At the breakfast table, Nabiki noticed two things about Ranma as she sat next to her. For one, she wasn't wearing a bra. If Nabiki remembered correctly, she wasn't wearing one yesterday either. For two, she ate like a vacuum cleaner. Before she could ask why, Ranma set down her bowl to get a drink, and Genma promptly tried to snatch a pickle from his daughter. Ranma slapped his hand before he could retract it, leaving four parallel scratches on his palm, and continued sucking in her food.
Nabiki was so busy studying what she hoped would become her girlfriend that she didn't realize what was happening behind her: Ranma had worked her tail underneath Nabiki's shirt and was stroking it up and down her back. Finally, she leaned over and carefully whispered.
"This feels nice, but why are you doing it?"
"Cos you owe me one, Biki-chan. You gotta finish what you started," Ranma whispered right back.
"What are you and the little pervert talking about, Sis?" Akane asked with a little annoyance.
"About how we're glad this is the weekend," Nabiki answered in half a lie. It wasn't what they were talking about, but she was indeed glad it was only Sunday.
Akane could stand it no longer. She took her cup of tea and splashed it into Ranma's face. Nabiki's bra strap loudly snapped back now that there was no tail pulling on it. To Nabiki's mild interest, Ranma seemed to be a little ashamed, though she couldn't tell if it was because of what she'd done, or because she was caught.
"Oh my," Kasumi said when she realized what caused that noise.
"Budding friendships aside," Genma coughed, "you do realize you'll be going to school again, starting tomorrow?"
At the mention of school, Nodoka remembered what happened when Ranma had been wearing a skirt shortly after getting cursed. "Now that you mention it, dear, do you remember what happened when Ranma-chan transformed while wearing a skirt?" she asked somewhat rhetorically.
"Ah, that's right. She won't be able to wear the girl's school uniform without flashing her shorts to every other kid in class. You wouldn't even need the old master anymore."
At that notion, Ranma blushed. So did Nabiki, and Soun noticed.
"What's wrong, Nabiki?" he asked like he felt a good father should.
Should I tell him, she wondered. Should I tell him I fell in love with another girl?
The thought alone made her blush even more. Ranma was at least a good fifteen centimeters smaller, especially when she wasn't standing on her toes like she did in cat form, and a full year younger, but at the same time she was much better built. Something told Nabiki that pictures of Ranma would sell better in school than those of her little sister, but for once she didn't feel like betraying someone's trust. She'd just ask her when they were alone later that day.
"Nothing, daddy..." Nabiki said, and quickly mumbled "except if she was a guy you wouldn't have to worry about unifying the schools anymore" right after.
While Ranma had another sparring session with Akane later that day, Nabiki was watching from the sidelines. When Ranma had thoroughly beaten the youngest sister, Nabiki tried to tap Ranma's shoulder and just barely dodged a reflexive backhand.
"Woah there tiger, it's just me," Nabiki blurted out as she recovered from the surprise. "Can we talk, in my room?"
"Sure, Biki-chan, what's up?"
"There are a few things, actually. You just freshen up, I'll be there," Nabiki replied and playfully patted the smaller girl on the head.
Akane glared at the redheaded intruder. "You'd better not be thinking about doing anything perverted to my sis, Ranma."
Ranma considered the accusation for all of two seconds. Doing anything "perverted" at all didn't feel right to her, at least in her current form. She was quite aware how her catgirl form wasn't nearly as shy. Well, she asked for it. If she wants to paint me as the pervert, I might as well have a bit of fun with it.
"What, you jealous? It's not my fault your sister's hotter 'n you are," Ranma taunted as she bounded out of the dojo.
"Ranma, you little bitch!" Akane cried out after her. Ranma could be a good friend, and certainly was a great fighter, but the way she interacted with Nabiki just rubbed Akane the wrong way.
When Ranma had finished freshening up and changed into a fresh set of clothes, she walked over to Nabiki's room and carefully knocked on the door.
"It's me. Can I come in?" Ranma said carefully.
"You didn't seem to care about that last night but yeah, you can," Nabiki answered from the other side.
Oh yeah, that's right. Picking her lock and all that...
"So, what's up Biki-chan?" Ranma asked as she came in and closed the door behind her.
"Well, Ranma, it seems you're messing up my business."
At Ranma's look of surprise and confusion, Nabiki explained. "I have some financial plans running, and ever since you came here I've found it somewhat... difficult to focus on them and that rightly makes me afraid I'll run a loss of profit."
"Oh, sorry 'bout that, then," Ranma meekly offered.
"That's quite alright, really. Y'see, I've a feeling any losses you'd incur by distracting me like that could be... compensated for," Nabiki stated, a tinge of bad intent in her voice.
"Do I wanna know how? I'm not so sure I do," Ranma protested.
"Ranma honey, there's a school full of horndogs out there and I'll bet they'd pay good money for some sexy photos of you," Nabiki said as she stood up. "Any losses from you invading my mind like that would be more than covered by what we could do with my camera and your body."
"I dunno, Nabiki. You do know by now how I feel about boys?"
"Yes, Ranma, I do. I feel mostly the same way, really. To me, they're a great source of income and I do so love to play with their emotions every now and then..." Nabiki said as she came closer to the slightly nervous redhead.
"And to be totally honest, I'd rather not share you with them at all, even if it's just sexy photos," she whispered into Ranma's ear.
"So, you want me to finish the job from this morning?" Nabiki teasingly asked as she held up a glass of water she had brought along earlier. Ranma nodded and squirmed in anticipation.
Nabiki sat on her bed with Ranma lying on her legs. She carefully started to stroke the catgirl's tail and listened carefully for any reaction. Within a few moments, Ranma was softly moaning in pleasure and pawed at Nabiki's bed sheets. "Nabiki," she moaned, "this feels good..."
"Should I go on?" Nabiki teasingly asked.
"I'll even pose in lingerie if you want, just don't stop," Ranma purred in reply.
"This is almost like masturbation to you, isn't it?" Nabiki asked as she happily complied.
"I wouldn't know. Mom and Pops never let me."
Nabiki momentarily paused in shock. "Are you kidding? You never tried... touching yourself down there?"
"Nope. Pops said it'd distract from my training. I suppose at some point I actually started to believe that -- hadn't even considered trying it."
"Girlfriend, you don't know what you're missing," Nabiki said with a smirk and continued stroking Ranma's tail.
"I suppose I don't, yeah... why?"
Nabiki pulled Ranma up into a seated position, facing her. "How do you feel about boys?" she asked bluntly. Ranma had to pause and think.
"Frankly? Not much at all. There was this one guy who I always had to walk to his school, cos he had problems... It didn't take very long for the other kids to think we were together like that, and I guess he thought so himself, but I didn't. I just made sure he got there," Ranma reminisced.
"That's it. One day, the girls in my class were talking about boys and I was just sitting idly by, all 'boys, whatever', and then this one girl, Asuka, brought a magazine she'd nicked from her older brother. We passed it around, and when I got my turn to read it, I was like 'woah, that's a thing?'"
"I think I can guess what kind of magazine that was."
Ranma chuckled. "Yeah, I'll bet. It really explained what my problem was with Ryouga back then. And I finally knew who to give valentine's chocolates to," Ranma finished with a big grin.
Akane was just walking past on the way to her own room when she heard something she hadn't heard in a very long time.
Her middle sister, Nabiki Tendou, giggling.
"Seriously though," Nabiki said between giggles, "you should try it. I think you'd like it."
Akane sighed. "Oh for the love of..."
"Y'know, Ranma, there's one thing I noticed," Nabiki started as she carefully took Ranma's tail in hand once more.
"Is it me or are you not as forward when you're not a cat?"
"I dunno, what you do mean?"
"Teasing my little sister aside, you seem much more like a properly-raised young girl. Really, props to your mother. But when you're like this, you do things like playing with my bra strap with your tail and such..."
Ranma's eyes widened in dawning understanding.
"And then there's the way you look at me. You either look at me and blush, or you give me this sultry smirk. Sultrier than usual, far as I've seen."
"Mmm?" Ranma hummed questioningly as she smirked at her new friend.
"Exactly like that, actually," Nabiki confirmed. "That's the kind of look exactly."
"You're right, Biki-chan," Ranma murmured as she turned around and laid her head on Nabiki's lap. "Mom did do her best to raise me right, and before Jusenkyou I wouldn't normally do anything she might disapprove of. At least not when she's nearby."
"Yeah, I know how that goes. Kasumi sometimes does un-motherly things when Daddy isn't home."
"Just sometimes," Nabiki reiterated. "But go on."
"When I'm like this I have this feeling in the back of my head, telling me that it doesn't matter that much. Let the world burn, as it were. I'm not sure how to explain it, really. I just feel more... open?"
"Considering your shirt's been riding up so much, I'd say something feels open."
Ranma giggled into Nabiki's belly.
"Do you 'feel open' enough to consider a little hands-on education on what you've been missing out on?" Nabiki offered, wiggling her fingers in a suggestive manner.
"Y'know what, Biki-chan?"
"Let's not do that. Sometimes, how I act when I'm like this kinda scares me afterwards," Ranma admitted. "Let's... not do that just yet."
Nabiki stroked her girlfriend's hair as she considered those words.
"You'd think I couldn't know what that's like," Nabiki replied, "but I have a... vaguely similar problem, I guess?"
Ranma looked up at her, eyes opened questioningly.
"I have to play a role in school, and often enough around my own family. The Ice Queen, they call me. Everything has its price. Things just got out of hand, y'know? All I wanted was make a bit of money on the side to support my family, considering Daddy rarely takes on students. Have a little fun doing it. And then things went... too well, I guess?"
Then I guess that wasn't quite the "real" Nabiki earlier, Ranma considered, talkin' 'bout financial plans all coldly professional like that.
"Yeah, I think that's comparable enough... y'wanna make out a little instead?" Ranma offered.
Nabiki grinned. "Change back, see if you dare ask again."
This is the biggest chapter so far and there's only one left that's already mostly written. After that, updates'll take a little longer.
This is in fact the chapter that originally contained the sex scene I mentioned in the last chapter. As I said, that was moving a little fast, so I thought I'd add a sprinkle of angst about Ranma's behavior. The fear of losing oneself, as it were, could work as a good way to properly build up the rating, even if it's just a minor fear.
Hmmm... Introduce the next curse in the next chapter and veer back into near-canon after that, or do it the other way around? Questions, questions.
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