Fighting Blind

Disclaimer: Hey don't look at me. I write 'em, you read 'em.

* *: Thoughts

<" ">: Chinese language

Chapter 10

Part 3

The Deal

"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

said coldly.

"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."

"They wouldn't�"

"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

chasing Akane.

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

that bad.

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�

Author's notes

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!