Disclaimer: Hey don't look at me. I write 'em, you read 'em.
* *: Thoughts
<" ">: Chinese language
"Hey!" Nabiki cried out as Ranma easily snatched up her camera and
took out the film. He then entered her room from his upside-down
perch and handed her camera back to her while frowning.
"It seems that you share the same problems with your sisters." Ranma
"What are you talking about? We had a deal!" Nabiki couldn't believe
that she had just lost a grand opportunity to make major yen notes.
For those photos, Kuno would have shelled out enough money to put
the Tendo household in the black for at least a month.
"As I recall, the deal was for ME to help you in earning some money
for your family. I did not include my sister Amazons. And as I said
before, you have the same problems as your sisters."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Nabiki asked with suspicions.
"Not thinking about the consequences of your actions." Ranma stated
as he stood with crossed arms. "Do you realize what kind of havoc
you would cause if perverts like Kuno got a hold of these photos?"
Ranma held up the film before using his ki to cause it to crumble into
powder. "I especially don't want that wannabe samurai to get these.
As twisted as he is, he might think that these photos were some kind
of sign that Shampoo and the others might actually like him! I didn't
go through all that trouble of dislocating his shoulders in front of
those other idiots, just so you could cause them to have a raging
hormone attack and stir up more headaches!"
Nabiki winced as she remembered back to the time when Kuno had
decreed that no one could date the Amazons unless they were
defeated in battle. Ranma had made short work of that by causing
Kuno's shoulders to wrench from their sockets. Since then, the
Amazons were treated with the utmost of respect and any lurid
fantasies about them were kept in private.
"But�" Nabiki began.
"Stuff it Nabiki." Ranma growled, cutting her off. "I don't want to
hear about it. Shampoo, Perfume and Lilac showing off their bodies
of their own accord is one thing, but sneaking pictures of them to sell
to perverts without their permission is something else entirely. You're
just lucky that I was the one to catch you instead of one of the girls."
"What do you mean?"
"Akane may let you get away with selling pictures of her, because
you're her sister, but Shampoo, Lilac and Perfume wouldn't be as
merciful. Take it from me, any profits you would have made from
those photos wouldn't have even begin to cover the cost of your
hospital stay, provided that you survived at all."
"Oh yes they would, and I'm very tempted to tell them about it. You're
no martial artist Nabiki Tendo and you wouldn't stand a chance
against them. Take it from someone who knows. Back in the village,
I've had to patch up dozens of peeping toms. Many of them were
martial artists and those three girls alone put them into traction for
"But the deal�"
"The deal was that I help out in a few of your ventures to raise money
for your family in exchange for the use of your dojo. However, I
recall that you said that we are not to be put in any situation that
might be harmful to us. Those pictures you took would have caused
some serious damage and I will not allow for it."
Nabiki didn't like the tone that Ranma was using on her, though she
couldn't argue that she did tell him that no one would be hurt. She
reluctantly nodded. "All right, I remember that I did say that, but you
must understand me. I have to do what it takes to keep this family
afloat. As I told you before, Daddy doesn't have any regular income
and Kasumi is too busy taking care of the household. This is what I
do, and you're going to accept that about me. I'm not doing these
things out of enjoyment. It's for my family."
Ranma was silent for a moment. He then said, "That's not all true, and
you know it."
Ranma's mouth became a firm, straight line. "One benefit to being
blind is that I'm not distracted by false fronts and appearances. My
abilities can smell a lie. You may be doing this in part to keep your
family going, but I also sense you do enjoy the power and control
that you exert over others. From what I'm reading, you have been
seeking control for a long time. Something traumatic must have
happened to you that caused you to erect this wall around you and
you're just trying to hide your own insecurities by making others feel
intimidated. Once you found that you had control, you began getting
used to the power it gave you and never considered the harm you
were intentionally or unintentionally causing to others. And even
when you did see the damage you had caused, you only saw it as
more ways to further exert your control." Ranma paused for a
moment, then said, "Well, am I right?"
Nabiki was absolutely unnerved by this boy. His words had struck
her to the core. *Is he some kind of psychic?* His guesses were dead
on. Ever since her mother had died when she was nine, Nabiki had
felt the need to take control and never feel the helplessness she had
experienced when Kimiko Tendo had passed away. The loss of one
parent and the self-despair of the other had caused the family to
begin collapsing. Kasumi was forced to take on the burden of
cleaning, cooking and caring for the other members of the Tendo
Clan. Akane had thrown herself into her training as her anger and
frustration built up over the years. As for Nabiki, she had begun
looking for ways to earn income to pay for the bills, since her father
had proven to be unsuitable to continue training students.
However, a girl of her age couldn't get a job, so Nabiki had to resort
to other� means to earn money. She already had a talent for
numbers and figures, so when opportunity appeared for a scam,
Nabiki did so without hesitation. She had steadfastly maintained that
it was all for her family's sake, but now after Ranma's accusations,
she wasn't so sure as she was a few minutes ago.
Was she actually enjoying the control that her position as the Ice
Queen and Mercenary was giving her? Did she actually enjoy the
pain and misery she caused to others because it helped her forget the
heartache she felt when Kimiko died? Did she really not think about
the consequences of her actions? She had always made certain that
any scheme she had hatched up would never get her into trouble or
put her in a position of weakness. However, she had never really
thought about what damage she was causing to others.
The situation with Akane and Kuno was a prime example. Nabiki had
thought she had netted a rich pigeon when the insane kendoist had
become smitten with her sister. The wannabe samurai was willing to
spend outrageous amounts of yen for photos or any information
concerning about his so-called true love. When Kuno had made that
stupid decree about defeating Akane, every boy in school had gone
after her and Nabiki's profit margins reached new heights with her
betting odds and photos. Even though Akane's sister had found out
that getting a date for the weekend became almost impossible
afterwards, Nabiki simply took it in stride and continued on with her
mercenary work, not realizing that she was escalating the problem.
Now that she thought about it, the middle daughter saw that she
didn't help matters much by her plans and moneymaking operations.
Her sister would always come home fuming and shouting out about
what a jerk Kuno was. And what she did she do? Did she try to
console her sister? No, she had simply let it go on because it was too
profitable. She had put the value of the yen over her family to help
her family. She had to shake her head at that conflicting conclusion.
It was at that time that the rest of Ranma's words came back to haunt
her, especially the words, 'even when you did see the damage you
caused, you only saw it as more ways to exert your control.' *I don't
do that!* As soon as that thought was in her mind, she knew that she
was in denial. Of course she did that. She was heavily into blackmail
and extortion. Many of her schemes had uncovered secrets about
other students, which she used to keep them in line. Many students
would pay much to learn about the secrets of others and on the other
hand, many would pay for her not to reveal those bits of information.
No wonder the boys avoided her, other than the fact they were all
Nabiki gazed at the blind boy in front of her and wondered just how
could a sightless person like him be so insightful. With just a few
words, Ranma had made her reexamine and question herself;
something she had not done in a long time, because she was sure that
she had been following the correct path. Ranma had a certain quality
that that Nabiki found both frightening, yet fascinating. He could not
be lied to and the strange abilities he possessed had rendered most of
Nabiki's savvy and fancy twisting of words useless.
And yet, it was that same quality that interested Nabiki so much
about Ranma. Was it because she had met her match in a person who
would not back down against her? Was it because he wouldn't bow
down Akane? Or was it because of something� more?
Nabiki had already seen the look in Kasumi concerning Ranma and it
was clear to her that her older sister had fallen hard for him. Why
else was Kasumi so insistent that she not hurt him when she told her
about his blindness. And when Ranma seemed to become very cold
against her later on, she could see the tears in Kasumi's eyes and how
his hostility toward her tore at her heart. Later on that night, Nabiki
had noticed that her elder sibling had regained a bit of light in her
face and assumed that Ranma must have forgiven her for her blunder.
*What kind of person is he to instill such intense feelings toward
others?* She had seen the reactions of the Amazons and other girls at
school whenever Ranma was near. His music had caused the entire
school to be moved and his techniques in the Unseen Light never
failed to amaze spectators. The fact that he was handsome, tall and
well formed was not lost on her, but he seemed to radiate a kind of
inner beauty and empathy that made her feel sad, whenever he felt
sad. Whenever he smiled, she would feel good. And whenever he
laughed, she would feel�
It was at that point that Nabiki realized something shocking. She
could now understand why Kasumi had fallen for him. It was
because� she was also falling under his spell. Just being with him
for this short amount of time and thinking about what he had said
about her was making her understand why he disapproved of her
recent actions. Without even trying, Ranma had stripped the
emotional barriers that she had spent years in erecting, and made her
question her true self. And she didn't like what she found. If always
being in control and hurting others to maintain that control also
meant being alone, then it wasn't worth it.
With that in mind, Nabiki slowly nodded and said, "You're right
Ranma. You're absolutely right. I had no business in taking those
pictures without asking for those girls' permission. I'm�. (Takes a
deep swallow) sorry."
Ranma considered her words as he probed her feelings. Finding the
results as satisfactory, he nodded and said, "Apology accepted. Now
that we got that out of the way, I must return to train the others. We'll
discuss arrangements to repay the use of the dojo at school
"All right." Nabiki replied as Ranma leapt out of her bedroom and
headed back toward the dojo. As she watched his fine form enter the
dojo, Nabiki let off a forlorn sigh. Ranma was indeed a special
character and she found that she was looking forward to getting to
know him better. Whenever she was around him, she found that her
normal Ice Queen routine did not work with him and the only way
she could feel comfortable is to let go of that iron-grip control she
had on her emotions. Though the prospect of losing control scared
her, she had discovered that with Ranma, the prospect didn't seem all
Since there was no other reason for her to be up and it was getting
late in the evening, Nabiki went about preparing for bed. As she laid
done to sleep, her last thoughts were about a certain sightless boy
who had made her open her own eyes and truly see herself in a long
time. She then realized that she was going to spend a lot of time with
him and she was looking very forward to it. She drifted off to sleep
with a smile on her face. It wasn't the same grin of avarice that she
usually carried but one of serenity.
In the dojo, the Amazons pushed themselves even harder as they
trained for the upcoming battle.
To be continued�
Sorry that it took so long to get this one out, but I was having a bit
of trouble of how to write Ranma's discussion with Nabiki. I thought
this was an excellent opportunity to get in some insight on Nabiki's
character and to show her that Ranma is far more perceptive than
even she realized. I also apologize that this part of chapter 10 was so
short because I couldn't think of anything else to add to it. In the next
chapter, Ranma begins tutoring the Amazons in a few techniques of
the Unseen Light and one of them will come as close as a sighted
person could to gaining a seventh sense! The Martial Arts Rhythmic
Gymnastics is about to get underway!