Compiled by Time Lady
<Time: About a month after the baby is born. PATE and Tegan are driving after a shopping trip. They pass a sign declaring Martial Arts Tea Ceremony Competition today at 1pm. >
PATE: Martial Arts Tea Ceremony Competition?
Tegan: Probably another one of the local weird martial arts competitions.
PATE: It sounds intriguing. May we stop?
Tegan: <glancing at her watch> I have to be at Akane's by 4. . . I guess we can go watch the competition a while.
PATE: I am studying the combat techniques of this dimension. The diversity of styles on this planet is incredible. I have always found fighting styles, a fascinating subject.
Tegan <thinks>: Somehow I am not surprised. . .
<Tegan pulls around the block and finds a parking space. By the time the match is ready to begin, PATE and Tegan are seated at a comfortable viewing distance. A referee signals the beginning of the match. Two young women, one in a blue kimono and the other in a red kimono, move into the middle of the ring, where all the acoutriements of a tea ceremony are set up. Somehow, impossibly, the women appear to be gliding while in a kneeling position. >
Tegan: How the. . . ?
PATE: Please. . . I wish to watch.
<Shrugging, Tegan looks at her program, which says the match will go to the best two out of three matches between competitors from two different schools. The two women bow to each other. A chime rings. The women begin the tea ceremony. Without warning, the contestant in the blue kimono picks up a carefully folded napkin. >
Blue Kimono: NAPKIN STRIKE! <She throws the napkin at her opponent like it was a weapon. Red Kimono, without getting out of her kneeling position, dodges the projectile. The napkin lodges itself into a wall. RK counters with a blow from her bamboo brush, scratching BKs cheek. BK tries to invoke a Ladle Strike unsuccessfully. All throughout the ceremony the competitors remain kneeling. >
PATE: <murmuring> Fascinating. . . .
<PATE makes a flicking motion with the fingers of her right hand, a small notebook and pen appear. The pen becomes animated and starts to write down her whispered dictation>
Tegan: <skeptically> If you say so.
RK: TEA MIST POWDER TECHNIQUE! <the fans in the first few rows begin coughing from the powdered tea. RK goes on the offensive, landing a pot strike and a ladle strike, before pinning her opponent with tea spoon darts. >
Referee: Round 1 to the Daimonji School of Martial Arts Tea Ceremony.
<The winner and loser bow to each other. Another person frees blue kimono from the darts while two more ready the set for the next round. >
PATE: This combination of martial arts and tea ceremony. . . perhaps this is a worthy occupation in which to spend some of my free time. . .
Tegan: O_o. . . Ooookkkkaaaayyyy. . . . if you say so. . . .
<As soon as the implements of the tea ceremony are reset, the referee calls two more contestants into the arena. Two young men, one in blue and one in red, enter the playing area. At the chime, the men begin in the same way as the women did. The match between the men lasts longer. It ends when the man in the red kimono knocks out the one in blue with a double pot strike. >
Referee: Round 2 and match to the Daimonji School of Martial Arts Tea Ceremony.
<The man and woman from the Daimonji School stand and bow as they accept their award. The fans applaud, then begin filing out of the auditorium. Tegan stands to leave. PATE takes her arm. >
PATE: A moment Tegan. I would like to speak with the winners. <PATE drags Tegan down to the floor, where the man and woman are talking with an old woman. The people from the losing school have left. PATE approaches the winners. > Pardon me.
PATE: I am most intrigued by your techniques. My name is PATE, and this is my friend Tegan.
Man: I am honored. I am Sentaro. <bows and presents older woman> This is my grandmother <and younger woman> and my wife Satsuki.
PATE: Will your school be accepting students? I would like to learn the art of the Martial Arts Tea Ceremony.
Grandmother: Do you now?
Sentaro: Perhaps we may talk. Would you accompany us back to our school?
PATE: Tegan, I would not keep you from your own appointment. I will meet you there when you are through.
Tegan: You sure? <PATE nods> Then Ill see you later. <to Sentaro, Satsuki, and the grandmother> Nice to meet you. <she waves and leaves>
PATE: Now, if you could tell me more about the Martial Arts Tea Ceremony. . .
<About five minutes later, in a small room inside >
<Sentaro, Satsuki , the grandmother and PATE sip tea, and discuss business>
PATE: It is a fascinating form of martial arts.
Satsuki<proudly>: Yes, the martial arts tea ceremony. was developed by our family many generations ago. Many of its techniques are still family secrets.
Grandmother: We don't normally take on students.
PATE: Yes, I appreciate that. But I will to pay whatever fee you wish.
Grandmother: Money isn't the issue here. We simply don't take on students.
Sentaro: I am sure we can reach some agreement with the lady, grandmother.
PATE<Thinks>: Ah. . a weak link, perhaps I can utilize him.
<PATE moistens her lips and stares into Sentaro's eyes. A aura of hypersexual power forms around her. >
PATE: Yes, <she watches the grandmother out of the corner of her eye>I am sure my money would be of benefit to you.
Grandmother<coldly>: We don't need your money. We run competitions, like the one you saw today. The proceeds from such events provides for all our needs.
<PATE turns her stare on the old woman>
PATE: But surely, if you don't take on students, there cant be many practitioners of this martial art?
Grandmother: Well. .
PATE: So. . you surely you cant hold more than a few competitions a year. It would be difficult for you have a reliable income from such a small number of events per year. <PATE watches the grandmother face harden, PATE quickly continues>. What I offer is a steady income. If you teach me the martial arts tea ceremony, I shall finance you all for the rest of your lives.
<Satsuki sees her husband staring at PATE. She kicks him under the table. He turns and stares blankly at her. >
Satsuki<angrily>: And how will provide this money. You don't seem very wealthy to me! How do we know you are just after our secrets?
<PATE smiles at Satsuki. PATE extends two fingers and touches a teaspoon on table, the spoon begins to glow. After a few seconds , PATE removes her fingers from the spoon>
<Sentaro's eyes widen, the grandmother reaches over and takes the spoon in her hand>
Satsuki: Huh! cheap trick.
Grandmother: No, it is real gold. I can tell by the weight.
PATE: So. . . will you teach me?
Meanwhile, Tegan drives to the Tendo Dojo. She parks, walks up to the front door, and knocks. Akane opens the door.
Akane: Tegan, glad you could come.
Tegan: Sure. No problem. (Tegan enters and Akane closes the door) Where're the kids?
Akane: Mom is keeping her eye on them for an hour or so.
Tegan: So what's up?
Akane: I spoke with the doctor about getting back into some kind of workout routine. He suggested I start slowly with stretching and cardiac exercises to get myself back into shape before resuming any strenuous combat practice. I figured this would be a good way for us to get started working together.
Tegan: Uhhh. . . sure. I guess. . .
Akane: <enthusiastically> Great! Come on, I can't wait to get started.
Tegan: Waitaminute. . . you mean *now*?
Akane: Why not?
Tegan: Err. . . .
Akane: I thought so. <she grabs Tegan's arm and drags her into the workout area. >
<An hour later, Tegan staggers into the living room and collapses onto a cushion. Akane comes into the room with two glasses of cold water. Tegan props herself up on her elbow and accepts one of the glasses. >
Tegan: <accusingly> You call that a "beginning workout"?
Akane: Maybe "Buns of Steel" was a little too much for the first time.
Tegan: <sipping the water> Now *that's* an understatement. Next time I'm bringing Richard Simmon's "Sweating to the Oldies".
> > Stark: [from upstairs] Not while I live here you're not! >
Tegan: <yelling upstairs> It's not like you have any choice in the matter!
Tegan: <smiling> Sorry 'bout that. I have this thing about people in exercise videos who look like they've never been overweight a day in their lives.
Akane: Maybe tomorrow we'll wing it. . .
Tegan: <facefault> Tomorrow?!? <groan>
<Meanwhile. . . >
<Sentaro, Satsuki, the grandmother and PATE step outside the building>
PATE: I assure you , you shall not regret it. I shall come next week for my first lesson.
<PATE takes to the sky>
Satsuki: I don't like her.
<The grandmother chuckles>
Grandmother: Neither too I, but we need the money.
Sentaro: I like her.
<Satsuki glares at the silly smile on Sentaro's face. She grabs his arm and drags him back inside. >
<A little later. . . >
<PATE spots Tegan's car at the Tendo Dojo, she lands, walks to the door and over to the Dojo and knocks on it. >
<Mrs. Tendo opens the door. >
Rumiko: Yes? May I help you?
PATE: I am looking for Tegan. I believe she is supposed to be here with Akane.
Rumiko: She's in the other room. Come with me.
<in the other room, Tegan is holding one of the twins, feeding it a bottle while Akane feeds the other. Tegan looks up and sees PATE. >
Tegan: Hey. Akane, you remember my roommate PATE?
Akane: Oh yes. You were at the baby shower.
PATE: Yes. <she watches Tegan and the baby with interest. > They are both beautiful. A boy and a girl. . was the birth painful.
Akane: Well, yes <then sarcastically> but my husband informed me it shouldn't have been since he thinks I have wide hips.
Tegan: In that case I could have triplets!
<All three laugh>
PATE: I have a gift for you, or rather for the twins. <she takes two small amulets from a pocket; they both have silver chains and a small iridescent stone> I had one almost finished one in time for your baby shower. But I had to manufacture a second one later, when I found out you had twins. It was quite a difficult object to duplicate successfully
Akane: I am sorry that me having twins inconvenienced you<smiles> it was a surprise for me two you know.
PATE<embarrassed>: No, it was no trouble, really. The amulets contain charms for protection and long life. The gems and made out of pure silmarilite, a rare jewel of my own world.
Akane: I am not sure Ranma would approve of his children wearing jewelry.
Tegan: They are a little young PATE.
PATE: They don't have to wear it. The magic will work if the amulets are within a 2 meter radius of the twins.
Akane: Well then, I accept your beautiful gift.
<PATE hands the amulets to Akane. As the amulets comes close to the child. other, secret aspects of the amulets come in to place. Emotions and life signatures from the baby are transmitted by the jewels to a matching jewel hidden on PATE. PATE smiles as she feels the closeness of the little child's mind. >
PATE<thinks>: You and your brother shall help me, little one. I must learn from you children, if I am ever to have my wish come true.
<The baby gurgles happily. >
PATE: Could I hold one?
Akane: I don't see why not.
Tegan: Why don't you sit down first, until you get used to holding a baby.
<PATE nods and sits down on a chair. Akane carefully ands her the baby that she is holding. >
Akane: Careful. Be sure to support her head.
<Akane shows PATE how to hold the baby, then hands PATE the baby's bottle. While PATE feeds the baby, Akane comes over and sits next to Tegan. PATE becomes oblivious to all but the baby girl in her arms. >
PATE: She looks so fragile<starts humming a strange tune, while gazing into the baby's barely focused eyes. >
Akane: <whispering to Tegan> Is everything OK with your roommate? <The baby Tegan is feeding finishes. Tegan burps him. >
Tegan: <whispering> Yeah. She's just been getting these sudden bursts of maternal desire from time to time. It's pretty new to here. Maybe being around a baby will help her settle down.
<Suddenly the baby begins crying. >
PATE: <alarmed> What is wrong? Did I do something?
Akane: <coming over and taking the baby> No, no. . . . she probably needs to be burped. <Akane burps the baby, who settles down. She hands the baby back to PATE, then takes the bottle. > I think she's had enough for now.
Tegan: Ready to go yet PATE?
PATE: <cuddling the baby> A few more minutes. Please Tegan?
Tegan: <sighing> OK.
<The baby begins crying again>
PATE: Now what?
<The one Tegan is holding begins crying too. >
Akane: Probably diaper changing time.
Tegan: Oh yeah. . . Here Akane. I need to get up. <Akane takes her son. Both babies are crying. >
Akane: Come on PATE. I'll show you how to change a diaper.
<PATE follows Akane>
PATE: I am not adept at such tasks, perhaps it would be better if I just watched you
Akane: I will show you, you will do fine. Just watch what I am doing with this baby, and you can do the same with his sister.
<PATE watches as Akane starts with the little boy. >
Akane: So that's why you've been crying, you've been a busy little man haven't you!
PATE<shocked>: How can somebody so small produce, so much of something so. . .
Akane<interrupting PATE>: Just copy what I have done.
PATE<thinks>: I would rather clean the cave of a incontinent dragon! Does every mother have to do this?
PATE: Err. .
Akane: Just do what I do.
<Some minutes later, Akane and PATE are in the company of two clean, happy babies>
PATE<smiling>: That wasn't so bad. I felt I got to know the baby better. . so to speak.
Akane<also smiling>: Yes, things like that can make you feel closer to the child. You quite like babies don't you. You would make a good mother. You are very gentle.
PATE<smiling broadly>: Well, I am not sure if I could be called gentle, but I hope to have a child some day.
Akane: Well I recommend it.
PATE: Thank you for letting hold the babies, you have no idea what I that meant to me.
Akane: I have a good idea, PATE.
<PATE shakes Akane's free hand in a surprisingly timid fashion>
Akane<looking at the baby she is holding>: This ones asleep already, and his sister is about to doze. Lets put them to bed.
<PATE walks back into the other room. Tegan is still sitting on the floor. >
PATE: I am ready. <Akane comes into the room>
Akane: They're both sleeping.
Tegan: I guess it's time to go.
Akane: See you tomorrow. <Tegan doesn't reply. Instead she struggles to her feet. > Better make it the day after.
Tegan: <painfully> I. . . think. . . that would be. . . a good idea. . . . See you then. <Tegan staggers out to the car, her entire body protesting each movement. PATE follows her. >
<PATE sighs happily, then sees Tegan's state>
PATE: What happened to you?
Tegan: Akane was trying to help me, to develop buns of steel.
PATE<chuckles>: You look sore. . HEH. . why don't I drive. . .
Tegan<looking at PATE's suddenly serious expression>: Wha. . <nervously> you are joking aren't you?!?
PATE<Grinning>: Yes I was. . but I honestly feel like I can do -ANYTHING- today. . so why don't you give me the keys.
Tegan: What the h-e-double hockey sticks are you talking about you cant drive!
PATE: I am a thirty-thousand year old entity, I am sure I can figure out how to drive; I have ridden a horse.
Tegan: I don't think so. . . at least not today. . . and definitely *not* in this car.
PATE: Are you sure you are up to driving?
Tegan: <opening the car door> Driving's not the problem. . . walking's the problem. <trying to get into the car>. . . and. . . trying to sit is going to be a problem.
PATE: <getting into the passenger seat> I am certain I can drive a car.
Tegan: <starting the car and driving off> Tell you what. . . . Opus' car is still in the parking lot. We'll take it out to some isolated back roads and then see if you can drive. Meanwhile I just want to get home and soak in a hot bath.
<Tegan drives back towards Mystic Manor>
<And so, Tegan has begun her training with Akane, PATE will be training in the Daimonji School of Martial Arts Tea Ceremony, and PATE has had a small taste of what it's like to deal with a small baby. That concludes this thread. Thank you for your patience. >