Well, Midnight Sun, I'm answering your challenge (you *really* should have listed more conditions ^_^ )

Ranma 1/2
'Can't you see that I love you?'

It was a rough and somber day for the Tendous.

So little had they actually done that day, yet they were all exhausted, both physically, and even more so, emotionally. Mrs. Tendou had been laid to rest earlier; a mother, a wife, one of the most important parts of the lives of four people.

Kasumi had been one to retire to her room for the night. Her father had been so utterly crushed, yet he had put on a strong front for his daughters. He had been the first to go to his room, and the girls had heard him cry for hours before he went to sleep.

Akane didn't quite comprehend that their mother was never returning, allowing her innocense to keep her nightly routine together, and going to bed at the time their mother always commanded them to. Kasumi thought that Akane may have believed that if she was a good girl, their mother would return.

Kasumi hadn't seen much of Nabiki, as she was the second one to bed. As much as Kasumi and her father grieved, the ten-year old girl worried about Nabiki most. She was very close to mother, always vying for her attention, making sure she had good grades in school, even attempting to learn to cook. In fact, she had become rather competitive with Kasumi, even though the preparation of meals seemed to come natural to her. Nabiki would probably be the one that hurt the most from this ordeal, and Kasumi resolved that she would be there for Nabiki, maybe even take over where mother had left off.

The young girl was cut off from her musings, as the door to her room was opened as quietly as it could be. At first, Kasumi thought it was her father, checking up on her, and was surprised when Nabiki poked her head through the slight opening.


Finding herself discovered by an awake Kasumi, a seven-year old Nabiki timidly entered her sister's room. She stood before Kasumi in her pajamas, softly shifting on her feet as if trying to find what she wanted to say. Finally, after a few moments of silence, Kasumi spoke again, "What's wrong?"

Nabiki's face grew from meek to forlorned and despairing, "Daddy wouldn't tell me."

"Tell you what?" Kasumi sat up in her bed, and put her feet onto the floor beside it.

"Why mommy had to die."

Kasumi felt as if a deep despair tried to rip itself from the pit of her stomach, as a comforting buildup at the bridge of her nose made itself known; a signal that she needed very much to cry. Kasumi steeled herself, forcing her own emotions down to a managable level, before replying, "God called for mommy, and she had to go." Though Soun wasn't a Christian, his wife was. The Tendou Patriarch did not put up a dissagreement towards his wife teaching their daughters, as long as they learned of his Shinto-Buddhist faith. Kasumi and Nabiki favored their mother's religion more.

"Why did God call for her?" Nabiki's face was sullen in resentment from having her mother taken from her, and demanded full answers to her questions.

Kasumi could only shake her head, as renagade tears streaked down her cheeks; having escaped the prison of her eyes. "I don't know," the older girl whispered, before choking off into a sob.

"But what if God calls for Daddy or you, or even Akane, even though I don't care about her or anything," Nabiki's youthful, yet mecurial face, once again morphed, this time into a childish, but valid fear.

"I..." Kasumi almost broke down, but barely managed to keep herself speaking, "I don't know." Kasumi bowed her head, while trying to still the shudders from her chest.

Nabiki noticed her sister silently crying, though trying to hide it, and started to cry, herself, "Promise you won't leave me."

Kasumi allowed reddening eyes to look up, as her sister, upon hearing her slightly sobbing plea. She remembered the promise she had just made to herself; about always being there for her sister, "I promise."

Nabiki seemed somewhat placated, as her tears had stopped. Nonetheless, she was far from comforted, "Can I stay with you?"

Kasumi didn't even bother to consider it; she felt like she needed the company, herself. She nodded, before shifting back into bed. Nabiki quickly entered Kasumi's bed with her sister, facing away from Kasumi. Even though it was slightly crowded, they both managed to make themselves comfortable.

they both lay in the silent darkness; only their measured breaths seeming to remind one other of their presence.

"You promise you won't leave me?"

Kasumi felt the need to wrap her arm around Nabiki, "I promise. I will never leave you alone."

Nabiki turned over, and looked into Kasumi's eyes, as if making sure she was telling the truth. After a moment's time, a slight smile crossed the younger girl's face. Nabiki suddenly shifted forward, and kissed Kasumi on the lips, like she had seen their father do many times to their mother, "Remember, you promised."

Kasumi blinked, not sure what to make of the kiss. After an instance of thought, the elder girl decided it was harmless, and smiled, before replying.

"I know."

Nine years later...

Kasumi panicked.

The almost unexpected visit and surprise provided her with an escape, but Nabiki had quickly spoken up. Looking to her left, Kasumi decided to interject before Akane made her rebuke.

"I'll accept the engagement..."

The young red-headed girl turned to Kasumi with a slightly surprised expression. Akane's retort to the situation caught in her throat, and she turned to her eldest sister with a look of shock. Kasumi made her best not to look to Nabiki, but could tell her other sister was staring hard at her.

"Kasumi! You're not serious!" Akane almost bellowed, "She... he's a JERK! You can do much better than him!"

"HEY!" Ranma exclaimed, rather irked still at the misunderstanding and situation she was in.

"It's family duty," Kasumi replied timidly, "One of us will have to take it..." Kasumi stood, and faced the Saotomes, "I welcome you into our home, but I have a few things I must finish up for the evening." Kasumi gave a deep bow, and left the room. Ranma and Nabiki's eyes followed the eldest sister's departure; the former with a puzzled, but somewhat concerned look, the latter with a displeased frown and hardened eyes.

"You didn't have to accept, you know I would have gotten us out of it..."

Kasumi jolted from the book she was reading, as she lay on her bed, "N-Nabiki... I didn't hear you..."

Nabiki waved her sister's reply off, as she walked to Kasumi in her sheer emerald green bed gown, and sat down on the bed near her older sister, "Don't worry, I'll make sure Daddy doesn't have you married off to that idiot. I'll even guarentee it. Besides," Nabiki gave Kasumi a slight smirk, "Akane probably wants him, anyway, and is trying to hide the fact."

"I... I'm doing it for our family honor," Kasumi replied, though not convincingly, even to herself.

Nabiki seemed to miss it, and took her sister's rebuke at face value. "I won't let Ranma take you away, Kasumi," Nabiki stated adimantly, as she leaned onto her hand that was placed near Kasumi's stomach. The older girl shrinked away, and looked towards Nabiki with nervous eyes.

"Please... there are guests here tonight, and..." Kasumi leaned tighter into her bed, as Nabiki's smirking face moved intimitely closer, hovered above her sister's.

"Don't worry, we'll just have to be quiet, tonight..." Nabiki's hungry grin sent shivers through Kasumi; shivers the older girl was ashamed, and even frightened deeply of.

"But... but this isn't right," Kasumi whispered, trying to convince her sister for the umpteenth time.

Nabiki wouldn't have any of it, as she finally leaned down the rest of the distance, and captured her sister's lips. Nabiki pulled back, and saw the tear escaping from Kasumi's right eye. "Shhh, don't cry," Nabiki cooed, once again leaning down. This time, she licked the tear from Kasumi's cheek, before shifting over to meet the other girl's eyes. Without removing her gaze, and holding Kasumi's own on her, Nabiki gently slipped into bed with Kasumi, and carefully started to slide the older girl's nightgown up...