Putting the finishing touches to her tea tray Kasumi smiled to herself. After having to listen to her two younger sisters argue in the living room for the last half hour, she had decided that a nice tea was necessary to regain at least a little peace within the household....
Speaking of Horses
"-I just can't believe you, Akane! I mean, okay, so it could have been a startling experience for someone new to the whole thing, but jeez..."
"Hey! I was scared, damn it!"
Glancing back down to a photo lying on the table Nabiki muttered, "Well..."
As the door slid open both girls turned to see Kasumi enter, carrying a readied tea set. Calmly setting it between the two quarrelling younger sisters she then sat to join them.
"Whatever is the matter?"
Unable to stop herself from smirking, Nabiki watched as Akane's face began to flush a deep red before turning to her old sister and saying, "I just discovered the reason for Akane's initial reluctance at being engaged to Ranma."
Watching as Akane turned and verbally lashed out at Nabiki telling her to shut up, Kasumi couldn't help but notice that most of her youngest sister's skin discoloration was being caused not due to anger, but from embarrassment.
Unable to hold her own curiosity in any longer, the eldest Tendo daughter said, "Oh, what could that possibly be?"
Snickering out loud Nabiki said, "It appears that during the infamous furo incident, oh so many months ago when her fiancée first arrived, our dear little sister got the shock of her life." With that she slid a photo across the table towards Kasumi, who picked it up.
The photo held a picture of Ranma, an oft target of Nabiki's photography skills. This one, however, was of Ranma climbing out of the Tendo family furo...
...completely naked in all of his glory.
There was a long moment of silence, though Kasumi herself would later swear that she could hear every single drop of blood as it moved straight to her head, gifting her with a blush that ran well below the neckline.
"Umm... er... well then..."
Still grinning Nabiki cut in saying, "Kind of takes your breath away, doesn't it?" Reaching forward she then plucked the picture from Kasumi's nerveless fingers while adding, "First viewing is free, duplicates of your own cost money."
Taking a moment to clear her throat Kasumi turned to the still flustered Akane and said, "Don't worry Akane, I understand. Running into something like... that... would be rather... er... intimidating for someone a little inexperienced."
Almost growling in frustration Akane shot back, "Kasumi! He could kill someone with that thing!"
"Oh yes!" Nabiki added while taking another appreciative look at the photo in her hands. "The boy most definitely lives up to his name."
"Of course he does, he's a Saotome."
All three girls froze at the older feminine voice.
Stepping into the room Saotome Nodoka sat down at the table and poured herself tea. After taking a sip and sighing in contentment she then said, "Saotome Ranma and Genma, do you think it's a coincidence that they are named so? Did you know that Genma's father was named Nagama, or his uncle Jinma? I have even heard that Ranma's great grandfather claimed the name Saotome Tsuyoma." Then pausing for a moment she added with a quiet little smile, "I surely didn't marry Genma for his sparkling personality."
Another long silence ran its course through the room, until...
Fingers fidgeting with the hemline on her dress Kasumi suddenly asked, "So, Akane, you have..." and managed to blush once again while finishing her question with a vague hand gesture.
Jumping to her feet Akane practically screamed, "NO!!!"
"Oh... well then... I... I should probably go start dinner." And with that the eldest Tendo daughter unsteadily got up and left for the kitchen.
Nodoka just sat and smiled as she watched Nabiki continue to poke fun at Akane, and it was several minutes later when Kasumi's voice was heard from the kitchen.
"Auntie Nodoka? Do you know if Ranma enjoys wine with his steak?"
As the question rang out the back and forth between Akane and Nabiki stopped, then as one they turned and looked at the Saotome elder.
An ear-to-ear grin on her face she answered, "To be honest I'm not sure dear. I would recommend a red though, something... wet."
Jumping to her feet Nabiki stomped off in the direction of the kitchen while loudly saying, "Oh no you don't! I saw him first!"
Two seconds later Akane also left yelling, "Hey! That's MY fiancée you're talking about here!"
Still sitting at the living room table, Saotome Nodoka closed her eyes in pleasure as she took another sip of tea while visions of grandchildren filled her mind. Eventually, thoughts of Soun and Genma joined them and she snorted.
"Months of scheming and all they had to do was hide the boy's towel at the right moment."