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“Hey Sis!” Nabiki chirped as she stepped into the dojo. It had been over seven months since she had started university in Australia but and was feeling really great about being back.
Being met inside by the family had been great, warm at seeing and hugging her family after so long. She had been surprised when Ranma was there but Akane was not. Something was decidedly off about that to her, but seeing her little sister here reassured her.
“Welcome back,” Akane said with a bright smile at seeing Nabiki, but didn’t move around the large stack of blocks she was restacking in a new position. Stacking another set, Akane grinned again, “One sec.”
Watching Akane ducking down out of view, Nabiki nearly jumped when arms suddenly wrapped around her from behind. She shrieked in surprise at the reverse hug while Akane kissed her cheek. “Welcome home.”
Released, Nabiki turned around to find Akane had vanished again.
“So how long are you back for?”
Akane’s voice drew Nabiki’s eyes back to where she was behind the brick stacks again. “Three weeks.”
Her eyes again looked at Akane for more changes, slightly envious of the healthy sheen to her skin. “You’ve been training with that over energized monkey of a fiancé of yours?”
“A little”, Akane admitted with a small smile. “Meet any boys?”
“Plenty of boys, a couple men,” Nabiki said, giving a wicked grin. “No telling Kasumi.”
Akane gave her a long look before rolling her eyes and reaching for more bricks.
“What about you and Ranma? Has he grown a set of balls and made a move yet?”
“No,” Akane said with a overly deep sigh.
“Bull, Sis. You’re a lousy liar.”
Akane's eyes narrowed on her sister. “Look, things are good between us now. He’s already nervous about you returning and changing things. Don’t make this hard again, please?”
“As long as things are progressing Sis. I don’t care that you’re not married yet but I’m worried about you together if he hasn’t popped you yet.”
Smirking Nabiki leaned on the doorway. She opened her mouth to speak but Nodoka’s voice cried out, “Dinner!” from the main house.
“Come on,” Nabiki said, only to realize Akane had already vanished.
Giggling at the little fluffy Koala clipped on Ranma’s pigtail, Akane looked back as her sister handed out some more gifts she had brought back for the family from Australia.
She was still been smiling at the greed in Uncle Genma’s eyes after the bottle of Australian Wine Nabiki had brought for their father, Ranma’s fat father getting some ‘Roo Jerky’ made from Kangaroo meat.
Nodoka had been gleeful at the beautiful picture book of Australian scenery, Akane already holding the cute Koala like backpack in her lap, and for Kasumi a thick cook book of Australian and multicultural dishes.
Turning her future brother in law, Nabiki smirked. “That clip toy isn’t your real present Ranma-kun,” she stated as she pulled out a plushy of a Kangaroo, the cute toy wearing little boxing gloves.
“I figured it constantly jumping around and fighting, a boxing kangaroo is definitely you.”
Awkwardly taking the gift like it was a trap, Ranma nodded, “Thanks Nabiki.”
“But,” Nabiki began, smirking as he froze. “If you go make a new animal based martial art out of that, I want you to send me a video of it first.”
Relaxing at the joke, Ranma nodded, his embarrassment turning to look at the kangaroo as if seriously considering the possibility of such.
“Hard to double kick without the tail to give you a brace to the ground,” Genma said, apparently also thinking of the how.
Rolling their eyes, Nabiki leaned to her younger sister. “If this makes him jump on you, you’ll owe me the details there too.”
Nabiki purposefully ignored any reaction from Akane to appear innocent if she blew up, seeing Kasumi trying to catch her eye.
“What’s that Nabiki-chan?”
Looking at the last item in the bag, Nabiki smirked before bringing out the jar and passing it to her older sister. “It’s called Vegemite. It’s a paste they spread on bread and toast.”
Kasumi opened the jars yellow lid, smelling the pugent aroma. “It’s strong.”
“It’s got a odd taste, its made from brewers yeast, but it’s full of B vitamins.”
Putting the lid on the bitter smell, Kasumi nodded in thanks.
Smirking as she savored the last of the beer in the can Kasumi had slipped her after dinner while talking with her family and the Saotomes', Nabiki made her way down to the furo with Kasumi.
“So how are things progressing with you and Tofu?”
“Slowly. He has just been so busy of late I rarely get to see him, and Akane’s attempts at cooking of late have been so erratic I fear leaving Aunty alone with her at dinner.”
“You have got to make time Sis.”
“Oh I know,” Kasumi said with a sigh.
Stripping off her shirt, Nabiki looked at her older sister. “What’s wrong with Akane’s cooking?”
“Oh I’m not sure,” Kasumi lamented as she undid her skirt and let it drop. “She started making real progress preparing meals then suddenly has been using odd ingredients again. Ranma has been fine with it since she eats them herself now or throws them out if they make her sick.” An odd look crossed Kasumi’s face.
Pointing a finger at the hamper, Nabiki saw Ranma’s red shirt under Akane’s outfit. “Did Ranma have a bath before going out? I thought he left the house half an hour ago before Akane went to bathe.”
From the door to the furo, Akane’s voice rang out. “Yeah, he was here but I came in after he was done.”
Shrugging and slipping out of her pants and underwear, Nabiki moved for the door. “Cool, we’re coming in.”
“Nabiki!” Kasumi’s shocked voice rang out, making Akane focus on her sister in the doorway between the change room and furo. “You have no tan lines! And a tattoo!”
Shrugging Nabiki continued in ignoring the eyes of her sisters. “It’s December. It might be winter here Sis, but it’s summer down under and the nearest beach to my campus dorm is a nude beach.”
“Is it women only?”
Both younger sisters rolled their eyes at Kasumi, “If it was I wouldn’t go. It’d be no fun. You go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, New York has the Statue of Liberty, and Australia has the great bronzed bodies.”
Ignoring Nabiki’s flippant reply, Kasumi pointed at the small of her sister’s back. “And what of that?”
Shrugging, Nabiki turned around to show Akane the symbol of for Japanese Yen inked on her spine. “Like it?”
“It’s a yen symbol, it’s like you’re a hooker advertising a price,” Kasumi nearly yelled, so upset her bare white breasts wobbled with every heaving breath.
Getting up, the tanned middle sister put a hand on her sister’s shoulder. “Sis, I’m nineteen, in two months I am an adult here but in Australia I have been responsible for everything I do. I am mature enough to make decisions and live with the consequences. Do you really think a bit of sunlight and body art can change your sister into some kind of slut?”
Confronted with harsh words she was all but saying, Kasumi swallowed and nodded. “Sorry Nabiki-chan. You know I worry.”
“I’ve missed you too Kasumi, but I worry about how little progress you’ve made with your man. More so with our baby sister.” Turning to point at Akane, she noticed her little sister suddenly dropping back into the tub she was trying to quietly get out of.
Shaking it off to look back at Kasumi, Nabiki smirked, “Besides so few Westerners recognize Japanese characters let alone what they meaning, and as for the few who do, you know that if they ask how much I cost, they can’t afford me.”
Akane giggled as Kasumi shrieked and overturned a bucket of cold water over Nabiki’s head.
Slipping into the hot water beside Akane, Nabiki looked at her. “How long have you been in this tub?”
“Not long before you came in,” Akane said, glancing at Kasumi also joining them in the family tub.
Grabbing Akane’s hand, Nabiki looked at the wrinkles of her fingers. “Liar, want to try that again? These fingers have been in her a while.” She didn’t add that her body looked waterlogged too, Akane was always a little worried about her weight and winter was normally bad for her.
“Geez Sis, back only a few hours and I wonder why I missed you.”
Nabiki looked to Kasumi to defend her but she didn’t.
Left to her own defense, Nabiki locked her eyes on Akane’s. “Nice way to change the subject Sis, but I’m just going to have to assume you were taking a long soak in the bath with your fingers thinking of Ranma.”
“Assume what you want, you’re wrong.”
Expecting Akane to deny even that, Nabiki smirked. “You didn’t make a mess in here did you Akane?” she drawled looking at the surface of the water before Akane’s hands splashed around.
“How many Australian boyfriends did you say you have, Nabiki-chan?”
Nabiki chuckled at Akane’s new tact, waiting for Kasumi to react but her eyes were closed as she hummed to herself.
“It’s not like I’ve got a hunky man back here to dream of and do nothing about. I’ve got to look for a decent man.”
With a flicker the bulb of the room went out, plunging the furo into darkness. The one in the change room was out too.
“A blackout?” Kasumi asked in the dark.
“Can’t be,” Nabiki stated, “Street lights are still on. Maybe we blew a fuse.”
Hearing splashing, Nabiki felt one of her sister’s climbing out of the tub, somewhat over her. She raised her hand to guide her out without being climbed on, Nabiki felt tender yielding flesh and released it instantly, slightly embarrassed.
The sound of splashing left the furo, cautiously wet feet on the tiles to the door. Almost immediately the lights flicked back on, the remaining girls blinking at the sudden brightness. Nabiki looked surprised at Kasumi, having been sure it had been her big sister climbing past her in the dark, but apparently it had been Akane.
“I can sleep out in the dojo if you want?”
Ranma’s offer made Nabiki grin, temped to take advantage of the sap for old times sake if nothing else. “A futon in Akane’s room is fine. That is your room now,” she added, pointing to the horse nameplate with the name Ranma on it where once a little duck labeled ‘Nabiki’ hung.
Turning with her bedding, Nabiki went into Akane’s room, seeing her sitting on her bed holding a large plush version of P-chan. “Sure you don’t want to let me have the bed, and you go sleep in my old one?”
Glaring at her sister, Akane stayed seated. “You must be going through boyfriends like Kuno through tissues. Do you have anything but sex on the brain?”
Sticking out her tongue at Akane, Nabiki continued to set up her bed. “How is the Blue Thunder? Seen him of late?”
“No thank God, but I know where he is. After University of Tokyo kicked him out for threatening an elderly professor with a boken because she had her hair in a pigtail, he vanished. Turns out his father got him into university in Hawaii.”
“Really? Lucky jerk.” Nabiki muttered.
“Principal Kuno must have real pull over there because they sent two fully paid scholarships for next year, Bachelor of Wifely Duties, one for me and one for ‘Pigtailed Girl Saotome’. They retracted it a month later and sent us a tape of Kuno being taken down by some bounty hunter with a mullet, because he refused to pay fines for carrying a weapon.”
“Ha!” Nabiki laughed in amusement, before giving a yawn. “What about Ryoga?”
Akane stifled a giggle, “Don’t ask Ranma of it cause he’ll start laughing again. Apparently Ryoga was training with the sumo pigs when he accidentally tossed one into a machine and broke it.”
“It collects the semen of the stud champion pigs.”
Nabiki clicked her tongue before realizing what Akane wasn’t saying. “Don’t tell me they got him doing it manually?” she asked before laughing again.
Smirking herself, Akane nodded. “It’s not that funny. Its just farm work.”
Nabiki giggled rolling her eyes. “That boy can’t get a break. What about your rivals? Shampoo? Ukyo?”
“Shampoo got fed up with Mousse and got him engaged."
"Please don't say to Ukyo."
"No, Shampoo called in some Sister Amazon she called in to offer Ranma two wives. When it failed, new girl made an offer by herself and Shampoo got mad. She tricked Mousse into beating her in challenge combat and she accepted, gave him the Kiss of Marriage. Now Shampoo is down because she lost both men in her life."
"You sound so upset about it too,” Nabiki said sarcastically.
"Ranma's finally getting good taste,” Akane returned with a grin. “Anyway, her visa ran out and to stay in the country she’s now on a game show for martial artists. Exotic beauty who will marry any man who beats her, very popular but no ones come close. Because she can’t barge in here as often she keeps inviting Ranma on and he is pissed because he can’t say yes to fight or compete in all the other parts of the show. He’s waiting for her to be defeated and married off so he can go on it.”
"Ha!" Nabiki laughed. “So what of Ukyo?"
The odd tone in Akane’s voice caught Nabiki’s attention. “What? What happened to Ukyo?”
“Apparently she decided to try and get Ranma by copying Shampoo, but instead of Amazon magic she tried to make Aphrodisiac Okonmiyaki.”
“What, like Oyster Okomiyaki? Oysters and that stuff don’t actually work you know.”
“She found one, maybe it was the Rhino horn extract but something worked on Konatsu in testing because we got a phone call dumping Ranma and they didn’t open the shop for a week.”
“Wow, go Ninja boy,” Nabiki said laying back down, referring to the Okonomiyaki Chefs live in waitress.
“More than go, she’s huge, six months pregnant.”
Giving a western swear in surprise, Nabiki looked at Akane holding her plush pig to herself. “Are you serious? Wow.”
“She can’t hide it if she tried.”
“Who can? This isn’t like TV where you can hide a woman’s belly behind props.” Nabiki smirked but it turned into a yawn. “Well sorry Sis, I’m used to being asleep by now, its after one am in Australia.”
“That’s cool, I’m pretty tired too. Goodnight.” Akane said, turning off the light before discarding her plushie and climbing into bed.
Like a snap Nabiki’s eyes opened. It was still dark, her eyes seeking the clock saying five oh one in the morning. Instantly calculating the time zone she knew it was seven am back in Australia, and worse, a Wednesday morning. After six months of eight am Business Ethics classes on Wednesdays like today, jet lag caught up with her routine clock.
Looking around the dark room, she held the warm covers to her body reluctant to get up but wide-awake. When she noticed her Akane’s bed was empty she sat up.
Frowning, she got to her feet, covering up against the chill of winter, and silently moved to open the door. Padding silently down the hall, she put her ear to the door smirking at the sounds of groaning and squeak of bedsprings.
“No wonder my little Akane is more comfortable talking about sex now that she’s getting some. Well it looks like I got a pair of slaves for the rest of my break,” she whispered to herself under an evil smile. Leaving them to their fun as she headed down to the bathroom.
Finished in the bathroom, Nabiki was heading back upstairs to confront Akane, assuming Ranma had finished by now, only to hear a sound from the kitchen and follow after it.
Moving down the hall, she glanced in expecting Kasumi but found Akane was there. Wearing a loose apron, a gag gift from Ranma it was labeled with the Hazmat symbol, over her pajamas, Akane had put out a ingredients for cooking who knows what, but instead of cooking she was eating directly out of a small jar with a tea spoon. The moment Nabiki stepped into kitchen she could smell the stretch of the Vegemite she had brought from Australia.
“Akane, are you actually eating that straight?”
Swallowing quickly, Akane was red faced. “Sorry Sis, I opened it to try a little, but its so delicious. It’s like malted salted beef.”
Shaking her head, Nabiki backed up a step. “Akane, its Vegemite. Unless you are over six feet tall and Australian, it’s not delicious, its vile.”
Looking at the thick black spread in the jar, feeling it on her tongue and teeth, Akane shrugged. “I like it.”
“Geez Sis,” Nabiki began realizing she wouldn't get this through to her. A smirk lit her mouth, “Well it’s a decent source of vitamins, so it’s a good way to revitalize yourself after sneaking over me to have some fun in my old bed.”
Dropping the spoon, Akane flashed across the room to her sister, covering her mouth. “Keep that to yourself,” she hissed.
Smirking through Akane’s fingers, Nabiki’s eyes glittered in the low light of the kitchen. “Not a problem, after all I can’t have you fighting Daddy about getting you married if you and your fiancé are helping me collect a few Plasma TVs I’m shipping back to friends today.”
Her eyes tearing up, Akane hung her head and stormed out of the kitchen.
Smiling at the cool sunny day, Nabiki strode across the grass to her family dojo.
Ranma and Akane had ventured out earlier to train. As she approached, Nabiki wondered with a grin how often they practiced their new illicit grappling out here.
Slowing down, she saw the doors were shut, though she could hear the sound of practice beyond. Sneaking up, she opened the door a crack, peeking in to find a blue eye looking back from the other side.
With a panicked cry, Nabiki fell backwards in shock, glaring at Ranma as he slid open the door with a smirk.
“Nabiki, would you join us for a second?”
Standing quickly and gracefully, Nabiki stepped into the dojo, looking at Akane, who had just finished a practice kata, had an old war fan held lightly before her.
“So you two ready to go?”
“Akane said you worked out we’ve gotten together.”
Ranma’s serious tone caught Nabiki’s attention, her stance tightening as she realized he was going to try and negotiate this. Smirking darkly, Nabiki gave a lazy nod, staring at the blue-eyed young man. “Hey, more power to you, its far beyond time really.”
“And now you want to force us to do your dirty work to keep it secret? Less than a day back and you’re already causing us trouble,” Ranma said evenly, smiling gently for Akane as she moved to his side.
“Hey, it isn’t like I’m causing you undue grief, I just thought it would be more like old times for me to do it this way than ask you for help you’d say yes to anyway. You don’t think I’ll make things really bad for you do you?”
Ranma’s nodding irritated Nabiki but it was Akane who spoke. “Sis, you have to understand, sometimes things just happen in Nerima. Right now its quiet but the slightest word could set off all sorts of trouble.”
Rolling her eyes, Nabiki kept her position. “I haven’t been away that long. I mean technically I have an obligation to share our family’s good news with Daddy and Kasumi.”
Akane growled and stepped forward but Ranma held her back, his hand sliding to her stomach, hidden behind her war fan. “Nabiki, technically I have an obligation to protect Akane from anything threatening her.”
Nabiki froze, swallowing her dry throat. Not that the threat, those empty words drifted by her consciousness as her minds eye reviewed the last day.
Kasumi said she had been preparing odd meals with strange ingredients.
She ate straight vegemite.
Hid her body from view in dojo when arrived.
Akane has great skin.
Wore extra layers at dinner.
Only got out of bath when lights went out.
Held big plush toy before stomach in bedroom.
Wore the biggest apron in kitchen.
Holding the war fan before her now.
Ranma gently touching her stomach.
Boobs as big as Kasumi in the bath.
She ate straight Vegemite.
“Akane, could you hold that war fan to the side for a moment?”
The winces on their faces were enough of a confirmation, but Nabiki strode up and pulled it away to reveal the slight but obvious bulge in the small frame of her sister, even through the gi top.
“Nabiki, don’t say it. Don’t even think it. It would be worse than all the girls fighting over me.”
Ignoring Ranma’s almost begging words, Nabiki stared at Akane’s stomach. “How far along?”
“Five months, maybe six.”
“Maybe? What did the Doctor tell you?”
“We haven’t seen one yet. Do you know the trouble that would cause if word got out!”
Glaring at Ranma, Nabiki’s voice gained an icy tone. “You can’t ignore this you idiots. You have to see a doctor, Akane you’re six months pregnant!”
Both Akane and Ranma groaned as the word “pregnant” echoed in the dojo for all of one second, before the door burst in.
Soun, Nodoka, and Genma all burst in, tears in their eyes as they waved cheering fans. The moment the celebrating ended Soun grabbed Ranma, leaning him to the side. “You know I have an old friend, his father taught me the way of weapons I put into the Tendo style, his son’s wife is currently with child, I’m thinking we could engage your child and his now…”
Yanked to the side, Genma’s voice growled in his other ear. “Now boy, lets look long term. If we engage this brat out now we can get some respectable offers and pick and chose later.”
Nabiki watched as Nodoka fussed over Akane’s baby bump, Ranma yelping as he was dragged from the fathers. A stern looking foreign woman glared at the young man before her. “Madam St Paul of the La bell France school of fine dining. As per your debts, if this child is female she will be engaged to a son of the Chardin family.”
With a whack, Cologne batted the young man free of the French woman, landing her tiny frame in front of him. “Okay I’ll lift the Kiss of Marriage, but if this is a boy, I want marriage meetings with no less than thirty girls I’ll bring from the Amazon village when he is sixteen.
A chain claw hooked around his waist, the ninja weapon dragging the dark haired man to Konatsu beside his plump and wide wife, Ukyo. “Ranchan, we have to pass our engagement down to your kids. You still owe my family for that cart. Our ultrasound shows twins, a boy and a girl so we can declare this now, sugar.”
A lithe arm from the slender beauty in a leotard caressed Ranma’s neck, turning him to the dark haired Kodachi Kuno holding up paperwork. “Like our love, this isn’t over my sweet’ums. Here I have the paperwork to declare us married and to adopt the child of your great seed and her rotten egg.”
Beside the doorway, a frowning Kasumi pulled the cork from the bottle of wine Nabiki had brought back from Australia, dropped the screw and cork, and tipped the bottle up. Wrapping her lips around the rim, she proceeded to drink, the liquid level slowly going down as her throat undulated till the bottle was empty.
Through all the noise, Nabiki saw Ranma and Akane glaring at her.
Turning away, she moved for the door. She’d have to find new cheap labor, but even though she might have made the mistake of saying the P-word, it wasn’t like she got Akane pregnant. This was a consequence of their actions.
Three weeks later, Nabiki huffed as she lugged her suitcases up the stairs to her dorm apartment.
An attractive blond girl looked up from a chemistry book, a piece of toast with Vegemite in her hand. "G'day Nab's welcome back."
"Hey Vicky, want to give me a hand with this crap."
Vicky nodded, standing up her statuesque frame, blond and tanned, her ample assets stretching what should have been a loose thin shirt, bouncing as she strode over to the shorter smaller Japanese girl.
Hefting the case, she grunted. "What the bloody hell have you got in here?"
Even as she asked, the suitcase fell open, underwear bursting out of the over packed case. Worse still, something leaped from the clothes for the Australian woman’s chest, flying up under the cut off shirt, his bald head out the neckline like a third white breast. "G'Sweeto!"
A photo slipped out of the suitcase Happosai had been hiding in, Nabiki’s eyes narrowed on it immediately, a copy of an ultrasound image with the written words. ‘Thanks for the help, Aunty Nabiki, love Ranma and Akane. Enjoy our gift.’