilted her gaze. The redhead's bun seemed bigger, or maybe that was because it was somehow... closer, more forward on the fairy's head. Either way, there looked to be more of a braid... to it.
Kuno gave a wistful expression. "That was before she... awakened. Before our love bloomed." Still massaging her scalp pushed her hair around, somehow gathering it atop her head.
"When she became a fairy?"
"Yes, when she accepted her destiny." Tatewaki nodded. "The insecurities and fears that had chained her true self have started to crumble."
Rei turned to Ranma. "That your take on it?"
Cradling it with a delicate hand, Ranma helped keep Ami's second eclair from spilling, Ranma turned to the miko. "What do you think?"
"I think the magic is pushing you, but..." Rei paused and took a sip of her tea. "I can't see you actually hating this. If you didn't want to be with him, you wouldn't go on dates with him. You wouldn't have invited him here. You wouldn't have let an opportunity for-" she waved at the two fairies. "- to happen."
Ranma concentrated, with all the sensations running over her body it was... challenging. "Look, I... maybe I want... more control. I'm...."
"It's okay, I'll be here for you," Tatewaki reassured.
"I know. I know."
Sipping her tea, Rei wondered if there was more comfort or hopelessness in Ranma's voice. Did she see Tatewaki as an anchor or a life-preserver?
The redhead shifted her shoulders. "Huh... hey Tachi? Can you tighten my corset, just the bottom? Damn thing feels like its riding too low. It's making me feel a bit tingly too."
Taking a break from her hair, his hand went to her corset. There he gave the straps a series of tugs. He had to use his other hand to get the corset tight and tied down. Returning to its customary place, he found that his hand was fuller
Unsurprisingly, a tighter corset lifted up her chest and cinched in her waist. Though the effect seemed to be more pronounced could be accomplished by merely moving around her curves. Her waist had become very delicate and even her widely flared hips were not particularly thick giving her a more sleek look.
What was also surprising was the shift in her dress. With just a hint of green tint, her dress had been translucent and had a lace-like decolletage embossed around her cleavage.
Now, the lace-pattern edging had spread covering most of her dress, especially on the curves: the flare of her hips, the round of her buttocks, and of course around her bosom. Shiny and glossy, the dress had tightened around her body, save for the petal-shaped pleats of her skirt. A skirt that would not have concealed much of anything, even if it were not essentially translucent.
"It's like she's vacuum-packed." Rei then watched as a giggling Ami loaded another eclair into the redhead.... The miko blinked.
"At least I can wear something with substance. The glitter still tingles," Ranma noted as she shifted her backside. It was a bit like scratching an itch
"Forget the dress, what about her hair?" Makoto gasped.
Ranma swallowed. "Aww, crap. It changed again didn't it?" She felt up around her head. So far her bangs felt normal, then with growing dread she reached further up.
"I think it's lovely," Minako said.
Under Tatewaki's encouragement, Ranma's bun had moved to the top of her head. Consisting of several braids it wove around her head, and through her crown, in a conical spiral. A pair of blue tresses chased themselves around and up the bun. Skewed towards the back of her head, the bun ended in a "summit" that was tilted away from her face. From it, a single thick braid arced out and after several inches was capped in a wide golden ring. Beyond the ring her hair erupted in a sweeping fall shimmering hair.
Holding the braid terminus in her hand, Ranma gave a heavy, heavy sigh.
"You could change it back," Rei suggested.
The redhead lowered her hands. "Nah, it does keep it out of the way. Hmm... mother was right about party curls and poofing up my hair." She gave her head a bit of a shake and felt the braid and fall twist about. "Hair's heavy though."
"Yes, it is." Rei wondered exactly what kind of tomboy Ranma was before she became a... fairy queen.
Makoto eventually formulated a non-insulting question. "Isn't it a little... over the top?"
"I'm wearing an invisible dress and a corset. I think I'm a bit past that," Ranma sighed.
She turned to Tatewaki. "You must be loving this."
"Your amorous bearing, your spirited companionship, or your new hairstyle?" Tatewaki asked.
Ranma raised an eyebrow. "The hairstyle. I know what you think of the rest."
"It suits you, but so did your previous style. What do you think?"
Smirking, she turned and, scooting her hips, reached up and kissed her fiance. Kuno's hands lowered to their customary spots. Ranma's went up and began massaging his scalp and playing with his ponytail. One of her hands went to her hair and gave a slight tug before turning back.
The queen pulled out of the kiss and smiled. Her fiance's red tinged bangs were had more body to where they were almost puffy. His ponytail was undone leaving a long glossy fall of black hair with a red streak down the middle. Said red streak was now braided in and tied off at the end with a lock of some of Ranma's blue hair.
Smiling she caressed the tips of his ears and a pair of golden clips appeared bearing the mark of Titania. "Well... that's a start."
Kuno laughed and caressed her again. "And your hair?"
"I haven't actually seen it." Ranma looked to her right. "Ami, would you mind?"
"Of course!" Ami happily bubbled as she flounced out of the booth.
"Is... that normal?" Ranma's question to the other Senshi was unnecessary, given their shocked expressions.
"You okay Ami?" Makoto asked.
Ami stretched her shoulders. "I think, I've got a bit too much sugar."
"Well, you ate almost as much as Ranma did, and she's up there with Usagi," Rei noted.
"Yeah, that'll do it!" Ami rubbed her arms.
Ranma stopped and turned around. "You okay?"
"Yeah... I think I need to go to the bathroom too," Ami said.
Makoto watched the two girls walk off, their high heels giving synchronized clicks on the tile floor. Something nagged at her, and she tried to recall what... Ami seemed... more outgoing? More hyper? Eating a few pounds of chocolate and cream would do that.
Inside the bathroom, Ranma gazed at her reflection. Her hair had been coiled, braided, lacquered, and sculpted. After that what was left went out of her bun in a braid for a few inches and was then capped and allowed to fall back down in a massive eruption that went midway down her back. It was a complex overly-done style that was... perfect for a fairy.
"It looks good." Ami stood next to the fairy. The Senshi smiled at her reflection. She knew she looked good, but it was hard to work up the vanity to really... revel in it.
"I guess it keeps the hair out of the way." Ranma fingered at her locket.... the girl was here and they were alone. "Say Ami... you're smart right?"
The blue-haired girl giggled and gave a nod. She also leaned a bit closer and watched as some glitter fell off the fairy and onto her arm. It tingled.
"Great. I've got some magical crap that I can't quite figure out, but if I do." Ranma gave a dark chuckle. Not only was Wolf working on ways to break Titania's magic, but he was teaching Ranma. Still another mind working could not hurt.
"Oh? What's wrong?" Ami blinked.
"I'll show you." Ranma looked around to make sure they were alone. She then locked the door and removed her locket and placed it on the counter. Dropping the glamour, the fairy caused her wings, antennae, and even more glitter to appear. Her form wavering, the fairy shrank down. Now only a couple inches tall, she fluttered over to the locket.
After Ranma undid the snaps and hinged open the rounded lozenge-shaped locket, she stepped aside. Ami leaned over to investigate the contents. Mouth wide, Ami saw the tiny container was full of clothes and other trinkets. After pulling out a, relatively, small case, Ranma flew off the counter and returned to a human size. The lacquered case in her hands grew with her.
"Oh wow!" Ami jumped up and down.
Opening the box, Ranma idly looked up and saw the other girl's chest bounce. At least now she was not so... nervous. Being around girls who were not trying to seduce and hit her was a nice break. "Pretty neat trick, eh?"
"I'll say." Nearly sparkling, Ami's eyes went between the locket-case and the lacquered box. "You just shrank to about a thirtieth of your height. That little box just grew in volume by twenty-seven thousand times. So did you for that matter."
"It's just magic."
"But where does the mass go? Does the matter reconfigure or is it compressed somehow?" Ami leaned over the box. "Can you do it recursively?"
Ranma tilted her head, causing her "ponytail" to swing to the side. "Huh?"
"I mean can you shrink this box and then put it in the locket. Then shrink that locket down and put it in another locket? Even a few cycles and you can get some really insane compression."
The fairy shrugged.
"Oh! Can you make things bigger too? I'd assume it's a simple inversion of the process." Ami summoned her computer and grinned at the vast, nearly overloading, data-feed. "How is this stuff powered?"
"Glitter," Ranma deadpanned.
Behind her visor, Ami tapped a few keys and looked a some new readings. "Yes... I can see that working. The glitter's a concentrated magic right? Is that why it's so volatile."
"I was joking." Ranma's customary sigh was smaller this time. She should have known.
"Well, you put off enough power. Titania's spell really did a number on you."
Ranma arched an eyebrow. "Really, now? I hadn't noticed."
"So what's in the box?" Ami eagerly asked.
"Wolf's been teaching me enchanting." The redhead opened the box, revealing a collection of purple gems, individually stored in velvet-lined spaces. Most of the box was filled. Nearly half of the small gems gave a slight shimmer that made them hard to look at.
"What are they?" Ami asked before her curious hand was gently knocked away.
"Don't touch." Ranma warned. "They're familiar stones, but I haven't quite got them to work right. The idea is to use them to enchant objects or animals."
"Ahhh, and that makes familiars." Ami frowned slightly, this seemed very... familiar.
"Eventually," Ranma shrugged. "But that's really had. I've got some simple enchantments to a few cloth objects to work, but nothing too fancy."
"I've seen things like this before." Her voice while still giddy, was somewhat guarded.
"Really? That's great. Can you help me with this stuff?"
"Why?" Ami blinked. "What's it for?" caution entered her voice. A magical queen playing with crystals that could create minions... Ami was enough of a magical girl to see the warning signs.
Ranma narrowed her eyes. "I'm under an enchantment."
Ami gave a nod. "Titania's spell."
"Wolf's only powerful enough to tweak it, but..."
"You've got the power to break it?"
"It's worth a shot," Ranma shrugged. "Heck if you've got the ability to scan magic that could really help me untangle what's been done to my brain... before it's too late."
"And to build skill, you're expanding your power and learning more about enchantments and transformations?" Ami cautioned. Knowledge on mind-magic could be abused.
Ranma smirked. "If I've really got Titania's power, then I should be able to undo one of her spells."
"You think you can become human again?"
"That's the plan." The fairy's drooping antenna betrayed her lack of confidence. "But getting control over all these mind spells would be great too."
"Not a bad plan."
"So will you help? I could really use someone that's smart and knows all this magic stuff."
"Well..." Looking into the fairy's glittering, hopeful face, Ami giggled slightly.
Ranma was just too cute. "Of course I'll help you!" Ami gushed. "Though I'd start small with enchanting stuff. "
"Great!" Ranma snapped the case shut. "We'll meet later and start working on how to beat this magic. Wait, small?"
"Jewelry and clothes and the like. You don't really want to start with enchanting a familiar, do you?" Ami's voice was guarded again.
"Nah, I just want to beat this spell. Huh clothes? Well my corset's enchanted, and I've already made a couple little enchanted items."
Feeling the corset, Ranma frowned. That might require her to take it off... "Maybe something not so... direct." She shrank down and returned the gem-box to her locket. After growing back to a human-size she slipped the locket over her head. The fairy struggled for a bit to get it past the braid and fall that spilled out of her bun.
"And we should only passively scan the enchantments you're under. We don't want to make things worse." Ami said as she made a few notes with her computer.
Ranma froze. The mind magic was already warping her present mind to create Titania's future, it was hard to see it being worse, but that just made her fear larger.
"Maybe you should have unclasped the chain and put it around your neck," Ami stated. She stepped forward, but hesitated midway to her second step.
"Oh..." Ranma pulled her braid through the gold chain. As she let her locket fall back into position over her cleavage, Ranma frowned. She was still disturbed by the idea of screwing up trying to fix the spell she was under.
"Yeah that would have been easier." Still pouting, she studied her reflection. "This isn't too much is it?" She looked past her own image to see Ami blushing shyly.
Ami fought down a giggle. "You have to ask?"
Ranma fingered her transparent dress. "It's getting hard to tell anymore."
"Oh, well you look very beautiful."
The redhead flashed a rueful smile. "Wonderful."
"I'm betting it drives Tatewaki-kun up the wall."
"There is that." Ranma chuckled as she automatically checked her makeup. "Though it's shooting fish in a barrel with him."
"He seems to be madly in love with you."
"Oh, don't I know that." Ranma shook her head.
"Be back in a moment," Ami slipped over to one of the stalls and closed the door behind her.
"Beautiful eh?" Looking into the mirror, Ranma smirked.
"Yes, you look great. Very regal," Ami shouted.
"Regal? This isn't too much?"
"That's what regal is!" Ami giggled.
Tilting her head, Ranma watched as her hair swayed back and forth. Her attention then went to the vast collection of jade and gold adorning her body. There was a copious display of wealth. "Really now?"
Her business done, Ami stepped back up to Ranma. Standing behind the fairy, she patted the shorter teen's shoulder. "You look like a real queen."
"A fairy queen," Ranma groused, though there was an undercurrent of pride in her voice.
"With that much glitter, it's hard to be anything else." Ami made a point of palming a pinch of glitter out of the air.
Ranma smirked. "Right, well the glitter's annoying but it's not messing with my head."
"So, don't worry about it!" Ami cheerfully suggested.
"I guess." The fairy pouted slightly.
"Really, you need to focus on what's really getting to you. Take that mind magic. Get control of that and you'll be much better."
"That is my plan."
"It's a good plan! And with my help you'll figure it out!"
Ranma gave a weak smile at the exuberant girl. Her fluffy blue hair bounced as she jumped happily. The pageboy was covered in sparkles, as was her shiny little blue skirt. Ranma strained her gaze and found she could just barely make out a lacy sky blue bra under Ami's semi-sheer top. She reminded Ranma of Akane especially in the hips, but a bit curvier up top.
Ami impatiently tapped one of her high heels. "Ranma! Eyes up."
"Huh?" Ranma looked back to Ami's eyes.
"It's a good thing you're into guys. Otherwise I'd be real embarrassed at you staring at me." Despite her words, a blush still crept up Ami's neck.
Hearing Ami's, now familiar, giggle, Ranma winced. She wanted to disagree... but... she turned back to her reflection. However, thoughts of Ami were still on her mind.
Despite that, the redhead finished touching up her makeup. She gave a thin smirk, admiring the glossy sparkling on her kissable lips. Looking up she adjusted her head, her hairstyle was very striking the layers, braids, and ornaments made a very... elaborate structure.
"You look great, very regal," Ami gushed. As she leaned her chin on Ranma's shoulder, glitter from Ranma's elaborate hairdo rained down onto Ami's tresses.
The redhead gasped. A vision flooded her mind. This time it was Ami on the table, stripped of all but some drizzled honey. Kuno was next to her, eager. The redhead could see herself climbing the table, claiming them.
"I do." Ranma leaned back. Ami's hands encircled her chest. It felt nice but not as nice as...
"I should be jealous," Ami whispered into Ranma's ear. "But you make such a cute couple."
The flightily feeling in Ranma's chest rose up as her ears began to pink. She swallowed. It would be easy. Maybe she could ask, Ami was into science, maybe she'd want to experiment.
"You're lucky to have... no. No you deserve him," Ami giggled again. "But you will get lucky."
Gasping, Ranma nodded. Her ankles wobbled as her knees locked against each other and her skirt puffed out in another burst of glitter that started below her belt and fluffed out her hips and backside before drifting down in a glittering fall.
Fighting the vision, she controlled her breathing. She could get a handle on herself. She still had some self-control. Glitter rained down from her, but the images cleared and her body cooled down.
"You ready?" Ami giggled.
Cheeks glowing, Ranma nodded. She then looked at her reflection. She could do this.
A playful smirk grew, and the redhead left the bathroom. Sauntering across the cafe, with Ami at her heel, Ranma relished the attention given at her. Even with her glamour at full, she was an eye-drawing presence.
However, her attention was focused at the booth. Tatewaki, her Tatewaki, was waiting... for her. He has a formal three-piece suit that was chased with silver and gold thread. It was not fairy armor on the level of her corset, of course, but it was elegant enough, fitting for the queen's consort. Smirking, she drove a straight line towards him and reclaimed her space.
For a moment, just a moment, she entertained the fantasy with herself, Ami, and her fiance.
"You seem in an improved mood my queen," Kuno noted as his fiancee squirmed into a more comfortable position.
"And Ami seems a bit more... happy," Minako said, pondering Ami's blouse.
"Still going to complain about your relationship?" Rei asked Ranma.
"I'd like to." Ranma's little pout was cut off by Tatewaki resuming his hold on her chest.
"You went right back to his lap," Makoto noted.
Minako grinned broadly. "I really can't blame her," she said, watching Tatewaki lift up a cup of hot chocolate and whipped cream and hand it to Ranma.
"All this pixie public affection wouldn't be that bad, if Ranma wasn't complaining the whole time."
Ranma licked some whipped cream off of her upper lip.
"Don't complain that you're being forced into this," Rei glared.
"But I am!" Ranma whined.
"I have no spell over you," Tatewaki assured.
"Yeah if anyone's using magic to transform their lover... it's you," Rei reminded.
"Yeah, you're the least of my worries." Sighing, Ranma leaned back letting Kuno hold her. "Stupid Titania."
"Hi Ranma!" A shrill voice yelled across the café.
Jolted, the fairy queen lifted her head off of Kuno's chest and watched as a tall young man with black hair approached. A double-ponytailed blonde clung remora-like to him. "Man does she have it bad," Ranma muttered.
"Said the girl sitting in her lover's lap," Ami lightly reminded.
"You look great! I totally love your hair!" Usagi swooned, while Mamoru got a pair of chairs to pull up to the open side of the booth's table.
Makoto snickered. "Well if she likes it...."
"Hey! It really suits her; she looks just like a fairy princess."
"Well, I would think the kilos of glitter, gaudy jewelry and translucent clothes, did that," Minako innocently noted.
"No, it's some other male fairy Ranma can't keep her hands off of," Rei sighed.
"No. This is Kuno Tatewaki, my fiance." Clashing with her location, Ranma's tone was annoyed and embarrassed. "Who can’t keep his hands off of me," she added.
"He looks like such a hunk!"
Mamoru raised an eyebrow at his fiancee's outburst.
Ranma looked at Usagi's expectant expression, and then at her young man. "Uh... yeah... your guy looks pretty good too," she said, her mind torn between the image of one handsome man and the tactile sensations from another. She gave some relief at not having to tamp down a fresh fantasy.
Just then Kuno had found the sweet spot that transitioned between the small of her back, her hip and her bottom. Ranma exhaled sharply and looked Mamoru over once more. "Actually... yeah, his eyes are lovely. And that chin. Tall too."
Mamoru for his part tried not to stare; it was hard, most of the small girl's bosom was only technically concealed. Failing that, his attention shifted on something less... risque. The girl's hair was certainly eye-catching. All in all the girl was a source of relief. A slight smile crossed Mamoru's face, at least someone else knew what having a this "type" of girlfriend was like.
"So he did it? He won you're heart and you're getting married? That's great!" Usagi's smile threatened to split her head.
Ranma turned to Tatewaki "Yes.... great..." Her dry sarcasm was cut off by Tatewaki lowering his head toward hers. Sighing, the redhead closed her eyes and lifted her head, presenting her lips. Nearly dropping her cup, she wrapped one of her arms around Kuno's shoulder.
"Affectionate little thing," Mamoru muttered, while making sure to keep his eyes on his menu, and not on the fairy couple.
Happily murmuring, Ranma broke the kiss. Keeping her body pressed to Kuno she looked up at him. "Stupid, stupid mind magic."
"Oh just give up!" Rei shouted in exasperation. "No one believes you! Just quit complaining and marry him."
"Here! Here!" Minako added.
Usagi looked the two fairies over. "When are you getting married?"
"Judging by how close they are, before you," Minako gave a saucy smirk.
"Maybe a double ceremony then?" Ami suggested.
"Oooh! Lovely idea Ami!" Usagi burbled. "And great outfit! Very daring!"
"They're certainly comfortable," Mamoru delicately said as Usagi tightened her grip on him.
"Yeah, Meatball-head, Ranma's out Usagi-ing you," Minako added.
Rei laughed. "Yeah but Ranma will complain the whole time. I can just imagine the honeymoon." Her comment drew snickers.
From Tatewaki's lap, Ranma's pout morphed into a frosty glare.
"Imagine? We're getting a pretty good visual right here." Makoto's comment generated even more laughter.
"It's not funny." Ranma's voice was stern.
"It's okay Ranma. We think it's great that you found such a great man." Usagi smiled broadly, her face completely open and innocent.
"And clearly you agree," Rei dryly added.
Ranma's lips formed a thin line. "Ami can you get up, please?"
"The bathroom, again? You really are trying to out-Usagi Usagi," Rei noted after Ranma slid off Tatewaki and slipped out of the booth.
The redhead simply straightened her shoulders and strode away.
"I better go after her," Wolf stated. He then followed the fairy and slipped into the women's room just after her.
"Don't they know how difficult this is for me?" Ranma's hands gripped the sink's counter.
"I think you're reading too much into things," Wolf lifted his head up. "Though you've been gorging yourself, you may have had more sugar today than Titania's had in a week."
"You heard them. Asking me if I was gonna get married." Glitter poured off the fairy as she fumed at her reflection. "They joked we could make it a double ceremony."
"That sounds nice," Wolf offered mildly, remembering when the queen's predecessor would obsess like that.
"They laughed. Minako said that I'd get married before Usagi." Ranma ran her hands down her dress, pulling the material further down, spreading the clingy translucent material to her ankles. "She said I out Usagi'd Usagi." Ranma grit her teeth as another layer of clear material slid over her dress and began to... inflate. "And then Rei started in about the honeymoon."
"Well..." Wolf stopped when he saw Ranma turn around and glare. Whimpering, he went to his belly.
"Honeymoon? That's not something I want to think of!" As she clenched her fists, her dress finished expanding, forming into a multilayered and flounced ball gown, complete with shoulders so puffy they resembled gumballs. Almost completely translucent, the material was only visible where the glitter embedded throughout sparkled. Glitter that smelled of wildflower honey.
Ranma scowled and turned back to her reflection. For a moment her hands rested on the wide flare of her literally overblown hips before moving the top of her corset. "I'll show them. I'm the best here. Tachi likes to put his hands on this pair then I'll show him."
"Are you okay?" Wolf sat back up.
"This is what you wanted right?" Ranma reached up to her hair. She gripped her bun and it... shifted. The new layers and weight increased the resemblance to a bouffant ziggurat.
Still glaring her hands went even higher. She pulled on her braid and, magically, more hair scrolled out. With a heavy whump the braid split and formed into a large heart-shaped loop. Similarly, her long fall of hair split and after exiting a pair of golden pipes, they fell from the heart-braid in two long ponytails that reached to mid thigh.
The upper lobes of the heart were capped in a golden hair ornament and hanging from the very point of the ornament was a bell. Made of cut crystal, the bell dominated the space the heart enclosed.. Blinking, Ranma tilted her head, causing her twin ponytails to sway and her bell to happily musically chime. "What...."
"It was a favored ornament of the queen. It's enchanted to give different tones depending on your mood."
"And the... I mean my hair?" Ranma bit her lip.
"You were grumbling about Usagi being more of a romantic queen than you. I think the symbolism's obvious." Wolf noted that Ranma did not question her dress' changes. Then again he knew she was reading some of her predecessor's notes. The gown itself featured in more than enough ceremonies.
"Great...." Ranma sighed, tapping the bathroom tiles with her heel. She looked down, confirmed that her shoes had increased their angle, forming long spikes. She felt like a ballet dancer. Her attention went back to her reflection. "Even with these shoes and this ridiculous hair I'm still too short!"
"You could change it back," Wolf offered.
Wolf held his tongue; his queen had a point. Though it felt more like an excuse. She was jealous and wanted to prove who was the better queen. "Maybe we could leave? You can get ready for dinner?"
Straightening her shoulders Ranma ignored him. She looked at her big eyes and upswept eyebrows. "Do you think so? I mean Usagi just got here."
"It's not like this meeting had a formal itinerary. Just another friendly meeting."
The queen continued to look at her face.
Wolf held his tongue on what he thought his queen really wanted to do: show off her fiance to her "rival" magical queen. "Are you worried about an... incident?"
The queen gave a little nod.
"Right, I'll go out and tell Kuno to get ready to leave," Wolf then slipped out of the room.
She gave herself one last inspection, spun on her heel and left the bathroom.
Makoto was the first to see the Queen, but her gaping stare was soon copied by everyone else. Tight and covered in clear decolletage around her corset and chest, the fairy's dress was wraithlike, more of an aura than actual clothes.
The shoulders puffed out like spherical balloons and gauzy sleeves were visible only when the light hit the embedded glitter. And the fluted shape below her waist where her gown expanded did nothing to conceal her legs. The nearly invisible garment was reminiscent of the bell that hung from her maddeningly overdone hair. The whole dress shimmered from the glitter trapped within it. Perched atop ridiculously high heels, she minced forward, causing her skirting to bobble about. Delicate limbs were ensconced in the gauzy material. Appearing more real than the rest of her clothes, the corset highlighted her flared hips and her generous chest.
Though that was overshadowed by the merry swaying of the twin ponytails that grew from the large heart-braid that stuck out of a truly gargantuan bun, itself encircled by a golden jewel-encrusted crown. Jewelry, ornaments, and other accents covered her body, her clothing, and her hair. The whole ensemble had a surreal decadence about it.
Despite the glamour and the ignorant noise from the other patrons, two sounds dominated: one was the crisp clack of her heels; the other was the musical notes emanating from the crystal bell adorning her hair. Her full sparkling lips were pulled in a broad confident smirk, and her eyes were open and confidently playful.
"Wow," Rei stated, echoing the other's... shock.
"Now there's my spirited queen!" Tatewaki cheered as he stood up. His long strides quickly caught up with her much shorter paces.
"Yes, here I am," Ranma crooked her finger, and his silver-thread green suit shifted. The vest flashed and became delicate ringlets of enameled chain armor. The cut of his pants tightened as they shifted to tight silk leggings under trim gossamer breeches with tooled leather accents. The tail of his suit coat extended to his knees while the cuffs and lapels of his shirt gained ruffles.
His sword, with its ebony and silver scabbard was summoned and belted across his waist. The queen smiled, now her consort was wearing proper court attire.
Ranma grabbed Tatewaki's shoulders, pulled him down and gave him a kiss. Soon, his arms went around her butt and lifted her into the air. Once the kiss finished, Tatewaki lowered his fiancee back to the ground and she immediately leaned onto his side. One of her hands went around Kuno's waist and gripped his upper thigh, while the other was daintily clasped over his left hand.
"What did you do with your hair?" Rei felt that her jaw would fall off if it went any lower.
"I just spruced it up," Ranma smirked.
"It's even better than before!" Usagi's exclamation caused her friends to roll their eyes.
Tatewaki looked down at his fiancee. "I paid the bill, my Dear. If it is not presumptuous, we do have another engagement."
"Wonderful of you to remember." Ranma turned to the Senshi, and gave Kuno's thigh a squeeze. "I'm sorry but we have to go. It was great seeing you all." Ranma's eyes went to Ami who gave a slight giggle. The redhead smiled. "We'll talk. I really think you can help me with this magic problem."
"Aww but we just got here. We must do something again!" Usagi gushed.
"Oh?" Ranma asked shifting her weight, to lean better on Tatewaki.
"How about um... dancing. Yeah! That'd be fun."
"Are you sure about that?" Rei asked.
"No, that'd be fun to see."
Usagi turned to Mamoru. "Come on, you think it's a good idea?"
"Well... I'll have to see when I'm free," Mamoru allowed.
"Wonderful, if I may suggest a venue," Kuno smirked. "I've heard good things about Night-Drop."
Minako gapped at the club-name. "You can get in?"
Kuno shrugged. "A pittance."
Ranma raised an eyebrow. "Did you plan all this?"
"After the disappointment that was our first date, I made sure to prepare an event more worthy of your glory," Kuno smugly smiled.
"He's rich, charming, handsome, writes you poetry, and he plans out his dates in advance." Minako twitched. "Marry him!"
"Mina..." Giving up, Ranma simply sighed. "We're engaged."
"Here's my card," Kuno said drawing a silver and jade case from an inside vest pocket. "Call if you want to go tomorrow. I'll be happy to make arrangements."
Holding the card up, Ami pursed her lips. "Really?"
"Well, shall we go then?" Ranma asked, gently tugging on her fiance's arm.
"Bye now!" Usagi waved as the two fairies and their large wolf slipped out of the cafe. Outside a black limousine waited for them.
"Master Kuno, Mistress Windgates," Yoshi Koga, the driver, said as he opened the door. Despite spending many years working for the Kuno family, Koga's eyebrows still rose behind his black sunglasses. The young master's... changes had been one degree of strangeness but this... cinched it. His fiancee really was a kami of some kind.
"Thank you Koga," Tatewaki said as he helped Ranma into the limousine.
After Wolf jumped in, the door closed and the car pulled away from the curb. "Thanks Tachi," Ranma said as she leaned on her fiance. She then put her hand around his waist and felt his go around hers before sliding down and resting on the transition between her hip and bottom.
"It was my pleasure, my queen," Kuno said surprisingly casually. Today had been a great day. Love could truly conquer all. "Are you ready for tonight?"
"Oh very." Ranma licked her lips as she wriggled to better be held by Kuno. Her bell happily chiming, she looked up at the taller and quite male fairy and blushed.
A tiny frown managed to form on Kuno's face. "Are you sure my, Queen?" he asked glancing to Wolf.
He looked down at his love. Her dress shimmered, her corset pulsed, sweet-smelling glitter filled the air. It was a dream come true and a part of him... worried.
The familiar lifted his head and began to sniff the air between the two.
"Of course, don't be silly," Ranma shifted her weight and leaned onto Kuno.
"I but merely ask, it has been a full day, and our repast was quite..."
"You might be full, but I'm still hungry," Ranma said with a wink. "Where are we going?"
Kuno's eyes went back to the large canine, and Wolf nodded. "Well, I thought Mori's would be best, a familiar place," Kuno explained.
"Oh?" Ranma tightened her grip on him. "You're gonna be supportive and understanding too?"
"I have promised to do whatever you want, my love," Kuno assured her as the car drove through an intersection. During the journey each had their hand lower to more... intimate locations. Kuno almost yelped in surprise when his queen's hand went to his bottom.
"What? You look good in this suit," Ranma idly said, seeming to ignore where her hand was. Careful to not damage her hair, she leaned her head back. "Real good."
"Was that too much sugar?" Tatewaki asked.
Ranma tilted her head and gave one of her shoulders a poke. "Hmm... I think so."
This time when Wolf sniffed the air his eyes widened. He might have underestimated things.
"Your beauty is breathtaking."
"Of course it is." Ranma smiled broadly. After a few minutes the car stopped and pulled alongside a discrete sign-less building. They had reached the restaurant. Ranma finally let go of her fiance and stopped to adjusted his tie. "There you go."
"Thank you my love," Kuno said as he opened the door and helped her out of the car. Standing up, Ranma made sure her gown was on straight and that her hair had not been mussed. Arms interlinked, the two entered the establishment.
Ranma smirked at the patron's reactions to seeing her and her... boyfriend enter. "We do make a good pair," she chuckled.
Wolf concentrated on keeping the glamour set so that while others could see the queen's dress, hair, and jewelry but not find it overtly abnormal.
Mori-san stared at Kuno's clothes, then blinked at the redhead, but held his tongue. "Ahh Tatewaki-kun, I see you've brought your lovely fiancee." He then bowed to the couple.
"You told?" Ranma hissed trying to crush his hand.
"No Miss Windgates. I'm terribly sorry," Mori-san apologized. "I had ventured my guess from your ring."
"Oh yeah," Ranma blushed. "Sorry Tachi," she turned to him and gave him a, relatively, quick kiss. She pulled away and smiled.
"I'll make up for this," Mori-san assured as he lead the pair to the private room Kuno had reserved.
Seeing all the staff and patrons turn and stare at her, Ranma beamed. It was only natural that they be... swayed by her greatness. Bearing accessories that went beyond ornamental and clad in gossamer and glittering filament, she glided across the restaurant. Her visage was more vibrant, more vivid; her presence dominated. Ranma basked in the attention, lapping it up.
A consummate business man Mori-san knew the benefits of keeping his regulars happy. "I'll get a platter of your favorites," he said once the pair was seated at the intimate table.
Careful to place herself right next to Tatewaki, Ranma knelt down next to the low table. "Thank you," she smiled, knowing all that Mori-san would bring her.
After pausing slightly to study her crystal bell, the chef bowed and left the two alone.
"Sorry for doubting you," Ranma said to Kuno, running a hand up to his chin. Impulsively, she reached up and kissed him again this time lingering long enough for Tatewaki to pull her close and start roaming with his hands.
Eventually the two stopped kissing, but the petting continued. "Are you enjoying the corset?" Kuno asked after a careful tactile examination.
Ranma laughed coquettishly. "It helped the dress fill in better, didn't it?" She frowned when Kuno pulled back. "Don't get bashful now. Not after earlier today. Not after all the times you tried to get me," she saucily teased.
"Of course my love, it's so wonderful to see you happy." He put his arms back around her. And pulled her so she was leaning across his chest, and her hair stuck up almost into his face.
The door slid open and Mori-san and two assistants walked in carrying two platters each. Ranma's eyes widened as she smiled hungrily.
"It looks lovely," Ranma cooed as the edible masterpieces were put on the low table in front of her and Kuno.
"Yes, exemplary work, Mori-san," Kuno appraised.
"Thank you," Mori bowed. "I'll leave you to yourselves, please ring the bell if you need anything."
"You wouldn't prefer something sweeter?" Wolf asked.
"Oh I had enough earlier," Ranma said giving Kuno a wink.
Grinning, Wolf nodded. At least her sweet tooth had not become too much.
"Oh my," Ranma said as she started to nibble on some Spanish mackerel sashimi. "You've got to try this." She smirked and fed some to Kuno.
"That is delicious," Kuno moved his hand out to grab another piece.
"Oh, no you don't," Ranma said as she put his right arm back to her chest and slid so her butt was cupped by his left hand. She leaned onto him and picked another piece and lifted it towards his mouth.
"I knew you would reciprocate my love," Kuno said after accepting the offering.
"You were right, Tachi-kun," Ranma giggled as she ate some more. "I could get used to this," she admitted patting her stomach happily. "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot about you," She lowered her eyes, and started to put more food towards him.
"You do know there's no sugar in this?" Kuno teased as he kept his hands on her.
Ranma giggled again. "I think we've both had enough sugar for the day," she winked and leaned in she waited and after a brief hesitation was rewarded with a kiss.
After a darting encounter with her tongue, the two eventually broke the kiss. "My Dear, I insist you really must have some. This is all for you after all," Kuno said, removing his hand to gesture at the food. He quickly put it back to snugly hold her to his side.
"If you insist," Ranma demurely replied as she began to eat. Her previous meal had lessened her hunger and allowed her to savor the varied flavors. In between her gastronomical and artistic appreciation she glanced over to Tatewaki.
The male fairy sipped his tea and ate a few pieces, but mostly he kept a hand on her and gazed at his queen. Ranma smirked and fluttered her long lashes, causing a minor glitter-storm. Tingly, flaring sweet-smelling glitter flashed about giving.
Reveling in the lack of pressure the privacy afforded Ranma felt her tension melt away. "Oh this is lovely," she said after finishing the first two platters. "Tachi, I just have to insist that you at least try this," she said offering an eel hand roll.
"Yes my love," Kuno said, ecstatic. He was right, all he had to do was wait and her love would bloom. He could feel her warmth, feel her eagerness, but more importantly he could see her trepidation, sense her tension. "Are you sure you're okay?" he asked the snuggling queen.
"Yes. I'm great," Ranma smiled as she continued to devour the sushi.
"I'm glad," Kuno pondered. "So how do you like your new hair?"
"I think I over did it." Ranma rang her bell. "But..." She looked down at her exaggeratedly-shapely body. "But it does look good." As she sipped her tea she exhaled happily. Five other girls was really over-stimulating; this was much calmer.
"It's not an everyday style is it?" Tatewaki smiled. "For special occasions."
"I did want to knock 'em dead." Ranma shifted onto Kuno's lap. For some reason it felt... bigger and not in the expected way.
"And you did." Tatewaki assured.
Kuno smiled as he cupped Ranma's buttocks. Ruffles and decolletage shifted over his palm. These accents marched up her waist and torso, partially obscuring her corset. Lifted further up and out, her gown fully obscured her collarbones.
Naturally, her curves were enhanced as her body shrank down. Holding the tiny girl in his lap, Tatewaki wondered if stripped of her shoes and hair, she would surpass 140 centimeters. He hoped she would not shrink down to fairy size. Still flared, her hips and buttocks also shrunk down in proportion with her height loss. However, her chest maintained the same size.
Surrounding her legs were layers and layers of transparent "petals". Each pushed out the layer above it and formed an inverted tulip-shape that covered her in shimmering transparent material. Highly pointed and vertical heels poked out of the end of her dress like a pair of stamen.
Generous layers of glitter coalesced into a veritable mask that smoothed and rounded her face. Starkly white, her cherubic visage gave an innocent youthful bliss, complimented by a coquettish, and frozen, smirk on her plump lips. The bone-white base, sharp-black eyebrow lines, painted eyelids and shimmering lips were more an artistic piece than cosmetics.
Her eye shadow ended in green spirals with small jewels set on the inside of the curls. A pair of red curls arced out from the corners of her lips and spiraled on her cheeks. The spirals were filled by thin golden lines. Similar gilt-leaves marked the edges of her mask, culminating on her forehead where a pair of swirls each terminated in a marble-sized spherical emerald.
Kuno leaned down and brushing past one of her ponytails nibbled along the soft nape of her neck. His attention focused on the, w-shaped boundary between her "mask" and her tanned skin. As she cooed, he moved a hand from her chest to where her full belly pressed against her corset.
Happily murmuring, her antennae slipped into sight. Now visible, a pair of golden bells formed and hung from their spiraled ends. Jingling, the bells pulled her antennae down slightly. In another pleased gasp the very tips of her ears, just inside the helix, were pierced and a pair of silver bells were hung. The musical chorus grew as her choker thickened and a row of bells encircled her neck.
Shifting in her fiance's lap she tilted her head up. "Your Queen requests your forgiveness for her temporary absence," she announced her voice as high and sweet as the gently chiming bells.
Wolf tilted his head. That phrase was something her predecessor used to say.
"Of course my love," Kuno assured as he helped her too her feet. Sipping his tea, he watched as she fluidly tiptoed out of the room, Wolf at her, highly elevated, heels.
Enjoying the musical notes and the, clouded, attention, she made her way to the bathroom. There, after some time adjusting and moving her bulky dress she did her business. Afterwards she washed her hands and looked at her reflection. She was all glitter, sculpture, and ornamentation. Her tiny body was covered artistic accents that built onto each other in layers of braids, spirals, jewels, and lace.
"At least your hair no longer looks out of place. The rest of you is now just as decadent," Wolf dryly remarked.
The fairy noted her stiff smile. "I'm starting to see the downside of going with the flow." She tried to sigh but it came out to saccharine to be depressed.
The queen licked her lips. That was not really true. If she 'went with the flow" she would have already had both Ami and Tatewaki. "I'm still in control though. I'm in control."
"This isn't going with the flow, this is diving right in. This is Titania's Harvest Ball getup right here. You even got the masquerade mask right."
"It is something." Ranma fought off the growing pride at her appearance. Her whole body tingled. It seemed that the excess glitter would stop itching if one just rode it out.
"Speaking of driving right in, I'm sure your king's ready for you."
Ranma turned and would have raised an eyebrow, if not for her mask.
"Standard post-harvest fertility rite. Used to ensure good crops in the coming spring. Mostly ceremonial, given the control most fae had over their lands, but important none-the-less."
"So you're saying this is all my fault?" Ranma demanded as her bells angrily chimed.
"Well no... no... yeah, it is. You're the one who keeps cuddling up with Kuno. It's some kind of fairy feedback loop. Frankly, I'm wondering what costume of Titania's you'll end up in next. I hope it's not the New Years one. Well at least you don't know the accompanying epic solo" Wolf shuddered and shook his head.
"Like I'm going to sing some ceremony."
"True that's the role of the Queen's Voice," Wolf said.
"Besides it's just dressup," Ranma paused. "Even I'm not buying that."
"You want me to cancel the dinner?"
"Oh no, I'm-" The queen caught herself.
"I can stop it. There's no shame in going home."
Ranma looked down.
If you really have a problem Kuno can wait here while you take the car home."
The fairy shook her head.
"You want to stay? It's okay to have fun with this," Wolf assured.
The redhead turned back. "You want me to run?"
"You can stop. You can go home right now." The wolf sat down. "Hell, you can shrink down and I can carry you home."
The queen looked down at her familiar. She cocked her head, giving the appearance that one of her masks' eyebrows was raised. "Such concern?"
"You're wearing the Harvest Ball gown and mask, my queen."
Queen Titania Windgates the Second deliberately rotated on an elevated heel and looked at her reflection. She looked past the layers of fluff and glitter and ornamentation. Ranma gasped.
"Do you want to go home, my queen?"
"I won't quit."
"What if you do something you regret? What if you lay claim to this restaurant? Make it part of your Demesne? I bet your mother would love to find out she lives next to a sushi bar."
The fairy's face clouded. "Familiar, I will not claim anything that is not Mine," the queen hissed. "Do not imply that I am a thief."
Wolf looked aside. "You're in control now but-"
Ranma turned back there was a fury of bells. "This is in control?" she shrieked.
Wolf tilted his head. "Quite so. Your will is remarkable. You'll make a wonderful queen."
"You think I'll lose control?" She blinked rapidly, eyelashes fluttering. Ami was gone, but Kuno was still here and that shorter table would make things easier.
"What would you have me do, my queen?"
"Can you..." she licked her lips. They tasted sweet, sweeter than normal. "Can you make sure I don't do anything rash? Nothing permanent? Nothing I'll regret in the morning."
Wolf's ears perked and leaned forward. "Shall we assume you want to stay pure for your honeymoon?"
Bells chiming, the queen nodded. A sickening expression crossed her face. "Gah! No! I mean I don't even want a honeymoon. Not that..." for a moment she looked fearful. "Just make sure it doesn't go too far."
"What about further costumes? Perhaps we can presume that your Harvest Ball gown is sufficient."
"Is the New Year's gown that bad?" Ranma paused as the question passed her glossed lips. Her mind flashed with sparkling images of more bells, more earrings, more studs and glittering chains, soft silken bounds and golden spirals encircling her limbs.
"Bad is the wrong word. It is very... festive. Festive in the way of your predecessor."
The queen absently nodded, thinking on how her Kuno... her consort.... her date would be dressed to match.
Wolf sighed. Warning her off such a gown would be futile. "Either way... shall I execute your earlier order?"
"Yes, please," Ranma said as she walked towards the door.
"It will be done." Wolf stood up. "And for added peace of mind, I won't accept any countermanding order until tomorrow," he added once they had left the bathroom and he had refreshed their glamour.
"You think I'd change my mind?"
"My queen, are you or are you not considering the New Years gown?"
The fairy sniffed and haughtily raised her nose as the two returned to the private room in silence.
End Chapter 3
I'd like to thank the prereaders for their help in this project: Mahou Sensou, J St C Patrick, Crimson Vixen, DCG, Pale Wolf and Kevin Hammel.
I'd also like to apologize for the delay (as bad as Strained Harmony) in getting a new chapter out.