Disclaimer: All characters and storylines (except for the one I'm writing
of course) belong to Rumiko Takahashi (God bless her genius!). Note: Don't
try this at home kids.just kiddin'.
Ranma Saotome sat quietly on his bedroll thinking about the past
events of the day. It had been fairly normal; he and Akane had been late to
school because of a sudden duel challenge by Tatewaki Kuno (which the older
boy had lost, though this was also not unusual), Ranma himself had fallen
asleep in class only to be awakened by the lunch bell, where at the so-
called "period of quiet" he'd been attacked multiple times, once by Ryoga
Hibiki, who'd sworn to avenge Akane against the "enemy to all women", twice
by Shampoo, who'd been determined to force him into marrying her on the
spot, and six times by Kuno's demented sister, Kodachi, the Black Rose;
Lord knew what she wanted.
However, it wasn't these things that troubled the young martial arts
master, it was something altogether different. Something he always feared
confronting himself about. It was Akane, his less than reluctant fiancée.
Amazing how someone he swore to be the most tomboyish, clumsy, un-cute
excuse for a girl he had ever met, could plague his thoughts night and day.
tailed boy lay back on his pillow and closed his eyes, remembering.
"Ranma, you jerk!" Akane shouted at him, launching whatever blunt or large
object within arm's length at the boy.
Ranma grinned arrogantly and front-flipped over her head,
landing in perfect form about six feet away. "What are you so steamed up
about, Akane?" He questioned cluelessly, she'd been taking an unquenchable
anger out on him since they'd arrived back at the dojo from school, and it
was nearly dinnertime. "If this is about Shampoo then-" He was cut of mid-
sentence by the impact of a flying cactus pot against his cranium.
"If you think I'm jealous, then think again!" The
dark-haired girl shouted angrily, fists clenched menacingly at her sides.
"Then why so mad, eh?" He said,
rubbing the throbbing bump on his head, "It's not like you care or
anything, right?" He stressed the word "care" with a merciless sarcasm.
Akane's body stiffened noticeably,
and Ranma wondered if he was going to make it to dinner. "That's right! I
don't care!" Suddenly, she went limp, her velvety brown eyes clamping shut
in defeat. "I don't care at all." The girl's voice didn't hold the ire that
she wanted to convey.
It was if her fierce rage had dissolved beneath his accusation, her own
cause for fury crumbling against the solid wall of Ranma's resolute
insensitivity. This was unusual, and the pig-tailed boy relaxed his
defensive stance in astonishment. Unless he was mistaken, there were tears
forming in his fiancée's eyes, and they weren't the kinds that occur from
the emotion of joy.
This was something he
never knew how to handle. So he did the only thing he could think of doing,
he made a joke at her expense. "Maybe I should switch to the fiancée who
can handle a little competition." Needless to say, it definitely didn't
Akane went rushing from the dojo, her hands covering
her eyes in a blind charge to the house.
down on the floor in confusion. His mind spinning with shock and something
else he wasn't ready to acknowledge. Heart in throat, he backtracked
carefully, sure to recount all the details of the elapsed conversation. His
eyes followed Akane's trail to the door, and then to the house, repeatedly,
trying to capture in a clear thought what had just ensued. So far, he was
summoning a blank.
"Dinner!" Kasumi's sweet voice called from the
house, hailing the boy back to reality from the jumbled mess of his
"Something wrong, Ranma?"
Nabiki, the middle sister asked more from interest in a possible black-
mailable issue rather than concern, as he padded silently into the dining
room. "You seem so timid."
He shook his head wordlessly and sat down at the table, eyeing
the place next to him where Akane always sat.
"She's upstairs," the brown-haired girl stated, reading his
mind, "She said she wasn't feeling well or something. Kasumi's bringing her
dinner now." Ranma lowered his eyes to his twiddling thumbs, half ashamed,
half fearful of the consequences of his imprudent words. Suddenly, self-
righteous action kicked in and he ignored his conscious during the quickly
Somewhere in the core
of his brain a small inkling of guilt was appearing and unknown to him, as
soon as he rose from his seat, he was going to be washed away by a sea of
remorse and head straight for his room, kicking himself all the way. Sure
enough, that's just what happened.
Now, here he was, still trying to gather all of the sentences together in
such a way that they would be understandable to him. It didn't seem to be
working, especially with his father, who had been changed into a panda bear
sometime after dinner, snoring like a steam engine beside him. He needed to
think, and outside was just the place to do it.
At the edge of the koi pond, Ranma stared down
at his reflection, straight into the azure blue eyes mirrored on the
glistening waters. Stupid, stupid, stupid.He cursed himself, crouching down
to glare at the false replica of his personage. He swatted the water with
an angry hand and straightened to stare up at the open window of Akane's
The white curtains fluttered about in ghost-like forms, dancing
to the sound of the night-breeze. He could imagine the girl sleeping; the
only motion that of her chest rising and falling with her breathing, for he
had discovered that on cool summer nights she slept peacefully. And this
was one of those nights.
An incredible urge
to see her, even if she woke up and sent him flying high in Nerima
airspace, swelled in him, and he leaped gracefully to the roof in one quick
movement. Hanging upside down, he peeked through the open window, his eyes
searching out and finding the quiescent form of his fiancée. Suddenly, it
wasn't enough, and he swung down from his perch on the roof to squat on her
Stepping off carefully, he made his way silently to
her bedside, gazing down at her latent face. She had that delicate,
feminine, sleep-soft look that he rarely had the pleasure of bearing
witness to, except for those few times she'd fallen asleep beside him while
watching a television program, or when he'd had to share a room with her
for a night to convince Ukyo of their "marriage", which hadn't actually
happened. A comber of regret rose in his chest and he found himself wishing
for a few minutes that it hadn't been just a show.
Ranma blushed at his own thoughts, and moved to
step back from the bed, but a soft noise from the sleeping girl stopped him
immediately. She had turned her head in such a way where if she'd been
awake, she would have been looking straight at the ceiling; and this gave
him perfect viewing access to the gentle curve of her cheekbones and the
small, pouty lips half-opened in slumber.
seconds, he found himself reaching to trace the lines of the side of her
face with his fingertips, relishing the silky smoothness of her skin. "I'm
sorry," he whispered, the words barely audible, even in the perfect silence
of her bedroom. Her eyelashes fluttered in response and for a split-second
Ranma was afraid she was going to wake up, but she just raised one arm to
lie beside her head on the pillow. It was enough to make a man want to
stand there forever. Unfortunately, he knew she would rouse sometime, and
when she did, if he was still standing beside her, he would quickly find
himself flying over Fuji Mountain.
In a moment of insanity, Ranma stooped over, bringing his face
inches away from hers. "I'm so sorry." Slowly, he dipped to let his lips
brush hers delicately, then pressed them harder against her mouth to
permanently imprint the moment on his brain in a soft-as-summer kiss. As he
pulled back, he ran the tip of his tongue over his bottom lip, savouring
the honey-sweet flavour of her. He breathed in the lavender scent of her
hair, which filled the entire room and closed his eyes to take it all in.
Stepping away from the bed quietly,
he fled through the window before he could give into temptation and steal
another kiss. As he left, he didn't notice the sparkling brown eyes
watching his retreating back, or the gentle smile which graced those
Akane raised a small hand to her mouth, fingertips brushing the
place she'd been kissed. Her eyes danced with silent joy and she dropped
her arm back to her side. "Ranma," she breathed quietly, "I do care. More
than you know."
Author's Note: Thank you very, very much for all your reviews on my other
story, "Wanna' Bet?!" I really appreciated all of your thoughts and
comments, especially the one about capturing the characters, that meant a
lot. I try my best to stay true to the very real personalities of these
individuals and I'm so happy that you understood that. Thank-you so much!
On the other hand, if you haven't checked out my other story, please do. I
work hard on them all. If you have any ideas for another fic (I can always
use them, and will, probably grouped with others thought up or sent to me,
or else if it's an actual story, who knows.) or just if you want me to send
you my stories for your site, please contact me at Caged-Goddess@lycos.com.
Thanks and God bless!!!!