Chapter 2 - The Tease.
Nanami jerked awake with a gasp and a whimper, and clapped her free hand to her mouth as she groaned. Blinking the sweat that dripped into her eyes away, she gulped in huge breaths of air and prayed fervently to any gods listening that Nabiki was asleep.
"Interesting dreams?" Nabiki's voice floated out of the darkness, sounding amused.
There is no god, Nanami thought to herself miserably. While no prude, having someone else you don't really know listen to you was definitely distressing.
"Not bad," she panted in response. A chuckle reached her ears, followed by rustling bed sheets. She could imagine Nabiki turning to face her position easily.
"You've been at it for
an hour and a half now," the older teen said. Nanami boggled. An
hour and a half!? "I'm surprised you haven't woken up before, in
"So," she commented to the darkness at large. "You're a lesbian, are you?" to her surprise she heard a snort of laughter from Nanami.
"No," the younger teen's voice answered, sounding sullen. "Not a lesbian. Not totally anyway." Nabiki sat up and paid attention at that.
"I thought you couldn't remember anything?" She asked.
"I can't," Nanami's voice answered. "But not remembering doesn't mean you still can't feel."
"So you like guys as well?" Nabiki asked quickly. There was a growl from across the room. After a moment, the other girl responded.
"Are you asking for personal reasons or because you're curious?" She growled.
"That's private, and you still haven't answered," Nabiki retorted.
"Well this is private too, damn it! And you're asking like the Spanish Inquisition!" Nanami snapped in irritation. Recognising the heavy dose of embarrassment colouring the other girl's words, Nabiki revised her tactics.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to embarrass you," she said. Nanami laughed softly.
"Yeah you did, you thought it was funny, I suppose. Don't worry about it, apology accepted." She sighed and turned over, resting her chin on her laced hands, deliberately ignoring her body.
"So what's it like? How does it feel?" Nabiki pressed. Nanami grunted.
"How should I know? The only memories I have are the ones starting halfway through today! All I know is what I feel, and that's it," she stated firmly. After a pregnant silence, she sighed. "What else do you want to ask?"
"How did?" Nabiki began.
"Deja-vu." Nanami explained.
"Oh. Wellwhat's the difference?" Nabiki asked.
"Difference between what? Explain, please." Nabiki settled back onto the bed and regarded the ceiling thoughtfully.
"What's the difference in attraction? The way you feel towards guys and girls?" She tried. Nanami sighed.
"Bit silly asking me that when the only guy I'm attracted to is Ranma, isn't it? I haven't met any others. Aside from your father and his. No offence, butyuck. Not a chance in hell of that happening." She shivered at the thought, then shivered for other reasons.
Stupid body, get a hold of yourself! An image popped into her head. On second thoughtdon't. do nothing. Nabiki pondered that for a moment and sighed.
"I guess you're right," she conceded. She took a deep breath and nearly choked at her companion's next question.
"So, you like guys and girls too, huh?"
After coughing for five minutes and being unable to stop, Nanami provided relief by getting up and slapping her heavily on the back until she got herself under control.
"Thanks," she muttered weakly as Nanami's silhouette sat on the bed.
"Don't worry about it," came the response. Staring at her hands for a few minutes, Nabiki eventually raised her head.
"Is it sick?" She asked bluntly. She watched as an arm reached up to flick a lock of sky blue hair behind a shadowed ear.
"Sick? Liking guys and girls?" At her nod, the younger girl laughed softly. "Nah, not in my opinion. Of course, I'm not likely to say it is, am I?" Nanami shrugged. "Who's to say what's sick and what's not? People say the Japanese are sick for hentai and the schoolgirl fetish. People say all sorts of things, not that I can remember anyone ever saying it to me."
"You're awfully blasé about not having any memories," Nabiki muttered suspiciously. Nanami shrugged.
"I can't mourn what I don't have. I can't seem to work up a desire to get them back either. It's like it's in the past. Finished and done with, and now I have a new chance. It's anodd feeling."
"Are you sure that's not just you feeling turned on?" Nabiki joked.
"Oh shut up," Nanami groused, her silhouette turning it's nose up in distain. Nabiki laughed.
"You are, aren't you!" she snorted in amusement. Nanami sent her a baleful glare.
"It's not my fault I can't remember what it felt like! Stop laughing! Hey!" Nabiki clutched at her sides as she giggled, feeling better than she had in years.
"Aha, yes it is funny! If you're saying what I think you are, you're going to be horny for days!" She collapsed into giggles again, listening to the younger girl grouse under her breath.
"You still didn't answer my question." Nanami reminded, making Nabiki pause. After a moment's deliberation, she shrugged.
"Maybe. I'm not sure.," she answered. She caught a glimmer of pearly white teeth in the darkness before Nanami raised herself up and moved over to her futon.
"Well that's good. If you can admit it to yourself, then I bet life'll be much easier," she murmured pragmatically. Nabiki privately agreed with her. After a moment, she called out into the darkness.
"Are you attracted to me?" After a full five minutes of silence, she caught the barest hint of a whisper.
Nabiki went to sleep with a
Nanami yawned sleepily as she
woke up, idly scratching the top of her head. It was Friday, precisely
five days since she had arrived, and the healing points that Cologne had
pressed had done their work admirably. All of her bruises had completely
healed, and nearly all her cuts had scabbed over and healed, leaving a
precious few to shine with the pinkish tinge of healthy wounds healing.
Nabiki still had the tape of
Nanami, full of the strange concoction of Kodachi's drugs, fawning all
over every girl in sight.
That was another change. Although neither had made any overt moves towards the other, the week had been filled with subtle flirting, 'accidental' touches and shared looks between the pair. Ukyo had been the first and only person to catch on, though Nabiki privately suspected her older sister to also be aware of the mutual attraction, and had almost fallen out of her seat in class when she connected all of the dots. 1+1=2 and all that. After that, she had annoyed a fair number of people by her secretive smile and occasional private giggles, especially Akane, who had become progressively more paranoid as the week went on, wrongly thinking that the chef had a devious plan in store for her erstwhile fiancé.
"What are you looking at?" Nanami murmured sleepily. Nabiki's smile widened slightly in response.
"Your nipples," she answered dryly. Glancing down, the blue-haired girl noticed that indeed her nipples were poking through the sheer fabric of her nightwear.
"Oh," she said. "Well
that's okay then." Muffling her laugh, Nabiki crawled out of bed,
glancing out the window to where the two Saotomes were sparring in the
back yard over the koi pond before turning to her roommate. Making her
way to the door, she idly pinched the other girl on her exposed bottom
as she bent down to air her futon, prompting a shriek of surprise.
"Missed me!" She
called, hurrying to the bathroom in order to escape retribution. Poking
her head out of the door, Nanami eyed the other girl's swaying behind
with a grin before it disappeared out of sight. Chuckling to herself,
she returned to the room and finished tidying up before heading out and
down to the bathroom, which she entered quickly.
"You little!" She
shrieked in horror, diving for the other girl and upending her own bucket
over her head. Their playful fighting took another five minutes to wind
down, ending up with Nanami straddling the other girl's hips and pinning
her hands above her head.
"Oh dear," she murmured, "you seem to have me at a disadvantage, whatever shall I do?" She quipped theatrically. Feeling a devilish smile bloom on her face, Nanami leaned closer until her nose lightly touched her companion's.
"Hmmwhat shall I do with the prisoner?" She mused aloud. "Such a delightful range of possibilities" She leaned closer, her smile growing in excitement. Nabiki felt the blue-haired girl's warm breath wash across her face and felt her breathing quicken as she tilted her head slightly.
"Whatever you want," she whispered softly as she watched the spark of desire flare up in the other girl's eyes.
"Mmm" Nanami purred as she leant in for a kiss. Just before their lips touched, however, the sliding door opened abruptly, followed immediately by a strangled sound. Glancing up in horror, both girls spotted a topless Ranma-chan staring at them in astonishment, a trickle of blood running out her nose.
"Thisthis isn't what it looks like!" Nanami protested nervously as she stood up. Nabiki swallowed her embarrassment quickly and glared at the redhead.
"Is there something you want Saotome?" she inquired coolly. Ranma floundered for a few moments, her mouth opening and closing soundlessly.
"H-hot w-water?" she croaked, her eyes wide. Glancing sideways, Nabiki noted that Nanami had recovered her composure and that a naughty smile was spreading across her face. Having a good idea of just what she was thinking, the middle Tendo felt an identical conspiratory grin spread across her own face.
"It's going to cost you, Saotome," she warned, stalking forward and shaking her finger under the stunned pseudo-girl's nose.
"W-wh-wha?" Ranma stammered, glancing between the pair as Nanami sidled up to his right side. Glancing at her partner in crime, Nanami nodded and grasped the redhead's right arm, tugging her forward into the washroom gently. Closing the door behind them, Nabiki latched onto the other arm and assisted in pulling the stunned girl forward.
"Yes, I think, since you saw both of us in the buff, that we should get you to return the favour!" Nanami commented, making eye contact with the other girl. Nabiki grinned and reached for the waistband of Ranma's drawstring pants.
"Huh? What? What do you mean?" Ranma questioned, a confused look on her face. Smiling, the two girls yanked her pants down to her ankles, boxers and all, and tipped her into the furo nearby.
"Natural redhead," Nanami commented as Ranma floundered in surprise under the water. Nabiki nodded.
"Yep, I got some pictures if you're interested," she said with a grin. Smirking, the blue-haired girl shook her head.
"Nah, it's better seeing the real thingthere aren't any of me in those pictures, are there?" She added. Upon seeing the other girl looking slightly edgy, she glared at her. "I want any nude ones," she commented, turning back to the furo as Ranma emerged. "The others you can have." Nabiki sighed, figuring that that would be her answer.
"What did you do that
for!?" Ranma yelled as he re-emerged, scowling furiously. Seeing
the identical grins and the direction of their glances, he looked down
and yelped. Sinking into the hot water, he glared at the duo sullenly.
It took a further thirty seconds to put together that they were both naked
and in full view of his moody glance.
"Oh yes it is," Nanami
purred in his ear with a grin. Blinking in surprise, Nabiki eyed the door
to the bathroom dubiously, half expecting her younger sister to barge
in and clobber her roommate and Ranma halfway across Nerima. After five
seconds of nothing occurring, she shrugged and slid in on the opposite
side of the younger martial artist.
"What's the matter, Ranma?" Nanami murmured softly, her warm breath washing over his face and making him shiver. Despite the heat, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and his skin break out in goose bumps. He swallowed and essayed a shaky grin.
"Na-nothing!" He chirped. He shivered again when a sculpted blue eyebrow arched disbelievingly.
"Are you sure, Saotome?" Nabiki purred from his other side, an amused glint in her eye. Feeling himself beginning to panic, Ranma opened his mouth, then froze as he felt Nanami press herself to his side.
"Are you okay, Ranma? You look feverish! See? You have goose bumps!" She peered into his eyes from a very short distance away. Ranma squeaked, his eyes large and all to aware of the position he was currently in.
"Fine," he rasped. "I'm fine!" He took several deep breaths and tried to calm himself, managing not to breathe a sigh of relief when Nanami sat back, apparently satisfied with his assurance.
"Well okay," she
murmured, glancing at Nabiki, who looked halfway amused and jealous at
the same time. She grinned, then turned back to Ranma. "I think we've
gotten our revenge sufficiently for now, okay Ranma? Just remember to
knock next time!" She moved back, indicating for Nabiki to do the
same, which she did, to allow the pigtailed boy to escape.
"Are you kidding me? 'What was that for?' You're worse than Shampoo!" She hissed. Nanami looked affronted.
"I am not! She is way worse than I am! I can see that from all the times she's been around this week!" Nabiki glared at her as she dried herself off.
"Honestly!" She muttered. "Shampoo snuck into the bath with him because she thinks he's her husband, for goodness sake! You, who are not a fiancée nor a 'wife,' clamber into the tub with him as if it's the most ordinary thing in the world!"
"You were there too," Nanami pointed out adroitly. Nabiki paused.
"Yes, I was, and I have no idea what the hell prompted me to do it! You're a bad influence on everyone!" She growled. Nanami pulled on her skimpy lace panties and poked her tongue out at the other girl.
"Can't deny it was fun, though. Although I didn't think it would get that bad," she admitted with a blush. Nabiki paused.
"It was fun, butNanami, my sister loves him, even if she won't admit it to herself." She looked at her friend seriously. "I don't want her to get hurt," she said firmly. Nanami paused in the midst of drying her long blue hair. After a moment, she looked up at her friend.
"We have to talk about this somewhere else," she said simply. "It's too serious to discuss in here." Nabiki nodded in agreement. The pair finished dressing in silence, then left.
"We have to hurry," Nabiki urged. "I have to get to school soon." The blue-haired girl nodded and continued upstairs into their shared room. Sighing, she plunked herself down on the bed and propped herself up on her elbows.
"Do you think they make a good couple?" She asked simply. Sitting down next to her friend, Nabiki sighed.
"Sometimes, when they aren't fighting," she admitted. "They seem so right for each other that I have no doubts whatsoever that they are perfect for each other." She paused and rubbed the bridge of her nose tiredly. "Other timesother times they seem to almost hate each other, or at least my sister does. Ranma doesn't seem the type of guy to hate. He just gets mad when my sister calls him a pervert or something else and retaliates, that's all."
"Your sister's the problem then, isn't she?" Nanami clarified succinctly. Nodding sombrely, the middle Tendo sister leant forward and rested her head on her hands.
"Yeah," she agreed. "She gets jealous so easily, then cant keep her mouth shut and says stuff that isn't true and merely pushes Ranma further away. That and her cooking," she muttered with a grimace. "Why she doesn't get that she can't cook, I don't know," she said with a shake of her head. "She simply won't taste her own cooking, no matter what. Even when Kasumi tells her to taste it first! She just doesn't get it!" She said bitterly.
"You don't think they'll last, do you," Nanami murmured, looking up at the ceiling. Sighing, Nabiki lay back and joined in the study.
"I think they will get married," she said. "But I don't think the marriage will last. Ranma always says the wrong thing, my sister gets mad at him and says some nasty stuff, he gets mad back at her and says something else, and my sister pounds him. It's a vicious cycle," she muttered.
"Which do you think will hurt more?" Nanami offered. "Ranma finding someone else and leaving her to get on with her life and pursue her ambitions, or marrying Ranma, getting tied down to the dojo like their parents want, having a kid when she can't cook and doesn't have patience, and finally divorcing or worse?" Nabiki stared upwards unseeingly for a few moments.
"Shit," she said simply. "It's a loose-loose situation, no matter how I look at it." Nanami chewed on her lip silently before standing up and crossing to the door.
"Come on, we've got to have breakfast," she said. "We can talk about this later." It didn't sit right with her that she knew so much about what was going to happen and wasn't doing anything to help the situation.
I have to find out how all
the girls really feel about him, she thought to herself. Sighing,
Nabiki nodded and followed her friend downstairs and to the breakfast
After breakfast was over, Nabiki stood up and glanced at her friend.
"I think you're about ready to go to school now," she said. Nanami grimaced, but nodded and stood up.
"Give me a minute to get
changed into something more appropriate then," she asked and dashed
upstairs before the older girl could answer. Nabiki glared at the empty
stairway in annoyance.
A minute later and Nanami appeared,
causing several blinks. She wore a tasteful black suit, combined with
white blouse and a black hair band that held her lengthy tresses away
from her face. Surprisingly, on her nose perched a pair of rectangular
black-rimmed glasses, though Nabiki knew that they were simply glass and
served no real purpose. Nanami smirked at their surprised looks and waltzed
over to the middle Tendo sister, a simple black schoolbag held in her
"Very nice," she murmured with a smirk. Nanami grinned and struck a pose in front of everyone.
"You like?" She asked cheerfully. Akane glowered from her position, Ranma declined from answering, casting a careful eye toward his fiancée, Kasumi nodded with a smile, Genma just huffed and ate what remained of his food and Soun grinned.
"You look very nice, my dear," he said. Kasumi privately thought that he looked and sounded rather proud, for some reason. The last time she could remember him looking like that was when either herself or her sisters accomplished something. It was a mildly disconcerting thought, but it didn't bother her too much, since the looks her younger sister were giving the blue-haired girl were far more worrisome.
"Sweet!" Nanami chirped,
then turned to her friend. "Shall we go? I think I've held you up
enough, now!" Snorting softly, Nabiki waved goodbye to her family
and left, the taller girl trotting by her side.
"How long are you going to keep up the Asuza Shiratori act?" Nabiki muttered. "It's enough to give people cavities." Smirking, Nanami pulled her hands behind her head and stretched.
"I dunno, I think it's hilarious, to be honest," she said simply. "Besides, it doesn't hurt anyone!" Nabiki rolled her eyes.
"Tell that to Akane," she returned. "Every time you do it, she glares at you hard enough that I'd think you'd have a heart attack just from the hostility."
"It's not that bad," Nanami muttered. "I mean, you can't seriously think that she's really angry with me, can you?" Nabiki glanced at her friend curiously and found a pensive frown on her face.
"You don't like that, do you? People not liking you, I mean." Nanami scratched her head and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
"No, I don't think I do. It makes me feel uncomfortable; to have someone I'd like to be friends with not like me. Besides, what reason does she have for not liking me, anyway?" Her comment earned her a snort from the middle Tendo.
"You don't know? Hmm, let's see, shall we?" She held up a hand. "One: you're prettier than she is. Two: You have bigger breasts, something that Little Sister never likes to be reminded of, and Ranma's managed to do it nearly every day so far. Three: Both me and Kasumi are your friends, which means that, oh-so-perfect Little Sister isn't always the centre of attention in our house anymore. Not that she has been since Ranma arrived." She sniffed and rubbed the side of her nose for a moment. "Four: Daddy likes you, which I have to admit puzzles me a bit as well. He's never acted this way before unless it's been one of us, meaning me, Akane or Kasumi. It is a little weird I have to admit. Five: both Cologne and Ukyo like you pretty well, and Shampoo hasn't really said anything to you much, meaning she doesn't mind you, I guess. That's something that Akane's not had, and it annoys her. Six"
"Okay! Okay! I get the point!" Nanami interrupted irritably.
"You've been teasing Ranma, too," Nabiki added, "though she hasn't really seen that. If she found out what happened this morning, she'd go ballistic I can tell you."
"I guessed," Nanami said dryly. "I'm not stupid, you know."
"That's debatable," Nabiki retorted. Nanami gasped and leapt for her friend.
"You take that back!" She shrieked hotly. Laughing, Nabiki evaded and ran ahead.
"Catch me if you can, Thunder thighs!" She yelled, dashing off to Furinkan, Nanami in hot pursuit.
"I'll get you for that!" She yelled.
Five minutes later saw them laughing and approaching the gates together. Nabiki sobered and stopped her friend.
"You know what I do here," she said evenly. "A lot of it has to do with my image. If I loose that, it will make getting money much harder." Nanami sighed and scrubbed a hand through her hair, pulling off her hair band in the process.
"I get the idea,"
she answered with a resigned expression. "Can't be your friend in
school, huh." She shrugged. "I suppose I can live with that,"
she said. "I don't like it, but I can live with it." The blue-haired
girl sighed, and then perked up slightly. "See ya, Nabiki-chan!"
She chirped before leaning in and placing a quick kiss on her cheek.
"Hold! Who doth this fair
flower of maidenhood be?" Called a voice. Behind Nanami, Nabiki swore
that the temperature of the air dropped thirty degrees.
"You disgust me," she snarled, then stalked off into the school. A moment later and Nabiki followed, casting several glances to the kendoist and after her friend.
- End Chapter 2 -
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