The Ring

Ranma ½ and the characters therein are the property of Rumiko Takahashi, not me.

I must be some sort of sexual deviant or something, because all I can seem to write lately is lemons…

“Ah ha!” shouted a dusty Akane. She’d finally found what she was looking for in the attic. She straightened up from under the pile of boxes she was searching, and held her treasure up to the light. It was a small wooden box, completely devoid of any ornaments other than a brass hook and eye keeping the lid closed. She opened the lid and looked inside. There she saw an arrangement of jewelry, some of it old and outdated, but still beautiful to look at. Besides, Akane would never pawn off any of it. It belonged to her mother.

She stood there in the dim light for a short while, admiring the jewels. She was hoping to find something that she could wear often to honor her mother, something simple but elegant, perhaps some diamond earrings or a gold necklace. She was sifting through the jewels when she heard a click. Curious, she looked under her finger to see that a small trap door had opened in the bottom of the box, revealing a small secret compartment. She must have pushed down on the door, opening the spring loaded latch. Lifting the tiny door, she peered inside, and found an unusual piece of jewelry. It was silver, shaped like a “C” and had diamonds mounted in small silver cups on both ends of the curve. She looked inside the compartment, thinking that it was an earring, but she didn’t see its pair. Besides which, there didn’t seem to be a way to hook it to an ear.

“What is this?” she wondered aloud.

The curious piece of jewelry continued to perplex her that evening as she took her bath. She was sitting in the furo, staring at it in the palm of her hand, trying to figure out just what it was. She reached out her other hand to touch one of gems, and was surprised to find that it could rotate. Holding it in her fingers, she twisted the gem until the mounting came off in her hand. Akane briefly panicked that she had broken her mother’s jewelry, but then noticed that the gem was meant to screw on and off of the base like that. Maybe it was an earring after all and this was how you put it on. Still, you’d need a rather big hole in your ear to wear it.

She looked up when she heard the door open and in walked Kasumi wearing a robe. “Oh! I’m sorry Akane! I didn’t know anybody was in here,” she apologized.

“It’s OK Onee-san,” replied the younger woman. “I must have forgotten to put the sign up. You can join me if you want though!” She smiled at her older sister.

Kasumi smiled back and disrobed. She quickly washed herself before entering the tub, sitting across from Akane. “What’s that in your hand?” she asked.

Akane looked up from her pondering surprised, almost as if she had forgotten her sister was even in the room with her. She held out her hand. “I found Mom’s old jewelry box up in the attic and this was in a secret compartment inside. I can’t figure out what it is or how to wear it though.”

Kasumi held out her hand for the ornament, and Akane gave it to her. The older woman examined it briefly, before her eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. “Umm, Akane, this is a body piercing. Are you sure you got this from Mother’s jewelry box?”

Akane’s eyes bulged as well. “A body piercing? Mom?”

“Yes…” replied Kasumi. “I wasn’t aware that she had one either, but my friend Michiko has one in her belly button that looks kind of like this.” She continued to stare at the piercing, trying to figure out what it was doing in her mother’s box. “I don’t recall ever seeing a belly ring on Mother though…”

Akane took the ring back from her sister and examined it once more, looking at it in a different light now that she understood what it was for. Then an idea struck her. “That picture of all of us at the beach! Mom was wearing a bikini that day. That was about a month before she passed away wasn’t it?”

Kasumi thought about the picture, remembering the trip. “Yes, it was. We can look at it after we get out of the bath. I know which album it’s in.”

Twenty minutes later they were rifling through the picture album trying to find the pictures from that day at the beach. The two sisters were somewhat misty eyed at the reminiscing they were doing, all the reminders of their long deceased mother, but they were happy to be doing the reminiscing with each other. Finally they came to the picture taken by a passer by, a picture of the entire family sitting together on the blanket, Kasumi about eight years old standing next to her father, and Akane only five, sitting in her mother’s lap. A six year old Nabiki was smiling and waving a shovel at the camera. Soun was looking much younger, and had his arm around his beautiful wife.

“Akane, you look so much like her,” Kasumi said as they looked at the picture. It was true, right down to the hairstyle Akane was a dead ringer for her mother. Even the body type, it was obvious that the woman had been an avid martial artist as well, as her bikini showed off her toned and muscled body. There was one problem though.

“There’s no ring,” Akane said. “There’s not even a hole, or a scar where there would be a hole for a piercing. She wasn’t pierced there.” She looked at her sister, about to ask the obvious question, when she noticed that Kasumi had become even paler than usual. “Kasumi?”

“Michiko has other piercings that looks like this,” Kasumi replied. “I was hoping I was wrong, but Mother doesn’t have one in her belly button, and I don’t ever remember seeing her with a piercing on her… chest… when we bathed with her. There’s only one other place it could be. ”

Curiosity gnawed at Akane. She had to know what had caused her sister to have such a strong reaction. “What? Where?”

Kasumi’s pallor changed suddenly from pale to bright red. She leaned in close to Akane and whispered into her ear. Akane’s eyes widened and her own face turned beet red. “In her WHAT?”

The next day, Akane found herself standing in front of a tattoo and piercing parlor, rather surprised to find that not only was it not in a seedy side of town, but that it also looked rather clean and professional inside. Even so, she was still extremely nervous about being here. It was a snap decision really to go visit Kasumi’s friend Michiko, but she had to know where exactly her mother had been pierced, and she wasn’t about to ask her father.

There was also the other reason she was here that was making her so nervous. There wasn’t much in her mother’s jewelry box that she’d want to wear every day, this was the only thing in the box that kept her interest. She was still trying to decide if she even wanted to be pierced, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

She opened the door to the parlor, jumping when the bells tied to the other side of the handle jingled to announce her entry. She berated herself for being so nervous, but it didn’t seem to help calm her down much. She walked up to the tattooed and pierced woman behind the counter. She didn’t think she’d ever seen someone with so much metal in her head at once. She had two rings through an eyebrow, umpteen up and down both ears, and even one in her nose. The woman’s hair was streaked with pink, and she had tattoo sleeves on her arms, and one of a panda on her neck. That last one made Akane chuckle despite herself as it made her think of her fiancé’s slothful father.

“Hi! Welcome to Martial Arts Body Art!” the woman chirped. “I’m Michiko, what can I do for you?”

Akane couldn’t help but wonder how her conservative and traditional sister could have ever been friends with the woman smiling at her from behind the counter. “Um… yes, my name is Akane and…”

“Akane? Akane Tendo? Kasumi’s little sister?” Michiko interrupted. When Akane nodded, the tattooed woman ran around the counter and enveloped Akane in a hug. “It’s been so long! How are you doing? How’s Kasumi? She get her hooks into that doctor yet?”

Akane was startled. “You know me?”

Michiko smiled. “I used to babysit you when I was in middle school with your sister. Back then I didn’t have all the tattoos and piercings. Well, not ones you could see anyway,” she admitted. “Gosh it’s been at least a year since I heard from Kasumi last. You’ll have to give me your phone number so that I can call her!”

Akane giggled despite herself, now remembering her old babysitter, and calming down at the familiar presence. “Kasumi’s doing fine, but she hasn’t hooked Dr Tofu yet. I’ll give you our number so that she can tell you about it herself.”

“Great! But you’re not here to reminisce with your old babysitter are you?” She gave Akane a conspiratorial wink. “Trying to rebel are we? Going to get your boyfriend’s name tattooed on the small of your back? Don’t worry, I won’t tell your sister.”

Akane blushed brightly and shook her head. “No, not a tattoo, I was actually wondering if you could tell me what kind of piercing this is,” she said as she fished the ring out of her pocket. “I know it’s not an earring, and I don’t think it’s a belly button ring either.”

Michiko picked up the ring in her fingers and examined it. “Oh that’s easy, it’s a curved barbell. Usually these are used as body piercings. Though, I’ve never seen one with diamonds in it like this, usually they have beads or metal balls in them. It must have cost a pretty penny. Where did you get it?”

Akane turned beet red. “I found it in my mother’s old jewelry box,” she mumbled.

Michiko’s eyes boggled. “Really? Cool! So you want to get pierced to be like her? Where did she have it done?”

Akane turned an interesting shade of purple, and unable to voice her response, settled for pointing towards her crotch.

Michiko just smiled at the younger girl. She wasn’t the first person to get cold feet about piercings and certainly wouldn’t be the last. It was obvious that despite the rather intimate nature of the piercing, it was something Akane wanted to do, she just needed a little push. “Tell you what,” Michiko said. “I’m closing up the parlor in about an hour. Why don’t you hang out here, browse the jewelry counter and maybe some idea books, and we’ll go out to dinner together afterwards to catch up. Sound good?”

Relieved that the subject had changed, Akane nodded and went to sit down in the waiting area. Michiko watched amused as most of the tension left the younger woman’s body. She was going to make her quota this week thanks to Akane.

Later, Akane found herself in a small stylish bar sitting across from her old babysitter as they munched on appetizers. Michiko had a big mug of beer in front of her, and had drained one already. “Seriously Akane, ask for a beer! They know me here, and they’ll believe me if I tell them that you’re 20.” She took another drink from her mug. “Or would you prefer something fruity? The bartender makes a mean Cosmo.”

Akane blushed and shook her head. She wasn’t even sure Michiko was 20 for that matter. She tried to change the subject. “So, why is your parlor called ‘Martial Arts Body Art’ anyway?” she asked before taking a sip of her cola.

“Oh, well that’s the name of my school of martial arts,” she replied. “I guess you could say that the parlor is my own personal dojo.” Michiko was disappointed to see that Akane’s mind wasn’t blown at this revelation. Instead the younger woman was nodding her head sagely. “What, you’ve heard of it?”

“No, but it’s not the weirdest martial art I’ve heard of,” said Akane, waving the question off. “What kind of moves and attacks does it have?”

Michiko just stared at Akane. Then she waved down the waiter. “I’m going to need another mug, and Akane wants a Cosmo. Don’t worry she’s 20.” When the waiter rushed off to fill the order, Michiko held a finger to Akane’s lips to prevent her from protesting. “You just told me that you’ve heard of weirder martial arts than tattooing and piercing. That means that either I’ve not had enough to drink, or I’ve had too much and you need to catch up. So we’ll cover all the bases here by getting both of us a drink while you explain what you meant by that.”

About thirty minutes later the two women were eating their meals and laughing uproariously. Akane had three empty martini glasses in front of her, and was working on the fourth as she explained the subtleties of Martial Arts Eating. “So here’s Ranma, starving to death trying to learn how to stretch his mouth so that he can eat off of his own head without using his hands, when the… restraints… fall off of his body because he’s lost so much weight, but his pride won’t let him just leave the mansion. He has to beat this guy, so he goes into the fight anyway.” She took another sip of her drink. “Turns out the secret to the petit-bouche school was to force feed everyone else in the room so that you had less to eat on your own plate. Man, these things are really good.”

Michiko, for her part, had five empty steins in front of her and was half way through the sixth. It was taking her longer to drink this one though because she kept cracking up at the stories about Akane’s fiancé and all the martial artists who he came up against. “So, this Ranma guy, you like him don’t you?” she asked.

“What?” Akane said. “Nooooo no nonono. He’s a pervert with three other women chasing after him. Don’t like him at all.”

Michiko smiled. It seemed that she had a much higher tolerance for alcohol than her drinking buddy. “Oh come off it Akane, I asked you about the other martial arts schools you’d heard of that were as weird as the one I practice, and all you’ve talked about for the last thirty minutes was this guy and how amazing he is at picking them up really quickly.”

Akane blushed. Her head was spinning and she wasn’t exactly sure what she had said over that thirty minute period anymore. “Well, what about your school? What do you do in it?” she asked, trying to change the subject.

Michiko just smiled all the wider, knowing that she had her answer. “Well, it’s a combination of piercings and tattoos that stimulate the ki centers and gates in order to enhance your own abilities.” She pointed to the rings in her eyebrow. “These help with my concentration.” Then at the tattoos on her arms. “This design increases my strength and endurance.” Finally she lifted her shirt and showed her pierced naval. “This one was just for fun!”

Akane cracked up at that last one. “So what does a… umm… hood piercing do then?” she asked timidly.

Michiko’s smile turned shark-like. “Well, when done normally, it just increases the pleasure of foreplay and sex.” She laughed out loud when Akane turned that interesting purple color again and took a big swig of her Cosmo. “When a student of Martial Arts Body Art does it however, it opens up a ki gate, and allows you to touch your reserves much easier.” she held out her hand for Akane and concentrated. A small ball of ki formed in her hand, similar to what Akane had seen Ranma and Ryoga do. “There are other ways to learn how to do this, but the right piercing in the right place can make it so much easier to access your own ki that you don’t have to muck around with emotions that are hard to call up in battle or stand there shouting for hours on end giving yourself a hernia.”

Akane was amazed by the fact that this small woman was able to summon power to her hand like Ranma could, who was much stronger than she. “You have a piercing down there?” she asked, transfixed on the ball of ki in Michiko’s hand.

“Yup! Got one in my labia too, but that does something different. I can show you in the bathroom if you like,” she offered.

Akane just sat back and shook her head. If she could summon ki like this, she might be able to scare off her rivals. Ranma would certainly sit up and take notice. But there was the location… “Is there any other way to open a ki gate like that piercing does?” she asked.

Michiko shook her head. “Not really. On a guy they’d have to get it done through the foreskin, or lower down the shaft if he was circumcised. Doesn’t work as well if he’s cut though,” she added thoughtfully. “There are some tattoos that could increase the rate of flow of your ki, but that wouldn’t help you much if you didn’t already have easy access to it.”

Akane looked down at her meal, deep in thought as she picked at it with her chopsticks. It was so tempting to say yes, in order to get stronger, in order to prove herself as a martial artist, in order to prove herself to Ranma. But the place it had to go…

The bell on the door of the restaurant jingled as a new customer walked in the door. Akane was still deep in thought, so she ignored the new presence, until the newcomer walked up to their table. “So Shampoo was right about Kitchen-wrecker! Is on a secret date yes?”

Akane turned her head slowly, groaning at what she knew was going to be a big problem. She was too drunk to handle this right now. “Hello Shampoo,” she said through gritted teeth.

The Amazon was holding an empty take out box, obviously on a delivery run bringing food for the proprietors of the restaurant. “Now Shampoo know why you with Ranma. Is a good way to hide Pervert Girl’s true feelings!”

Michiko frowned at the newcomer. This was obviously one of the rivals Akane had mentioned briefly. By her usage of Japanese, probably the Chinese woman. “Akane’s not a girlfriend,” she managed without slurring. “She’s an old friend and we’re catching up.”

Shampoo ignored the older woman. “Is ok Akane, many womens in tribe like other womens. Shampoo wish you luck!” She then leaned over and gave Akane a kiss on the forehead. “Now Ranma belong to Shampoo!”

That was the final straw. Akane took a swipe at Shampoo, missing widely as the Amazon jumped back laughing. She tried to stand to continue the fight, but stumbled as her alcohol addled head threw off her balance. Shampoo pranced up to her rival and poked her with a finger, knocking the drunk woman on her ass with very little effort. Michiko stood to defend her friend, glowing a dark shade of purple as she began to gather her ki for battle.

Shampoo watched as the new challenger began to form her ki into a ball in her hands. This was an unexpected turn of events, one she was unprepared for. She quickly got into a defensive stance, ready to take on the pierced and tattooed woman.

Akane knew she had to do something or else this little bar was going to end up a big crater. If only she hadn’t finished her last drink, she could throw it on Shampoo, transforming her. “Ugh,” Akane burped as the thought of another drink made her nauseous. Then, without warning, it made her sick. All over Shampoo’s shoes.

Shampoo felt the warm wetness splash against her feet, and looked down to see Akane throwing up all over them. “Gah!” she screamed as she jumped out of the way, too late to be missed completely. Her shoes were ruined. She glared furiously at Akane who was still sitting on the floor, swaying a bit now. Shampoo was about to beat on the drunk girl, but decided it would be a waste of energy. Vengeance would be so much more satisfying when the object of her vengeance was coherent enough to understand what was going on. “Shampoo think you deserve each other,” she huffed as she stormed out of the restaurant, got on her bike, and sped off down the street.

Akane looked up at her friend, still stunned that Shampoo had taken smaller woman’s aggressive stance as a viable threat. She watched in awe as Michiko’s aura died down, the purple color dissipating. Michiko let out a deep sigh as she let go of her control and relaxed. She held out a hand to help Akane stand up. “You ok?” she asked.

Akane only had one thing to say. “I want that power.”

Michiko shark-like smile came back, and she helped Akane out of the restaurant and back to the parlor.

Akane woke the next morning feeling as if her head and stomach were fighting over which one would be allowed to explode first. Groggily, she managed to slide out of bed and somehow make her way down to the bathroom without puking in the hallway. Having witnessed her father and future father-in-law hung over many a time, Akane knew that she had to drink lots of water in order to feel better. She wondered if Kasumi had any other kinds of remedies, but figured it would be a bad idea to admit to her older sister that she had gone out last night and gotten drunk with her old friend.

Turning on the tap full blast, Akane put her mouth under the running water and drank in long draughts. She tried to think back to how she had gotten home last night, and if anyone had seen her, but she couldn’t remember anything after the third Cosmo. How did Michiko convince her to drink the first one again? Oh yeah, she just told her to. After that she started talking about Ranma… No, she couldn’t remember what happened next.

Full of water, Akane turned off the tap and let out a rather unladylike belch. It made her feel better though, so she excused herself. She decided that the next thing she needed was a bath. Maybe the steam would help to clear her head a bit.

Shuffling out of the upstairs bathroom and down to the furo, Akane couldn’t help but notice that she felt kinda sore between her legs. Almost as if she had been doing high kicks all night. Had she been in a fight? A flash of purple shot through her memory. Shampoo was there? Maybe she had been fighting. But then why didn’t she seem to have any other injuries?

She got to the change room and stripped out of the clothes she had been wearing last night. She grabbed a towel and entered the bath, thanking whatever deity was listening for her big sister who always kept the bath hot and ready.

Sitting on a stool, Akane started to go through the motions of scrubbing off the grime accumulated in the last day with a loofah. She was still disturbed that she couldn’t seem to remember much of what had happened last night, but she figured it would all work itself out eventually. As she rubbed the loofah along her waist, it caught on something, which pulled on a much more sensitive part of her anatomy. Akane looked down, puzzled at what it might be, and saw something silver, with what looked like a diamond stuck in her sponge. “Oh no,” Akane muttered as a feeling of dread washed over her. Gently, she reached between her legs and untangled her loofah from the gem. The gem that was attached to her in a rather intimate place via a silver “c” and another diamond on the other end.

“KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Akane screamed, her hangover long forgotten.

Seconds after her scream died down, the door burst open and in rushed Ranma, looking for his fiancée’s attacker. This of course caused Akane to scream once again.


Akane held her hands up at Ranma as if trying to push him away, and to her amazement, it worked. One second Ranma was scanning the furo for an attacker, the next his clothes were blown off his body by an incredible wind, and he was flying back through the door he came in and crashing into the wall on the far side of the change room. He fell naked and unconscious to the floor. What just happened?

The rest of the family, having heard the scream, came rushing in behind Ranma. They paused for a moment, staring at Ranma, then noticed Akane trying to cover herself with a washcloth that was way too small. Seeing that his daughter was fine, and extrapolating from the state of her fiancé that she had caught him peeking, Soun quickly turned away lest Akane turn her wrath on him. “Are you all right Akane?” he asked.

His daughter looked up from where her fiancé was lying, as if realizing that he were there for the first time. Quickly she covered her crotch with the washcloth. “Yes Daddy… I just… thought I saw a rat,” she lied. “Ranma surprised me when he came in and I hit him.”

Soun sighed with relief. “Ok, I’ll call an exterminator tomorrow to check the house.” With that, he left as quickly as possible.

Nabiki also sighed when she realized it was a false alarm, mumbling something about how early it was on a Sunday and went back to bed. Though, not before pulling a camera out of somewhere and taking a picture of the naked Ranma out cold on the floor. Kasumi checked over the entire room once more, nervously. “Rats?” she asked.

“I’m sure it was nothing,” reassured Akane.

Kasumi let out a deeper sigh of relief, her head tilting back and her whole body going limp as the sudden terror left her. “Honestly Akane, don’t scare me like that!” she admonished. Then she looked up at the ceiling again. “Where did that black mark come from?”

Akane looked up. Right above her was what looked like a scorch mark, as if there had been a fire lit directly where she was sitting on the stool. Had she done that? Did the piercing actually work? “I dunno,” she replied, half honestly.

“Well, I’ll have to clean it later then I suppose,” said Kasumi. “I’ll let you finish your bath first Akane. Breakfast is ready whenever you feel like coming down.”

Akane nodded at her sister, and waited for her to disappear down the hallway before she got up off the stool and walked over to replace the door. The last thing she needed was for Kasumi to discover her new accessory. Not before she had a chance to test it out a bit.

Putting the door back on the track, Akane was about to slide it shut when she took a peek at her prone fiancé. He was still out cold, his arms and legs splayed out, his thumbs and pink and index fingers all pointing out in a warding gesture. But the thing that caught her attention was between his spread legs. Her mind took her back to the day they first met, and she realized that she’d never actually seen… it… before. She couldn’t help but stare. A warm sensation began to pool in her belly…

Akane slammed the door shut, nearly knocking it off it’s track again. She wasn’t a pervert! He was! She went back to the stool and turned the shower head back on full blast. Cold water.

Mostly calmed down, but still buzzing a little on the inside, Akane entered her family dojo. She was dressed in her gi, as she was hoping to get some serious training in. Now that she knew that her piercing worked, she had to learn how to make it work for her, rather than only when she had an emotional outburst. She set up a number of training dummies in the room with the intention to see from how far away she could blast them.

Standing in the center of the dojo, Akane closed her eyes and concentrated. She already knew what it felt like to touch her ki, she’d done it many times before when booting Kuno or Ranma over the horizon, and all the ring was supposed to do was make it easier for her to access it. If she could just search herself for that feeling…

There! That was it! It felt like cold fire burning at her core. She took a deep breath, and concentrated on that feeling, trying to feed the flames and increase the power. She was able to make the flames burn hotter, but not without losing some of her control. Well she’d get better at that with practice, and maybe Michiko could help her to learn control.

Instead, Akane settled for reducing the power to something she could handle, and tried to move it. She found that she could concentrate it anywhere in her body she wanted, and figured that was probably what she’d done when she was angry. She opened her eyes to find that her right hand was glowing a deep blue. Shocked, she lost her concentration, and the glow faded.

Akane smiled toothily. The power gave her a little thrill up her spine. Concentrating on the same feeling brought the power to her hand once more, this time much easier than before. She pointed it at one of the dummies and tried to push it out. Nothing happened. Frowning, Akane decided to try something different and walked up to the dummy, punching it hard in the middle.

The dummy exploded in a burst of wood and straw as Akane’s ki infused fist hit it. Her smile grew wider as the debris rained down all around her. She quickly forced her ki into her hands again, and danced around the dojo, causing all the dummies to explode in rapid succession.

Breathing hard, Akane came up to the last dummy, the one she had dressed as Ranma so long ago. A smirk appeared on her face, one usually found on her fiancé’s face when he was in the middle of a fight. Concentrating, she forced ki into her hand once more, enjoying the fantasy that it really was Ranma standing in front of her as she brought her fist around in a powerful arc.

Again there was an explosion of material, but this time the straw dummy survived, and only its clothes were destroyed. Akane’s body experienced a different sort of thrill as her fantasy of a real Ranma caused her to imagine him standing before her, all of his clothes blown off by her attack. The feeling was so strong, and came on so quickly, that it drove her to her knees. Akane panted as she tried to catch her breath. Where did that come from?

Eventually, she caught her breath, but the humming sensation stayed with her. It was the same sort of feeling she had felt that morning when she saw Ranma naked, but this time it wasn’t going away. Taking a deep breath, Akane tried to get a grip on her hormones. Maybe if she laid off the training for today it would go away. She’d try it again tomorrow.

Akane’s day was alternately amusing and frustrating. Amusing in that all day at school Ranma couldn’t keep his eyes off of her, obviously studying her to try to figure out how exactly she blasted him back in the bath. He’d been reprimanded by their teachers multiple times already, but he didn’t seem to care. The fact that all the attention he was giving her was making Ukyo green with envy only made her grin more.

On the other hand it was a little frustrating because her new ornament was bothering her. It didn’t hurt, but she could feel it all the time. She could always feel it, pressing against her sensitive flesh, pulling on her folds when she shifted in her seat. She tried to sit with her legs crossed to keep the sensations down, but it only marginally worked.

After school she told Ranma she had something to do before going home. In order to keep him from following her, she swallowed her pride and told him that she needed to go buy tampons. She almost laughed out loud at how quickly that excuse got him to back off. She’d have to remember that one for later.

Instead of heading to the drug store, Akane veered off in the direction of Michiko’s parlor, hoping to be able to talk with her about her piercing, and how to control her newfound power more effectively.

She shivered uncontrollably mid-stride. Again her piercing had shifted unexpectedly and sent a jolt of electricity through her nervous system. That was going to have to be the first thing she asked Michiko: how to sit and walk without turning herself on.

Reaching the tattoo parlor without any further incidents, Akane pulled on the door, only to find that it was locked. Puzzled, Akane looked for a “closed” sign, but didn’t see anything. Not even a handwritten sign to indicate that Michiko would be back soon. Strange, the parlor should be open this time of day.

Shrugging her shoulders, Akane turned and leaned against the storefront, settling in to wait until her new friend and sensei returned from wherever it was she had disappeared to. She was humming a tune to herself when she heard someone cry out.

Instantly, Akane came to attention, focusing her senses, listening for the next time the victim screamed. It didn’t take long before she heard another moan, obviously torn from the throat of someone who was being tortured, or worse…

Zeroing in on the sound, Akane quickly determined that it was coming from inside the parlor itself. She looked through a window to assess the situation, but couldn’t see anyone. Obviously they were in a back room. Akane sprinted around the side of the building and into an alley that would take her to the rear. There was an emergency exit and a small window around back from where she could mount her rescue. Nimbly she climbed up on top of some conveniently placed trash cans and peered into the window to count the number of muggers and rapists she’d have to mangle.

The room Akane was looking into must have been where Michiko did all of her work. There was a chair that reminded Akane too much of a dentist’s chair, along with a side table holding the tools of the trade, including a dismantled tattoo gun. On one wall there were hundreds of small pictures, a catalogue of what the artist was able to draw. Against the opposite wall was a counter and sink, and a naked and tattooed man was standing in front of the counter, thrusting at an unknown victim who let out another scream. “Yakuza!” Akane breathed as she watched the man continue to assault the woman.

She was about to jump down off of her trash can and bust down the door when the woman slapped the man on the ass and squeezed. “Come on baby, harder!” she cried.

Akane gaped like a fish. She knew that voice, it was Michiko. And it seemed like she didn’t need any help after all. Akane was about to jump down and go back around front where she could die of embarrassment, when the “Yakuza” man picked up his lover and carried her over to the chair. Sitting down, he left Michiko on top, and she immediately picked up the rhythm once more, riding him hard, her black and pink hair flailing all around her.

Unable to tear her eyes away from the carnal show, Akane watched as the pair made love. No, this wasn’t making love like she read about in Kasumi’s trashy novels or fantasized about, this was hardcore fucking. Michiko leaned back in her “saddle” and Akane was able to see her entire front. More tattoos covered her torso, one snaked around her middle like a belt, while another looked like a man putting a golf ball into her navel. Akane couldn’t help but wonder if that one lowered her handicap.

While the tattoos were interesting, it was the jewelry that caught Akane’s attention the most. Michiko had both of her nipples pierced with straight barbells, her belly button pierced with a dangling jewel that shimmered and shined in the light as she moved, and true to her word, a hood piercing and one in her labia. She was also shaved, which only served to show off a piercing that came out just over her pubic bone, but where the other end of that piercing came out she couldn’t see. Even Michiko’s lover had piercings all over his face and both nipples.

Akane couldn’t tear her eyes away from the metal studded couple as the moved together. She was suddenly very much aware of her own piercing down between her legs, and reached down to touch it over her clothing. The fire that she used in her new attacks was burning very hotly as she watched the two, and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to control it much longer.

Suddenly Michiko cried out once more and stopped moving. Her lover grimaced, very possibly climaxing as well. Michiko collapsed, laying down on his chest as both tried to catch their breath. Akane had no idea that sex wore you out so much, though she had to admit she was feeling a little winded herself, and she was just watching. Just then, Michiko turned her head towards Akane’s window, and gave the voyeur a smile and a wink. Akane fell off of the trash can in alarm, trying to get away from the window, but it was obvious that she had been seen.

Bruised, embarrassed, and more than a little turned on, Akane walked around to the front of the parlor again. She made it just in time to see Michiko kissing her lover goodbye as he left for parts unknown. Michiko smiled that sly smile again. “So! Did you enjoy the show?” she asked, then laughed when Akane turned beet red.

The embarrassed woman tried to stutter out an explanation as to what she was doing at the window, but couldn’t seem to form two words in a row. “Thought… trouble…”

Michiko seemed to get the gist. “Yeah I can be a bit of a screamer, sorry I made you worry.” She opened the door and motioned for Akane to enter. “But that’s not why you came here today is it? You want to ask me about your little present.” She made sure the door was locked and guided her beet red friend into the back room.

Akane was worried for a moment that the room she was being led into was the one where she had watched Michiko and her lover break all sorts of health codes, but it turned out to be an office instead. Michiko offered Akane a seat before sitting down behind the desk herself. “So? Did it work?”

Akane managed to marginally get over her embarrassment in order to respond. “Yes, I can touch my ki much more easily now thanks to you. I just need a little training on how to control it better.” She was surprised at the fact that she wasn’t screaming at the woman in front of her for piercing her in the first place, but didn’t dwell to heavily on it. It really did work after all. “I’m still trying to get used to feeling it though, it can be… uncomfortable… at times.”

Michiko opened a drawer in her desk and started rummaging around. “Is it a burning sensation or itching?” she asked as she pulled out various bottles of soap and ointment. “My school has ways of speeding up healing time and lessening the chance of infection, but you still need to wash and be careful with it for a while afterwards.”

Akane’s face, which had finally resumed it’s natural shade of pink, darkened once more as the blood rushed back. “No, it’s not… bad… just uncomfortable…”

Michiko stared at Akane for a while before she read between the lines. “Ahhhh, so little Akane-chan is much more virginal than I originally thought,” she said with a smirk. “That’s natural Akane. In fact you might want to explore those feelings a little more yourself next time you get some privacy.” Her smirk became an amused smile as Akane nearly fell out of her chair.

“I… I don’t… you know… it’s perverted!” Akane protested.

Struggling to keep from laughing at the younger woman, Michiko shook her head at the naïveté of that statement. “Trust me Akane, it will help you blow off some of that steam that’s been building for quite some time. Plus, it’s a good way to get your heart pumping, your endorphins flowing, and when you’re pierced the way you are, it can help you with your control issues as well.” She leaned across the desk. “It’s even better when you do it with someone special, but I can see you’re not ready for that quite yet.”

Happy that a means to change the subject had come up, Akane pounced on it. “So who was that guy you were… with… earlier?”

“Osamu-chan? He’s my boyfriend,” Michiko replied, then looked down at her hands and smiled. “Actually, he’s my fiancé now. He asked me to marry him this afternoon and I said yes! You walked in on us celebrating.” She held up her left hand to show off her new piece of jewelry, a silver ring with a tiny diamond mounted on top.

Akane smiled and offered her congratulations as Michiko bubbled with excitement about her upcoming nuptials. She tried to pay attention to what the older woman was saying, but the things she had said earlier about how to help her control her ki kept nagging at her. She couldn’t actually… could she?

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