Shampoo's reaction was a moment of stunned stillness, which Ranma exploited to brush his fingers across the smooth skin on the small of her back, running his hands beneath her shirt.
Then she smiled widely, exclaiming, "Oh, yes! Airen take Amazon wife on table before rivals! But first, village champion must perform ritual striptease..."
He released her, blinking, and the other girls watched raptly. He turned a curious glance to them, and it was their surprise that allowed him to slip out of the way of the descending bonbori strike.
"Who you and what you do with Airen?" she demanded, weapon in one hand before her, the other hand behind her and holding their still warm meal balanced perfectly.
"It's me!" Ranma protested, backing up half a step. "What's wrong?"
"Maybe we should have suggested going slower?" Kodachi mused.
"Perhaps," Kasumi agreed, blushing.
Ukyou rolled her eyes and snorted. "She's playing hard-to-get," she assessed. "Just like you did with her for so long!"
"Airen playing hard to get?" Shampoo asked, glancing between Ranma and the other girls warily. "You mean...." She trailed off, looking at him speculatively. "Is truth? Airen loves Shampoo like Shampoo loves Airen?"
"Well," he said hesitantly, "I, uh.... I won't lie to you. I don't think I know you as well as I probably should. But I like you a lot. I'd like to know you better." He paused, thinking of the advice and lessons that he'd gotten from Ukyou, Kodachi, and Kasumi. He should say something nice, he decided. "You're really brave, and you don't quit. I uh, kind of like that about you."
"Is because I reminds you of you," Shampoo said, preening at the praise and lowering her guard slightly anyway. Ranma struck swiftly, sliding into her reach and disarming her. She gasped and wheeled away, but Ranma snatched the fast-food container from her and tossed it to Kodachi underhanded.
The Kuno girl caught it easily, Kasumi already removing dishes from the table to set them on a picnic blanket. Once the table was cleared, Ukyou winked and flung another blanket across the table. "What this, then?" Shampoo asked, backing away warily.
"It's about me and you, Shampoo," Ranma said thoughtfully, reaching out with his senses to feel her aura, her emotions. Such bright strength, he marveled to himself. Such well-toned muscles, and entrancing curves.
"Is so?" she asked, glancing sidelong at the other girls. "What they want? Why say Airen play naughty with Shampoo?"
"W...well," he said slowly, glancing at the girls again.
Kodachi rolled her eyes. "You don't think there's enough of Ranma-sama to go around?" she asked pointedly. "Really, now. Why fight, when we can all have a share?"
"Makes sense to Shampoo," she admitted. "But Shampoo not think that too-too nice Tendo girl think like that."
"Oh, my, I don't think I could handle Ranma full-time," Kasumi said, blushing even more brightly. "I'd be willing to try, but this is much better."
Shampoo nodded decisively. "Okay," she said, eyeing Ranma coolly. "Then we fight, like Shampoo said. Perform ritual striptease."
"Sure!" Ranma said agreeably. "Um, what should I do?"
"Defend self," she said with a wicked grin, holding up a pair of boxer shorts. His boxer shorts, he realized with a gasp of surprise.
"What?" he asked, feeling himself to double check. "Hey!"
"I not say I was stripping," Shampoo said, smirking. "You want to see wife? You undress Shampoo."
This time he was expecting it; when she lunged at him, he turned to one side. A grab that would have torn his shirt open instead only snagged one of the ties. In counter, he seized her arm and pushed her past him, snagging the tie of her own shirt.
She spun away, breathing heavily. This caused the remaining two ties to strain under their increased burden, but she remained clothed. The next time he charged, intentionally leaving the next tie open, and taking one more of her own, as well as the one at her waist.
When they came apart, her in a low stance, him in a more reserved posture, he looked her over appraisingly. She returned the favor.
Ranma's shirt was half open, showing the toned definition of muscle through the tank-top he wore beneath. Shampoo's shirt had a seam that ran from her collar to one side, with a good deal of cloth beneath. Less of her was exposed, but when she leaned forward the cloth flap fell down, revealing a tightly confined curve of breasts, and a well-defined line of more-than-ample cleavage. One hand went to her waist, keeping her pants from slipping down.
"Oooh," Ukyou cooed, "I'm not sure who to cheer for now!"
"I vote for Ranma-sama," Kodachi said. "I am curious to see more of her, now. It is intriguing."
"Both!" Kasumi chirped. "It's so cute watching them play-fight before they go at it like crazed rabbits!"
The other girls all turned to stare at her in surprise.
Kasumi blushed brightly, but shot a pointed glance at Ranma. He took the hint and rushed at Shampoo again, claiming the last tie on her shirt. Her response was a wild grab that tore his shirt off, as her own fell open. She crouched low, trying to keep her pants from falling off, one arm going across her stomach to keep the flap of her shirt closed.
"Ooooh!" the watchers chorused, as Ranma shrugged out of the tattered remnants of his shirt.
"I think more of Ranma's clothing should be removed this way," Kodachi said judiciously.
"I agree!" Kasumi chirped.
"I'm okay with a needle," Ukyou mused. "But this could mean a lot of work."
"I don't mind!"
"Then it's settled," Kodachi decided. "And even if there's a problem, I can allocate a budget to more."
"What you is talking about?" Shampoo asked, glancing at them curiously.
"I think it sounded like permission for Ranma to tear your clothes off," Ukyou offered.
Shampoo was waiting for it this time, so Ranma's lunge was met with a quick counter; she slipped out of her pants and dove at him, seizing and ripping his tank-top to shreds as she slid past him. Her shirt came open as she did so, her ample chest coming into view and eliciting an, "Oooh," from the watchers as smooth, creamy skin slid across Ranma's arm, two perky nipples defining their own passage and causing him to shiver in the middle of his evasion.
"Thank you for permission," Shampoo said, grinning as she shrugged out of her shirt, jiggling slightly as she did so.
Ranma spun, swallowing anxiously. He'd seen Shampoo naked before; she'd jumped into a bath with him, among other things. But now he was being encouraged by all of his senses -- and his other lovers -- to take advantage of that. It was strikingly arousing.
She noticed, and positively leered at him, wearing nothing more than a pair of tiny, lacy white panties that tied in little bows over her hips. "Who win first you think?" she asked, cocking an eyebrow higher.
"I think we can both win," he said.
She hesitated, and Ranma paused, too. Something about this wasn't perfectly right ... though every sense he had said it was almost there. All he really needed to do was charge forward, pin her to the table that had been lined with the soft blanket, and take her. Judging from the glistening moistness of her panties, it was what she wanted, too.
Or, was it?
She was the strongest fighter in her tribe; she'd said as much just a few moments ago. She wanted someone strong enough.... But then he saw that wasn't it. Anyone could be _strong_, but she wanted someone _good_, too. And she didn't want to submit, any more than she wanted someone who would submit to her.
So he'd been right; they both could win, and that was what she really wanted. Otherwise she would have been dating Mousse long ago, or given up on chasing him. But the fact that he neither forced her nor yielded to her.... And now he was threatening to remove that comforting chase with uncertainty, even if it was openly endorsed by his other loves.
"How?" she asked warily. Ranma considered, then pulled at the ties keeping his own pants on. They loosened, but thanks to his arousal, didn't fall off. Which was perfect; if they did fall off, he would be submitting, and while she might accept that....
She raised an eyebrow and bit her lower lip, one hand -- seemingly of its own accord going to brush against the left tie of her panties, loosening them slightly.
"If it's something we both want, no one's really losing, are they?" he asked.
She nodded decisively and approached him, her movements threatening to make her panties come undone and fall off. He watched her slowly reach forward to seize the hem of his pants, looking up into his eyes adoringly. One hand found its way to her left buttock, where her panties had already fallen away. The other found its way to the remaining tie. He leaned forward and kissed her as they each shed their remaining clothing.
"I love you," she breathed, when the kiss broke.
"I think I love you too," Ranma realized aloud, staring into the shimmering pools of her eyes, his hands rising to caress the girl as her own fingertips explored his body.
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(Posted Tue, 12 Sep 2006 03:39)
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