'A Very... very thin line between..."
Ranma felt slightly disturbed.
True, he was often extremely disturbed by the chaos in his life, but this time, he was truly disturbed. He looked down from the fence to find Akane still staring at him intensely in a way that caused nitrogen to flow through his spine. There have been times when Akane had watched him with such.... focus before, but this time it was different. It was very different because Akane...
...kept walking into things. Ranma checked to make sure that he hadn't put his boxers on the outside of his pants, or something for the umpteenth time. Finally, Ranma decided that he needed...
...to run, Akane was now just plain scaring the shit out of him.
The pigtailed boy stopped in mid-stride at the first word Akane has said to ANYONE all morning. No matter how much he had egged her on, he could not get a response from her. Ranma turned to stare at his fiancee with unvieled shock, as he was doing this from a rather peculiar position, being the one of mid-stride, he lost his balance, and feel flat on his face at her feet.
"Do you think I'm cute?" Akane innocently brushed some stray hairs to the side and looked at him with big innocent eyes that made Ranma's heart skip a few beats. The way she was now looking at him was throwing his rational for loops, forcing him to fall back on standard recovery protocols.
"You? Cute? I think that parked truck you ran into back there knocked what little sense you..."
Ranma stared at Akane incredulously, as she held him against the concrete wall he had been balancing on prior, with spider web cracks forming from his impact. Akane asked once again in a sweet and innocent tone that belayed the fury of which she slammed her fiancee around, "Do you think I'm Cute?"
"Uh..." Ranma started.
"ANSWER ME!!!!!" The intense stare was back. Up close, it almost seemed as if Akane was staring far off into the distance; not quite focusing on him, but was. It took a sheer will of effort for Ranma not to lose bowel control.
"Yescuteveryverycuteevenpleasedon'tkill... huh?" Ranma blinked, as Akane smiled brightly at him, and then skipped on ahead. Ranma waited for the shivers to stop, before starting back behind his fiancee to school.
Ranma used his sleeve to wipe the cold sweat from his brow. Though he was focused at the front of the room, he could feel Akane's eyes boring holes into him. He wasn't the only one that noticed, as all the desks around her were pulled away to give her berth. Everyone presumed that Ranma had done something especially bad this time, from the way Akane just stared at him, not glared, *stared* at him. It was only coupled by the way Ranma was sweating.
Eventually, the last person to notice Akane's new habit, spoke up. "Akane, if you find Ranma so distracting, perhaps you can get yourself situated by holding buckets out in the hall?"
"It's Ranma's fault," Akane said factually, with her tone so even that it left no trace of emotion. It was almost robotic, in fact.
"Fine, Saotome, accompany Akane out to the hall."
Ranma snapped foward, "WHAT? I DIDN'T..."
"Now..." the teacher stated in a tone that brooked no argument.
Ranma shuffled while holding buckets, attempting to ignore the intense glare that Akane was giving him. He would say something was wrong, but that confirmation had well already been mailed out and recieved.
"ACK!!!!" The pigtailed boy exclaimed at the girl's soft voice, "Uh, wha-what?"
"Do you think I'm pretty?"
"...." Ranma said, as she stared wide eyed at the girl, like a bunny looking down the inside of a shotgun barrel. He finally managed to at least attempt to babble, when her stare became unnerving again, "Uh, well you're, um, that is, well, you see..."
Ranma turned his eyes towards the cool metal pressed against his neck, "Uh... nice switchblade..."
"Do you think I'm pretty?" Akane asked again, sweetly, while only less than an inch from Ranma's face
"Yes! Yes! Very Pretty!" Ranma exclaimed avidly. He would have nodded, but...
With the press of a switch, Akane pulled the weapon away, and smiled vibrantly at Ranma, before picking up her buckets of water again. Akane looked foward, while sweetly rocking on her feet with a cute and satisfied smile that girls get after being complimented by someone important to them, while Ranma stared with more than a little fear in his expression.
"What's with Akane?"
"AAAAHHHHH!!!!!" Ranma screamed from his hiding place in the tree. He had been paying attention to Akane's whereabouts all lunch, and didn't notice when Ukyo jumped into the tree and came up behind him, "Geez, don't do that!"
"Sorry, Ranchan," Ukyo apologised, "Anyway, I'm guessing you're hiding from Akane, huh?"
"Uh, yeah," Ranma stated, scratching the back of his head, "She's been acting *really* weird, scary even."
"I guess," Ukyo commented, "She was watching you like a hawk all class."
"That ain't all," Ranma interjected, "She keeps asking me questions if she's cute or something, and then if she doesn't like the answer, she gets violent."
Ukyo looked Ranma over, "You don't looked bruised to me, Sugar."
"No, not so much that violent, more... dangerous violent."
"She's threatening you?" The young chef asked fiercely; a vengeful fire dancing in her eyes.
"Don't get in the middle of this until I figure out what's going on," Ranma commanded to the girl, "I don't want you getting hurt if Akane's gone crazy or something."
"Oh Ranchan! I'm so glad you care for my welfare!" Ukyo exclaimed, throwing her arms around the pigtailed boy and placing her head against his chest, causing him to freeze up in nervousness. With his stillness, he was able to notice something...
"What's that ticking?"
Ukyo looked into Ranma's eyes with an oblivious stare, before the light dawned on her, "Oh, that. It's just the bomb I have strapped to me," The girl replied cheerfully, "Now let's just stay like this for a few more seconds, Ranma-honey."
Akane turned to the screaming pigtailed boy, as he jumped from the tree and took off running with Ukyo in hot pursuit,"Ranma!"
The pigtailed boy only ran faster as Akane started to chase him too, "RANMA! DO YOU REALLY LIKE ME?"
"LEAVE ME ALONE!" The pursued boy cried out, leaping over the school wall to escape. Only Ukyo was able to follow, but eventually lost him.
"What the Hell is wrong with them?" Ranma mused from the rooftop he was hiding on. Ukyo obviously had to be joking about the bomb, but that was a weird thing for her to joke about. Akane herself was acting like she was fit to be locked up somewhere plush with no corners. The changes happened reletively overnight, and decided that either this was a cruel joke played on him by both fiancees, or...
"Nihao, Airen!" Shampoo greeted under her front tire.
Of course, now everything was obvious. The answer just hit him, "Shampoo!" Ranma growled, while standing up aond confronting the lavender haired girl, "What have you done to Akane and Ukyo?"
"Huh? Shampoo do nothing to violent girl and spatcula girl," The Amazon asked oblivously, "Husband, Shampoo have important talking, you come with Shampoo to China now."
Ranma rolled his eyes, at least Shampoo was acting normal. She had been demanding the same thing of him since the wedding attempt, and he was going to give the same answer he always had.
"Shampoo, even if I did like ya that way, you blew it. The answer's *still* no"
"Shampoo no accept no! You come to China with Shampoo now!"
Ranma breathed heavily to keep his calm, "Face it Shampoo, I ain't goin' with ya!"
"Ranma will go with Shampoo to China!"
Ranma turned away from the Amazon, and sighed, "Look, Shampoo, I don't mind being friends, but I ain't gonna be your husband! Get it through your..." Ranma turned around, and froze.
"That too bad..." Shampoo stated in a soft voice, "If Ranma not refuse, Ranma no have to die..."
The pigtailed boy took a gulp, and stepped back from the unwavering gaze of the girl. Her voice when she uttered the threat lacked the usual false bravado that hid the fact that she couldn't follow through with it. This time, it had a certain edge to it. An edge that would have brought up the same fear he felt all morning from Akane...
If it weren't for the fact that he already had a healthy fear from the rusty chainsaw she was holding....
Ranma mused that today was going to be longer than usual...