Fighting Blind

Disclaimer: I guess I should disclaim this, right?

< >: Thoughts

Chapter 10

Lilacs and Black Roses

Part 1

"What?! What do you mean that we can't use the lot?"

"Is true, Ranma. Man come yesterday and put up sign. He say that

new building going to be there." Lilac said as she and her sister

Amazons ate their lunches with Ranma.

"No have place for gymnastics training. No have anywhere else to

go." Perfume added.

"Oh great. This is just perfect." Ranma gave a depressed sigh as

he began considering his options. He had planned to use the empty

lot behind Pepper's restaurant to help prepare the three girls for the

upcoming gymnastics meet with St. Hebereke, but now their usual

sparring area was closed off. He had considered the Furinkan High

gymnasium, but decided against it, since it was just too open and

well known to Kodachi's spies. He had been hearing rumors of

opposing gymnastic groups being attacked by St. Hebereke before

the match, forcing them to forfeit. Based on what Furinkan's team had

told them about the underhanded tactics of this so-called Black Rose,

Ranma had planned to train the girls in secret, so they could have a

bit of an edge against their opponents. He had decided that the time

had come to begin Shampoo, Lilac and Perfume's training in the

Unseen Light. Since no one knew about their usual sparring area, and

with Cologne and Pepper keeping an eye on things, he thought it

would be safe. However, with no place to teach Koga's secret


"Now what do we do?" Shampoo asked.

Ranma thought for a few minutes before he shook his head. "For

now, I'm not sure. We'll discuss it after school, okay?"

News about the Amazons competing on behalf of the Furinkan

team spread like wildfire throughout the school. Just about every

male student had begun daydreaming about seeing those curvaceous

female warriors in skimpy leotards. Dozens of boys developed

nosebleeds as their imaginations went far beyond anything decent.

The worst among them was of course Kuno, as he went rambling off

on his fantasies about his Amazon beauties in all their gymnastic

glory as they showered his person with loving devotion and passion.

Meanwhile, Nabiki was at the moment shadowing Ranma as he

went through the school day. Through her spies, she had gotten

wind of him being the coach of the new gymnastics team. A totally

blind, yet very formidable martial artist training a group of gymnasts

was very unusual and this only made Nabiki ever more determined to

learn more about him. She saw this as more than just a financial

opportunity, though she was sure she could get top yen for any

pictures of the Amazons in their leotards. Kuno would certainly shell

out enough money to put the dojo in the black for a month for those

photos. This was also a chance to try and get close to the unseeing,

but very handsome and interesting male of that strange culture.

Nabiki hid in the shadows as she silently tailed Ranma. As he left

the school grounds at the end of the day, she maintained a distance

of about sixty yards and tried to keep out of sight. Though Ranma

was blind, Nabiki had a strong suspicion that he could detect her

presence whenever she got too close to him. The way he defeated

Kuno every time, even when he charged from behind, only

strengthened this suspicion.

The middle Tendo girl looked around the corner and was very

confused to see that Ranma had disappeared. She began looking

around for any sign of him, but could find nothing. It was then that

she was tapped on the shoulder.

"Yaaaaaaahhhh!" Nabiki whirled about with a hand over her heart.

She was breathing quite rapidly as she saw Ranma standing behind

her. The Unseen Light martial artist had made no sound whatsoever

when he snuck up on her and Nabiki felt as if she was on the verge of

a heart attack.

"Miss Tendo, you and your spies have been tailing me and my

sister Amazons ever since we got here, and I'm beginning to find it

very annoying." Ranma stood with his arms crossed and with a stern


"Y-you knew I was following you?" Nabiki gasped as she tried to

regain her composure. The fact that a blind boy had gotten the drop

on her was very unsettling.

"From day one." Ranma affirmed with a forceful tone. "Just

because I'm blind, doesn't mean that I don't know what's going on

around me. Now, why don't we skip the pleasantries and get right to

the point? What do you want?"

Nabiki calmed down and considered the boy before her. It was

obvious that he wasn't some dumb jock that she could manipulate

like Kuno or the other boys at school. He seemed to convey a sense

of awareness that went beyond the physical realm and he had already

displayed keen instincts. Furthermore, Ranma had already proven

that he was someone not to be taken lightly. After seeing what he did

to Kuno, Akane and Ryoga, the last thing Nabiki wanted to do was

get on his bad side.

The middle daughter took a deep breath. "I was just curious about

you, that's all. I mean, it's not every day that a blind person can do all

the things that you've done so far. Now the word is that you're

training those Amazons to compete against St. Hebereke's

gymnastics team next week."

"Yeah, so what business is it of yours?"

Nabiki gave Ranma a slight nod as she replied. "Well, it's very

obvious that you need someplace to train the girls, since the place

where you usually spar with them has now been closed to you. I

know all about the empty lot near Pepper's place. Since the team

hasn't practiced in the gym, I'm going to assume that you intend to

teach those girls a few secret techniques. Am I right?"

Ranma became a bit uneasy. Apparently, this Nabiki was more

perceptive than normal and had known about their training area. He

kept up his face of indifference and said, "Go on."

Nabiki smirked a bit as she said, "Well, considering Kodachi

Kuno's habit of taking out the competition before the matches, I can

understand why you would want to train those girls in secret. The

gym at school is just too open. And I'm willing to bet that whatever

tricks you teach them will have something to do with those Unseen

Light martial arts of yours. I can understand you wanting to keep that

a secret too. However, that still leaves you a problem of getting a

secure place for Shampoo, Lilac and Perfume to train."

"And I suppose you have the perfect spot?" Ranma's voice

dripped with a bit of sarcasm.

Nabiki nodded. "The Tendo Dojo."

Ranma was silent for a long while, then responded to Nabiki's

suggestion. "If this is your idea of a joke, then let me tell you, it's not


The middle daughter had expected Ranma's reluctance. "This isn't

a joke. I'm offering you and the girls the use of our dojo for a week.

No strings attached."

"And why would you want to do that?" Ranma became really


Nabiki made a show of being hurt, though it was pretty much

wasted on the blind martial artist. "And why wouldn't I be? As I

recall, you did save my sister and I think that letting you use the dojo

would be a good way to pay you back. In any case, the Amazons are

helping out our school by going against St. Hebereke. It's my

scholastic duty to help out any way I can. Besides, if your team wins

the tournament this Saturday, then this will most certainly boost your

standing at Furinkan."

"And what do you get out of all this?"

"Why do you assume that I may have an ulterior motive in helping

you?" Nabiki would have put on her best 'hurt' look, but that only

worked if the person could see it. She tried to sound really hurt


Ranma frowned as he replied. "I don't know. Perhaps it's because

your sisters have already caused me some considerable pain? Or is it

the fact that your father is set on trying to get me to fulfill that stupid

pledge? Maybe it's because my goddamned father is there?" That

last statement positively dripped with venom. "Now why would I do

something as stupid as go there? If I went there, your father and that

bastard of a panda would try to make sure that I never left. The

Tendo family has been nothing but trouble. Thanks, but no thanks.

We'll find another place."

Ranma turned to leave, but Nabiki put a hand on his shoulder.

"Please, wait!" When Ranma paused, Nabiki knew that she had to

think quickly. This was a prime opportunity and she had only

seconds before it slipped away. "Look, I know that you don't really

like my family and I can understand that. For all that they've done to

you, you have every right to be angry. But that doesn't mean that

we're ALL bad. I haven't done anything to you, now have I? My

sisters and my father have made really big mistakes. Kasumi

shouldn't have told Akane about your blindness and Akane

shouldn't have blabbed it out to everyone at school. Daddy shouldn't

have tried to kidnap you. But I'm not like them, and I think you

should get to know me better before you decide on putting me in with

the other members of my family. At least give me a chance to prove

that I really want to help you." Nabiki lowered her head a bit and her

cheeks reddened a bit. "And besides, I would like to get to know you


Ranma used his senses to probe the aura of the girl. He was very

impressed at the control Nabiki had over her innermost emotions. She

hid them well. However, Ranma could detect something on the very

edge of her aura. It was very faint and he almost missed it. It was

sincerity. He could tell that it was genuine as it conflicted with the

impressions of avarice and cunning that Nabiki also displayed. There

was no doubt in his mind that Nabiki was planning something, but

she was definitely willing to help him out.

<She isn't lying, but she's also holding back a lot of things. Aw,

who am I kidding? Going to the Tendo Dojo would be like throwing

myself into that pit of cats again.> Ranma shivered at the memory,

then turned and started to walk away. Without turning to face her, he

said in a quiet voice, "Nabiki Tendo, I thank you for your generous

offer, but I must refuse it. Good day to you."

Nabiki watched as the blind boy walked off. As he got further into

the distance she called out to him. "The offer still stands if you

change your mind." When Ranma was out of sight, she started to

walk home. She became very occupied with her thoughts as she

headed toward the Tendo dojo. At first, when she had offered the

use of the dojo, she had been thinking of getting photos of him and

the girls to sell to Kuno and the other students. It was also a chance

to learn more about Ranma's abilities. However, when she heard the

sadness and bitterness in his voice, she couldn't help but feel for him.

The blind boy had a certain� something that made anyone near him

feel whatever emotion he was feeling. Then all of a sudden, she

found herself defending herself against that accusation that the

entire Tendo family was trouble. Which was quite ironic, considering

her background. Yet, when she was with Ranma, she felt an

overwhelming urge to get close to him. She could feel nothing but

sadness over what he had endured since becoming sightless at the

hands of his father. She could sense the strength and determination

within him, yet she could also feel the sensitive and very vulnerable

side of him as well, which only made him even more attractive.

Nabiki sighed as she approached her home. She hadn't felt this

emotionally drained ever since her mother had died. That was when

she had cloaked herself in a veil of the Ice Queen and started her

mercenary ways. Yet, something about Ranma seemed to make the

idea of using him for financial gain as ugly and repugnant. She had

thought that he would be just a golden opportunity to make a

fortune, yet the more she was with him, the less she thought about

money. She began to realize just what Kasumi had been feeling when

she had made her promise not to hurt Ranma. The idea of hurting him

also unsettled Nabiki as she thought about it more.

Suggesting the Tendo dojo had been an idea for Nabiki to get a

few snapshots and learn more information about Ranma. Now, she

wasn't so sure anymore. Making money didn't seem as important as

making a friend in Ranma. She had always been a very lonely person,

and found the idea of getting close to Ranma very appealing.

Meanwhile at St. Hebereke's gym�

"All right girls. That's enough for today." Kodachi Kuno stood in

a blue leotard with her hands on her hips, as she addressed the

members of the gymnastics team.

Many of the girls were sighing in relief as they began picking up

equipment and got ready to head for the showers. The group

considered their leader as a slave driver and wondered why they

should be practicing at all. In the past, they always won by default,

as Kodachi would ambush their opponents and rendered them unable

to compete. This year wasn't going to be any different. Already, their

leader was conversing with one of her spies who had just handed her

the address of Pepper's Place and the names of the new substitute

members of Furinkan High's gymnastics team. She gave off a short

laugh as she saw Lilac's name on the paper. She opened a locker,

which was stocked with various medieval-looking instruments,

selected a large metal mallet, and then wrapped herself in a dark cloak.

Giving her lieutenants a sharp salute, she leapt into the night to carry

out her dastardly deed.

Ten minutes later�

At Pepper's Place, Ranma was just speaking with Cologne and

Pepper about what to do about the lack of a training ground. When

he mentioned about Nabiki's offer to use the Tendo Dojo, the two

women flatly turned the idea down. However, with so few places that

were secluded enough, Ranma didn't really have any idea as to where

he could teach Shampoo, Lilac and Perfume the secrets of the Unseen


At the moment, all three girls were preparing for bed. Each had

retired to her room and was in the business of settling down for the

night. Outside the building, a shadow was darting about and making

its way toward the three unsuspecting girls.

Downstairs, Ranma was continuing his conversation with the elder

and the restaurant's owner when he suddenly stopped talking and

cocked his head to one side.

"What is it, Ranma?"

"Someone's� here. I sense� danger." Ranma quickly got to his

feet and took out his battle staff, extending it to its five-foot length.

Cologne and Pepper knew that Ranma was never wrong when it

came to sensing danger. They quickly got to their feet and waited in

ready stances. Then suddenly�


"Aiyaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! You again?!"


"You no wants to get Amazon womans mad!"

Recognizing Lilac's voice, Ranma quickly bounded up the stairs,

followed closely by Cologne and Pepper.

Just before they reached the door to Lilac's room, they heard

another series of crashes, followed by a huge boom as it sounded like

glass breaking. As they entered the room in ready stances, they saw

a broken window. Apparently, the intruder had been launched

through the window, courtesy of an uppercut from the angry


Ranma wondered just what was going on, when his sensitive

hearing caught the sounds of a fight that was taking place some

distance away. He decided to investigate and leapt through the

opening. He then began heading toward the sounds of battle. Just

after he left, Shampoo and Perfume came into the room.

Meanwhile, on the rooftops several blocks away, Kodachi was

having a running battle with Lilac. The Black Rose hadn't counted on

meeting such formidable resistance. She had thought she could just

sneak into Pepper's Place, and quietly eliminate her competition.

However, Lilac had proven to be no pushover and had demonstrated

just how powerful she was by belting Kodachi out the window. The

insane gymnast was currently rubbing her sore jaw and had several

cuts on her body as she dodged and countered each of Lilac's tonfa


The two made several passes at each other as they tried to beat

each other's brains out. They then leapt away from each other and

faced off at about fifteen feet from each other.

"Well now, it seems you DO have some skill. I hope you'll do even

better when see each other at the tournament." Kodachi sneered as

she took out her ribbon.

Lilac became really annoyed at this girl's attitude and replied with

scorn. "Hmpf! You nothing but coward and cheater! Lilac no believe

stupid flower girl try to attack her when she sleep!"

"Cheat? Moi?" Kodachi said with mock sincerity. "Why I would

do such a thing? I believe in fighting fair, before the contest of

course. I was just seeing if you were a worthy enough opponent,

that's all."

"You want fight? No problem with Lilac!" The Amazon began

powering up her battle aura.

Kodachi smirked as she began twirling her ribbon around her,

causing a whirlwind and rose petals to appear. Lilac was forced to fall

back as she held up her tonfa in defense.

"Another time, China girl. We'll meet again and next time; I will not

be as lenient! OH HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO!"

With this she bounded off into the distance. By the time Lilac

raised up her head, Kodachi was already gone.

It was at that time that Ranma had begun bounding toward the

area. He had no doubts that his sister Amazon could take care of

herself and had decided on a different route, in hopes of intercepting

whoever had attacked Lilac. His senses were scanning the area and

had locked onto the spiritual trail of the assailant. It was then that his

sensitive hearing caught the sounds of insane laughter.

Kodachi was deep in thought as she fled from the area. <Hmmm.

That little witch may be more formidable than I thought. No matter! I

shall vanquish her as easily as all the others. No one can ever hope

to stand against the Black Rose!> She let off another one of her

ludicrous laughs as she closed her eyes and imagined herself

standing over Lilac's beaten and bloodied body.

Ranma felt a shiver down his spine when the heard that laughter.

He felt a chill run through his body as he vaulted over the next roof.

With the sounds echoing off the walls of some of the more towering

structures, plus the fact that his senses had now just detected

Kodachi's warped aura and psychotic tendencies, Ranma was a bit

put off by the sensations. So it was understandable that he was

distracted and almost didn't notice that his sixth sense was giving

him an alert that he was about to run into someone. He managed to

swerve to the side, just as Kodachi was abruptly pulled from her

daydream by the sudden movement.

The Black Rose yelped as she twisted to avoid a collision.

However, she tripped over a loose roof tile and went tumbling down

toward the street. Her head hit the surface of the roof as she fell,

causing her to become dazed.

Without a second thought, Ranma dove after her and let his

seventh sense track her descent. Catching her in his arms, he made a

neat flip and then vaulted back up toward the roof. He landed without

a sound and then considered the person he held in his arms. A

moment later, he heard Kodachi begin to regain her senses.

The gymnast looked up and focused her eyes upon the face of her

savior. When her vision cleared, she let off a small gasp as she

beheld probably the most handsome man she had ever seen. Then

again, considering that she went to an all-girls school, she didn't see

very many men.

<What a man!>

Ranma stiffened as he began detecting the all-too familiar

emotions being directed at him. From his long experiences in the

Amazon village, he knew that this meant trouble. In addition, he also

began sensing a madness that seemed to reflect a tortured past as

well as loneliness. When the girl looped her arms around him and

said in a trembling voice to hold her, Ranma's danger senses went

from yellow alert to full red.

A few rooftops away, Lilac had been joined with Shampoo and

Perfume. They had informed the red-haired beauty that their fellow

Amazon warrior had gone in search of whoever had attacked her.

Now the three girls were out searching for their blind friend.

Meanwhile, Ranma had just set Kodachi on her feet and took a few

steps back with his battle staff held in one hand in a casual, yet ready

manner. At the moment, he was trying very hard to get out of this

awkward situation when it was apparent that Kodachi was beginning

to form an attachment to him.

"Uhhhh� well, now that you're okay, I guess I should be going."

Ranma said this a hurried voice as he began taking a few more steps

back. Unfortunately, Kodachi started moving forward.

"Please, tell me you're name!"

"Uh, Ranma Saotome. Well in any case, I better get going and�"

"Oh no, kind sir! I must properly thank the strong and brave man

who saved me!" It was a good thing that Ranma was blind, otherwise

the hungry look that Kodachi was giving him would have scared him

out of his wits. <So brave! So handsome! Oh to think that I thought

I'd never get a man! I guess an all-girls school was the wrong place to

look. And now that I've found him�>

Ranma became even more agitated by the second as he continued

to back away. The emotions that Kodachi were emitting were making

him very uncomfortable. Despite living in a culture that was female-

dominated, he was still pretty shy when it came to dealing with the

opposite gender. With his enhanced senses and empathic nature, he

could feel Kodachi's amorous intentions with all the subtlety of a

terrorist bombing.

"Look, I really don't think that's necessary and besides, we just

met." Ranma halted when he sensed that he was at the edge of the

roof. Ranma gulped as he trained his senses on her once more. It was

then that he noticed something else as he struggled to compose

himself. He started to feel the psychic impressions that he had

detected back in Lilac's room when she had been attacked. It was

then that he realized that he had just saved the person who had

ambushed his sister Amazon.

"Hold on, you're�"

It was then that Kodachi made a bouquet of flowers appear and

shoved them toward Ranma's face. "Please take these as a token of

my gratitude!"

"Huh? What are you�" Ranma's sixth sense went off as his

superior sense of smell caught the whiff of some strange chemicals.

His reflexes took over as he swung his staff and knocked the bouquet

out of Kodachi's hands and up into the air. When the flowers landed

on an adjacent roof, they exploded and let off a cloud of noxious


anma was fully on guard as he went into a battle stance, held up

his staff and angrily said, "Okay, now what was that for?!"

Kodachi was about to reply in a sweet voice that the paralysis

powder in the flowers was only to prevent him from running away,

when she caught sight of three Amazons heading their way. She

smirked and then blew him a kiss. "We shall meet again dearest

Ranma, and continue getting� acquainted. OH HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO!"

Ranma shivered again when he heard that laugh as the Black Rose

leapt away and vanished into the night.

<Something tells me that my life just took a really bad turn�>

To be continued�

Author's Notes:

I'll make my comments at the end of this chapter.