A Stray Thought

Disclaimer: Of course Ranma1/2 ain't mine. What have you been smoking? And why are you not sharing?

The course of our lives is set by the decisions we make. The life of Ranma Saotome has always been guided by the decisions of others. How would a stray thought by someone at a pivotal moment in time change the story we all know and love?

"Pick one and she will be your fiancée."

A fraction of a second is all it takes for an idea to cross the mind. Some ideas capture the mind's attention in that time. Such an idea crossed the mind of Nabiki Tendo just as she opened her mouth to pawn her sister off on the strange boy in front of them. So intense was this idea, that Nabiki was momentarily speechless. It was Kasumi picking up the conversational slack that finally goaded Nabiki into action.

"Perhaps Akane would be best father, after all, they are the same age and both practice the Art."

"It's settled then. Akane will be Ranma's new..."

"No." Nabiki interrupted, first softly, then louder. "NO!" Everyone turned to look at the normally reserved young woman.

"I will be his fiancée." The Tendo's reaction to this proclamation was as expected. Only the Tendo patriarch was silent with shock.

"Oh my, Nabiki, are you sure?"

"Nabiki! How can you want to marry a pervert like him for?"

"Hey! Who are you calling a pervert?" The boy, though currently a girl, in question finally entering the conversation.

"You saw me naked!"

"You walked in on me!"

"It's different when a girl sees a guy!"

"Really? Then its ok, after all, I've seen myself plenty of times. And I'm better built to boot." The resulting table to the redhead's skull pretty much ending the conversation.

"Now that, he had coming." Intoned the elder Saotome.

Ranma awoke to the feeling of a damp cloth upon his forehead. With a groan he opened his eyes.

"Oh! You're awake. Sorry about Akane, she really is a sweet girl, if a violent maniac."

"Oh that makes a lot of sense Kasumi." Said the girl whose hand now held the damp cloth. Less then an hour before, no one had been more surprised at her proclamation then the middle Tendo. The idea, the thought that caused it, though strong and pervasive at the time, was just a fleeting as soon as she made her announcement. To make matters worse, she could not even remember what it was. For a person who prided themselves on their memory, this was very disconcerting. Never one to back out of an agreement she had made, especially considering her line of work, Nabiki fully intended to honor the agreement. If it was viable that is. She needed to know more about her erstwhile fiancée.

Nabiki's train of thought was interrupted by Ranma standing up and heading towards the door. Quickly deciding that there was no time like the present, she called out to the neo-girl.

"Ranma, wait."

Ranma turned and looked at the girl, curiosity evident on her face.

"We need to talk."

"K" Ranma turned to leave once more.

"Where are you going?"

"To go change." Ranma replied, confusion obvious upon her face. It was obvious to Nabiki that Ranma was uncomfortable as a girl. It also seemed apparent that a cure was not going to manifest in the near future. The boy would probably change genders for the rest of his life. Nabiki quickly made another decision.

"I said we needed to talk. I meant now, not later. Besides, I need to get used to it."

Once Ranma was seated in front of her, Nabiki began to subtly ask pointed questions, using every information gathering skill she possessed. So subtle was she that the normally tight-lipped Ranma quickly divulged everything. Within a few hours, both Nabiki and Kasumi (who never left the room), knew about the Neko-ken, the Amazons, everything. Down in the living room, Genma shuddered and wondered why his danger sense was going wild.

Once Ranma was finished, Kasumi took up the narrative. In short order Ranma knew the history of the Tendos. Nabiki was surprised by how much about her "extracurricular" activities Kasumi knew about.

As they prepared for bed that night, both Nabiki and Ranma knew one thing. Though different as night and day, both teens knew they had found a true friend.


Author's Note: For now this is a one-shot. If I continue this I would take it in the same sort of direction as Cloud Dreamer's Lonely Match. Just maybe without the pocket stuff. I like what she has done and believe her to be one of the premier R/N writers out there. I just wish she would write more.