Disclaimer: To Rumiko Takahashi, of course... one of my favorite manga artists... :)
Dedication: ...okay,... to *him*... for those who know *him*, well, I'm dedicating it to *him*. :)... also to Beth, Andy, Sarah, Jay, John, and the whole brood of you. :)... and to others who are a really great inspiration to me.
Notes: I know I'm not really good at making Ranma fics, since it's really hard making a romance without making the characters not OOC. /_\... But it's a challenge, since I do okay on other anime. Anyway, my friend literally begged me to make a fic for Ranma 1/2. So if it sucks, don't blame me. Blame her. ^^;... anyway, this plot really ain't original... I admit, one of those Ranma-goes-away-and-after-a-couple-of-years-comes-back-to-Akane fics. I just thought I'd enjoy writing it... Reminder: Wack her, not me. ^^;... her name's Sarah by the way.
Akane Tendo sighs contently in her dorm, a normal dorm for a normal teen. In America.
Well, Akane is fairly rich now for a twenty year old studying in college. She got it from winning alot of tournaments, when she moved to America. In America, martial arts are highly respected, and alot tend to learn it, and join in tournaments to gain medals and throphies. Kinda strange, neh? Akane winning tournaments, and making herself famous and rich in that field of interest, when while she was a highschool student, she didn't manage to beat Ranma, or any of the other strange people who hang around him. She only managed to kick Kuno to jupiter. Well, put it this way, even Kuno would have won most of the tournaments if he had moved to America.
It's just that, in America, the martial artists were mostly... well, Americans. They tried hard, but they'll never surpass the people in Japan, namely Ranma and the other guys. That's why Akane felt slightly embarassed with herself, since she was famous in the martial artist world in America, but she knew if she moved backed to Japan, most of the people would beat her. But Japan was her past now... but it always did leave a golden remembrance in her mind.
You see, Akane Tendo is now twenty one years old. When she was seventeen, Ranma had announced that he and Ryoga would go to China to look for a cure for his curse. And, after a year of waiting, he still hadn't come back. That's when Nabiki had decided to move to London to study there, and Soun, asked Akane if she wanted to study in a different country. Akane's friends were also deciding to in America, so after a lot of thoughts, she decided to study there to.
She was waiting for Ranma's arrival for over a year in Japan when she made that decision, and just maybe thought that he'd never come back. Yeah, it was really jerkish of him after he had promised to come back. So maybe just to take things out of her mind, she settled in her decision of moving to America with her friends.
She made a lot of new friends, and was now in college. She was still with Yuka, and their english had gotten a lot better. They met two new close friends, Gina and Karen. (A/N: teehee… for those genuine filipinos out there, you know where that came from… Bee happy! Ah, wait… wrong comercial…)
Gina and Karen were twins, and they had gotten along fine with Akane and Yuka. So while in college, the four of them were sleeping in the same dorm. A couple of months after they met, the twins swhoed Akane a brochure about a martial arts tournament, Japanese style, and she decided to join. Luckily, she had won quite easily. And the school had offered her a scholarship if she joined the combat club.
She was happy now, and to add unto all of it, she had met Paul. Gina and Karen were totally pro in this idea, that the two of them were soulmates. Yuka disagreed at first, because she was thinking that Ranma was better. Akane finally convinced Yuka, that Ranma was the past. She totally hated the idea that he hadn't come back, but completely, it wasn't his fault. She was the one who hasn't called home for three years, she knew her family was worrying for her one hundred percent, and that made her even more guilty. She sometimes wondered if Nabiki had moved back to Japan already.
Anyway, Paul and Akane got along fine. He was a calm man, and a couple of months older than her. He lived in a house with his brother near the dormitory where Akane stayed, and he was a bright young man. He wasn't the sporty type, but he was very bright.
They were steady for around two months now, and she was totally happy. She couldn't help but compare him to Ranma, and she thought of it rude that she compare fiancees.
Akane now has long hair tied into a loose ponytail like when she first met Ranma. She liked it better that way, it felt more comfortable. She was alone in the dorm now, her friends left to grab a bite in the middle of the night. For some reason, she didn't want to come with them.
She felt so happy, but what ever she did, she never forgot the incident that happened three years ago.
"I promise Akane! I'll be back, and I'll show you! I'll be a full fledged man!"
"If you don't come back, I'll promise you, I'll definitely search for you and beat you up."
"Yeah, sure. But maybe Ryoga here will slow me down, you know his sense of direction."
A familiar growl from Ryoga is heard.
"Wait… why is he coming with you anyway?"
"Er… you know, best of friends! It's not like he's looking for a cure too!"
"Best of friends?"
"Yeah!" And with that, the two 'friends' laugh maniacally, almost sounding real, but very sounding forced. And with that, they left, living the whole pack they left behind with hopeful eyes.
Let me tell you this, after a year, when Akane had moved to America, she would phone home and chat with Kasumi, not caring less about the phone bill. Kasumi had told her that Ukyo was still around, and so was that idiot Kuno. But Shampoo, Mousse and Cologne had moved back to China. The insanity in Nerima, was toned down a bit, since now Ranma was gone.
But after a couple of months, Akane had neglected phoning home to chat with her older sister. The twins didn't even have a clue about her life in Japan, only Yuka knew, but she barely brought it up since she'd curse herself once she sees the hurt look in Akane when she remembers Ranma.
Occasionally, she still laughed to herself about the silly promise she made with Ranma, that she never attempted to do. But she still hoped that she'd meet him again, but not as a fiancee, but as an old friend. She had Paul now.
"Akane! We're back!" Yuka's voice said cheerfully, as she and the twins came into the dorm. The twins greeted her and they changed into their night clothes, and decided to turn in for the night.
"Karen, maybe 5x is the answer to that one…" Gina told her twin, as they were trying to figure out their homework assignment. Sure, they were doing it in school, a habit that almost every student did. Namely, a tradition.
Softly, a familiar figure sat down beside Akane, it was Paul, who pressed a kiss on her cheek. "Doing that in school, tsk tsk…"
Yuka made a chuckle at Akane's boyfriend. "Truth is, Paul, you're probably the only guy who does homework at home."
"Well, that's the whole point of it bieng called as homework." He pointed out, chuckling in along with her. "By the way, Akane, I hear the school's going to participate in an annual tournament of martial arts in China, are you going?"
Akane shrugged. "I'm not sure, I haven't been told of that…"
Gina's eyes lit up almost instantly. "China?! I want to go there so badly! Take me with you!"
"Er… I said I'm not sure…" Akane replied, eyes twitching, as Karen laughed at her twin, who was putting a child's puppy dog eyes into shame.
"Hmmm… but I do want to go to Japan too, Akane, and meet your family." Paul said. "You and Yuka don't say much about life in Japan."
"He's right." Gina said, in a matter-of-fact tone. "Why don't you? Go on, right now."
"Err…" Akane and Yuka said simontaneously.
"Did you have a love there?! How was the food?! How do you said 'his ass looks tight' in Japanese?!" Gina said, very fast.
"What dya mean his ass looks tight?! Why would anyone wanta know?!" Karen yelled at her twin, who was roaring with uncontrollable laughter.
They went on talking, and Paul stayed quiet, finally he reached for Akane's hand and squeezed it.
"Yeah?" Akane replied in reaction.
"Er… I hope you don't mind me asking this, but did you have a boyfriend before me?" He asked calmly, smiling at her warmly. Akane twitched.
"Ohh! He's getting jealous!" The twins said together, laughing.
Akane stayed silent, and Yuka was trying to get Paul's attention and telling him by action that that wasn't a good question. But maybe by fault, Paul hadn't noticed her doing those hand signals.
"Yeah, I was engaged when I was in highschool." Akane finally replied.
"Engaged?!" The twins said together, engaged was a pretty strong word.
"I see…" Paul replied, looking up into the sky.
"But don't worry! I got over him a long time ago!" Akane said, chuckling. "And besides, it was our parents who arranged it. I hate him, and I'll never go back to him."
So she did love him… Yuka thought to herself. Inside, Akane knew what she just said was a big, fat lie.
After a couple more minutes, the bell finally rang, and they went to their respective classrooms.
"China?" Akane repeated, as she listened to her coach.
"Yes, since you're probably the best in the state, you're the one who's going." Her coach repeated, giving her a hopeful smile.
"You mean… battling with chinese people?!"
"Yes, I hear it's going on into this amazon village. Plenty will come from all over the world."
Akane's eyes twitched, as she straightened up. "Believe me, coach… you don't wanna fight against Chinese Amazons."
When she heard of 'Chinese Amazon', you could probably guess what came in her mind first… Shampoo and her stupid village laws.
Her coach chuckled. "Don't worry, we talked to the elders and they specially agreed to suspend their laws for the tournament's time bieng."
Akane nodded, with a nervous smile.
"So, do you agree?"
"Yeah, sure!" Akane replied instantly. Maybe she'd even get a chance of seeing Shampoo.
"It'll be held in sembreak, meaning your friends are welcome to come. That is, their own pay."
Akane laughed and bowed to her coach before leaving. Somehow, her Japanese habits were still in her.
So, it's settled… Akane spoke to Yuka, the twins, and to Paul. They all agreed, nervous at the payment, Akane laughed and told them they had discount.
Now, they'd leave a week after, in sem break. The five of them were excited about the trip, and they'd be in a plane with other participating martial artists. Most of them Akane had beaten some time or another.
And now, the four girls were settled in their room, chatting about China, when the door opened without a knock.
"Jeez, ever heard of knocking…?" Gina mumbled to herself, as a college student they've never seen before stepped in with a wry smile. She had brown hair, and was wearing a white jacket with blue jeans.
"Have we met…?" Karen asked, Yuka stared at the girl. She looked awfully familiar. Akane was still in the bath, and the strange girl grinned at them. Soon, Akane came out in her night clothes, and dropped her towel to the floor as she stared in awe at the figure.
Instantly, Akane ran to the girl and embraced her tightly, as tears of joy sprawled down her cheecks. Yuka snapped her fingers, she remembered now. The twins looked totally confused now.
"Oneesan!" Akane cried, hugging her older sis in a tight embrace. "I feel like it's been years since I last saw you!"
"Jeez, Akane, let go… and it has been years." Nabiki replied, prying her sister off.
Yuka then explained to the twins that 'oneesan' was a japanese term for older sister.
Nabiki walked over to Yuka, who was sitting cross legged at her bed. "Hey! Long time no see… let's see, Yuna? Wait… that's wrong…"
"Yuka." Karen corrected her. Nabiki grinned sheepishly and faced Akane.
"I was in town, so I decided to come over and say 'yo, lil sis'… so, how's it been?" Akane grinned and sat her down on a chair, and talked about everything until it was midnight with her sister and friends.
Nabiki had then related to Akane that in London a couple of weeks ago, she had spotted Kuno and Kodachi on vacation.
"He was bieng such an idiot, hadn't changed since I last saw him… so I kicked him out of sight, and Kodachi told be about the tournament in China. So I decided that maybe the family would be there, and since I want to see you guys again, I'm going there. But I had to stop by here first, since my friends wanted to."
The twins and Yuka were already in bed, and Nabiki decided that she should be going. Akane bid farewell, and they later found out that they would be in the same trip.
All this time, Akane didn't even mention Paul. Maybe she just forgot it all in the excitement, but also because she guessed her sister's reaction would be bad… real bad for her to find out she gave up on Ranma.
To be continued…