Prologue: The Wedding of Ranma Saotome

The tuxedo itched. Ranma had never noticed it before, but this suit was incredibly uncomfortable. The last time he had worn it it had not felt that way, but this time he noticed every crease and each spot that rubbed him the wrong way.

He glanced quietly around the room. He almost found it funny, nearly nobody looked happy. The few guests that were there were all frowning. Some were looking around nervously or in expectation of something exploding. In all honesty he would have welcomed that. Sadly, Kodachi was in Hawaii at the moment. Shampoo and Ukyo had both given up on him well before this wedding was hastily put together. He expected they were both consoling her right about now.

He looked over at his current and future family. Soun's expression was serious and grim, while Nabiki's was near unreadable. He did detect the faintest hint of disdain in her sharp eyes though. Genma was, unusually enough to anybody who knew about his attempts to get his son to marry a Tendo the past year, openly glaring at his usual partner-in-crime. The only reason he was not acting to stop this farce was the only person who looked happy about this event. His mother, Nodoka, was smiling cheerfully as she looked over the groom and the bride. The Saotome Family Blade was unwrapped and sitting openly in her lap, a constant reminder of what would happen if either man in the family went against the program tonight.

Finally, his gaze drifted over to the bride.

He supposed, objectively speaking, she was pretty in that wedding dress. But the sight of her did nothing to excite him. She was not the one he wanted. The woman walking towards him was not the one whom he had dreamed about. She was not the one that had lit a passion in him he had never felt before. She was not the one he wanted to marry. She was not the one he loved.

Kasumi looked up at him through the wedding veil, her expression once again apologetic. He wondered how many times she had apologized. He had told her time and again that this wasn't her fault, that both of them were being forced into this. He wished, not for the first time, that the previous wedding had managed to succeed. He wished that he had possessed the guts to go through it the first time, despite the potential embarrassment of confronting his feelings. He wished he had done it despite the explosions and the fighting. If he had then things would be better for everyone right now.

If he had just told Akane he loved her, then he would be married right now. She would be his wife, and this would not be happening. She would be with him, like he had wished for the longest time. Their parents would have no more power over them, and Akane would be happy. Akane would be loved.

Akane would not be crying, alone, disowned of her family name and cast out.

Yes, another Ranma fic. I just couldn't get this one out of my head. It's not too bad. ½ Ranma is on hold and The Most Beautiful Women in The World is also coming along nicely. I'm going to try and keep a schedule for this one. Hopefully expect once a week updates.