A/N: OMG an update! Sorry, life hasn't been kind and I haven't been able to get writing done. I'm hoping to get back into it and not go another year and a half without updating anything. (And thanks to the anonymous contributor who asked if everything was okay― that meant more than you can ever know.)

So, new chapter…

Ukyo hefted a box through the doorway and plopped it down with a thud. Thankfully, her food supplier delivered; otherwise, she'd be trekking twenty blocks and spending fifteen minutes on a train with a stack of boxes. Three times per trip. The thought was enough to make her shudder.

Konatsu slipped out from around a corner, popped the box open, and carried away several of the packages inside. Ukyo grabbed a few herself and followed, only to stop, stare, and sigh.


"Yes, Ukyo-sama?"

"You're putting everything in the wrong spot. The meat needs refrigerated and the noodles go on the shelves."

The kunoichi jumped and dropped to the floor in a bow. "I'm so sorry, Ukyo-sama!" he cried. "I'll fix it right away!"

Ukyo massaged her temples. "Get off of the floor, Konatsu, it's not a big deal. I'll help."

She opened the refrigerator, placed her own parcels in it, and began taking items off of the shelves to relocate. Konatsu retrieved the misplaced bags of noodles from the refrigerator and stuffed them on the shelves. Within a few minutes, everything was back in its normal place. Ukyo turned to continue unloading the box, then paused, imagining Konatsu alone in the kitchen again.

"Konatsu? Grab the rest of the stuff in the box. I'll tell you where it goes."

He rushed out of sight and returned, the contents of the entire box balanced on his arms. Her mouth dropped open at the sight, and, fearing he was moments from dropping all of it on the floor, rushed to pluck the parcels and find room for them. She breathed a sigh of relief as the last one was put away.

"Thank the Kami that's the last box," she muttered, sitting on the floor. Konatsu sat a few feet away.

"Ukyo-sama? May I ask you a question?"


"Are you in love with Miss Akane?"

Ukyo blinked and slowly turned to face him. "How are my feelings for Akane any of your business?"

He cowered. "I'm sorry, Ukyo-sama! I just wondered because…"

She waited for him to finish, but he didn't. "Because why?"

"I wondered because… well, when you were interested in Ranma, I thought you cared more for him than me because you wanted someone that was more manly than I am. But then, you started your current relationship with Akane, who is a woman. I don't understand why you care for both of them but not for me."

"Ah, geez, Konatsu, you make it sound like I hate you or something. And Akane isn't… what even makes you think stuff is going on between me and Akane?"

"She spends the night in your bedroom so often, and the noises you two make when you're alone are loud enough to be heard in the alley."

Her face flashed every shade of red in the visible spectrum. She buried her face in her hands. "It's… it's not some romance. We're like friends with benefits, okay? It helps us both get past Ranma. It's nice to be curled up next to naked flesh from time to time."

"Oh… I see."

The sadness dripped from his voice. She turned a sympathetic eye. "I haven't been thinking about relationships since Ranma turned me down. I don't like or not like anybody in particular. I just haven't thought about it."

He brightened a bit. "I see."

She took a breath. She knew what she wanted to say, but needed to be sure she said it the right way. "To answer your earlier question, about manly or not manly… I like boys and girls, and I really get into people who, ah…" She turned away. "…blur the line. Like Ranma when he was a girl but still acted like a guy, or Akane, who has a real tomboy streak, even when she's trying her best to be girly."

He picked at the women's clothes he was wearing. "Blur the line? So you like the way I…"

She sprang to her feet, cutting him off. "C'mon, Konatsu. We need to sweep up the dining room. We open for lunch in an hour." She started to rush out of the room, but stopped as she felt him embrace her from behind.

"Ukyo-sama," he whispered, "I'll be waiting for you, whenever you're ready."

Goosebumps popped up on her arms at the feeling of his embrace, even more so from his breath landing on her neck, and especially from the very excited part of him she could feel pressing against her rear. She wasn't about to admit it, but she'd often felt ashamed of the thoughts she'd had about him while considering herself devoted to Ranma. If he'd ever been bold enough to make a pass at her, she had no doubt her interest in Ranma would've disappeared in an instant.

"From now on," she said, "don't be shy about hugging me. I won't hit you like I used to."

Ranma sat on the steps of the dojo, a girl. She was wearing an undershirt and one of Nabiki's bikini bottoms, holding a garden hose without a nozzle and was soaking herself with the very cold water coming out of it. It was only late March; temperatures were about ten degrees above average thanks to some nice weather, but the highs were still barely scraping 70F― hardly the kind of weather for water play! But, she'd promised Nabiki she'd model for her. Besides, their last modeling session had been girl pics, then guy pics, then pics of them making out, and that had turned into some of the hottest sex they'd had. She was definitely hoping for more.

And, on top of all of that, she'd just taken the second round of university exams, this time for the University of Tōkyō, and welcomed any distraction available.

Nabiki stood a few feet away, clicking away with her camera. "Good. Look sexy for me. Perfect."

Click! Click! Click!

"Perfect. Okay, now face the other way so I can get some shots of your ass. Kneel down, I think. With your head turned so you're looking over your shoulder at me. "

Ranma stood up, turned around, and knelt in a pose.

"Good, but give me the hose for a sec. The back of your shirt's mostly dry."

"Ugh." She did as commanded, and Nabiki took the hose, dousing the redhead's back. Ranma cringed. "Geez, Nabiki," she whined, "ain't I wet enough? That water is freezing!"

Nabiki handed her the hose. "Now you are." She stepped back and started snapping pictures. "Okay, be sexy again. Good."

Click! Click! Click!

"Put the hose over your shoulder."

Ranma shuddered and did as she was told, shaking as the cold water hit her skin. "I will be so glad when I'm done with this."

"Aw, come on," Nabiki teased from behind the camera, "you're the martial artist here. You've faced weather of all kinds. Training in ice and snow. Camping in winter. Don't tell me you can't handle a little hose water. Now look sexy for the camera. Smolder for me."

Ranma posed again, and the camera clicked a few more times. "It ain't just because it's hose water," Ranma said. "It's freezing cold and the air's cold."

"Or it's not so bad, and you're just being a wuss."

Ranma flicked the hose in Nabiki's direction and sent a blast of water at her. Nabiki jumped and held the camera above her head as the spray hit her belly and the front of her jeans.

She stared daggers at Ranma as she attempted to sidestep the hose without making any sudden movements that may cause her to drop her precious equipment. "Ranma," she growled, "I swear to the Kami if you get this camera wet…"

"Aw, relax, I'm being careful. But come on, you gotta feel it. The water's frickin' cold. Told ya." She set the hose down and went back to posing.

"Oh, it is not," Nabiki retorted, bringing the camera down to snap more pictures. "It's actually a little refreshing. You're just being a crybaby. If I'd wanted you to look like a baby in these pictures, I would've given you a rattle to hold."

"Oh, I'm a baby now, huh?"

Nabiki shrugged and snapped a few more pictures. "Yeah, but not any more than usual."

Ranma snapped a hand out, grabbed the waist of Nabiki's jeans, and stuffed the hose inside. The girl yelped, but with both hands holding the camera, she couldn't get away. She tried desperately to squirm loose, but Ranma's grip was too strong to escape. The camera's case was too far away to reach, and without it, she was stuck holding the device out of harm's way while at the mercy of her fiancé― there were no means of prying Ranma's hand loose. The redhead laughed uproariously while an irritated Nabiki struggled against her.

"Kami! Ranma! Get that fucking hose out of―"

Ranma was laughing so hard she was close to tears. "Admit it, it's cold!"

Nabiki was quickly becoming soaked from the waist down, and her knees were starting to shake from the temperature. "Ranma," she said, trying to sound threatening through chattering teeth, "if you do not get rid of the hose I swear I am never having sex with you again."

"Now who's the crybaby?" Ranma gave her a smirk that made her want to strangle her fiancé. "C'mon, say it. It's cold."

"Ranma…" She tried to step backward without success, only managing to scoot her feet back until she almost lost her balance.

"Say I ain't a crybaby."

She glared, then rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Fine, it's cold! I'm numb from my belly button to my knees! I'm so numb in the middle I probably won't feel sex for a month! Are you happy?"

Ranma nonchalantly pulled the hose out and went back to posing. "It's fun to be right."

Nabiki shook a leg, sending water splattering to the ground. There wasn't an inch of her jeans that remained dry. Her glare returned. "I'm gonna frickin' kill you for that. I'm soaked to the skin."

"What's it matter? You're supposed to pose next."

"I was going to change my clothes first and you know that! This shirt…" She poked at her top, then shrugged. "Eh, I guess it'll work. But now I need to use the tripod for the next roll." She snapped one last picture, and started winding the camera.

"Whaddaya need the tripod for? I thought I was gonna take the pictures. Didn't the pictures come out okay last time?"

"Yeah, yeah, your camera work's fine. But these picture sets were supposed to start off dry and work from there. Since I'm starting out half-soaked, we need to mime some kind of plot into the pictures to explain it. We'll have to get some pics of you spraying me or something."

She set about getting the camera on the tripod, a task that would've been easier if she weren't wracked by the occasional shiver. She poked at its controls to get its timer working. Finally, with everything on the technical end ready to go, she wriggled out of her bra, all the while muttering how lucky Ranma was that it hadn't gotten wet, and how she would've made the girl wear it for a week if it had.

"Alright," she announced. "Once I hit the button, it's going to start the timer. It takes a picture every ten seconds, and beeps a second before the picture takes. Wasted film costs money, so stay ready the whole time. There are 36 pictures on the roll. We'll do a whole roll together; then, you get to take the camera and get me by myself for another roll. Act like you're attacking me with the hose. Start where I'm already wet."

"So basically what I just did for real?"

If looks could kill, Ranma would've exploded into a fine mist. "After a few pics like that, start going for the rest of me. Boobs and hair are what need water the most, and try not to nail me in the face and make me completely incoherent in the next picture. Let's get to it."

Ranma readied the hose. Nabiki pushed a button on the camera and raced to where the camera was aimed, and they set about posing for the pictures. With the quick pace required by the timer, there wasn't much talking, but their poses worked out okay. A dozen pictures in, Nabiki was as wet as Ranma and showing her boobs off for the camera. She turned to face Ranma.

"We need to get grabby for the camera," she said. "Follow my lead." Without further warning, she grabbed Ranma's breasts through her shirt and started rubbing her nipples with her thumbs. Ranma jumped, then closed her eyes and let out a soft groan.

"That feels really good."

"So grab something and make a good picture out of it."

Ranma gave Nabiki's butt a squeeze. The camera beeped and clicked. Nabiki immediately put her lips to Ranma's neck, and the redhead groaned louder.

"Nabiki, not trying to be weird, because we never do stuff when I'm a girl, but you're seriously gonna get me off if you keep that up…"

"Just make sure the camera sees what you're feeling."

As Nabiki kept going, the tension inside Ranma kept building. It was a feeling she'd experienced plenty of times as a boy doing the five-finger shuffle, but somehow, as a girl, it was a lot stronger. In a flash, it reached its peak. She tensed and let out a gasp, clenching her hands in fists as the wave of pleasure washed over her. The camera clicked just in time to capture it, and after it did, Nabiki crushed their lips together, leading to a string of pictures of the two girls passionately making out. They broke the kiss and posed for the last few pictures, a few intimate shots of them holding each other, until the camera stopped.

"That's all of the pictures," Nabiki said, oddly calm and composed. "Let me get another roll in the camera, and you can start the handheld stuff."

"Kami… we just made out as girls… That was the greatest thing ever!"

"Good for the pocketbook, too." She chuckled. "Those pictures are going to make a mint! I guess your jackassery worked out after all."

Ranma pulled back and took a step toward the house. "I'm going to get some hot water," she gushed. "And after we're done with the rest of the pictures, I'm gonna be all over you! I'm gonna pay you back for that, I swear!"

She raced off toward the house. Nabiki started to protest, but her fiancé was already gone. She wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. "Just gotta keep me waiting," she muttered. "Damn, this water is cold. I hate it when he's right."

Ukyo and Akane lay tangled up on Ukyo's futon, sans clothes. Ukyo tossed an arm over her lover, and Akane nuzzled her neck. They kissed, and Ukyo gave her a serious look.

"Akane, I know we've talked about this a little bit before, but… what we're doing isn't going to last forever, right? You aren't, y'know, in love with me or anything?"

Akane looked confused. "No, I thought we were just having fun. Why? Are you feeling something like that?"

"No. Not that I don't like spending time with you or anything, but… I'm thinking eventually we're both going to want something permanent. And I think I want to get a little closer to Konatsu. We had a talk, and things are getting a little touchy-feely. I just wanted to make sure you wouldn't be upset if something happened."

"Oh, no, of course not! I expected this would end when one of us got in a real relationship. Where is Konatsu, anyway? I haven't heard him."

"Errands. I don't think he has a problem with me and you, though. He was just all mopey thinking we were in love and going to run off together. But still, I thought I'd save him from it."

"You guys really talked about all of this?"

"A little bit. I didn't make any love confessions or anything. Just set his mind at ease. Made sure he knows he's on the radar without actually starting anything."

"Oh, okay." She drew a circle on Ukyo's arm with her finger. "Nah, the only thing that ever worried me is having to sit around not getting any action for a while if you get in a relationship first. It would really suck to go from this to not touching anybody."

Ukyo gave her a kiss. "Don't worry. I want to overlap things. Ease into it. I don't think Konatsu will mind. If anything, now that he's not worried about the love part, maybe he'll get off on thinking of us fooling around."

Akane giggled, then shifted uncomfortably. "There is something I've been thinking of. If we both go and get married, raise families and all of that, do you think we can still have a little fun together? Just from time to time? If I marry a man, it would be nice to play with a woman once in a while."

"I sure hope so. I don't know how Konatsu would feel. Or whoever you end up dating. But I definitely want to."

Akane reddened a bit in embarrassment. "I have an idea about that. I thought of it a while ago. Men like three-ways. Guys always talk about how bad they want to be with two girls at once. So maybe I can do a little with whoever you marry, and you can spend some time with me and whoever I marry, and everyone will be okay with it because they're getting something out of it."

"Can you imagine if we got with men who were okay with being around other men? Konatsu and another guy…"

Akane closed her eyes and pictured it, letting out a slow breath. "Kami, yes. I won't lie, Konatsu's hot. I fantasize about the three of us a lot. But two men… Okay. Now I'm horny again."

"Me too." She climbed on top of Akane and put her lips to her neck.

Kasumi held up a blouse, frowned at her reflection, held up another, and nodded. She was putting a lot of thought into what she was wearing, even though she was sure she didn't have to. It was an odd struggle in her mind: she knew Tofu's feelings, and knew nothing could possibly go wrong, but she still worried. Of course, it was hardly a brand new relationship― they'd been dating for over two months. Still, for someone with no dating experience before those two months, it was new enough to make her overthink every last detail.

She set down her chosen top, turned to her closet, and smiled a naughty smile as she retrieved a pair of jeans, originally bought on the shopping trip that had made it all happen. She'd only worn the newer outfits on a couple of their dates so far― he seemed nervous enough without that kind of distraction. But with time, he was slowly acting more comfortable around her, and at the same time, she wanted to be sure they became comfortable with each other physically before they reached their wedding night. Even if she insisted upon waiting for marriage to lose her virginity, it didn't mean she wasn't hoping for a little over-the-clothes action in the meantime.

She wasn't a nun, after all.

She quickly shed the robe she'd donned after her bath and set about getting dressed. Aside from the outerwear, she'd bought some fairly naughty underwear while on her shopping trip. Sure, he wasn't going to see it, but wearing it made her feel sexy. That was something every date had in common― everything under her clothes was always selected from her mall trip collection.

She finished getting dressed, having to jump up and down to squeeze herself into her jeans, and finished off the look with a spritz of perfume and some modest jewelry. She took one last look in the mirror, smiled with satisfaction, and headed downstairs.

It was only a few minutes before the bell outside rang. Her nerves jumping into overdrive, she headed for the door, finding the smiling doctor outside. She stepped out and closed the door behind her, grinning a bit as she noticed his eyes widen as he took in her appearance.

"Wow," he said, "you look very nice, Kasumi."

"Thank you, Tofu," she replied with a sweet smile. She rather enjoyed being familiar enough with the doctor to refer to him without a title. She took his arm. "Shall we go?"

Ranma, now a man, sat with Nabiki on the bank of the river near the Tendo house. He skipped a stone across the water; she tossed one and watched it sink without a single hop. She plucked a french fry out of the WacDnlds bag sitting between them, while he sucked up some of his soda.

"You think Akane and Ukyo are doing the nasty right now?"

He choked on his drink, ending up in a coughing fit. "Ew!" he coughed. "I don't wanna know! Why would you ask me that?!"

"I knew it would make you react like that. And think about it. She left before we started taking pictures and still wasn't back when we left. Where else would she go for hours at a time?"

"Don't know and don't want to. Never thought two girls doing it would gross me out, but…"

She fixed him in a gaze for a few seconds, then went back to unsuccessfully skipping stones. "How do you think you did on the Tōkyō U exams?"

He slumped. "I dunno. I mean, a big part of the exam score is supposed to come from the English part, and I worked really hard on English, but still. I was nervous before, during, and after. Same with the national exam."

"Yeah, but you compared your answers from the national exam with the answer list they released, and from our math, you did good. You should be fine."

"Won't know for sure until I get the actual scores. And Tōkyō U doesn't release their answers, so I have no idea about that one."

She gave his arm a reassuring rub. "I bet you did really good. Besides, something like half of Tōkyō U students spent at least one year as a rōnin, so even if you didn't pass you're still in the norm to try again later."

"Yeah, I guess. But I'll be pretty pissed if I don't pass. I went at it like a martial arts challenge, and I've never failed a martial arts challenge in my life."

"It isn't failing if you don't pass the first time; it's failing if you never pass at all."

He grunted in reply.

"You know what you need? A distraction. Let's find something fun to do." She looked around, stood up, and motioned toward the river. "Come on. Let's go swimming."

He looked at her like she'd grown a third boob. "Are you nuts? It's March! Didn't you freeze enough earlier?"

"Oh, it's wasn't so bad. I want to take advantage of the nice weather. Most years it doesn't get this warm for another month and I don't make it to the nearest beach until a couple more months after that. It's worth being chilly to get to swim this time of year. Now come on, strip down to your shirt and boxers and let's go."

"Ugh. Fine. If you really want to that bad." He started to take his shirt off, and stopped. "Wait, what are you gonna wear?"

She motioned to her body. "I still have on my clothes from earlier. Already wet."

He blinked. "Why have you been walking around like that?"

"Well for starters, everything spent a couple of hours on the line, because we were naked in bed the whole time between finishing the pictures and leaving to come here. It's only damp now."

He grinned dumbly at the memory of their earlier activities.

"And second, changing would mean more laundry for Kasumi to do. I'm trying to help with the chores so she has time for dating, but I can't figure out laundry to save my life, so I try to ease the workload. After all, she and Tofu are on a date right now." She stepped out of her shoes. "Now quit stalling."

She started walking toward the water without another word, stepping unsteadily on the rocky shore. She stepped gingerly into the water, pausing to grimace at the temperature, and starting wading out. Ranma tossed his clothes down and stepped to the water's edge, shaking his head the whole time. Ankle deep, he reached down and tossed water onto his face, and felt the change in his body. Now a girl, she took another step and stopped, watching Nabiki inching out.

"This water ain't remotely warm, you know. It's not too late to skip it."

Nabiki stopped, standing at hip depth. "It is for me. Besides, it's not bad. You just have to get used to it." She fell backward into the water, then surfaced, jumping around and hugging herself from the cold. The pained expression on her face told Ranma exactly how not nice the water felt.

Ranma laughed. "Not bad, my ass."

"Get out here and keep me warm already!"

Ranma rolled her eyes and swam out to her, surfacing and standing with her. Nabiki glomped onto her.

"Much better. You're always warm."

"We'd be a lot warmer if we weren't in the river! Why the hell did you want to do this?"

Nabiki didn't answer. After a second of silence, she put her face to Ranma's and gave her a kiss, slipping her tongue into it. In the past, their kissing while Ranma was female was always limited to quick moments of affection, but after their earlier antics, Ranma wasn't afraid to let her hands roam. She gave Nabiki's butt a squeeze, and to her surprise, she felt Nabiki return the gesture. A second later, she jumped as Nabiki's hands started gently rubbing her breasts. She broke the kiss.

"Nabiki? You're gonna do this when there ain't a camera around?"

Rather than answer, Nabiki put her lips to her neck, making the redhead shudder. She returned Nabiki's gesture of sensually rubbing her breasts.

"Why are you touching me like this when I'm a girl? We never fool around when I'm a girl. I thought earlier was just for the camera."

Nabiki let a hand slide down from Ranma's breasts, down the girl's belly, and into the front of her boxers. Her fingers slipped into a very sensitive area― a place that wasn't there when the redhead was a guy. Ranma nearly jumped out of her skin.


She looked around frantically, worried about being seen, but they were in a blind spot. She tried to back away, but Nabiki had her hooked like a fish.

"Nabiki! What the hell are you doing?!"

Nabiki finally stopped her neck kissing, leaning back and sliding her free hand down to Ranma's butt. "I've always wondered what it's like to mess around with another girl. I never really thought about it seriously, but seeing Ukyo and Akane got me thinking. And since you can be a girl with a little cold water, I dragged you out here into the river where there's a lot of cold water. That's why I suggested this in the first place."

"You couldn't just turn me into a girl some other way?"

"And how else was I supposed to be smooth about it? 'Oh, hey, Ranma, turn into a girl for a sec, just because.'" She made a faux-ditzy motion of pouring a cup of something. "'Oh, whoops, I just spilled my drink and turned you into a girl. Let's kiss.' See?"

Ranma rolled her eyes. "Alright, I get that, but why didn't you just make a move earlier when I was already a girl?"

Nabiki's gaze turned frosty. "You ran off too fast and totally ruined it, you putz! The whole reason I put that photo shoot together was for an excuse for us to make out." She giggled. "Though your hose attack gave me a good excuse to get you in the pictures with me, so thanks for that."

Ranma stared as she realized what she'd disrupted. "Whoops."

"You really can be dense, you know that?"

Ranma shrugged in reply.

"Yeah, well, now you know what I'm doing." She reached her free hand down and unbuttoned her jeans. "So give me your hand."

They lay on their backs on the shore, Nabiki being nonchalant while Ranma panted from exhaustion, looking amazed.

"That… was… awesome! It feels way better as a girl! That was the best thing I ever felt in my whole life!"

Nabiki glanced her way. "You never touch yourself as a girl?"

She turned embarrassed. "I couldn't figure out what to do."

Nabiki stared for a moment, then burst into laughter. "You sure figured it out at some point! You have my body mapped out wonderfully!"

"Heh. Thanks. That was from you telling me how to move. So, uh… what did you think of it? The girl stuff we just did?"

"Eh." She sat up. "Not my cup of tea. Not worth getting in that freezing river for, honestly. Or walking around in wet clothes for an hour beforehand." She chuckled. "That's the real reason I kept the same clothes. I thought about wearing a two-piece under fresh clothes, but I was afraid you'd feel it. You grab my ass a lot."

"So what were you gonna do if I hadn't got you with the hose in the first place?"

"The plan was to do this at the photo shoot, remember? I came up with this part later. The original plan had me pouncing on you in a wet shirt and the bottom half of a bikini. Something you would've really liked."

"Still got to see the shirt." She sat up and slid behind her fiancée, holding her. "Here, lemme keep you warm. It's the least I can do after that." She thought for a second. "I'm kinda surprised I didn't notice you had the same clothes on all this time."

"Blame being in a trance from us making out as girls earlier. You also didn't notice I was damp. Or not wearing a bra."

Ranma reached around and squeezed her boobs. "Heh. Really surprised I missed that."

She slid Nabiki's shirt up for a feel of her bare globes, and the girl squirmed with pleasure. "Oh, that feels really good."

"You ain't the only one liking it. Sorry you didn't like the other stuff as much. You went to a lot of trouble for me."

Nabiki nuzzled into her. "Oh, it wasn't just for you. I really wanted to satisfy my curiosity. And it really wasn't terrible. If you liked it, we can still do it from time to time. Especially for the camera. Just don't expect the kind of groping Akane and Ukyo do."

"Ew! Ew! Stop mentioning them! Gross."

"What," she asked teasingly, "you mean Ukyo doing the same stuff to my sister that you just did to me? You don't want to picture that?"


"Aw, come on, you're not picturing them fondling each other's boobs while you're squeezing mine?"

She turned and started poking Ranma's breast for emphasis, and in a flash, found herself picked up and thrown over the redhead's shoulder. Ranma started carrying her toward the water. "I know what'll shut you up."

"Don't you dare!"

Ranma reached the edge of the river, gave her a toss, and raced away, laughing as a dripping Nabiki struggled out of the water and came after her.

Ukyo gazed out over the park where she and Konatsu had stopped for a break. They'd gone together for a few errands, and they still had an hour until they had to open the restaurant for the lunch rush. Their trip demonstrated one of the gradual changes in things between them― when she'd been chasing Ranma, Konatsu was dragged along on errands simply to help carry things. Since she'd given up on Ranma, the demeanor on such ventures had turned friendly. She was finally seeing him as an equal.

She felt warmth at her back and leaned back as Konatsu gently put his arms around her waist. It was a gesture that had become common since their talk at the restaurant, accompanied by frequent hugs. She was rather happy at the pace at which things were progressing― Konatsu seemed predisposed to rushing into grandiose declarations of feelings, so it was good to know he was capable of keeping a slow pace.

"Konatsu," she purred, "I really like it when you hold me like this. In case you didn't know."

"I'm very glad, Ukyo-sama."

"Quit with the 'sama' stuff, Konatsu. We're closer than that."

"Do you consider us close?"

She turned her head to look at him. "Well, yeah. I wouldn't want you to hold me like this if I didn't."

Excitement flashed in his eyes, and he leaned forward to give her a quick, awkward kiss. His expression turned embarrassed. "Sorry," he muttered.

She looked at him, not entirely believing he could be so shy as to apologize for kissing her. Rolling her eyes, she leaned forward and kissed him, much more confidently than he'd managed. She pulled back and blushed slightly, her heart pounding despite all of the time she'd already known him. He squeezed her tight.

"Ukyo, does this mean you truly accept my love? Are we really… together?"

She gave his shoulder a gentle rub. "Can we not worry about labels? Things get way more complicated if you worry about what to call everything. I like being with you, I like you touching me, and I like it when we kiss. That's all you need to think about."

He deflated a bit. "Do you not want to say we're a couple, because you want to keep seeing Miss Akane?"

"Konatsu, what did I tell you about that? I'm not in love with Akane. Look… you're thinking about this all wrong. You're a man. You like women. So like every other straight man out there, you like the thought of two women doing things together, right?"

"Ah… yes." She could feel the embarrassment radiating off of him.

"So concentrate on that instead of the romantic stuff. Think of the things me and Akane do together. Naked things. In bed. Touching. Kissing. And not the in-love kind of kissing, the kind people do when they're getting it on. Just picture it."

He didn't say anything, but a growing pressure against her hips told her he was definitely picturing something he enjoyed. A slight smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.

"You see? Surely the thought of the girl you like doing things with another girl is sexy."

"I hadn't thought of it like that."

"Yeah, well… now you will."

A/N: I'll put this bluntly: part of what gives me writers block is the fact that I hate the other two stories I have open. To give an update on those: I'm going to end Chill Pill, but I don't want to simply mark it as finished where it stands, so I'm going to put out one last chapter. I'm working on that already. As for Who Hates Boys, that one is going to get deleted and reuploaded with significant changes to some of the early chapters. I wish I could give you a timeline on that stuff, but, well… hopefully my readers have learned not to keep me to any kind of schedule. There's a reason I don't write for a living (^_^)