Disclaimer: I don't own them, Takahashi does. This is just my attempt at finishing what she started.
A/N: This is my resolution story. This story is set up like the manga where there will be several different arcs that will help the characters grow and move their relationship along. Some of the ideas have been done before but I will try to put my own little spin on things and will always give credit where it's due. I will also try to add some humor into this but I'll be honest, I don't know if I'll be successful. As my husband likes to say, I'm just full of drama.
For those who have already read this story, I have revised it and some parts are new although the story arcs and content has not changed. Basically I added some more limey bits to certain parts. I chose a T rating, but if at any point you think the rating should go up, please tell me.
Arc I: The Plan
Chapter: A New Alliance
Dojo demolished. Dress ruined. Hopes destroyed. Tears shed.
But not for long; she was never one to weep. She learned from a very young age that tears changed nothing. The pain she felt didn't go away. The people she loved, stayed dead. But she always let herself cry if the tears came.
She knew that she was being melodramatic, but a girl was entitled to be emotional when her wedding was destroyed. Right?
She had wanted to get angry; she was much better at dealing with anger than sadness. But her infamous temper was fleeting lately. After all, death or almost dying changed a person.
She still wasn't clear on what happened that day. Her memories after grabbing the Kinjakan were fuzzy. The only thing she could clearly remember was Ranma telling her he loved her. But he denied it, so she chalked it all up to a dream, some delusion created from severe dehydration and the sensation of waking up in Ranma's arms. She should have known it was too good to be true, it was only ever in her fantasies that Ranma declared his love for her.
Akane rolled her yes, she was doing it again. 'Ok, no more dramatics,' she promised herself as she wiped the tears from her face.
She had escaped the disaster of a wedding as soon as she could get Happosai off of her and while Kuno was focused on his pig-tailed goddess, ignoring her. She snuck up to her room and after a lot of pulling, tugging, and yanking, got her wedding dress off. It was only then that she got to see the full extent of the damage inflicted on the once white gown. Her dress was covered in soot from the bombs thrown at her, there was a rip in the dress she received after being too close to one of Kuno's swings of his katana, cake splattered randomly throughout from Ms. Hinako's childish attempts at devouring the wedding cake, and the beading on her bodice was ripped from where Happosai tried to grope her. She looked at it sadly before throwing it in a corner. There was no way to fix the dress with all the damage to it, not to mention the smell of smoke that was still wafting from the corner where she flung the dress. It was fine, she'd throw the dress away the first chance she got; she wanted no reminders of the day.
She'd been in her room ever since, thinking. After she was done crying, she had begun to really think about her situation. It was harder than it sounded, because she had to analyze feelings that she would normally avoid thinking about. She came to the realization that she had no idea what she wanted anymore. So her first priority was to ask herself some simple questions.
Did she love Ranma? Yes.
Did she want to marry Ranma? Yes.
Did she want to be married right now? No.
It wasn't as hard as she thought it would be to answer those questions honestly. Now all she had to do was figure out what it all meant.
She had less control of her life than she cared to admit and if she wanted a future with Ranma, things would have to change. Ranma still had two other fiancées and one delusional stalker that he could pick. Or, if he really wanted, he could leave and choose someone new. But ultimately, that was his choice and not something she could control.
And what would happen if he did choose her? Would she still want to be with him if he only chose her out of duty? Would either of them be happy if that's how they ended up married?
She had hoped that they would marry because they loved each other, not just because of the agreement between their parents. But she knew that if he chose to be with her only out of obligation, she wouldn't be strong enough to walk away. She'd want whatever he was willing to give her. And if that made her a little pathetic, well there wasn't much she could do to change her feelings now.
Although, the idea of their relationship mirroring his parents' marriage terrified her. She'd never want him to leave her and take their child on a training trip for ten years, or even one year. That would be something she had to be firm on. And if he were happy with their marriage, then maybe he wouldn't be tempted to leave.
So she'd do whatever it took to make him happy when, if they got married.
But it wouldn't hurt for her to try to make him happy before that. To give him the chance to choose someone he loved. This would be the most difficult part, to stand aside and watch as he spent time with and possibly chose someone else. She would do it though; she owed him that much for always protecting her.
And in the meantime, if she really wanted to make him happy if they got married, she would work on herself. And if possible, fix some of the insanity that was seemingly thrown at them from every angle.
It was time for her to stop reacting to everything in her life. She needed to make some plans.
Dinner at the Tendo home was quiet that night. The events of the day had affected each member of the family differently. The fathers were drinking themselves into a stupor, lamenting the fact that their heirs would never get married and their schools would never be joined. Nodoka was scowling as she ate, partly in response to her husband and his best friend's antics and partly due to the destruction to the dojo. Kasumi had a slight frown marring her usual serene face. She was tired of her beautiful home, the home she spent so much love and energy on, being wrecked by one strange situation after another. Ranma sat quietly and ate automatically, his gaze occasionally falling to the empty spot beside him. His mind filled with too many thoughts and heart plagued with too many emotions to comprehend. Only Nabiki seemed unfazed by anything that happened earlier.
Akane had not come down for dinner. Anticipating this would be the case, Kasumi had prepared a tray for her. After serving the rest of the family, Kasumi carried the tray upstairs and knocked on Akane's door. After receiving the expected, "I'm not hungry," response from Akane, Kasumi slipped in quietly, placed the tray on the desk and slipped back out just as quietly.
After dinner, Ranma ran off to his favorite thinking spot: the roof. He loved being up there. It was quiet and the unobstructed view of the stars reminded him of his childhood filled with nights camping during his long training journey.
Ranma had no idea how everything in his life went from bizarre to really bad. Over the last couple of years, he just got used to stranger and stranger things happening in his life. But this was too much.
He knew that he wasn't good at showing his appreciation but he was truly grateful to the Tendos for everything they've done for him. The home they shared with him was the only place he ever had that ever felt like home. A home that could've been destroyed today, much like the house his mother had lived in since he was a child.
Ranma had always been an amicable guy, forgiving his enemies almost as soon as their battle was over. But this time, his "friends" had finally stepped over the line. Something needed to change.
Monday morning came quickly. Akane had donned her running gear and set off even before her alarm could blare. Knowing she had a little more time than normal, she added an extra kilometer to her route. The blue-haired girl relished her morning runs; the rhythmic sound of her feet pounding on the pavement was music to her ears and the endorphins acted like a balm for her soul. Everything always looked a little better after a good morning run. As she reached home, she decreased her pace and started her cool down. Stopping just inside the gates, she stretched out her muscles. Taking a deep breath, she smiled as she heard a splash in the pond and the loud string of profanity that followed. Not yet willing to face Ranma, she ducked into the house and headed for the furo. She felt a little cowardly for sneaking around. Especially since she had snuck out of the house the previous day after leaving a note for Kasumi to say she would be out. But she wanted a little more time for herself and a nice bath was exactly what she needed to top off her run.
After spending a little more time than normal on her appearance and putting on her school uniform, she looked herself over in the mirror. Pleased at what she saw, she gave herself a small encouraging nod, and braced herself before going downstairs to deal with her family. Today her plan would start and she crossed her fingers, hoping that everything would work out for the best.
After his impromptu wake-up call and sparring session by the pond, Ranma had taken a bath and rushed to get ready. He hadn't seen Akane at all the previous day and was anxious to talk to her. He had snuck into her room last night while she slept, just to see if she was ok, but he missed spending time with her. He didn't know if Akane was planning to go to school that day, but he was sure she would; she was never one to avoid her problems. Ranma was determined to be on time today, as to not give her a reason to be displeased with him. Coming down the stairs, he was pleased to see that she was seated in her usual place and had already begun eating her breakfast.
"G'mornin," he greeted everyone and sat cautiously down next to her, eyeing her with a sideway glance.
Akane looked over and gave him a small smile, "Good morning, Ranma."
Relieved that she was on speaking terms with him, he smiled back and begun eating with gusto. When everyone but Soun, Ranma, and Akane had left the table, the Tendo patriarch announced there would no wedding until lingering relationships were settled.
Gritting her teeth, Akane blurted out that Ranma should pay attention and that this involved him. She immediately regretted the comment, thinking, 'This was the exact type of thing I needed to stop doing'.
Ranma felt Akane tense at the word "wedding" and was prepared to tell Soun to stuff it when Akane snapped at him. He hadn't spoken to her in almost two days and he was hurt that this was the first real thing she chose to say to him. Acting on instinct and habit, he snapped back, a fact that he was not proud of.
Feeling slightly ashamed of themselves, they both left as quickly as they could.
As they made their way to school, Ranma had opted to walk next to his fiancée instead of on the fence, like he normally did. He knew they couldn't avoid the topic forever and wanted to make the best of the few moments they had alone together.
"I...I just wanted to say sorry," Ranma said sheepishly as he began to rub the back of his neck.
Akane tilted her head to the side and scrunched her eyebrows together. "Sorry? For what?"
"Well, you know. The whole wedding mess."
Akane sighed and realized she had been doing that a lot lately, which of course, made her want to sigh again. Resisting the urge, she gave him a small smile, "It's okay. Really, you have nothing to be sorry about. If anything, I should be apologizing to you."
Stunned, Ranma's steps faltered; Akane was apologizing to him?
"I didn't realize that our parents were going to try to shanghai you into the wedding. When they came to me with the idea of a wedding, I thought - well they made it sound - like you had agreed to it. And since I thought you had said...what you said at Jusendo, I agreed. Obviously, I was wrong."
Ranma knew that she was and she wasn't wrong. He didn't actually say he loved her out loud, he was sure of it. But he knew he thought it - felt it - with every fiber of his being. He just didn't know how she could have heard it though. And when asked so blatantly if he loved her, he froze. He was never good with feelings and went with what he knew best: denial. Maybe now would be a good time to come clean and explain…
After walking in silence for a while and clearly not receiving a response from Ranma, Akane continued, "I should probably apologize for one more thing, I should have told you about the nannichuan as soon as I found out about it." Akane bit her bottom lip to stop her eyes from watering. "I feel terrible that you lost the cure and if I had just told you, then...then you may have gotten it on time."
She looked away, avoiding his gaze. If anything, this was the one thing she felt really terrible about. She had never wanted to come between Ranma and his cure.
"It's ok, 'kane. Really. I think that I've accepted it. I mean, I do wanna get cured and I'm sure it'll happen, sooner or later. You know, I'll just hafta try again," he said with a shrug.
Akane was astonished. The cure was the one thing Ranma had been wanting since she met him and now he just brushed of the failure. She really didn't know what to think of it.
"Are you...I mean, you look a little different today." Akane just raised her eyebrow at his comment and he quickly added, "Not that I was staring at you or anything."
"Do I look bad?"
"No! I mean, it looks kinda ni...uh...different," he finished lamely.
Akane blushed slightly, glad that Ranma noticed the extra effort she took in getting ready this morning.
During her time alone, she took a real good look at the things Ranma had said about her. She had always thought Ranma was just being a jerk when he called her "unsexy" or made other comments about her figure and always brushed his comments aside…eventually. But what if he meant what he said? The frequency of his complaints alone leant credence to their validity.
So part one of her plan was dealing with her appearance. She knew there was little she could do about her figure; she had no control over how big her breasts were going to grow. She worked out all the time and her stomach was as trim and toned as it was going to get. She actually liked her hips, which she thought gave her a curvier figure.
Eventually, Akane decided to focus on what she could change and she had made sure to spend a little more time this morning on her grooming regimen. Instead of just running a brush through it, she styled her hair, adding extra volume and a cute clip to one side. Not one to usually wear makeup, she had added a little blush, eye shadow and mascara today, emphasizing her cheekbones and drawing more focus to her already large eyes and thick lashes. Lastly, she put on a very thin coat of clear lip-gloss she received from Nabiki last Christmas, which she thought pulled everything together nicely. It wasn't something she was used to applying but thought she did a decent enough job.
The ringing of a very familiar bell saved her from thinking of something to say. Groaning, she prepared herself for dealing with the incoming voluptuous amazon by taking deep breaths.
Shampoo flew off her bike and landed right in front of Ranma, immediately glomped onto him and began rubbing herself up and down his body.
Akane started forward, ready to pummel someone - anyone really - before stopping herself. She took a couple of deep breaths before she stepped back.
"Akane...this isn't...Damn it! Will you stop that!"
Already walking away, Akane called over her shoulder, "I'm going to go ahead, Ranma," and refused to look back. This was the other part of her plan, the really hard part.
She finally came to the realization that Ranma calling her "uncute" had little to do with her looks and everything to do with her attitude. He hated her jumping to conclusions and hitting him before she found out what was actually happening. True, she did find him in a LOT of compromising positions but once he was able to explain himself, those scenarios always had some wild but rational reason. Okay, maybe not rational but there was always a reason for his actions. She winced whenever she remembered him "groping" Ms. Hinako.
To remedy the problem, Akane decided to try to be more understanding and to give him his space to spend more time with the other girls. She could admit that Ukyo had a real "claim" to him, since Genma did accept her dowry. Shampoo's claims were less valid under Japanese customs but Ranma had shown some attraction to her in the past and had remained friendly with her; so she couldn't be ruled out as a potential partner. Kodachi on the other hand lived in her own world. Ranma had always shown distaste for her but if he decided he wanted to spend time with the wacko, she wasn't going to stop him. She would, however, question his mental well-being.
While she hated the idea, it was possible that he was interested in one or more of them. If he was going to make a decision about who he wanted to be with, she had to give him the chance to make an informed decision. So, she would back off and try not to overreact. But she didn't have to like it.
She stomped off toward school, hoping that the rest of the morning went better. Her heart sank as she got closer to school and heard the now unfamiliar cries.
"She's coming!" "Everyone get Ready!" "Akane, my love, date with me!" "Akane, let me prove my love to you!"
Akane had feared this would happen, that the failed wedding would be a sign to everyone that, somehow, their engagement was over. She knew exactly what she had to do. Taking a deep breath, she ran towards the group of oddly dressed boys brandishing "weapons" now spilling out of the school gates as they advanced on her.
Ranma watched as Akane walked off, not even bothering to look at him. First, she came down looking...well looking like that. Akane was always a very attractive girl and drawing more attention to her already beautiful face seemed unfair. She already received too much adoration as it was, and in his opinion, this was just asking for trouble. Not that he minded looking. He could admit that he wanted to keep looking at her. But he knew he wasn't the only one who would look, and damn it, he was the only one who should!
Then she apologized to him. She'd done it before but it usually involved a lot of misunderstandings, yelling, and physical violence before that happened.
And now? Now, she was just leaving him trapped in the tentacles of the human octopus? What was she thinking?
This last thought brought Ranma back to his current situation. Shampoo had used his moment of confusion to carry on her groping, her right hand was traveling down his body and about to reach an area that he certainly did not want her to touch.
"Get offa me!" He screamed and emphasized this by yanking her hand upwards and away from his body while he stepped out of her grip.
"What wrong, airen?" Shampoo asked, giving him what she thought was a coquettish pout. She stepped toward him, her hips swaying exaggeratedly and purred, "You spend day with Shampoo, I give taste of honeymoon."
"Stuff it, Shampoo. I didn't want what you had to offer in Jusendo and I don't want it now!"
Ranma stormed off even before she had a chance to narrow her eyes at him and raced towards school, hoping to catch up to Akane. He sped up when he heard screaming and what sounded like a stampede. 'No. It can't be. They couldn't possibly be that stupid,' he thought. As he reached the edge of the crowd, he realized exactly what was happening and scanned for any sight of his fiancée. 'If anyone lays a finger on her...'
His thought was interrupted when he spotted her three quarters of the way through the crowd. Curious, he stopped in his tracks as he realized that she wasn't fighting. She was dodging under, over and through every attack being thrown at her. He glanced around and noticed there wasn't a single casualty amongst the crowd. Normally, the lawn would be filled with groaning or knocked out bodies, and littered with broken sports equipment. But before him stood a sea of confused teenage boys.
Turning back, he was impressed as he watched her weave her way through the remainder of her "suitors". When she had reached the top step of the school entrance, she stopped briefly to straighten out her dress and fix her hair before she walked calmly through the double doors, not bothering to look back at the stunned faces that filled the courtyard. Like his fellow classmates, he too stood there stunned and confused, not sure what to make of the situation.
Akane was mad, frustrated and annoyed. Normally, this would call for her to beat the offending person or persons her ire was directed towards. And she had every right to, since they attacked her! But that would only work against her. She was glad that there was no one around to see her throw her street shoes into her cubby and then slam her locker door shut. It was a very minor way for her to relieve some of the stress she was quickly accumulating and she enjoyed it. She was amazed that her perfectly lovely morning turned to crap so quickly. For heaven's sake, class hadn't even started yet!
Akane strode into her classroom and sat down at her desk. To calm herself she deliberately took her time putting everything on her desk and arranging everything neatly; her homework sitting on the corner, ready to be turned in, her book in the middle of her desk, and her pencil and notebook ready.
"Are you alright?"
Looking up, she saw her two childhood friends looking at her with concern. "Yes, I'm fine."
"I'm sorry. I really hoped they wouldn't've reacted that way," Yuka said empathetically.
Akane shrugged. She had spent most of the previous day with Yuka and Sayuri. During that time, Yuka had told her that some of the boys were already looking at the failed wedding as a sign that Ranma and Akane's engagement was over. Sayuri had then realized that they may once again start challenging her for their "right" to date her. Akane didn't want to think it was true but obviously she was a little too optimistic about their collective intelligence.
"I really wished you were wrong, but at least I wasn't surprised."
"So Akane, what was that out there?" Sayuri asked.
"Yeah, why didn't you pound the hell out of them?" Yuka chimed in.
"After I got home, I realized that I'd been handling this situation the wrong way the entire time. I was so mad when the 'challenges'," she used air quotes to emphasize her point, "started. I was so angry with the situation that I just went with my instinct to beat the crap out of all of them. I wanted them to understand that I was not something to be won. It didn't work; they just kept attacking until Ranma came.
"Yesterday, I finally understood that they kept attacking because I kept engaging them. By fighting them, I was essentially accepting all their challenges. So I figured the only way to stop them was to ignore them. So that's what I did."
"But wait, aren't you required by some Martial Artist code to accept all challenges?"
Akane snorted, "Only if you're Ranma. It's my duty to accept all challenges to the dojo, in order to show the strength of the dojo or in order to protect it, like with that dojo challenger last year. I'm also required to accept challenges to my personal honor and strength as a martial artist, like when Shampoo challenged me. These idiots challenging me for a date doesn't qualify as either, so from now on I refuse all challenges for dates. Besides, most of those morons aren't even martial artist and have no right to issue a challenge to me. And the few that are martial artist aren't even in my league."
Both, Yuka and Sayuri had grins on their face.
"Oh the boys are gonna HATE that."
Akane shrugged. "Not my problem."
"So, are you gonna just keep dodging them every morning?"
"I can see that it would work with most of them, but what about Kuno? He's not going to make it easy on you to just dodge him."
"I know. I've given that some thought too." This was part of the plan that really annoyed her. "I'm going to have to get Ranma to help." Both friends eyes widened in shock. "I know, I know. Normally, I wouldn't want him to fight my battles, but I don't see this working any other way. And let's face it, I don't think it'd be a hardship for Ranma to have another reason to beat on Kuno. Besides, there may be one other benefit to this plan."
"You know how Kuno is always calling me his fierce tigress? Well maybe, just maybe, he would lose his interest in me if I stopped being so fierce. I mean this whole mess started when I beat him while sparring in gym that day. I didn't even want the sensei to call on me and have me give a demonstration like that! Seriously, if I knew then what chaos it would cause, I would've thrown the match."
"Hmm, I guess that could be true. Its Kuno, so it's anyone's guess what goes through his head."
They all giggled at Sayuri's comment. Noticing that the bell was about to ring, her two friends moved to their desks. Akane sat up straight and looked forward, ignoring all the curious looks that came her way and not acknowledging Ukyo at all when she glanced over. As usual, Ranma sat down just as the bell sounded.
Ranma was completely bored with Ms. Hinako's English lecture. His normal attention span was even shorter than usual because of the morning attacks. He couldn't believe those guys would start that shit again! He thought they were his friends...well some of them anyways. He was just really glad to see that Daisuke and Hiroshi weren't a part of the crowd that morning.
After he got to school and saw Akane had made it inside safely, he starting asking questions (the other boys would call it yelling and demanding answers). He had quickly gotten the story, after leaving some convincing dents on the walls surrounding the school grounds.
Those fuckers thought that his and Akane's engagement had been broken, nullified, negated, etcetera, etcetera. He just didn't understand why until he learned that they found out that he essentially refused to marry her. He had no idea how that bit of information was leaked but he guessed that Nabiki had been hard at work this weekend and made a nice chunk of change.
It was true, he did refuse to marry her, that day. It didn't mean he was giving up on their engagement; that was NOT going to happen. He just had to figure out a way to make those bastards understand that they were not allowed to touch Akane. In anyway.
Ranma had spent the rest of the period imagining creative ways to convince those delinquents to give up their useless, stupid, idiotic, pointless, pathetic crushes on Akane! Didn't any of them understand that they had zero chance with her? Just thinking about it was aggravating Ranma.
He realized he was getting carried away when he crushed the corner of his desk into dust. Several people gave him wary looks while tried to edge their desks away from him.
Ignoring their looks, he kept his hands on his lap for the remainder of the period and gave a half-hearted attempt at focusing on the lecture. As soon as the lunch bell rang, Ranma left quickly to get some much needed fresh air.
Akane, on the other hand, had decided to eat lunch inside. She wanted to avoid the possibility of anyone challenging her during her lunch period. She ate mainly alone and in silence. Yuka and Sayuri had volunteered to spread the word on Akane's refusal to accept any challenges that involved her personal life. She was interrupted a couple of times by people who wanted to verify the authenticity of the new rumors. For once, she had to be thankful to the high school rumor mill for being able to disseminate information so quickly. Even Nabiki had come by to get all the details, writing it down in her "book" and updating whatever odds she kept in there. The conversation with Nabiki had left her feeling depressed and she was glad when lunch was over and class began so she would have something else to focus on.
That afternoon, Akane had walked home alone. She slipped by Ranma unnoticed as he was busy talking to some boys. She was emotionally exhausted after her long day of trying to reign in her temper and dealing with the fallout from the wedding. All she needed were a few minutes of quiet to get herself together. There were things she needed to accomplish and she needed her wits about her if she was going to succeed. She glanced up when she noticed that the cloud above her seemed to be moving with her. It had been a perfectly nice day and she wondered if one of Nerima's sudden down pours were coming in. She groaned as she realized she was most definitely not looking at a cloud.
The large and very odd figure of Pantyhose Taro landed in front of her. Remembering their first encounter, Akane took a slightly defensive stance in case he decided another kidnapping was in order. To her surprise, he pulled out a thermos from the pantyhose utility belt he fastened around his waist. When she realized what he was intending to do, she closed her eyes.
"Hey, where's femboy?"
Akane's eyebrow rose as she stared at her new companion. 'How did he pull on his clothes so quickly? And why had I never thought of just carrying a thermos of hot water around in case Ranma needed it?' Still annoyed from earlier events, Akane replied acidly, "Well, hello, and good afternoon to you too, Taro. I'm fine, thank you for asking. How have you been?"
Pantyhose Taro simply rolled his eyes and waved his hand dismissively, before saying, "Yeah, yeah. Do you know where the tranny is or don't you?"
Patience waning, the vein on Akane's forehead started to pulse. Gritting her teeth, she sent one last glare at Pantyhose before stepping around him and proceeding home.
Not being the most observant male, even Pantyhose could see that this girl was upset. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't the brightest crayon in the box and proceeded to sneer, "What's got your panties in a bunch?"
Akane stopped a few feet from him. Staring at her back, he saw her body stiffen, her head bow and her battle aura start to glow. Pantyhose took a cautious step back as Akane whirled around and closed the distance between them.
Poking his chest with her index finger, she ranted, "I don't know who you think you are talking to me that way. Has it ever occurred to you that you would get some help if you were just NICE to people? No, obviously not! Tell me, has your method of kidnapping people and forcing people to do what you want gotten you anywhere? Of course not! You're not the only one who has problems, so don't push your crap on me!"
Akane finished her tirade with one last poke of his chest and he swore he could see steam coming out of her ears. Gulping, Taro had the decency to look slightly ashamed. He wasn't used to dealing with irate women and suddenly felt some sympathy for Ranma having to deal with this from not just one woman but three.
Clearing his throat, he said, "Fine. I'm sorry. Alright?"
Having finally found somewhere to vent her frustrations from the day, Akane felt slightly better but a little sheepish. Sure he was a jerk, but she could admit he was just a scapegoat.
"It's...I'm...Look. It's been a long day and you caught me at a bad time. Just forget it, ok?"
She turned around and walked away and was surprised when Taro fell into step beside her.
"Umm...do you want to talk about it?"
"Ok, well I ...umm..," not good with comforting someone, Taro had no idea what to say.
"You know, I was serious about one thing, people would be more inclined to help you if you were nice to them."
"Pfft. No offense, but what can you do to help me when your girlfriend couldn't?"
Ignoring the jibe, Akane went on to say, "More than you realize."
"Wait, what? How are you gonna get that old bastard to change my name?"
"Well..." Now a little more uncertain, she didn't know how much to tell Taro. "I've been working things out and I think I found a way to get Grandfather to...alter some of his behavior. I may be able to work in changing your name."
"Well, what are we waiting for?"
Akane sighed. She wasn't really prepared to address the issue today but she had no good reason to put it off either. The plan would either work or it wouldn't.
"Nothing, come on, let's head to my place."
They walked in silence as Akane tried to figure out how to get Taro to fit into her plans. Things could get really complicated, but she thought she could make it work.
A/N: I hope you liked it. I've always thought Akane to be a little on the sarcastic side, or at least thinking sarcastic things during the events of the series, so I've brought that out in the way she's dealing with people. I have a list of issues that will be addressed throughout the story but some things will take longer to get to than others. Thanks for reading.
Big thanks to KaikiH and alwaysZutarian for betaing this chapter! It really needed it!
Original Publication: May 20, 2014
Revised: May 8, 2015