Author: pahlee PM
AU. It'll be typical to have a Prince fall in love with a Princess, but how about an arrogant Prince and a slightly tomboyish servant? But, there's more to the story than that, and all the stars burn brightly for their secret.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Ranma & Akane - Chapters: 6 - Words: 23,167 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 24 - Follows: 38 - Updated: 09-06-12 - Published: 01-31-12 - id: 7793540
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ belongs to Rumiko Takahashi.
Ranma held Akane close as he showcased her to their people. He lowered himself to whisper in her ear, "This will all be yours."
Her heart began to race, her face flushed a pretty pink and Akane turned her head to capture his gaze in hers, "R-Ranma…"
He smiled sweetly as he gave a small kiss on her nose, "Be my queen, Akane – and everything will fall into place."
The crowd was still applauding and the cacophony mixed as Akane stood there breathlessly as she lowered her head, "I'll be your queen."
Tale V: Moonlit Whispers
As the sun began to rise, Akane was awaken by her curtains being drawn and the sunlight boring into her room. "Rise and shine my lady, doth are needed in the royal chambers by sire," said a brown-haired chambermaid, her hair dolled up in a bun and her clothes sporting the royal symbol. Sleepily, Akane rubbed her eyes, "Hnn? The chickens will be plucked," she rolled over in the bed, drawing the covers over her, "Five more minutes Satsuki!"
"I'm not Satsuki," returned the voice in a jovial manner, "My name is Akari, milady, and I'll be by your side, whenever you call upon me."
Akane sat up, her eyes wide, forgetting where she was now. And the reality hit her, how much she had missed her old friend. Akane stared at Akari for a moment, and she tilted her head slightly, "What did you mean by 'sire needing me in the royal chambers'?"
A mischievous grin spread across Akari's face, "Oh, milady, it's not my business to know what goes on beyond ye bedchambers, now."
Literally almost falling out of bed, Akane scrambled, "What? No!"
"'Tis a joke, milady," Akari giggled as she walked over to help assist Akane out of bed, but Akane stopped her as she got out. "It's not funny," Akane said bluntly. Akari shrugged, "Seemed silly enough for me."
Just as Akane was about to leave the room, Akari reached for her and pulled her back, "Hark! What do ye think ye doin' milady? One of royalty must never leave their chambers dressed as for intimacy!" Confused, Akane looked down at her attire and her face flushed redder than the reddest of red, "The hell? What is this?"
Akari tried to calm her down, her hands in the calm down motion, "Milady! Milady, those are ye night clothes, the majesty had you change into them after ye reception of thy engagement party."
"T-that pervert!" Akane raged as she scrunched up her face, and was about to leave the room again when Akari tackled her to the ground, "Milady! I told ye once! You cannot leave the room like this!"
"Let me go, Akari! I'm going to strangle the king!" Akane said as she tried to pry herself away, but Akari was persistent, "No milady! First get dressed!"
While they fought, Ranma was outside her chambers, he knocked lightly before opening the door to a sight he was not prepared for. On the floor, was his fiancée with her clothes in disarray and her chambermaid trying to force a dress over her head. Akane's legs were up in a kicking motion, revealing her long slender legs.
Ranma could feel the nosebleed.
"W-what are you doing?" he found himself crying out, "Akane!"
Akane turned her head towards him, glaring, "You!" She then turned her attention back to Akari, "Get off me, Akari! Let me at him!" And before Akari could do anything, Akane managed to slip away and stomped her way to Ranma, she jammed her finger into his chest, "What's the meaning of this? Why am I wearing this?"
Ranma leaned down and captured her lips in a light kiss, pulling away, Akane was blushing and stammering, "S-stop that! And tell me why the hell am I wearing this! H-how did you even get me to wear – I mean! I would never!"
A smile crossed his lips as he ran his hand down the side of her face, "Hey, you got into it willingly, besides," he leaned down and whispered seductively, "We'll just save all the fun for our wedding night, love."
"R-Ranma!" she cried out, and backed away slightly, he stood there and gave her a wink, he stood next to the door, "Get dressed, Akane, and meet me in my chambers."
He closed the door behind him, and Akari stood there with the dress in her arms, "I told ye! Now into the dress milady!"
Gruffly, Akane made her way down the corridors and to the doorway of Ranma's room, with the help of Akari. Raising an eyebrow, Akane turned to Akari, "So, I just knock or-?"Akari bowed her head as she took a step back as the door opened, revealing Ranma standing there, "Took you long enough." Akane just huffed as Ranma ushered her into his room, closing the door behind her and leaving Akari in the hallway.
"Well, what is it that I had to usher to your room this early?" Akane asked.
Ranma walked from behind her and went to his dresser; there he removed a silver band, that had a single rose in the middle, jeweled with a single diamond in the middle of the carved rose, that had its stem wrap around enclosing the ring. "Here," he said as he slipped the ring on her finger, "It's the family ring for the Saotome house."
Akane admired the silver jewelry on her hand as she slowly uttered, "So, the family's flower is a rose?" Nodding to indicate his answer, Ranma drew his hand upwards and rested next to her chest, her heart began to race a little faster, a blush on the edge of her cheeks, "And your family symbol must be a star?"
Following his hand, she saw that he held her pendant in the palm of his hand now, his eyes admiring the simple jewel. Nodding, "Yes, my father used to call me the little star of Tendo house," her voice grew quiet, "Before he passed on."
"The light in the dark," Akane continued as she raised her own two, smaller, hands to cup his larger one holding the pendant, her eyes still downcast, "That will lead the Tendo house to victory, because the stars shine brightly on us."
"You really pride yourself in the Tendo name, don't you?" Ranma said softly as he used his free hand to bring her face up to his, their gazes locked, "You're so vibrant…Akane, I-I don't understand why you didn't just rebel against your step-mother for the way she treated you."
"Easy," Akane returned, tears on the verge, "My father, despite all my protests and denying, loved her, in some form, and I had to respect that."
"Akane," Ranma muttered, and she continued on, "Though she may strip me of my title, throw me to be a servant, there's no way she'll ever break a Tendo's willpower. But, still – my father's paperwork is still missing. And…she claims he left the Tendo estate to her."
"Let's not tread on that," Ranma said as he kissed her softly on her forehead, "You'll be a Saotome soon, and we'll get everything sorted."
Vibrantly, Akane's eyes shown, "If anything, I'd like Satsuki to take care of the land father left behind, Hinako has let it go to ruins!" Akane released her hold and stared at him hopefully, her answer was a chuckle from him, "Come, let us go eat breakfast. My parents would like to get to know you."
Akane stood out on the balcony, overlooking the land of Nermia, and over a few grassy hills she saw the woods that outlined the edge of her own land. She sat with her legs hovering over the ledge, her dress fluttering about her as the sun beat down on her back, a soft pink gracing her cheeks as she recalled breakfast.
"There you are!"
Akane looked over her shoulder and saw Akari standing there with a tray littered with snacks. "What's that?" Akane questioned. "King Ranma said to bring you some snacks," she said as she made her way over to her and placed the tray beside her, "For lunch will be late today in preparation for the dinner tonight."
"What's tonight?" Akane asked as she picked up a chocolate delicacy she never saw before.
"My, milady, today's the anniversary of the rule of Saotome when it was passed from House."
"Really?" Akane said thoughtfully as she turned her attention back to looking at the direction of her house, "I've always thought the Saotome's always ruled Nermia."
"Not the case, milady," Akari replied, "Some time before, this land belonged to a different House, however; it is myth to know the true original rule. It is said that some tragedy had fallen upon the family and a curse made it so that it had to be passed."
Akane giggled, and her chambermaid looked at her funny, "Prithee tell what may be so funny?"
"My father used to tell me of this tale, that sounds similar to that," Akane said considerately, "I remember it so…"
Nabiki sat at the table, her arms crossed and her brows knitted together in the middle of her forehead. Hinako sat across from her, in a similar state, except for the scowl on her face. It was evident enough to any passer-by that the two women were pissed. However, the softly humming embroidering girl beside them threw the whole scene off balance. Kasumi sat in a plush chair, a few feet away, embroidering a star into a handkerchief.
"How did he even meet her?" Hinako asked as she threw an angry glare at her eldest daughter who seemed not interested in the whole ordeal, "Kasumi!"
"Yes, mother?" Kasumi asked as she looked up from her work.
"Why are you so calm about this?" barked Hinako.
"Calm about what?"
Kasumi stood up, holding her work in her hand as she glared at her mother, "That my youngest sister has found happiness? Why would I be upset about that?"
"You consider her your sister?" spat Nabiki as she took shot a nasty glare.
"Why wouldn't I?" Kasumi replied back, "If you two took the time to get to know her, she's such a sweet child!"
"That wretch was never a daughter to me!" Hinako screeched, "I loved her father dearly, but that soul was tainted from that start," she spat, "Her mother was a wretch too."
"Don't speak of her mother like that!" Kasumi yelled, "You have no right to do that!"
Hinako and Nabiki stared at the usually quiet Kasumi, she was seething with anger, "Since we were children, I saw the way Father Soun would favor Akane, and I accepted that. I also found out that little Akane only had her mother for a short time, you don't talk about someone's relation so ill and live in their home!"
"She was a witch!" Hinako screeched, "It's her family's line that ruined what Soun had!"
"That's folklore, mother!" Kasumi reacted, "No one is a witch, no magic, and especially," she began to leave the room, her anger starting to get out of control and she had to calm down, "No curses!"
Akari and Akane both turned to the source of the voice, to see Ranma standing there, holding a single rose in his hand, he smiled at his fiancée. Akane gave a meek smile, "Yes?
Her chambermaid gave a small deliberate smile as she silently left the scene. Ranma made his way to Akane and gave her the rose, Akane looked down at it and smiled, "What's this for?" "I'm trying to court you," Ranma chuckled as he swung himself over the ledge and dangled his legs alongside hers, "I know this is all the sudden, but really, Akane…that night of the Flower Festival…I really thought I wouldn't see you again."
"But here we are now," he said as he reached for her free hand and held it in his, "About to get married."
"Are you sure about that decision?" Akane asked softly, "Are you sure about this?"
"Akane, I'm definite in this whole decision." Ranma said as he looked outwards, "I-I love you."
Kasumi stood out by the edge of the woods, marking the imaginary marker where the Tendo land ended and where the Saotome land began. Her breaths were short and sharp, a small headache was on the edge of her mind as she stood there.
Her family was beginning to get on her nerves, and she found that she had to leave. Had to go. And make sure that Akane was being taken care of.
"Lady Kasumi?" came a soft voice. Kasumi looked up to see Satsuki approaching with a basket in her arms, "Are thee alrite? Prithee tell me of your ails, milady?"
"Satsuki," Kasumi whispered as she went over and hugged the lady, "Satsuki, terrible things are to come if I stay in this house."
"Darling," Satsuki started, "No one is binding you here."
"You love me?" Akane said astonished, shock in her voice, "D-did you just," Akane blushed as she felt her heart race. She felt it, the way her heart would beat a little bit faster when he was around, the way her face would redden whenever he would acknowledge her, and only her. But she brushed it away, as infatuation – nothing more, because…
She was not sure she could love him the way he loves her.
"Ranma," she breathed, "I –" but she was unable to finish her statement as he leaned over and captured her lips in a soft kiss. Pulling away slowly, he murmured against her lips, "You don't have to say it yet, it's okay. Just let me love you, okay?"
All she could do in return was blink and nod her head; he smiled as he went in for another kiss and held her there, "I love you, so much."
I think I'm falling in love with you, Ranma.
She could not sleep. It was well pass the midnight hour, and the moon was brightly shinning in its full moon phase. Sitting on her knees, Akane looked up into the night sky and watched the stars shimmer above her, she reached for her pendant and in doing so saw a glint on her hand. She froze for a moment, before realizing it was the ring Ranma had given her.
For just a moment, she admired the ring and a smile appeared, she then went back to her pendant and held it in her hand. Twirling it between her fingers and softly humming to herself, the anxious girl found herself anxious about tomorrow.
Tomorrow was going to be her wedding day.
She recalled how busy the kingdom was, in preparation for the big day, the decorations and participation got her really nervous as she could only take in everything. Today, she was Akane Tendo, heir of the Tendo House but tomorrow she will be Akane Saotome, Queen of Nermia.
"Papa? Mama?" Akane whispered to the stars, "Watch over me, and give me the strength to have the courage to tell Ranma how I feel about him. I'm still weary over these feelings, but do I love him?"
Before turning to leave, just as she dropped the pendant from her hold and let it fall back against her bare chest, an indescribable warmth surged through her as the star rested against her. "Good night, good night," Akane said.
"You look beautiful," Nodoka commented as Akane walked out in a red dress that enhanced all the assets Akane had, and more, "My son has chosen such a lovely bride." Akane could not help but smile, "Thank you –" and just as she was about to address her with a honorific, Nodoka stopped her, "Just call me mother, alright dearie?"
"A-alright, mother," Akane blushed. Nodoka smiled brightly as she extended her arm out and Akane took it in her own, her mother then led her through the double doors and presented her to a large room with people dressed in rich clothing sat around. At the head of the table as Ranma and Genma, both were eagerly anticipating the opening of the door – marking the start of the ceremony.
Taking a seat next to her betrothed, he looked at her warmly, "Good morning, love."
"Good morning," Akane responded.
Throughout the day, Akane had to go through so many trials for the ceremony and found herself so lost in the whole ordeal, but Ranma was there the whole way through. It then came for the actual wedding and she found herself in a room with three women putting on her wedding gown.
"Are you still a virgin?" one girl asked, who Akane recognized as one of the girls who were at the flower festival, and guessed her name was Ukyo.
Blushing madly, "Y-yes."
"Wow," she breathed as she pinned the dressed up and tied up the lace, "Aren't you a saint."
"W-what do you mean by that?" Akane snapped, staring at Ukyo. She smirked, "I'm just saying, the King is marrying a woman without any experience, however your flower may make up for it. Though I'm to speak," she said as she laced the other half, "For King Ranma is a virgin too."
"And you aren't?" Akane retorted.
"Let's say," Ukyo replied, "Had he chosen me to marry, he wouldn't leave the bedchambers unsatisfied."
During the ceremony, when they were exchanging the roses in significance to the Saotome house, Akane whispered softly, just for Ranma, "Does it bother you that I'm a virgin?"
"W-why would that bother me?" he blushed, knowing quite well that he was astonished that she was one, seeing how girls' would be so loose in this kingdom, being harlots. "Ukyo said some things to me earlier…and I can't help but think –" Ranma lifted her head in his hands as he kissed her, sealing their marriage, as he drew away, "It's not her place to speak to her like that, besides, you fill me with love, and that's what is most important."
The priest blessed their matrimony and Ranma held her before their kingdom, "I love you, Akane."
Smiling, and tears streaming down her cheeks in happiness, "I-I love you too, Ranma. I love you."
At that point, Ranma found himself unable to control his utmost happiness as he grabbed her and pressed her against him, kissing her madly, "God, it feels good to hear you say that."
Laughing in between their kisses, Akane said, "It felt good to say it, Ranma, I love you, I love you –" the crowd cheered loudly for their new king and queen, "I love you."
Kasumi found herself clapping loudly as she watched the ceremony. Beside her stood Satsuki, as well as Shinnosuke donned in his military uniform, clapping away. "She looks so happy," Satsuki cried, "So happy, so beautiful."
"I'm glad for her," Shinnosuke said as he clapped, "She deserves this."
"All hail the Saotomes," the three chanted with the rest of the crowd as they stood in support.
That night, was their night, and another seal for their marriage as they made love. All night long, the sounds of melodious love rung throughout the castle as it mixed with the melody of the night.
Their marriage sealed.
The next morning, Akane found herself outside, standing alongside Ranma in a new dress watching Ranma call out orders for the militia. She watched as the soldiers lined up and began their training. She remembered this all too well. As she watched, she saw Shinnosuke in the mix and she waved slowly, and smiling. He returned her gesture with a nod as he went on with his training.
Ranma watched over his people, with a careful eye as he shouted out commands. He held Akane's small hand in his as he stood among them, leading her around. Some of the men got distracted as they noticed her warm smile each time Ranma would say something to her, and they got their punishment.
Akane could not help but giggle at Ranma's antics as his jealousy showed, but he kept it in check, for the most part. On the other hand, Ryoga was also there, in charge of the rest of the militia on the other side. He was the one administering the punishments (usually a few more push-ups or sit-ups) otherwise, had their majesty done it – other forms would have ensued. A little bit later, they left and Ranma had to go to a council meeting about the war.
"Explore the castle, Akari will accompany you, love." Ranma said as he was whisked away by the council members. "Will do," Akane responded as Akari made her appearance and nodded her head. Akane agreed, "Okay."
As they walked, Akari told Akane tales of the Saotome rule, myths and lore, as well as other funny tales. Akane enjoyed their time together, and found that some of the stories were quite silly. Then Akari told another tale, that Akane had to stop her at.
"Wait, could you…start from the beginning? This tale…" Akane remembered, "Sounds so familiar."
On the darkest of the nights, in the brightest of days – a family rose up against this and became the rulers of the land. Under their rule, their family controlled the land for more than 300 years, a solid family line, year after year. Then, one year, it was different from the rest. Folklore says it happened around 20 years ago.
The son of the kingdom fell in love with a maiden, a beautiful maiden with a smile as bright as the stars in the night sky. Two of them were in so much love, and when they married they broke a sacred bond between the alliances of the forces. One mustn't challenge the balance of the ruling, and therefore some sort of sacrifice must take place.
When he married her, all remembrance of his family rule was erased from the mem'ries of the people, all 300 years of history forgotten, and erased. It is said that they were blessed by the stars, and lived on the land, but the blood of the mother continued to run through her offspring. However, that's not the root of the tale…
The maiden's family was said to have been dabbling in magic, rooted back to the ancestry of thousands and thousands of years ago. When she fell in love, she broke the unspoken rule of sorcery and the spirits did not look well on that. It appeared that the ruling fam'ly's symbol was the star.
And that was their downfall.
The star interfered with their own family line, but the maiden was persistent about her joining of families with the man, so it was said that a curse was placed upon her. She had forgotten her own follies, her own ancestry, but the husband would remember it all.
Then…their children would be cursed, to never rise and fall, like the shooting stars they are. However, it is said some sort of jewel protects the child, and that should it ever fall in the wrong hands, all havoc will reign. It is also said, that should that child come back to power – all the land will engaged in a war to fight for balance.
Akane stood there, her mind racing as she remembered the story. At first, she did not react. She stared at Akari and then shook her head, reminding herself that it was all just a folklore anyways. A little while later, while Akane sat in the common room of the castle, Ranma finally made it back. Akane looked up from her book and smiled sweetly.
"Reading tales?" Ranma asked as he sat down beside her and looked at the book she had open in her lap – an anthropology about folklore of Nermia.
"Yeah, something kept bothering me to read something," Akane answered as Ranma gave her a quick kiss on the lips, "How was the council meeting?"
"Horrid," Ranma said as he sat back, closing his eyes, "Now I know why my father wanted to give me this position so badly, haha." He joked. Akane smiled, "It's not…going to be bad, is it?"
"It shouldn't be," Ranma said assuring, "If anything, this was is a complete waste, but…it's been called and we can't back down. Nermia will stand strong."
"Where is Akari?" Ranma asked, just realizing that his wife was alone. Akane smiled, "Oh, she went off to find Ryoga – hehe," she giggled softly, "Who knows what then." Ranma smiled at Akane, "Oh, you."
Putting down the book, Akane reached over and held Ranma's face in her hands, she smiled sweetly, "Maybe she's in love?" Ranma smirked as he held up his own hands and held hers, "Like us?" She leaned forward and captured his lips in a chaste kiss, "Perhaps."
"I love you, Akane," Ranma whispered as he pulled her into his lap and lavished her with kisses, between their kisses, Akane giggled, "I love you too, my king."
Later that night, Akane stayed up a bit later than usual. Lying there, she stared up at the canopy of the bed, how the arches formed and fell to become the support of the bed. She turned her head to see the glass doors, and saw the cloudy night sky. The stars twinkled as she watched, she moved her hand away from Ranma's own, and held her pendant in-between her fingers, twiddling it slightly as she let a soft breath escape from her lips. She then felt a spell of sleep hit her and she slowly drowsed off.
She was woken up by Ranma kissing her, going down her cheek and then down her neck. Akane smiled, sleepily, as she raised her hands to stop Ranma, "Ranma," she let out breathlessly, "W-what?" He smirked up at her, through half-lidded eyes he lowered himself onto her lips, "Good morning, love." She sat up and Ranma did too, they stared at each other for a moment before there was a loud banging at their door. Ranma groaned as he turned over and reached for his robes as he called out, "Enter."
At that, Akane shrieked as she pulled the covers around her, blushing, "Ranma!" Ranma turned to her, smiled, "Oh, I've forgotten that you need a robe too…heh." She threw a pillow at his head as Ranma kept laughing. But that was short lived as Ryoga came scurrying into the room.
"Sire!" he called out, stepping in on the scene before him, his king in a robe and his queen with the covers coiled around her as she hid herself away. Ranma turned to him, "What is it, cousin? I was in the middle of wooing my wife."
Another 'Ranma' was heard from underneath the covers, and Ryoga blushed, but he went on, "Sire, word was sent; our spies on the other side have been discovered – and their own king is not happy about this. It is said that there is a small group approaching its way to Nermia, they were said to have left earlier this morning; to come and disengage our own Calvary before the fight." Ranma narrowed his eyes, "What? Why wasn't I told of this earlier?"
"Our own word was injured, he is in the East wing getting treated from an arrow, he could not relay the message any faster than he had." Ryoga answered.
"Bring my wife to a safe place, her and her chambermaid," Ranma said as he went to the bed and pulled out his wife, who was still clad in her sheer nightgown, that hid nothing to the eyes, Akane blushed heavily, "Ranma!" At that, the king took his own robe off and threw it around her shoulders, he tied it around her and ushered her to Ryoga, "Go! Make sure they're safe, I assume my father and mother have already taken shelter?"
As he was leaving, Ryoga shouted back, "Indeed sire."
Akane was annoyed, and a bit scared as Ryoga ushered her through the corridors, they stopped and retrieved Akari and Ryoga ushered them to a location Akane had never visited. "You two stay here until either the majesty or I come to get you," he said as he lowered the door.
"What's going on?" Akari asked, as she sat down, closing her jacket around her. Akane sighed, "I-I don't know, from what I know…some people from the war are coming here, and apparently going to start a riot."
"Do you know who we're in war with, milady?" Akari asked as she looked up to see her queen in Ranma's robes. Akane stood there, and for the first time in months, after all her training and involvement, she realized – she had no clue.
"No?" Akane replied.
"Akane," Akari said, "We're fighting against the Kumon Dynasty."
Well, here you guys go, another installment of Always, don't worry, my plot is still getting there, I'm pulling in the Kumon (Ryu), if you recall from the manga, and it gets more intense, as I keep on my imagination! Well, enjoy guys! I'll be writing out the next chapter soon! I have to write on the other chapter stories, as well as this one one-shot I am working on! Ta-ta!