Nabiki looked in the hand mirror examining her new eye, "It's not your fault Ranma." She said for the tenth time.

"How can you say that Nabiki!? If he'd never come into our lives you wouldn't have been hurt!" Akane growled.

*No, I just would have been alone.* Nabiki thought to herself. She looked at her fiancé and felt worry, relief, regret, and...love? She realized she was feeling Ranma's emotions. She realized there must be some sort of link between them as long as Mae was bonded to her.

"Nabiki, I...I'm afraid if I turn back into a guy the antibodies will disappear and you'll die. If I have to, I'll stay a woman the rest of my life..." the redhead trailed off.

Nabiki realized the sacrifice Ranma was offering. While he didn't mind the curse too terribly, because of the antibody powers, he still maintained his manhood even while female. Too give up his manhood completely was simply too much.

"Ranma, it's ok. At some point you'll get splashed with hot water. I've noticed if you stay in one form too long something seems to happen to change that. We'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best." Nabiki gave Ranma a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder and tried to smile. The truth was she was scared of what might happen and knew Ranma could feel the fear through their empathic link.

Ranma was still unused to giving or receiving physical affection or reassurance but moved forward hesitantly to give his fiancé a hug anyway. Nabiki's subtle teachings were finally sinking in. The fact that Ranma was a fast learner, faster than Nabiki even expected was partly responsible. The other part was Ranma found himself unable to do anything to potentially hurt the woman she loved.

"Get away from her!" Akane hissed. She got up to intercept Ranma.

"Akane, Shut up and leave my fiancé alone!" Nabiki scolded and grabbed Ranma before she could back away. Ranma put a cautious arm around the girl never taking her eyes off Akane.

"But..." Akane stopped. Sighing she got up, "Fine, I should get home and let everyone know what's going on."

Nabiki nodded as Akane left the room. She heard her talk to the doctor for a minute before leaving. Nabiki rested her head against Ranma's chest for a few minutes feeling a calm reassurance from listening to her heartbeat.

Suddenly she sat bolt upright, "Ah shit!"

Ranma tensed, danger sense on high alert looking for what had upset Nabiki. The girl in question was cursing under her breath. Not sensing any impending doom nearby he relaxed slightly.

"What's the matter Nabs?" she asked.

Nabiki winced slightly at the pet name. She hated it when people called her Nabs yet Ranma made it sound so damned cute.

"Akane went home to tell our families what happened today. Given how she feels about you and what she said today, what do you think she'll tell them?"

Nabiki watched Ranma's face harden in concentration before a harder scowl replaced it.

"Exactly, she's not going to paint you in the best light now is she? I'm pretty sure she'll try to have you thrown out of the dojo as well."

"But all we have to do is just tell them what really happened right?" Ranma asked puzzled.

Nabiki chuckled dryly, "Oh my dear sweet clueless fiancé. Kasumi would probably hear you out and she would believe me but Father is a little unstable and believes anything his precious Akane tells him." She finished bitterly.

"So what do we do?" She asked.

"For now, nothing. I'm feeling fine but Dr. Tofu wants me to stay overnight at least. I'll use that time to decide our next move. At least until Daddy comes running down here to see his crippled daughter."

Ranma frowned, "You're not crippled."

Nabiki gave her hand a squeeze, "We know that but I'm sure Akane will paint me at death's door."

The couple were quiet for a few minutes.

Finally Nabiki broke the silence, "Ranma, do you like me?"

"Uh...um...urk! Why do you ask?" Ranma evaded.

Sighing Nabiki explained, "We will probably be together for a while, maybe even our whole lives. I think I can feel your emotions since your antibody saved me." She hesitated as she felt Ranma panic a little with worry, "Calm down. We haven't known each other more than a week but with everything that's happened... well." Nabiki was at a loss for words. She could feel Ranma's emotions bubbling under his calm exterior. One of them reassured her of what she wanted to tell the currently redheaded girl.

"Well, I love you and I hope you feel the same." She finished quickly.

Ranma's eyes widened in shock as she felt Nabiki's feelings for her along with her words, "Bu...but, we're both girls." She said lamely.

Nabiki bopped Ranma softly on the head, "Are you a girl inside? Does you mind and soul become a girl or just your body?" Seeing Ranma slowly shake her head, "It's you I fell for dummy, the person inside, not the outside shell."

"Oh." Ranma said quietly.

Nabiki raised her head from Ranma's chest to look in her eyes and suddenly realized how close their faces were. Ranma was trembling slightly and Nabiki wondered what it would be like to kiss Ranma's girl form. She moved closer slowly and closed her eyes...

"WAAAHHHHH! My poor baby girl has been maimed by a DEMON!!!!!" cried a voice sufficiently ruining the moment.

The two girls moved apart a respectable distance as Soun Tendo burst into the room followed by Genma and the other two Tendo sisters. Kasumi moved to one side of the bed as Soun went to the side Ranma was on and pushed her off to take her place.

"Oh My!" Was Kasumi's traditional response to seeing the long black streak and dark eye on her sister. Soun's tears were threatening to soak the sheets of the hospital bed. Akane stood at the end of the bed with a satisfied smirk on her face.

Ranma stood up and adjusted her shirt with a small scowl at the Tendo patriarch. She looked up as her father stepped over to her.

"Boy, Why are you still a girl?" He said in a demanding voice and pulled out a kettle of hot water pouring it over the distracted martial artist.

Nabiki and Ranma both screamed.

* * * * * * * * * *

Author's Rant:

Heh, cliffhangers... gotta love em'.

A few people have been asking if I've abandoned City of dreams. The answer is no. The problem is that I'm having a damn hard time writing the next chapter of it. Three times I've started and three times I've erased it in frustration. I know what I want to write, it just isn't coming out right. Hopefully It'll come soon and not sound forced.

Also, I have just received a keyboard attachment for my Jornada handheld computer so I will be able to type whenever inspiration strikes without me lugging around my 8 pound laptop. Chapters and stories will flow faster I hope.

Also Also, I should be receiving Ranma ½ volume one in the original Japanese in a couple of weeks. I've ordered them through Diamond distributing where I work. I don't know if they are still available to order but you can try at your local comic book shop. Volumes 2 and 3 were in last month's catalogue and 4 and 5 are in the latest one. I'm interested to see how different the dialogue is between the original and the Viz releases are.