Subject: [PMFFML] [FFML-R][R1/2][Alt] Nabiki and Ranma 1/2 Part 6
From: RanmaSolo@aol.com
Date: 3/18/2001, 7:14 AM
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Author's Note at end.


Previous chapters available at...

http://www.geocities.com/malaspinam/RanmaSolo/RanmaNabikiOneHalf.html





    In a remote village of China, not too far from the cursed valleys of 
Jusenkyo, a small, withered old figure rested in meditation. A bright fire 
burned in front of her, it's smoke curling upwards into the air and out of 
the hut through the cracks in the roof. A deep shudder ran through her body 
and her closed eyes snapped open with an urgency born of great fear.

    {"No."}

    The figure stood and backed away from the fire, {"No, no, no! It can't 
be!"}

    Quickly regaining her wits, that were momentarily lost in fear, the 
figure of Ke Lun, matriarch of the Joketsuzoku, ran to the door of her hut 
shouting, {"Shan Pu! Mu Si!"}


     Nabiki and Ranma 1/2 Part 6
        By: Ranma Solo

    "Nabiki?"

    "Yes, Ranma?"

    "Why do I have to wear this stupid thing?!" pouted Ranma as he pulled at 
his collar.

    Nabiki slapped his hand away, "Don't do that, you'll mess up your nice 
shirt. And the reason you have wear this outfit, which makes you utterly 
handsome and damn near irresistible, is because Kuno is taking us some place 
very nice."

    Ranma sighed, defeated and downtrodden. Although he certainly perked up 
when Nabiki kissed him.

                --------------------

    "Arrrrrgh! I hate Nabiki! How in the world did I let her talk me INTO 
this!" shouted Akane in frustration as Kasumi zipped up the back of her 
shimmering blue dress.

    "Well, if you ask me it's about time you went on a date Akane-chan," said 
Kasumi calmly fussing over the little details of Akane's appearance.

    Making sure that her small, almost unnoticeable, hair ornaments were 
securely in place.

    "What do you mean Kasumi?" asked Akane, a puzzled expression quickly 
replacing the angry one of a few moments ago.

    Pulling a few strands of hair forward so her face was framed by a lock of 
hair on each side.

    "Well, Akane, far be it from me to interfere, but I have to say...," 
Kasumi frowned gently, trying to find the right way to phrase her next words.

    Wiping away a stray smudge of lipstick that had slipped past her earlier 
checks.

    "Akane, Father and I were starting to get a little worried about you," 
Kasumi finally said sighing.

    Plucking a loose string from the shoulder of the dress.

    Akane wasn't sure how to respond so just asked, "But why?" very quietly.

    Gently pulling the dress down at the waist to smooth some wrinkles from 
it's surface.

    "You're seventeen now Akane. Almost a full grown woman and you still act 
as if boys have cooties."

    Kasumi ran her hand down along the sides of the dress' skirt smoothing it 
down there too.

    "But-"

    "Not buts, Akane. Really, I know how you feel about boys, but how are 
they going to prove you wrong if you never give them a chance?"

    Akane sighed and softly replied, "I guess,... you're right."

    Kasumi smiled brightly, "Thank you, Akane."

    Kasumi stood up from where she was kneeling and put a hand over her 
mouth, gasping.

    Akane's brow crinkled in worry, "What is it Kasumi? Is something wrong!?"

    "No! Nothing's wrong," said Kasumi quickly showing that under her hand 
was a smile.

    "Then what is it?" asked Akane, who was a little annoyed that she had 
been so scared.

    "It's just that you look so much like Mother does in the picture Father 
keeps on his dresser of their first date," said Kasumi.

    A sad smile crossed over the two sisters' faces as they wordlessly shared 
a hug. A single tear streaked down Kasumi's cheek.

                --------------------

    "Ah, brother dear, why are you getting so dressed up?"

    "I have a date tonight with the fair Akane Tendo, Kodachi dear," said 
Tatewaki Kuno as he straightened his tie.

    "Oooh, you do, do you? What happened? She lose a bet?"

    Kuno scowled at his leering sister's mocking smile.

    "Nothing of the sort. She accepted of her own free will. She and I will 
be joined by her sister Nabiki and Nabiki's husband Ranma Saotome. It will be 
a wonderful evening and I'm sure it won't be the last time that Akane Tendo 
and I dine together," stated Kuno, very 'matter-of-factly.

    "I'm sure I've never heard you mention Akane having another sister, let 
alone a married one. Since when, brother dear, has she had this sister?"

    Kuno laughed at the flustered air about his sister, *Always worried 
someone may be doing something you don't know about, dear sister.*

    "Since always I would assume. It seems Nabiki had been on a twelve year 
long voyage training in the martial arts with Ranma and his father. Along the 
way the two fell in love and married. The two accompanied by Ranma's father 
recently returned from China."

    Kodachi's eyes glazed over ever so slightly, "How romantic!"

    Kodachi laughed maniacally, causing Tatewaki to shudder. He then rolled 
his eyes, knowing his sister was just laughing like that because she knew it 
unnerved him.

                --------------------

    Genma sat in his room meditating on a matter of utmost importance. How to 
a, get out of the Tendo home without being accosted again by another band of 
vicious thieves as they ran scurrying from his wraith after they cowardly 
attacked him from behind and b, how to decide from all the scrumptious 
varieties of okonomiyaki.

    *Last night's plan did not work but tonight nothing will stop me from 
eating at 'All Night Ucchans: Okonomiyaki Grill and Bar!'*

    A tear rolled downs Genma's cheek as he struck a victorious pose. 
Suddenly a thought occurred to him, *Why does that name sound so familiar?*

    He put his thought aside planning to meditate on it later once he was 
properly stuffed. (Not to mention properly sloshed out of his mind.)

    If only he had seen the news story of the escaped panda from the local 
zoo, maybe he would have been more careful not to get splashed.

                --------------------

    {"Yes, Great-grandmother? What is it?} asked Shan Pu nervously. *I've 
never seen Great-grandmother so stirred up...*

    {"You and Mu Si must gather your belongings and get to Japan as quickly 
as possible. I felt a great evil awakening... And I believe Ranma and Nabiki 
are in grave danger."}

    Shan Pu gasped, {"Oh, no!}

    {"What?"} called Mu Si as he approached belatedly, hearing only the 'Oh 
no!'

    {"Ranma and Nabiki are in danger, we have to get to Japan to warn them as 
soon as possible."}

    {"Is that true Elder Ke Lun?"} asked Mu Si turning in the exact direction 
of the matriarch using a trick Ranma had taught him. (Wear your glasses at 
all times.) ... (Right after you check and make sure you have the right 
prescription!)

    {"Yes, it is Mu Si. Hurry you two and gather all that you will need for a 
least a month in Japan. Maybe longer."}

    {"Yes, Great-grandmother,"} said Shan Pu as she rushed off to her 
family's home.

    {"I take it you have almost everything you'll need already on you?"} 
asked Ke Lun.

    {"Yes, honored Elder,"} replied Mu Si.

    {"You are a superb Warrior, boy. I've rarely seen anyone able to master 
pocket spaces as fully as you have at such a young age. Should you ever 
successfully woo Shan Pu I will be honored to have you as a member of the 
family."}

    Mousse hardly concealed his shock at the compliment, replying kindly, 
{"Thank you, Elder Ke Lun."}

                --------------------

    As the limousine pulled up in front Nabiki and Ranma were going over last 
minute plans in their room.

    "Okay, so, you tell Kuno that while sparring you landed a spear point jab 
to my throat and I can only have liquids for a while," said Ranma, mostly 
just confirming for himself he had it down.

    "That's right. And remember, don't talk to much and nothing above a 
whisper."

    "I know, I know! It's too bad Kuno's so worked up about keeping this 
certain date... I'd really like to enjoy a nice, expensive meal on someone 
else," said Ranma with a half frown.

    "I've taught you well," Nabiki said, causing Ranma to laugh. "Now what do 
you think of the dress?"

    Ranma took a step back to get a better look at Nabiki's simple but 
effective red dress. He turned his head to the right, then to the left to 
look at it from different perspectives. Finally he nodded.

    "Well, it's definitely a dress," he said nonchalantly.

    "Oh, good! I was ever so worried people would confuse it for overalls," 
said Nabiki frowning.

    "Overalls would look much sexier."

    Nabiki scowled and smacked Ranma, "What's that supposed to mean?"

    Ranma's eyes widened much like the proverbial deer in a headlight's.

    "What!? What did I say!?" he asked in a scared voice.

    "You said I'd look better in a pair of overalls then this dress!" 
exclaimed Nabiki who was almost in tears. "This is my favorite dress!"

    Ranma hissed and tried to put his arm around her but Nabiki pushed him 
away, "I'm sorry! That's not what I meant! I just meant you'd look good in 
anything... You know me, I sometimes say different then what I mean."

    Nabiki sniffed and turned into a hug, "I'm sorry Ranma. I don't know why 
I got so upset... I just... Don't know. I'm sorry."

    "Shh, it's okay, I'm sorry too."

    Nabiki stood up and checked her hand mirror to make sure her make-up 
hadn't run, and it hadn't, but she did need to straighten her hair a little.

    "Hey, Nabiki... If you hit me hard enough in the throat so that I 
couldn't eat wouldn't there be a bruise?"

    "That's why you're wearing a high collar," said Nabiki distractedly. She 
was busy trying to get a small lock of her hair that had fallen, in just the 
right place behind her ear. She looked up at him smiling evilly, "I could 
always _actually_ give you an injury."

    Ranma shook his nervously, backing away from the advancing wife, "Hey, 
Nabiki, the car's here! We better head downstairs!"

    "Oh, okay, in just a minute, now hold still..."

                --------------------

    "Good evening Mr. Tendo," said Tatewaki Kuno as he bowed before being 
invited into the Tendo home.

    "It _is_ a particularly nice evening," replied Soun.

    Somewhere above a scream rang out and then a peal of hysterical laughter. 
After a moment's hesitation Tatewaki uncomfortably recited a phrase he had 
been practicing for months. Of course, to improve on his perfection.

    "Mr. Tendo, I would like to express my gratitude to you for allowing me 
to date your lovely daughter."

    "Think nothing of it, she is almost a full grown woman and so I have 
little to do with allowing her to do anything," said Soun sighing. *Oh, my 
baby girl!*

    "I see...," said Kuno not sure what the proper response was.

    "Actually, if you wish to thank someone, thank Nabiki. She's the one that 
persuaded Akane to accept."

    "I see," said Kuno. (He wasn't sure but he thought that was actually the 
proper response this time.)

    "Would you like some tea while you wait, Akane may be a while yet."

    "Yes, thank you very much."

    "Kasumi?" called Soun, but he got no response.

    "Hmmm, oh well. I'm sure I can make it myself. You just sit here," said 
Soun, worry tingeing his voice.

    "I wouldn't want to trouble you Mr. Tendo you don-"

    "Nonsense!" interrupted Soun. "It's been a while but I'm quite certain 
making a pot of tea will cause me no troubles."

    "All right, thank you."

    *Now... I hope I remember how to turn the stove on,* thought Soun to 
himself as he walked to the kitchen rubbing his mustache thoughtfully.

                --------------------

    Ranma and Nabiki came down the stairs arm in arm. They entered the family 
room and the act was on.

    "Good evening, Tatewaki," greeted Nabiki.

    "Yes, it is a nice evening isn't it," said Kuno.

    Ranma nodded in reply.

    "Ranma, I hope you don't mind if I say your wife looks very beautiful."

    "Ranma won't mind at all, will you Ranma," said Nabiki.

    Ranma shook his head "no" but still pulled Nabiki closer to him.

    Kuno suddenly frowned, "Are you... Okay Ranma?"

    "About that Kuno, Ranma had a little accident," started Nabiki.

    "Oh no! I do hope it's not serious," said Kuno.

    "No, no, he just can't have any solid food for a few days or talk for a 
while. He missed a spear point while we were sparring and I wasn't able to 
pull back in time."

    "I see. That's too bad Ranma, perhaps you and I could have lunch together 
some other time since you won't be able to enjoy a meal tonight. On me of 
course," said Kuno.

    "Sure," squeaked out Ranma, forcing his voice low and raspy. He then 
faked a small cough.

    "Excuse me for interrupting but would you please follow me?" asked Kasumi 
as she entered the room.

    Wordlessly the three teens got up and followed Kasumi. They followed her 
to the foot of the stairs and waited.

    "I would like to present, for your approval, the lovely Akane Tendo," 
announced Kasumi loudly. (Well, loudly for her.)

    And on cue, just like she and Kasumi had planned, Akane reached the top 
of the stairs and began descending. She blushed a little at the stares she 
got from Ranma and Nabiki and outright gawking of Kuno who seemed mesmerized 
by her every movement.

    "Exquisite...," said Kuno.

    "If Nabiki wasn't around you might have some competition Kuno, my man," 
said Ranma, who was stunned.

    Somehow Kuno broke his gaze away from Akane and turned to the couple next 
to him, "Did you say something Ranma?"

    Both Nabiki and Ranma's eyes widened like saucers and Nabiki threw a hand 
over Ranma's mouth.

    "No! No! I, uh, I... I said, 'If I were a man you'd have some 
competition, Kuno...-san,'" said Nabiki, stumbling over her words quite a 
bit. *I'm gonna smack you so hard when we get home tonight Ranma...*

    *Oh, man! Nabiki's gonna smack me so hard tonight when we get home!* 
thought Ranma.

    "...Oh," said Kuno simply chalking it up to having not heard right in his 
state of... observing the fair and extremely beautiful Akane Tendo. 
Observing, that was a good one. He would need to remember it.

    The whole scene passed over Akane who was still too busy navigating the 
stairs in heels while being embarrassed to notice a bomb going off let alone 
a small slip of tongue.

                --------------------

    Kasumi sighed as she watched the rear of the limousine disappear down the 
street. It was a happy sigh though and she entered the house smiling brightly 
as usual.

    With a growing dread, however, Kasumi replaced the smile with a worried 
frown. *Oh, no! Where's father?!*

    Suddenly she gasped, "OH GODS NO!"

                --------------------

    Nabiki and Ranma sat against the back of the limo in the seating area 
that fit only two people, snuggled closely together, arms around each other.

    While on the other hand Akane had sat down one seat away from Kuno. Who 
had taken a seat opposite the married couple by the window linking the 
driver's portion of the car to the passenger's. However, as Akane sat he 
scooted over one seat. Akane followed his lead and scooted the same one way 
putting yet another seat between them.

    By the time everything settled down Akane sat happily next to Nabiki and 
Ranma groused, silently, over having to sit next to Kuno. Not that he minded 
Kuno too much, he was a little overbearing, but nice in a weird, superior 
kind of way and... In any case he just preferred his wife.

    "So, Kuno-san, where exactly are we going?" asked Nabiki, deciding to 
break the uncomfortable silence.

    "Well, I did want it to be a secret, but I guess I can tell. The name of 
the restaurant is Hibiki's Place. They specialize in cuisine from all over 
the world. It's the grand opening tonight," said Kuno before checking his 
watch.

    *So that's why he was being so insistent about having the date tonight.*

    "It sounds interesting, what kind of foods do they have?" asked Akane, 
who was surprisingly suddenly almost, just a little tiny bit looking forward 
to the night's meal.

    "If I remember correctly, and I'm sure I do,..." he smiled smugly, not on 
purpose, but out of habit, "...then they have food from France, America, 
China, Britain and there were a few others I believe mentioned, but those and 
of course food from here in Japan make up the bulk of the menu," rattled off 
Kuno.

    Ranma was almost in tears.

                --------------------

        Back at home Kasumi _was_ in tears. Tears shed in mourning of her 
once perfect kitchen. Now a level one disaster area with Soun Tendo in the 
middle of. In his hands he carried a tea tray. A thick, gooey brown substance 
oozed out of the tea pot's lid and spout.

    "Kasumi? Are you okay?" asked Soun worriedly. "What is it?"

    Kasumi sniffed and asked hopefully, "Father... You didn't use molasses 
instead of water for the tea did you?"

    Soun thought for a moment, biting his lip, "Wh-what if I did?"

    Kasumi's head sunk and her tears came again, accompanied by much sobbing. 
Much very, very loud sobbing. Soun began sniffling too and soon he too was 
crying a veritable river.

    "I... was... ju-just trying to make it sweeter!" sobbed Soun through his 
tears.

                --------------------

    "Kuno, party of four," said Tatewaki as they entered the main reception 
area of the restaurant. The walls were covered in all manners of odd 
decorations and art pieces making for a very interesting decor.

    The middle-aged hostess, who wore a white blouse with green skirt that 
seemed to be the uniform of all the employees, quickly scanned the guest book 
till she found the proper entry. "Ah, here you are."

     She rang a bell that sat in the lower left hand corner of her podium and 
a waiter was almost immediately in front of them, "This is Tetsuo and he'll 
be your server tonight. If you have any question don't hesitate to ask him 
and enjoy your meal."

    "If you'll follow me please," said Tetsuo a friendly smile practically 
beaming right off his face.

    By the time the four teens were seated it was well proven that Tetsuo 
also had an infectious smile as even Ranma was smiling. Tetsuo put menus in 
front of each of them and said, "Now, you just go ahead and look these over 
for a little while and I'll be right back to take your orders. Would anyone 
like anything to drink now? Water maybe?"

    There was a resounding 'Yes, please.' from everyone, including Ranma. 
Nabiki elbowed him and he looked behind himself as Tatewaki and Akane looked 
in his direction. He turned back to them and shrugged. And they in turn, 
turned back to their menus.

    Ranma glanced apologetically at Nabiki. It took her a moment but the 
stern look was quickly replaced by a smile and she scooted over in the booth 
a little closer to him.

    Meanwhile as Kuno tried the same maneuver of scooting closer to Akane she 
too had the same idea. As Nabiki. She moved half a foot around the U shaped 
booth towards Ranma. Kuno took the hint and didn't push his luck anymore. For 
now.

                --------------------

    As Tetsuo brought the water to their table Ranma and Nabiki suddenly got 
nervous. Especially when Tetsuo stumbled. Ranma and Nabiki were nearly 
standing on the back of the booth huddled together. Too most people in the 
restaurant, had they been watching, it would have seemed as if they had 
disappeared momentarily, they had moved so fast.

    However, Tetsuo caught himself and enduring more then one strange look 
Nabiki and Ranma hesitantly slid down.

    "Are you ready to order?" asked the seemingly oblivious waiter.

    *Why does he remind me so much of Kasumi?* thought Nabiki.

    Tatewaki cleared his throat, "Well, if the rest of you are then I am."

    Nabiki and Akane nodded their agreement as they handed their menus to 
Tetsuo along with Kuno's.

    "Ladies first of course," said Kuno after it seemed like no one was going 
to order.

    "Oh, thank you." Akane sounded a little surprised, "I'll, um, have the 
steak dinner."

    "Very good choice, how would you like that cooked?" asked Tetsuo, cocking 
his head to the side inquisitively.

    "Well done please."

    "Okay, and would you like soup or salad? We have an especially good 
vegetable beef or a delightful cream of chicken tonight."

    Akane paused for a moment in thought, "I'll have the vegetable beef 
please."

    "All right, and for you Miss?" Tetsuo questioned Nabiki.

    Nabiki smiled politely, putting her arm around Ranma, "Miss-es."

    "I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were married, you look so young." Tetsuo 
seemed a little taken aback but it was quickly gone and the waiter was 
smiling brightly again.

    "What is a pasty exactly if you don't mind me asking? It sounds good but 
I'm not sure I understand what it is," said Nabiki.

    "Well, what it is basically is a meat pie. You can have it with chicken, 
pork or beef and then it has potatoes, carrots and other various extras in 
it. You can, if you want, ask for substitute ingredients," explained the 
server cheerily.

    "Hmm, I'll have that with beef please."

    "All right." Tetsuo jotted that down on his pad and turned to Kuno, "And 
what will you have, sir?"

    "I think I to shall have the steak. Well done as well, but I would like 
the cream of chicken."

    "Okay, and for the other sir?"

    "Unfortunately, my darling Ranma here can't eat anything. Only liquids. 
He hurt his throat while training." Nabiki cuddled up to the blushing Ranma, 
enjoying teasing him immensely.

    "Oh, I see, would you like something to drink then?" asked Tetsuo.

    Ranma scanned the menu momentarily, before his eyes lighted up and he 
nodded, pointing on his menu towards the end.

    "Ah, excellent choice. So, one chocolate mil-," started Tetsuo before he 
was interrupted by Ranma waving his hands in front of him.

    Ranma held up two fingers and nodded excitedly.

    "Two? All right, two chocolate milkshakes."

                --------------------

    Mousse stared out at the sea, thinking about what Ke Lun had said to him. 
*I wonder if she was serious... She's never shown me any respect before. No, 
of course she was serious. She probably thinks I'll never win Shan Pu's 
heart... Well, I'll show her.*

    Mousse clenched his fist tightly and his eyes narrowed.

    {"Mu Si? Are you okay? You look sea sick,"} said Shampoo, scrunching up 
her face as she stepped up next to him. {"If you're going to vomit warn me so 
I don't have to watch. And make sure it all goes in the ocean."}

    Mousse looked at her with tears of joy running down his cheeks, {"Oh Shan 
Pu! You do care! I knew it! Don't worry I'm not sick at all! I love you!"}

    Mousse made a move to hug Shampoo but, due to years of practice, Shampoo 
had already stomped him to the ground before his nervous system had time to 
send the message from his mind to his body that she was doing it.

                --------------------

    Despite his horrible injury, Ranma managed to force a few choice tidbits 
from Nabiki's plate down his throat. And when they hadn't been looking a few 
bites from Akane and Kuno's plate. Ranma, truly, had been serious about 
beating his father honestly in their little wager, but hadn't factored in the 
power of beef. Besides that a fifth milkshake was on it's way and the meal 
was only half over.

    Nabiki, for her part, was making up her mind that Akane's dislike of Kuno 
seemed to be very well founded. He didn't seem to know it, but he was 
extremely self involved. Currently he was talking about another Kendo 
championship and how easily he had 'vanquished' his foes. Although, Akane 
seemed mildly interested, even maybe warming up to him.

    *Time for a bathroom break,* thought Nabiki, deciding it the most polite 
way to spare herself the details. She cleared her throat and began moving 
towards the outside edge of the booth.

    Tatewaki was telling the enraptured Akane of his further exploits when 
Nabiki did her best to politely interrupt. He waited until he was at a point 
where he hoped he would be building suspense by acknowledging the girl, "So 
it came down to my self and the villainous captain of their team, who had 
been instructing his team subordinates in dirty pool... Yes, Nabiki?"

    Nabiki rolled her eyes as he continued, but decided to wait patiently 
while he finished this little part of the story.

    "Please, forgive me for interrupting, but I must excuse myself 
momentarily."

    "Of course, fair lady."

    Nabiki got up, rolling her eyes again as she turned. She almost didn't 
catch Ranma pretending to gag behind the large mouth of the silver container 
his ice cream based drink came in, but couldn't stifle the giggle.

    She shrugged at him hoping he caught her wordless apology as she headed 
for the bathroom.

    Meanwhile Akane kind of was beginning to warm up to the overbearing Kuno. 
He was overbearing in such a way that was endearing almost. Or it could have 
been that he hadn't tried to look down her dress, cop a feel, trick her into 
bending over to scope out her ass _or_ profess how much he wanted to sleep 
with her. In cruder terms or otherwise.

    It was like he wasn't a boy!

    *He almost looks like doctor Tofu, too,* she thought, a blush rising to 
her cheeks. She continued looking for other comparisons between the soft 
spoken chiropractor and the brash Kuno, only half hearing what was being said 
about purple haired harpies and blue haired harlots.

    Ranma, not privy to her thoughts, as he was no mind reader, gagged, 
thinking her to be blushing at the load of manure Kuno was prattling about.

    (Ranma could though perform a very small telepathy like trick by heating 
air under light objects with chi.)

    "And with a mighty blow was it that I finally won over the cretinous, 
Masaki! Even his foul heart, which directed him in using those horrid sirens 
to destroy the minds of many a weaker man on my team, knew my strength was 
great. For after the bout he gave proper respect to me, the victor!"

    *Sounds more to me like this Tenchi kid has some amazon supporters,* 
thought Ranma. *I'll have to ask Mousse and Shampoo about him, next time 
we're in China.* Ranma sighed. He knew Nabiki wanted to live here with her 
family, but there was so much to learn from Elder Cologne still!

                --------------------

    The sound of running water didn't deter Nabiki from the bathroom. When 
she entered, she gasped. Just inside the door was a gorgeous fountain, that 
looked straight out of a history text about ancient civilizations. The entire 
bathroom was in fact a mock jungle setting. It seemed strange, but she 
quickly decided she liked it.

    After doing her business and washing her hands she figured a few minutes 
of staring at the scenery wouldn't hurt. She marveled at some of the 
ingenuity.

    Instead of stalls, they were made up to be cave like openings that 
blended in with the painted mountain behind them.

    *That looks... familiar.*

    She dismissed it though, mountains all must look fairly similar. 
Following the wall she saw the lush forest painted on the wall and then a 
ferocious tiger.

    *Whoever painted this is magnificent.*

    Suddenly her eyes halted, locking on to a particular section of the mural.

    *No way! It can't be!*

    Bamboo poles, struck ominously out of dark waters like grave markers in a 
wholly sinister grove of springs.

    "What a CREEPY bathroom!"

                --------------------

    Nabiki power walked towards her table, intent on as politely as she could 
pulling Ranma away and back to the woman's bath room. And if politeness 
wasn't an option, to hell with it. Someone here knew the horrible secret of 
Jusenkyo. That meant, if Cologne wasn't kidding, Nabiki didn't take her for a 
kidder, that someone close to Nerima might very well be a ticking time bomb 
just waiting for the most people to be around. Meaning, her family was 
potentially in danger.

    That's why it was not surprising that she missed the transformation. A 
kid with a tiny squirt gun coupled with the nonexistent height difference in 
her two bodies and the intelligence to wear briefs at all times helped more 
then anything, of course.

    When Nabiki sat down, it became apparent that Kuno was not completely 
self involved. He paid a lot of attention to Akane too. He didn't, however, 
notice the man in a red dress sitting down until he spoke up. He was in the 
middle of his latest heart felt confession of love to Akane and far to intent 
on her to notice small details. The confession was one she had heard so many 
times she was starting to once again realize why she loathed upper classman 
Kuno.

    "It was at that moment, Akane, that I realized how much I loved you. So 
fierce in the field of battle. My heart has wept tears of joy continuously 
since I found out you were finally going to allow me the honor of-"

    "Kuno-chan, that's sweet and all, but I gotta show Ranma something. We'll 
be right back," said Nabiki, condescendingly.

    A wide eyed expression of shock on Ranma's face was matched by that of 
Akane's. However, Kuno's twitching and the 'O' shape of his mouth really took 
the cake.

    "Wh-wh-wh-who are you?!" he stumbled out in a rage.

    Nabiki was a little surprised as she finally noticed her transformation 
herself, but not totally flabbergasted, "I'm Nabiki. You're Kuno, this is 
Ranma."

    She punctuated the statement by kissing Ranma on the cheek, which in turn 
caused him to go very pale. The lack of color was contagious. In quick 
succession Akane and Kuno too lost the color from their faces. For all 
together different reasons.

    Something suddenly snapped in Ranma and he threw his arms around Nabiki's 
slight broader male shoulders, planting a kiss directly on her lips. He then 
turned back to Kuno, giggling nervelessly, "See! Nabiki! He-she's right here 
in front of you! See?" Another kiss, deeper this time. "See?" Passion raced 
from Ranma's lips into Nabiki's. "See?!"

    Now it was something rolling around in Kuno's head that decided to snap. 
The obvious male features that now rested in Nabiki's dress disappeared and 
all Kuno saw was the lovely brown haired girl he knew to be Ranma's wife.

    A note of apology entered his voice, "Yes. Nabiki. Of course. My mistake."

    The only ones that kept their sanity were Nabiki and Akane. Akane was too 
busy bemoaning her existence now that she was officially dating the most 
deluded person she had ever met to go insane.

    Nabiki, on the other hand was melting inside. Ranma had never kissed her 
when she was in her male form. He had allowed her, as a him, to give him 
quick pecks on the cheek, but nothing like this! In fact thinking back she 
couldn't remember him hugging her all that often either. He was so scared of 
doing something that wasn't manly. She hadn't realized how much that hurt her 
until now! But he was making up for all of it, the situation that caused it 
being lost in the moment, as she swooned perilously on the edge of totally 
forgetting their surroundings.

    "Oh, Ranma...," he said breathlessly, his heart aching with emotion.

    Brought crashing back to reality as suddenly as he had left it Ranma came 
up short right before he kissed his wife again. His eyes darted around like a 
trapped animal's before he locked into a gaze with the other man.

    *Those are Nabiki's eyes, Ranma!* he told himself.

    Slowly, and hesitantly, he pressed his lips briefly against Nabiki's 
again, the contact much more fleeting then it had been moments ago.

    For Nabiki too reality ruined her perfect little world. Sighing she got 
up and began dragging Ranma towards the bathroom.

    *At least it's a start...,* she thought, miserably, to herself.

    Ranma was about to ask what she was coming to see when Nabiki took a 
glass of cold water from one table and emptied it over his, now her, head. A 
cup of hot tea from another returned Nabiki to her own natural feminine state.

    "What was that for?" complained Ranma.

    "It's in the women's bathroom, what I have to show you."

    "Oh."




Author's Note (I.E. what the hell took so long!) :

Over a year, yikes... Can I be the first to say I think the year 2000 went by 
all together too fast! Okay, no, never mind. It did seem to go by like a shot 
for me though. So, it was with great shock that someone pointed out to me 
Part 5 had been posted to the FFML a YEAR ago. Gah... This has been sitting 
untouched since about midsummer last year I guess, a little over half 
complete. That little wake up call really kicked me into high gear. I think 
the very last part of this is pretty rough, so ANY help or suggestions would 
be monumentally appreciated. Heck, even flames are welcome. Gotta use 
something to heat the house out here in power and gas starved California ^_^


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