What I Have Become

Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma 1/2 or any rights to characters or people both real or fictional depicted or mentioned in this story. Nor do I own any other characters from any additional series, movie, or book who may be introduced in this story. If I touch upon things that other authors have previously written, I hope that they will consider this a form of homage to their creativity by taking it in the spirit it was meant to be, as praise. If I offend anyone along the way of telling this story I tell you now it is purely unintentional and I ask you to accept I am only human and sometimes we make mistakes.

Warning: This story may contain excessive violence, sexual situations, adult language, and what some might consider hateful statements towards characters they may like. This story assumes a basic knowledge of the Ranma One Half Series but one need not have a detailed knowledge of it to enjoy this tale. I do not intend to do any lemon chapters, but there will be suggestive content. It may also contain character deaths.

Additionally I would also like to warn those who are die-hard fans of the various characters from any series (Most specifically the Ranma One Half Series.) appearing in this story that I'll be adapting them to fit my vision as needed to fit my artistic vision. While my intention is to keep them as close to their original personalities as possible, this may be sacrificed in order for the story to flow in the direction I intend or for characters to end up in places I need them to be.

Ranma Time Frame: The story takes place sometime after the failed wedding. When the story start it as assumed Ranma/Akane are 18 and their last year of High School

Author's Notes: I hope you'll keep in mind that this story is first and foremost meant to be a drama and secondly a fantasy. Any romance, action, humor, or horror scenes are just part of the overall core of the story as it builds. My hope is that those who read this will find at least as much enjoyment in doing so as I have writing it.

My original plan for this story was to make it a one shot but I changed my mind and have a few chapters in mind instead. Each chapter will be dedicated to the view point or general feelings/concepts put forth by one character. In the case of the first chapter its pretty much all from Nabiki's point of view.

I hope my readers understand this is a work in progress and I will not be pressing for any specific release date or size of the future chapters.



For those of you who are canon sticklers, stop reading now, you won't be happy and I certainly don't wish to hear your complaints. No offense intended but I am writing this out a love for writing and demand from my muse to get this story out. While I do hope you will enjoy my story I can hardly expect it to appeal to everyone. So, if you don't care for the story please feel free to stop reading at any time, no one is forcing you to slog through it.

If you do enjoy it, which I hope you will, please feel free to leave me positive feedback in the form of a review.

If you instead feel you must flame this story or just want to offer constructive criticisms, or just corrections to errors I have made in the story (As I have no beta and am not really seeking one on this tale.) I ask you to send such things in a private message.

If you chose to ignore my request and post a flaming or unpleasant review expect to have it deleted.


Story Key

'Italics' = Thoughts

Bold Words = Stressed thoughts or words; loud sounds

#Words# = Panda signs

:-:Words:-: = Sounds

^Words^ = Chinese

ooOOoo = Perspective or time change within a scene or location

-#-#- = Scene or location change

*-*-*-* = Letter or other pertinent information that does not fit into the above categories.

{-} = Radio/Phone/T.V. Communications


Chapter One


Nabiki's derisive laughter cut through the air not to mention the pig-tailed martial artist it was direct at as he sat staring disbelieving at her from where he balanced just inside the girls window.

"You want me to what?"

Ranma pulled on his pig-tail as he repeated his request, "You heard me Nabiki. I want ya to help me find a way to stop arguing with Akane. I'm tired of makin' her mad all the time."

"And just why should I help you do that?"

"Don't ya want us to stop fighting? Don't ya want your sister ta be happy?"

"Of course I do Ranma." Nabiki paused to chew on a pocky. "Just not with you."

Ranma gaped.

Rolling her eyes the middle daughter of Soun Tendo turned her back on Ranma as she went back to her school work.

When he finally found his voice it was all he could do not to scream out his next words, "What do ya mean just not with me? What's wrong with me?"

Nabiki turned her cold calculating eyes on Ranma making him flinch, "Why not you?" "I don't think you really want me to answer that question Saotome."

"Yes I do! Now tell me!" Ranma demanded.

Nabiki didn't even turn away from typing at her computer as she replied. "Putting it bluntly, you are a poor investment Saotome."

"What do ya mean by that?"

Nabiki shook her head in disgust, "Look Saotome, you really don't want to hear this and I am not in the mood to pander to your ego so go away."

"NO, I'm not leaving until you tell me WHY you won't help me and what you mean by me bein' a bad investment!"

"Fine, have it your way." Nabiki swiveled in her chair, one leg going over the other as regarded him coolly. "You Saotome are a walking catastrophe. Where you go mayhem follows like a summer breeze and that is not conducive to a lasting anything."

"Add to this you have no real prospects for being able to support any family you might wish to have as your skill set is too narrow and focused to be of any real value. This of course spells financial ruin for your future and anyone who attaches themselves to it."

"I will not let Akane end up a pauper because of the idiocy that follows you around. I would say the best bet you have for any kind of financial security is an Okonomiyaki Waitress in Ukyo's restaurant."

"At least until she throws you out because some challenger comes along demolishing her restaurant."

Nabiki held up a hand to forestall a response she continued, "Let's look at the facts Saotome. You have no desire to educate yourself and in this world you need a decent education to get anywhere, unless of course you plan to be a yakuza thug or a thief."

Ranma stiffened at her words, his face growing redder and redder in outrage but he held his tongue.

"Add to this your basic lack of social skills and what do you have? I'll tell you, you have someone who is simply better off being a wanderer or vagrant than trying to settle in one place for any length of time with what anyone would consider a 'real' job."

Ranma started to open his mouth refute everything she was saying but Nabiki continued not letting him get in a word. He'd opened this can of worms and she wasn't holding a single thing back, she was in fact going overboard as she released the anger she'd been holding in after the extremely bad day she'd had at college thanks to her reputation causing her troubles with not only other students but the teachers.

"Let's consider what will happen should you marry Akane shall we Ranma-kun?" Nabiki said almost too sweetly. "First off if the two of you survive what the other fiancée's do in retaliation, and there is anything left of it, you will inherit the dojo."

"Big Whoop."

"Do you have any accredited teaching skills? Do you plan to get them?" Nabiki snorted, "No, we covered that didn't we? No doubt you're thinking why do you need accredited teaching diploma's. Again, I'll clue you in Ranma-kun. Even the least sensei has a physical degree from college not to mention some schooling in business so they can keep track of the books in order to better manage their income. Do you have any of these skills or did you plan to let dear daddy or you're oh so trustworthy father take care of them for you? Maybe pass them off to Akane instead?"

Nabiki nodded to herself. "That seems more like your style, pass the buck."

"I wouldn't…" Ranma started, though he was again interrupted by Nabiki.

"I'm not done Saotome so just sit there and listen for a change!" Nabiki all but growled, her arms going across her chest as she switched which leg was crossed over the other. "Next let's think about all the rivals and nightmares you attract on a near daily basis shall we? Or more specifically the damage they do."

"You will be spending more money than you can possibly make teaching those few students you could convince to be taught by a uneducated sensei on repairs to the dojo from some crazy challenge that will no doubt show up to try to beat the supposed 'best' martial artist in Nerima."

"Sure you know how to do a lot of the repairs yourself but there is a limit in what you can do. What about when the damage bleeds over to the house?"

"None of these things are cheap Saotome. Maybe one day I might sit you down and show you just how much having you around has cost this family. It's not a pretty picture."

Without pause the middle Tendo continued her tirade "Stepping past that for the moment, do you think that just because you and Akane settle your differences it will make everything ok?"

At seeing Ranma half-nod Nabiki snorted derisively.

"Hardly for you see Ranma, you are the root of your own problems and even if I were willing to go out of my way to help you learn to keep your big trap shut you would end up doing something stupid which would anger her or hurt her somehow. It's just who you are. An insensitive big mouthed jerk that is so full of himself that even your primary ki attack is based purely on confidence."

"No, you marrying into this family is not something I am willing to allow to happen. Why do you think I invited all those people to the wedding?" Nabiki cocked her head to the side, a less than playful smirk on her thin lips. "Cause it amused me to hurt my own sister? No. I did it to save her from a life of misery with Mr. 'I'm The Best' Saotome."

"What gives you the right to…"

"What gives me the right?" Nabiki sat up straight, her eyes flashing in anger. "She's my sister that's what gives me the right!"

"Sure Akane was hurt having what was supposed to be the happiest moment of her life turn into an unmitigated disaster but I'd do it all over again if only to save her from being stuck with a boneheaded insensitive uneducated lout who would only drag her heart through a meat grinder and not even think he'd done a thing wrong. Especially if someone dangled a cure for your damn curse in front of you like a carrot."

"And just where were you after the wedding Saotome? Where were you when Akane needed someone to console her and make her feel loved? Were you by her side telling her that everything would be all right and that you felt miserable for not having married her? No, you weren't to be found for a full twenty four hours after and you still haven't given a suitable reason for your absence."

"Not one I am willing to accept anyway. Unconscious in a ditch after Akane malleted you away… yeah right. You've taken hits like that before and been back before the food even hits the table for dinner."

"No Ranma, you will never amount to anything other than a loud mouthed braggart who thinks he can get through life with his fists instead of his brain and as long as I have a breath to draw you will never become a member of this family if I have anything to do with it. Financially and emotionally you are simply not worth the effort and I for one am done with you."

Ranma looked stunned at Nabiki's announcement as she turned her back and continued to talk, her voice as cool as an arctic breeze. "You came for me for advice. Well he's some, free of charge. If you really want to do what is best for Akane, leave. Leave and go become the useless freeloader like your father that you're destined to be and go darken someone else's home. Preferably as far from Nerima as you can."

"And if you have even the smallest amount of feeling in your heart for anyone else besides yourself, you'll do it quietly and without fuss. But I doubt you have it in you, just like I doubt you have even the slightest chance of amounting to anything in this life."

Though she had her back to him she knew he stayed in the window thinking over what she'd said for several minutes before she felt his presence fade. Once it did she dropped her head to her desk and cried.

That was all in the past now, two years to be exact, and Nabiki could still remember every word of what she said the day Ranma vanished from her life day just as she could recall every expression that played across his face as she insulted him when he had come seeking her help to make his life better. She hadn't meant most of what she'd said even though some of it was true just as it was true she really didn't think that harshly of him. It was just that he had come to her after an extremely trying day where she'd not only been betrayed by someone who she'd thought of as a friend by them spreading rumors of her being a manipulative blackmailing bitch. She'd confronted the person and the ensuing scene had only made her look worse in the eyes of her classmates and teachers. By the time she'd returned home she was fit to be tied and Ranma had come in at the wrong moment resulting in him receiving the brunt of her frustration and anger.

The first two weeks of Ranma's disappearance were treated normally, everyone under the assumption he'd gone off on a training trip and would no doubt return. Nabiki could recall the guilty look Akane would have when she looked at Ranma's empty seat at the table or when she went to school in the morning alone. By the end of the first month all of the fiancée's were at each other's throats laying blame on the other for his disappearance – a great deal of it at the foot of the Amazons for not only had Ranma vanished but so had Mousse.

Nabiki recalled seeing Shampoo look edgy every time the subject of Mousse came up. Much later she would discover that much like how she'd torn into Ranma Shampoo had done something similar to Mousse on that faithful day, only worse. She had in fact threatened to give him the Kiss of Death if he didn't cease his constant attempt to gain her as his love. When he refused, she proved she wasn't bluffing. As it turns out while it wasn't a valid kiss it was enough to break through Mousse's haze of obliviousness where his chances with the buxom Amazon were concerned.

By the end of the third month the search parties for Ranma – Cologne and Shampoo, Genma and her father, Konatsu and Ukyo – returned empty handed. No one had discovered a single clue to where he'd gone, at least none anyone was willing to share. And though Nabiki hadn't gone with them she too had done her own searching exhausting her resources in an attempt to find not only Ranma but Mousse figuring if she found one she would find the other. The only she found that the others did not was the two had been seen fighting each other along the western outskirts of Nerima but beyond that no one had seen or heard a single thing about them. It was literally as if they dropped off the face of Japan.

During those months Nabiki often found Akane crying by herself while staring at the koi pond or collapsed in a heap in the dojo. These outbursts were interspersed with fits of irrational anger. She discovered why after a brief talk with Akane. It seemed her sister buoyed her spirits from time to time with the fact that Ranma hadn't left her for someone else, especially one of his fiancée's. What worried her more was the times she found Akane simply staring at nothing, her face emotionless. While the lack of expression her face was unnerving it was what she saw during those times in her sisters eyes, the same thing she saw in her own every morning in the mirror. Guilt.

Of course Akane's ability to buoy her spirits ended when two more fiancée's turned up on their doorstep during the fourth month to lay claim on the currently missing pig-tailed boy. Nabiki thought Genma had gotten off easy with only have two arms in temporary casts when it was discovered he'd sold Ranma to one for an all you can buffet night at a restaurant and to the other for what amounted as a free round at a house of ill repute.

Nabiki wasn't quite sure how Kasumi did it as every night after that, like clockwork, Akane would wake up the house screaming Ranma's name. And every night Kasumi would go in and hold her sister until she would fell asleep crying.

It came as no surprise to her when her younger sister joined in on the next search when it set off during the fifth month of Ranma's disappearance – which amusingly coincided with Auntie staying at the Tendo home for a few weeks. Fortunately this search had greater resources available, including the latest in satellite phones, all thanks to the entire thing being bankrolled by the Kuno's, both of which joined in on the search wanting to know what had become of their missing beloveds.

By the end of the eighth month the last of the search parties returned, this being the one Akane was a part of. It seemed to Nabiki that her sister had become an almost a different person upon her return. Something had vanished from the normally hot-tempered youngest Tendo. The fiery passion she had previously thrown herself into things seemed to have been quenched and remained so unless someone brought up Ranma in a negative light in her presence. When this occurred it was like a transformation, the now seemingly meek and quiet girl would suddenly become an avenging angel of heaven and woe unto the one who had triggered the transformation for she didn't let them walk away either physically or mentally scarred from the event.

No, Akane had taken Ranma's disappearance personally blaming herself for having driven away the man she now openly admitted to loving. When Nabiki discovered her sister had in fact had an argument with Ranma on the day he disappeared as well she nearly ended up on the end of her sister's ire when she started a conversation in which she intended to confess her part in driving Ranma away only to have it interrupted by the arrival of Ryoga. The directionally challenged idiot had finally gotten up the nerve to tell Akane he loved her, having completely dismissed poor Akari despite her open declaration of love for him. He even had Akane blushing slightly at his confession, the first sign of any relationship based emotion since Ranma had left. But then he had to go and open his mouth spouting how all the bad things that had happened in both their lives was Ranma's fault. No amount of arm waving or throat cutting gestures from either her or Kasumi had done one bit of good to silence the soon to be pork pâté martial artist. It didn't help matters when his curse was revealed during her ensuring tirade about Ryoga being the cause of his own problems when she belted him into the koi pond for touching her without her permission.

Oh no, Nabiki wouldn't be admitting to having any responsibility to Ranma's departure anytime in the near future. She had taken the quote 'Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead' to heart. She had NO intention of telling anyone just in case she would end up being one of the two dead and not the one still alive. That and she didn't want to end up in the hospital with two broken arms and a broken jaw like Ryoga had… or worse for she had no illusions she could take nearly the level of punishment the directionally challenged boy could and did. Akane had only let up when Cologne and Happosai had dragged her off the bloody boy after he had turned back to being human. It only confirmed her plan to keep what happened to herself when her father received several contusions and a cracked rib after Akane discovered he had in fact known about Ryoga's curse from the beginning.

Of course Mr. Saotome had conveniently disappeared from the house for the next two weeks. When he did return to the Tendo home Akane didn't say a word to him. She simply walked up to him, tossed a cup of cold water in his face, and then kicked him firmly in the balls. Twice. She did this again the next day. On the third he'd wisely chosen to make himself scarce again for a few days.

Nabiki thought both men got off easy, but then again she wasn't one to cast stones for her guilt continued to gnaw away at her and she had no one she could share it with. She watched the suffering of her sister and knew without a shadow of a doubt it was all her doing. Even if she and Ranma had argued he had come to her to help prevent future arguments and she had turned on him. She couldn't even bring herself to blame Ranma for vanishing for if someone had laid everything out like she had she would've picked up and left without a word as well. Worse she knew that part of why he did it was no doubt out of the love she knew he felt for her sister… after all she had all but told him his continued presence in her life would only bring her grief. Who could do that to someone they loved?

A year and two months after R-Day, as it came to be called by the survivors of Furinkan, Akane entered college though she refused to date anyone. At least she did so without clubbing the asker as she had made great strides in controlling her anger – Kuno having becoming obsessed with a college beauty helped significantly.

As it would turn out the effect of Ranma's departure wasn't limited to just the two younger Tendo sisters. A year to the day of the pig-tailed martial artist's departure Kasumi walked out of the kitchen in to the dining carrying the breakfast she'd made that morning. She paused before the table her face inscrutable as she listened to Genma yet again grouse about how his dishonorable son had run away from his duty to the families. He was feeling braver now that Akane had apparently gotten over her avenging angel phase – something she had done after coming down from her anger to realize just how much damage she had done to Ryoga when she'd visited him in the hospital where she told him in no uncertain terms he was unwelcomed in her life and would remain so until after Ranma had returned to hers.

Like when she had left on the trip to find Ranma, when she came home from the hospital Akane had again changed, so much so most who knew her before would say she was not even the same person anymore for the previously easily angered girl had become as placid as Kasumi – though she still practiced her martial arts there was a smoothness and a patience to her moves that the old Akane could never have attained. It was funny how her martial arts and personality had improved now that Ranma was gone – something only one person pointed out. Since that day Akane no longer spoke with her friend Sayuri.

Needless to say things changed for the entire house when instead of setting the platters of food down on the table Kasumi instead poured the contents of both directly into Genma's lap. You could have dropped a pin and heard it echo like thunder at that moment. When she completed the meal with the proper cup of hot tea using scalding water, again into Genma's lap, you would not have been able to hear a herd of elephants over Genma's scream as his privates were subjected to temperatures they were never meant to endure.

Nabiki remembered how despite her state of shock the sight of Genma hopping around screaming while the rest of the family simply stared wide eyed between him and Kasumi amused her to no end. In fact just thinking about it gets her laughing to this very day. More so when she recalls how her sister produced a third platter of food, placed it on the table and began eating her meal as if nothing had happened.

One thing she never could recall was when Kasumi had taken a picture of Genma's imitation of the frog dance – pictures everyone knew about for each member of the household found a copy stuck to their bedroom door with a piece of gum.

She remembered how when her father or Akane tried to talk to her as she ate they were instantly silenced by what became to be known as 'The Stare' in the Tendo household. Once, in passing as a joke, Nabiki had even mentioned to Kasumi how when she did it it was like being attacked by something so cute and cuddly you just couldn't believe it was happening.

By the time the day ended Genma had worn not only breakfast but lunch as well – there were pictures of this event posted to each door in the house as well. Nabiki couldn't help but recall her amusement when Genma wisely chose not to join them for dinner that evening. He had in fact vanished again much to the relief of the females of the household.

The next morning Kasumi announced her decision to take college courses as if it was a foregone conclusion and nothing short of the end of the world would prevent it from taking place. Their father's reaction was to start balling. He stopped instantly when Kasumi narrowed her eyes at him in disapproval, one hand going for the hot kettle of water she had beside her.

So it was that within a day the chores of the house had been split up and her father found himself preparing to teach classes again for Kasumi had made it very clear to him that as the patriarch of the clan it was his duty to see to his daughters well being not the reverse. Not once past the morning Kasumi dumped the meal onto Genma had she put up with their fathers crying – instantly silencing his tears with but a single look. Nabiki had to admit she was impressed that her sister was attending her first classes by the end of that week.

A week later the Neko Hanten closed up shop, a legal document hanging in the window announcing its closure due to failure to meet public health regulations. A week after that the Amazons simply vanished from Nerima.

At first Nabiki, much like the others who still cared, believed they had packed due to discovering Ranma's location. Even without Akane's pressuring her to find out if it was so she quickly set about trying to discover the reason for their sudden exodus. It took two days and the answer was a simple one. Immigration. It seemed that both Cologne and Shampoo had been refused a continuation of their visa's. Within the space of twenty four hours of being served with deportation papers – and their subsequent refusal which involved the beating of one public official by Shampoo – the Neko Hanten was surrounded by armed government representatives who put no less than four tazer shots and two tranquilizer darts into Shampoo after she hefted her bonbori and proudly stated she would never leave this barbaric country without her airen.

Amusingly enough Cologne simply allowed herself to be escorted to a plane where she and a heavily sedated Shampoo were flown back to China with warning never to return or they would face incarceration. When Akane found out she actually went to the Ucchan and the two of them got so shit faced that Nabiki, who had been called by Konatsu, had to go get Akane before she ran down the street naked, for a second time.

No one but Nabiki had heard from the Amazons since – and the only communication she had with them was a certified package containing a single gold coin with promises of several more should she inform them when Ranma returned. Nabiki mailed a letter back explaining her acceptance of their payment for all the damages Shampoo had caused to their home along with her most sincere apologies for not being able to help them with any future endeavors.

Two months later Genma crawled back to the Tendo home beaten and looking like he'd been through a blender. He received only sympathy from Soun. From Kasumi he received a list of chores he was expected to complete. She made it abundantly clear if he did not complete them he would receive nothing for meals. Soun attempted to stand up to his daughter on his friend's behalf claiming he was a guest and thus did not need to do such things. He stood his ground for all of two seconds.

Akane ignored him, to her he didn't exist.

Nabiki, being extremely curious, did some digging into what had happened to discover Nodoka had, for reasons only the Saotome Matriarch knew, tossed Genma out of the house after giving him a sound beating with the help of Master Happosai of all people. Beyond that Nabiki had been unable to find out anything for one Nodoka Saotome, much like her son, vanished off the face of the Earth.

By a year and a half things turned rather humdrum around Nerima. No crazy martial artists showed up to fight for the dojo's sign. No thief running rampant, much to everyone's relief, stealing panties and bras as Happosai had left to find his heir. Personally she believed the old coot missed the challenge of having to fight Ranma just to get his precious silky darlings. More importantly, especially to Akane and Genma, the Tendo home received no more fiancée's on their doorstep looking for either Ranma or a piece of Genma's hide.

With all the quiet in her life Nabiki was now bored out of her mind as nothing seemed to have the same flair as it did before. She didn't even have a Kuno to deal with as both siblings had left the country for schooling; Kuno to England and Kodachi to France. She was thankful he never cancelled her satellite phone though – under the pretense that should she hear of his pig-tailed goddess he wanted to be informed immediately.

Thankfully things were starting to turn around for her at school. Because of what had happened the day Ranma left involving her friend Nabiki had a hard time making any friends let alone contacts as everyone was instantly on guard the moment she showed her face anywhere on school grounds. Those who she thought were friends from Furinkan distanced themselves from her. Even the teachers went out of their way to ensure she had as little contact with them as possible and even then only if it related to school work. The end result was she had zero chance of continuing her scams and routines from High School, even Kuno ignored her instinctively knowing she was a social pariah – that is unless he wanted pictures of Akane or news on his missing pig-tailed girl. These meetings were of course always held off school grounds.

As a result Nabiki had given up on her schemes (for the most part) and had thrown herself into her school work earning her top grades. It also helped Kasumi had noted Nabiki's pariah status and had gone out of her way to invite her sister with her to several parties and school functions. The middle Tendo daughter would never have guessed her sister to be a late social bloomer; and such a successful one at that. By the end of her first semester Kasumi was practically the bell of the school with nearly every male of marrying age eating out of the palm of her hand. The first time Nabiki saw her elder sister openly flirt with several boys she nearly had a heart attack.

By way of being her sister she and Akane started to attract the attention of people thinking they might be able to get into Kasumi's inner circle through them and while Akane flourished under the attention Nabiki herself was more careful in making friends for she wanted people who weren't using her for social status.

Akane again proved to be a worry for both her sister for she had again gone through yet another dramatic change in personality. While she was still calm and generally pleasant to be around it came as a shock to her sisters to find out she'd become something of a revolving door when it came to men. Akane went through them so fast Kasumi and Nabiki gave up trying to remember the name of her current male companion. Worse yet, and as of the time unknown to Kasumi, Akane seemed to bend over backwards to please the men she was with, or more precisely giving it away for free only to become cold to them and tossing them aside. When she confronted Akane about it her sister simply told her, in a voice so calm it was scary, she was looking for Mr. Right and none of them had measured up. What was left unsaid was whom she was comparing them to but Nabiki knew – on the outside Akane appeared to have gotten past Ranma but on the inside she was seeking his replacement. When she brought up Akane's rather promiscuous nature Akane shrugged and said she had to know if they were a man among men and not to worry, she used protection. This comment of course prompted Nabiki to comment on how Ranma would be very upset with her for behaving the way she did. Akane didn't talk to her for a month, nor did she cease playing the field though she did become more discreet about it.

Nabiki herself never dated, not a single time, and not for a lack of men or even women seeking her interest once her sister had elevated her from pariah status. Though she was tempted her guilt wouldn't let her and unlike her sister she was under no delusions as to why. She couldn't. Not with Ranma still out there somewhere with things left they way they were between them. With Kasumi enjoying her youth for once and Akane running around behind her picking up the broken hearts of those her elder sister politely rebuffed, she felt that upholding the family pledge to join the schools now fell to her. Nabiki's guilt would let her do no less. She had even started to attend a few of her father's martial arts classes when she had the time.

About three months after Kasumi had started college Nabiki once again had a small close group of friends much to her relief. It was also about this time a mystery appeared in her life in the form of pictures appearing in her email box – all with no return address. At first she simply looked at them briefly before discarding them believing her receiving them it to be a mistake but by the thirtieth one Nabiki became annoyed enough with them to have her address changed. Two days later, they started to appear in her new email box.

The pictures themselves didn't offend her; she just found it unnerving to receive them. More so because she couldn't figure out who was sending them. One of her friends was a computer major so with a little convincing and explaining Nabiki managed to get several of the more talented computer students to try to track the emails to their origin – they had no success. Not even the school administration, who a teacher had informed after discovering the students trying to help Nabiki, failed to stop the emails no matter how many times they change her address. Nor did the emails ever end up in any of the dummy accounts they set up for her. In the end the school administration continued to observe the situation for a time while Nabiki herself accepted that whoever was sending them simply wouldn't be deterred.

Seeing she could do nothing about it, and since the images were never offensive, they soon became something of a game among her friends as they tried to figure out where the pictures were being taken. When they couldn't or even when they could, it was also great fun to speculate as to why that location was chosen. The more outlandish the idea the more amusing it became to look through the pictures and in fact by the fourth month of receiving them it became a Friday lunchtime routine to pop open her laptop and inspect the weeks pictures.

At first they were images of rooms of a well decorated home, clearly expensive: A indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi's, spacious lawns dotted with well maintained shrubbery, a bathroom so large one of the girls joked that you could play a game of baseball it. A similar picture showed the western style tub within what was obviously the same bathing area. The tub was so huge they joked about how it could easily fit ten or more people with plenty of room for the bathers to be comfortable.

One of her friends commented on having seen a house much like it on the show Cribs. A quick review of websites showing the shows videos turned up a bathroom similar but nowhere near as ostentatious.

These were soon followed by other images:

A large black jet, something you might expect to see a foreign dignitary or a star travel in.

A gothic designed black bedroom which turned out to be inside an airplane, something she hadn't noticed until Kasumi pointed out the odd shaped window. Zooming in on the windows they could see clouds outside so it was obvious the picture was taken while the plane was in flight. The girls speculated that the picture was of the inside of the black plane they saw in the previous image – something confirmed when they zoomed in on a different image of the same gothic bedroom where you could see the plane's wing outside the window.

The next picture was the most surprising for it not only contained the very first person shown in any of the images sent so far but was the very first one to show something that might be considered inappropriate. The image was of a bleach blonde hottie laying on the bed giving the person taking the picture a come-hither gesture. It was obvious from the image that the girl was captured in mid act of undoing the last button holding her top in place. The next picture was of the same girl, her hair all tousled, her body concealed only by the silk blankets that hid her nakedness. She appeared to be sleeping with a very wide grin on her lips. There was no confusing the fact of what had taken place especially since the images name was 'The Mile High Club'.

This of course made several of the girls both reluctant and eager to see what images would come by the end of next week and if they were going to get more explicit. It was something of a letdown when the next weeks pictures were tamer by far showing the outside of an all black extended tour bus whose inside was decked out with cushy couches and expensive electronic equipment. Oddly enough the back end of the bus was filled with dozens of old guitars all of which hung in protective cases. Again this series of images lacked any people in it though one of Nabiki's friends, Alexi, thought for sure they could see the reflection of the person taking the pictures in one of the shaded windows but no matter how they tried to clean up the picture they couldn't make out even if the person was male or female.

The next weeks images came all at once rather than spread out one a day at a time. The location was easily recognizable as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, showing stars belonging to several celebrities and lastly a blank star upon which a small card lay. On it, easily able to be read were the words, 'Someday.'

This got all the of their imaginations running as the idea that all these images were being sent to Nabiki by some star or starlet who had somehow developed a deep interest in her for some reason. Nabiki herself found some merit to this idea as it would go a long way to explain why they could arrange for an untraceable email address and even perhaps have someone on the school board on their pay so that they could discover Nabiki's email every time she changed it.

For a time rumors of some huge star seeking out Nabiki made her own star rise within the school as everyone wanted to know who it was. Those who had tried to get Nabiki to go out with them found themselves more understanding believing that she had some sort of secret love affair going on and who were they to compare to a star.

For Nabiki it only deepened the mystery. No one she knew had gone on to become a star, let alone anyone who had shown any interest in her. She briefly entertained the idea that the person sending her the images was Ranma believing it to be him sneaking into someplace and taking the pictures that is until she received a picture of Orlando Bloom standing with his arm around the shoulder of someone who was blurred out while Johnny Depp stood in a similar position on the blurred individual's other side. It was obvious whomever the two men were being buddy-buddy was someone they knew in more than passing especially since there were several shots of them having dinner with this mysterious blur.

This of course torched off an in depth look into the lives of those two actors – well as much as the internet would allow – in the hopes that they could use this as an inference clue as to who was sending Nabiki these pictures, this mysterious blurred individual, and more importantly why.

As fate would have it, someone among her group blabbed that she was getting images from someone clearly famous which caused a rise in Nabiki's fame. She soon found herself inundated with invites to social gatherings or just for friendly lunches. The 'Friday Picture Club' as they called themselves had to seek out new locations nearly every day to avoid people looking to get a confirmation as to the truth of the rumors or just to try to become cooler by hanging out with Nabiki. If Kasumi was the queen of the college Nabiki was in a close second place much to her annoyance.

An intrusion of real life came when Ukyo showed up on the Tendo doorstep looking for all the world like she'd had her universe turned upside down. It had taken several hours of the chef crying into Akane and Kasumi's shoulders before they were finally able to get out of the girl what had happened. It seemed she had been disowned by her father for failure to either marry Ranma or to bring him back their heads and since her father owned the title to her okonomiyaki shop he had shut her down and evicted her without notice. When Nabiki asked where Konatsu was Ukyo started bawling again and it took some time before they were able to find out that Konatsu had left her to be with Tsubasa of all people.

Kasumi immediately offered Ukyo a place in the Tendo home until she could get back on her feet, something she would have a hard time doing without a family name. Three days later Ukyo became Ukyo Tendo for Soun, in a rare showing of thoughtfulness, adopted her into the clan welcoming her as he would any of his daughters.

The next day Akane dropped a bomb on the family, she was moving out. She even made a magnanimous display by saying it would give Ukyo a room of her own. The fact she was moving in with several of her less than reputable friends did little to appease the feelings of her sisters and father on the matter. Akane's was simply "It's my life and if you want to be a part of it you had best accept my choices or you will find Ranma is not the only one who can run away."

When her father asked her about the dojo her reply struck the man to the core, "I'm not a martial artist. I'm going to be an actress."

No one stopped her when she left the house though Nabiki did meet her at the gate where she slapped her hard across the face and then hugged her. Akane simply shook her head leaving the home she'd known behind.

A week later the images stopped arriving. Just like they started they ended without rhyme or reason leaving Nabiki and her friends confused as to why they stopped let alone why they even started.

A week later Nabiki was enjoying her lunch when a man dressed in an expensive suit approached her group asking if she was Nabiki Tendo, of the Nerima Tendo's. At her showing a confirmation as to whom she was the man handed over an envelope and departed. Her friends watched inquisitively as Nabiki opened it and pulled out a single eight by ten frame showing a picture of an older man seated at the forefront of a row of twelve women who simply could not be considered anything other than sex personified. It didn't hurt that the girls were all dressed in sexy outfits and each down to the last wore bunny ears. A signature was clear in the corner, 'Your friend, Hef.' Embedded into the glass in the top left corner was a key. Shakily Nabiki held the picture in her hand as her friends and a few passerby's gawked at the picture; she could already hear the whispers beginning. There was no doubting whom the picture was of and what it represented. One thing Nabiki knew was she'd bet all the yen she owned if she looked up any of the girls in the picture she'd find each had a month of their own.

Another thing that was clear was her pen pal had turned to snail mail instead of email. As to the key in the corner the note on the back solved that mystery. Written in the same writing as on the front was 'Here's a key to the mansion L.N., come back anytime the girls would love to have you back.'

She also noted that stamped to the back of the image was something else, something that made her both smile and shake her head.

This Picture Is Not For Resale Or Trade

It is The Sole Property Of Nabiki Tendo

If Lost Or Stolen Please Return To…

To Nabiki the inability to sell such a treasure paled in comparison to what it represented to her. She finally had a clue to who had been behind all of this, she had the sender's initials.

L. N.


I hope you enjoyed this story and if you wish to submit a review I ask you to abide by my request to send flames or criticism to me via personal message, thank you.