Love Is A Fickle Creature: A Ranma ½ Fanfiction.





By: Daimyo Shi



Disclaimer: Yep Ranma isn't mine, not that I want him. I'll take Nabiki though in a second!



[Thoughts]



~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Change of scenes





Ryoga came to a street corner. Looking around he didn't see anything familiar. [Why must every Street corner in japan looks the same?] Thinks Ryoga. He fought the urge to scream 'where the hell am I now'. He made a left, it felt as right as anything. Ryoga kept walking down the street. [I wonder where I am now.] He walked right past a large sign and gate. He stopped ten metres down and then back tracked to the sign. The sigh read 'Tendo Dojo, Anything goes Martial Arts'. Ryoga half chuckled "My heaven and hell." Ryoga, which opens the gate and walks to the front door, knocks on the door. There is a slight pause and then Ryoga can hear someone walk up to the door. Kasumi opens the door.

"Hello Ryoga it is nice to see you. How are you doing today?" asks Kasumi.

"I am not bad Kasumi." replies Ryoga.

"Akane is in the bath right now, so why don't you comme in the living room and I will get you some tea." says Kasumi with her trademark smile.

"Thank you Kasumi." replies Ryoga. Ryoga takes off his shoes and walks to the living room. To his surprise no one is in the living room even Soun and Genma are not present. After five minutes Kasumi brings in some tea for Ryoga.

"So Ryoga what brings you here today?" asks Kasumi.

"Oh I am here to see Akane. I was just passing through." says Ryoga.

"That is nice. Akane so likes seeing you." remarks Kasumi.

"She does?" responds Ryoga [There is a heartening thought.]

"Kasumi, when you are out shopping today can you . . ." says Akane just coming in view of the living room walking from the bathroom. "Ryoga? When did you get here?"

"Just a little while ago." replies Ryoga.

"Oh Kasumi can you get some shampoo while you are out?"

"Certainly Akane." says Akane as she gets up from the floor and walks toward the kitchen.

"So Ryoga what brings you here?" asks Akane with a big smile.

"Oh I was just in the neighbourhood and though I drop by. I have some thing for you." Ryoga begins looking in his backpack.

"Oh really Ryoga you shouldn't have." remarks Akane.

Ryoga pulls out a small thin box from his backpack and places it in front of Akane.

"Oh, thank you Ryoga, you shouldn't have . . . Can I open it now? I never have been good at waiting."

"Sure Akane." replies Ryoga.

Akane opens up the box and brings out a Sensu. She carefully opens it up and a picture of waves similar to the ones in Katsushika Hokusai's Mt. Fuji Between the Waves off the Coast of Kanagawa.

"It is beautiful Ryoga, I am unworthy of such a present." remarks Akane.

Ryoga sips his tea "nonsense, I would not have given it to you if I didn't want you to have it."

"Really Ryoga, it is too much, I can't accept it."

"Please Akane, take it."

"Well, ok Ryoga. It is very beautiful. I have never seen one so fine before. Even my mother didn't have a fan as nice as this."

[Its beauty pales when compared to you, Akane, what a couple days doing dishes to see you smile like that.] "It wasn't anything special Akane. Just something I got on my travels."

"You have to take me to some the place you been. You always seem to find some of the most amazing stuff." says Akane.

"Akane there is something that I have been meaning to tell you." says Ryoga in a serious tone.

"Really Ryoga, what is it?"

"I . . . Akane . . . I . . ." [don't chicken out now you are so close.] "I . . . I . Lo . . . I love you, Akane!" stammers Ryoga.

Akane was stunned for a moment. [I never thought he thought of me like that, oh kami-sama what am I going to do? He said he loves me.] Minutes passed like hours for Akane and Ryoga as they waited for one of them to say something. "Oh Ryoga . . . I don't Know to say . . . I mean . . . Well, uh . . . that is . . . Ryoga I am so sorry but I am in love with someone else." stammers Akane. She lowers her head a bit and speaks again "I am sorry Ryoga. Can we still be friends?"

[NO!!!! Ranma can't beat me at this too. What Wrong with me! How many curses do I have? If I ever wanted one thing, this was it!] "Sure Akane we can still be friends." Ryoga forces a small smile. [I will take what I can get.]

Just in the hall Kasumi placed her hand over her mouth to muffle the gasp. [Oh my, Ryoga is in love with Akane? Poor Ryoga, I never thought he had such strong feelings for Akane, I guess he fooled all of us. ] With a look of determination Kasumi returned to the kitchen. [I must do something, well first I must stop him from leaving! He needs support, not to be left out in the cold of sorrow.] Kasumi walked back to the living room with her trade mark smile in place. She saw Ryoga and Akane staring at the centre of the table. "Ryoga you are going to stay for dinner." says Kasumi in her normal sunny manner.

"Hai." replies Ryoga [That didn't sound like a question.]

"That is Good Ryoga, Would you mind helping me carry the shopping I could use a hand Ryoga. There is just too much for me to carry by myself."

"Hai, Kasumi I would be glad to help. Akane I will see you later." says Ryoga getting up from the floor.

"No Problem Ryoga, see you later." says Akane with a forced smile.

Ryoga put on his shoes while Kasumi gathers her purse and shopping bags. [Why does Kasumi want me to stay for dinner? She couldn't be in . . . nah, I have love on the brain.] thinks Ryoga. A deep sigh runs through Ryoga's body.

[Oh dear he sounds so depressed, this is just such an unfortunate occurrence.] thinks Kasumi. "We can go now, Ryoga." says Kasumi with her trademark smile. Ryoga follows Kasumi to the market without getting lost.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Akane walks up to her room. Once inside she takes down the group photo that she had taken at the beach with everyone. She slowly when over every time Ryoga helped her and all the fights with Ranma. [It all makes sense now every single thing. I can't believe that I couldn't piece it together. Maybe if I had figured it out sooner, I could have taken Ryoga. It couldn't be as complex as Ranma and me. I can't imagine how hurt Ryoga is right now. To think I have hurt him so much makes me sick. I never wanted to hurt him. He has always been so nice to be.] Akane opens her new fan. [He always giving me gifts and sending me post cards when he remembers. So much effort on his part and I never clued in! I am the biggest Baka in the world. Oh Ryoga I am sorry, I never wanted ever to hurt you.] Akane starts to cry into her pillow.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ryoga watches Kasumi shop alway remembering to keep her in sight. [What am I going to do now? My only happiness has been stripped away from me. I should leave after Dinner and never darken the Tendo's hall ever again. I will lose myself in the wilds of Japan's mountains forever.]

Kasumi looks back at Ryoga and his sad face. [Oh my, I must do something! He looks so sad.]

After they had bought everything that Kasumi needed. They started back with Kasumi in the lead. Kasumi made a very concentrated effort to keep Ryoga on course and not to get lost herself. [What to do?] thinks Kasumi. [Hmmmm . . . well I can't let him leave in such a depressed state, he has to stay, but then Akane living in the same house might not be good. Well Akane is gone next week with the School on break Ranma and her are going to some hot springs with some of Akane's friends so that will give Ryoga sometime without her to sort things out. That will help. Now he just got to survive five days until they leave.] Kasumi sighs.

[Huh? What could cause her to sigh like that?] thinks Ryoga.

Kasumi and Ryoga enter the hall and take of their shoes. Ryoga takes the bags in his hands into the kitchen. Kasumi starts to put some of the food away and leaves what she needs for dinner out. "Ryoga would you like a bath before dinner?" asks Kasumi.

"Yes that would be very nice, Kasumi." replies Ryoga.

"Can you find it on your own?" [Oh dear that sounded terrible.]

"Ah . . . Yeah Kasumi thank you." replies Ryoga.

"I am sorry Ryoga I didn't mean for it to come out like that!" apologizes Kasumi.

"It is all right Kasumi."[I have been here often enough to navigate the house alright.1] Ryoga walks toward the bathroom. As he walked by the living room, he saw Ranma reading a Shonen jump manga. Ranma spots Ryoga.

"Hey P-chan! How you find your way here this time?" asks Ranma.

"Leave me alone, Ranma." replies Ryoga.

"Come on man is that your only retort. Don't you want to fight me?" asks Ranma.

"No, you have already won." replies Ryoga as he continues to the bath, leaving Ranma completely puzzled. Ryoga reaches for the bathroom door before he remembers the amount of embarrassment that has happened in the past in this room. Ryoga knocks on the door and then Waits a minute. He knocks one more time. Satisfied that no one is in the bathroom he opens the door. Ryoga sighs in disappointment as he finds no one inside. "Oh well." says Ryoga to himself. Ryoga Changes out of his clothes. He picks up some soap and washes himself then rinsing himself off with warm water. He then gets into the bath. The Hot water envelops his body as he sits and thinks. "Boy this feels good, I haven't had a nice bath in a long time."



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Kasumi?" asks Ranma as looks in the kitchen for Kasumi "do you know why Ryoga is so depressed?"

"No, the only other person he talked to was Akane."

"Ok I go ask her then."

[Oh darn it, I really got to start thinking before I say things. Well I guess Akane and Ranma will have to deal with it at some point.] thinks Kasumi.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ranma walks up the stairs and toward Akane's room through the door he can hear Akane's radio playing U2 'I still haven't found what I am looking for.'. "She got that English Pop station on I guess." mutters Ranma. He opens the door slightly and knocks on it. Akane is laying on her bed with her eyes closed. Ranma when to close the door as Akane spoke "Ranma? Is that you?"

"Hai, Akane."

"What did you want?"

"Uh . . . Do You know why Ryoga is so depressed?"

Akane opens her eyes for a moment and then she re closes them. "Hai, Ranma" replies Akane.

Ranma waits a moment for her to explain it, but since she does say anything he feels forced to continue. "Well what is it?"

Akane Lays there for a minute for replying. "I told him we could not be anything more than friends."

"Oh I see, well I let you rest." Ranma Closed the door. A Jumble of thoughts ran through Ranma's mind. [What with her? What could have Ryoga said? Oh my, did he say he love her? What that's not true, it can't be true! Wait, that must be it. That would explain everything. Do I love Akane? If she said that they couldn't be more than a friend that must mean she loves me? She got a funny way of showing it! But then so do I, don't I? Maybe she would be better of when Ryoga, at least he seems sure of his feelings. Should I tell her I love her. Is it love or duty that draws me to her? How did Ryoga get that kind of courage?! I mean that got to take balls to do. He must be hurting so much. I guess Akane hurting too. She never would want to hurt Ryoga. By all the Kami and Buddha what should I be doing? I don't understand." Ranma walks toward his room the jumble in his head weighting like a ton of bricks on his heart.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nabiki walks into the kitchen "Hi Kasumi what is for dinner? Boy isn't this a lot of food even for Ranma and Saotome-san"

"Oh Ryoga is staying for dinner, I also want some left over for tomorrow I really can't go out tomorrow if I want to finish all the mending. I haven't done it for weeks and Ranma on his last shirt today."

"Oh I see, so the Lost boy found his way here, ne?" smarts Nabiki.

"Yes Nabiki, He will be staying here for a while." says Kasumi.

"Nani?" says Nabiki. She cocks an eyebrow "We can't afford it Kasumi!"

"I pay for him out of my savings" says Kasumi.

Nabiki looked at her sister carefully [how could she possible want to keep him around her. Unless . . . ] "Kasumi you aren't attracted to him?" asks Nabiki.

"No are you?" asks Kasumi seriously.

[What the heck was that? I can count on one hand the amount of times she had a barbed tongue. Ranma and Ryoga will destroy the house! They get in one of their fights if they live under the same roof. I could say that it is too expensive, it is too hard, that there isn't room.] Nabiki sighs [I could also try to fly, I have as much luck as changing Kasumi's mind. I guess if there one thing we all inherited from Okan-san, it was her stubbornness. Especially when we think, we are right.] "Ah, ok Kasumi, I'll be in my room until dinner then." Nabiki left for upstairs and Kasumi continues her cooking.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ryoga finished his soak and got out of the tub and drys himself off and change back into his clothes. He checks his pockets in his left he finds six 10 yen coins, three 50 yen coins, two 100 yen coins, a single 500 yen coin, and Canadian 25 cent coin, a Five dollar Australian bill, four 10 Hong Kong dollar bills, as Osaka Bus Ticket, A plane ticket stub from Okinawa to Kobe, A faded receipt and three pieces of bubble gum. In his right he found a 1000 yen bill, a hanky, a folded take-out menu from a restaurant in Sapporo, a picture of Akane, a ticket for the Yokohama Ferris wheel, a Japan rail pass, and a crushed ball of twelve 10000 (2) yen bills. Upon finding so much money he quickly checks his pants making sure they are his. After several minutes Ryoga is sure these are his pants but still lost how he has so much money. [It is not like I ever remember anyway.] thinks Ryoga. He shuffles out of the bathroom and toward the living room. Ryoga finds the Shonen Jump that Ranma was reading and starts to catch on the latest Dragonball chapter.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ranma was pacing in his room. [I can't believe that Ryoga found the guts to tell Akane that he loves her.] A voice inside his head remarks Wait, that not exactly what Akane said.

[Shut up, it the only thing that could have made Akane tell him that they could only be friends. Poor Ryoga, he must be hurting right now. Man, that got to suck to have a girl turn you down like that. Wait if Akane isn't interested in Ryoga as a boyfriend that means she was thinking about someone else. Tofu-sensei? Nah, wait that means it is me. Oh by the kami and Budda what the hell am I going to do? I have to go on that Hot Springs trip with Akane next week. Boy this is going to be a weird trip. Heck I am not sure how I feel about Akane. How come everyone is so sure of their feelings other than me. Do I like her? Love her? Well maybe . . . I am not sure.] Ranma held his head in his hands. [I don't know what to do. Maybe Akane is better of with Ryoga, at least he is sure of his feelings. ] Ranma looks around the room. A bottle Sake caught Ranma. Ranma was much a drinker but the sake seems to call his name. He went over to it and open it. He took a swig straight from the bottle.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nabiki stared at her homework. She hated homework it was all too often much too boring. She sighs. [Well with Ryoga in the house at least life will be interesting. It will be nice to have an unspoken for man in the house.] Nabiki rubs her eyes and look in her make up mirror. [What did I just think? Ryoga is available, why would I care about that? Kasumi's words from earlier come haunting back to Nabiki 'No are you?'] She created a mental image of Ryoga being taken by a girl, it amuses her. [Well there nothing physically wrong with him. Those fangs of his are kind of cute. Well While Akane and Ranma are away next week, I guess I have time to get to know Ryoga a little better. At the very least I better be nice to him, sound like Kasumi won't stand for anything less. Hmmmm wonder if there away for him to pick up the slack in my fund next week while Ranma is away.] Nabiki does a couple more math problems. [It been hard lately with Ranma always saving Akane. Not like I get much but scorn and bitter look at school. Well I guess nearly always ending up with everybody's money can do that. Of course the fact that in junior high I sucked the money out of every guy that went out with me. Yeah well I got myself a bit of a rep. Still I never noticed it until Ranma got here. Face facts Nabiki money doesn't buy happiness. Akane and Ranma somewhat hidden love just made it worse. Face it Nabiki you are lonely.] Nabiki stares in the mirror for a minute before resuming her homework.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Soun walks home from the neighbourhood meeting and is coming through the gate. [It is nice to see my house still in one piece, you can never tell with Ranma around. It was nice of the committee to get around paying the money that they owed me. I mean my investment pay only so well. At least Nabiki kicks in money when we need it. She is a loyal if not always a good daughter. Still one less hole in the roof is always good, I don't think any of the tiles on the roof are the same as when Ranma first game here to live. Akane chips in when she can too, but she doesn't take in the money that Nabiki does, and Kasumi has a bit of money socked away but that likely because she forgets she has it. Soun came in the door and took of his shoes. From there he walks into the kitchen to see what Kasumi is cooking. "What is for dinner, Kasumi-chan?"

"Soba, rice and Smoked salmon moose Otou-san" replies Kasumi.

"There is a lot here, do we have guests?" Asks Soun.

"Yes Ryoga is here Otou-san, he will be staying with us a while."

Soun thinks [Was that a question or a statement?]

Soun when over closer to Kasumi has she works on dinner. "How can we afford another guest?" asks Soun.

"I 'll pay for his keep." replies Kasumi.

"Oh I see, why?"

Kasumi sighs "because Akane broke his heart today and I felt sorry for him."

"How she does that?"

"She said they could only be friends."

"Oh, I see. Well then it is ok with me."

Soun walks out of the kitchen. [Hey that must mean she loves Ranma! Yes! Hmmmm . . . that great for us, but it must be hard on Ryoga. I mean Akane must be his first love. I never realised that Ryoga was in love with Akane. Well I guess I need to work on reading people.] thinks Soun. Soun wandered into the living room and saw Ryoga reading Sounen Jump.

"Konichiwa, Ryoga-kun, nice to see you today." says Soun.

"Konichiwa, Tendo-sama." replies Ryoga.

[Maybe I can help him out for a bit. It will be like having a son.] thinks Soun.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ranma found his sake bottle was empty. [You know those first couple swigs were hard on the throat but it gets really smooth after that. ] Ranma was a little flushed in the face. He staggers his way up. [I should go tell Akane how I feel!] He takes one step and falls to the floor. [Well maybe after a nap.] thinks Ranma before the warm comfort of sleep over took him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Akane walks down the stairs and into the kitchen. "Konichiwa, Kasumi.' says Akane in a very quiet and solemn voice.

"Konichiwa Akane-chan (3), how are you feeling now?" asks Kasumi.

"Like I killed someone, Kasumi." replies Akane.

"Oh, Akane-chan, don't feel so bad. I know it is hard, but you have to follow your heart no matter what. If your heart belongs to another than what you told Ryoga today was the right thing to do. No matter how much it hurts you and Ryoga now, it would have only been worse if you had you put it off until later." says Kasumi. Kasumi Stops working and gives Akane a reassuring hug. "We will get through this together." says Kasumi.

"Oh Kasumi I know you are right but it just seems so hard." sobs Akane.

"I know Akane-chan, but in a couple days it will feel better. Ryoga is a strong person he just needs sometime to adjust. Otou-san has agreed to let Ryoga Stay here for a little bit." says Kasumi.

"Really? Are you sure that is wise?" asks Akane.

"I think a little stability and some help from us will allow Ryoga to get over it quicker. After all you and Ranma are going on the hot Springs trip, so it won't be so bad for Ryoga. Don't worry about it I will look after it all." says Kasumi reassuringly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Well Ryoga-kun how are you doing?" asks Soun

"I am all right, Tendo-sama." replies Ryoga in a flat tone.

"Oh? Really? It doesn't sound like it." remarks Soun.

[I can't tell Tendo-sama that I am In love with his daughter, he so set on her marrying Ranma. I guess he should be happy then.] "Well Tendo-sama, Something today just didn't come out the way that I thought it would. It will not change I have to accept that. I just never have misread something, this badly before." remarks Ryoga with a half chuckle.

[Well I shouldn't expect him to share with me that my daughter turned him down.] "Well it is times like this that build character." responds Soun.

"I suppose." says Ryoga "It is hard when you screw up so badly when you think you are doing so well. It really makes one feel very foolish."

"It happens to everyone at one time or another. Sometime it is an opponent, a situation, a friend, or a woman." Soun watched Ryoga tense at the word woman. "You simply have to learn from it and then move on. The only foolish mistake is the one you fail to learn from."

"You are right, Tendo-sama. It just going to take sometime to get use to." replies Ryoga.

"Call me Soun, Ryoga, if you keep calling me Tendo-sama I will develop a swelled head." laughs Soun.

Ryoga finds Soun's laugh infectious and laughs too.

Outside in the Hall Akane looks shocked. She quickly returns to the kitchen.

"Kasumi, you told Otou-san?" asks Akane.

"Hai, I had to tell because I wanted Ryoga to stay."

"Otou-san told Ryoga to call him Soun!"

Kasumi smiles on of her trade mark smiles "Well at least they are getting along. I have alway though Father wanted a son. Perhaps that is why he is being so friendly Akane."

Akane looks at Kasumi funny for a second. "I guess so but he doesn't let Ranma call him Soun."

"Hmmmm . . . I can't remember Ranma calling Otou-san anything really. It is almost like Ranma has never spoken to Otou-san without being addressed first. Kind of weird isn't it, Akane?" remarks Kasumi.

"Yeah . . . I guess, I never really though about it. Did Saotome-san say when he would be back tonight?" asks Akane.

"No but I know he is having dinner with Nodoka so I would think it would be unlikely that he is coming back tonight." replies Kasumi.

" Kasumi, Ranma's Okan-san is keeping him for the night?"

"Well I would guess it has been a while for both of them I would think." responses Kasumi.

[Gee, I never knew Kasumi and Nodoka were so close] thinks Akane.

"Akane your laundry should be done, if you would be so kind to get out of the dryer." asks Kasumi.

'Ok Kasumi." replies Akane. Akane walks down the hall toward the bathroom. She passes the living room, where her father and Ryoga have started to play go.

"You know Ryoga I have always been impressed with your ability to fight Ranma. You honestly do better than some of his foes. I have always wondered what your style was?" asks Soun.

Ryoga scratches the back of his head. "I don't really have a style. I took some Shotokan Karate when I was younger, but much of how I currently fight has been picked up along the way. I learn a move here, a technique there." remarks Ryoga.

"You know that you are quite amazing then. Your combat effectiveness is considerable especially if it largely self taught. Self taught martial Artists are the most remarkable. You are clearly exceptional if you can stand toe to toe with Ranma. To be as good a martial artist as you are at such a young age is most impressive."

"No matter how hard, I try I have never beaten Ranma. I would hardly call that impressive." Sighs Ryoga [At anything it seams]

"Ryoga, do you think I can beat Ranma?" asks Soun.

"Sure you could." responds Ryoga.

"Well then I have you fooled you then. There is no way I could defeat Ranma. Ranma's Otou-san only beats him occasionally by cheating, a habit learned from our master. There are very few people that can honestly beat Ranma, Ryoga. I not one of them. Ryoga, you are a skilled fighter and if it wasn't because you keep fighting Ranma all the time you would know that."

"You think so?"

"I know so, Ryoga."

Akane Listens to her father and Ryoga talking. [I never though it that way. Otou-san has some good point. You would never think about it since Ranma keeps beating him. I guess it sort of like Kuno, I mean Kuno is very good but Ranma walks all over him. , But put Kuno against other kenjutsu fighter and Kuno walks all over them.] Akane continues up the stairs with her laundry. As Akane reached the top of the stairs, she saw Ranma stagger out of his room.

"Akane, there is something I need to tell you." slurs Ranma.

Akane could smell the sake from where she was standing. "Ranma you have been drinking?"

"Akane . . . I . . . I . . . love youuuuu!" Slurs Ranma.

Nabiki open her door just in time to her Ranma's confession. [Great that was about the last thing I wanted to hear in my current mood.] thinks Nabiki.

"Ranma?" replies a shocked Akane.

"Great, Ranma is full of Dutch Courage (4) and confess his love for you, Akane."

"Dutch Courage?" Asks Akane.

"Never mind I don't feel up to a European history lesson." says Nabiki as she goes down the stairs. Akane wanted to follow, it seems like Nabiki was upset. But unexpectedly Ranma passes out into her arms. Akane took Ranma back into his bedroom and lays him on his futon. [Oh Ranma, you Baka. Did you really mean it?]thinks Akane as she watches him sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nabiki walks to the kitchen and asks "how long until dinner Kasumi?"

"About an hour. Why Nabiki?"

"I am going out for a short walk then." replies Nabiki "I need a break from my homework."

Nabiki puts on her shoes and walks out the door into the peaceful evening. Heading north, she heads toward the corner store. [I need some white out.] thinks Nabiki. She enters the store picks up some white out and pays for it. Upon leaving the store she sees one of her friends, Minko walking hand in hand with her boyfriend. Nabiki waves at Minko and Minko waves back with a big smile. [Great I came to get away from reminders of my loneliness and another on slaps me in the face.] Sighs Nabiki She continues her walk hoping that she doesn't run into any more happy couples. After 50 minutes of walking around the block Nabiki returns home. She takes of her shoes and watches Ranma come down the stairs.

"You look like hell." remarks Nabiki

"Really? I hadn't noticed, how bad is it." Slurs Ranma.

[Ah he is still drunk. Well no point teasing him yet.] "Pretty bad." Nabiki smiles.

"Oh, it is dinner time isn't it?" asks Ranma.

"Yeah, I think so."

Both Ranma and Nabiki sit at the table. Ryoga is sitting there across. Akane sitting at one end and Soun is sitting at the other. Kasumi brings in the dishes and lays out the dishes for dinner.

"Soun could you pass the soy sauce." asks Ryoga.

Ranma looks at Ryoga strangely [Where does he get off calling Tendo-san Soun]. Thinks Ranma. Halfway through dinner the haze of the Sake goes a way to be replaced with a pounding headache. [I am never drinking like that ever again.] thinks Ranma.

The rest of dinner goes quietly. Ranma is the first to get up.

"I think I will be going to bed now." says Ranma rubbing his temples.

"Overindulgence starting to hurt Ranma?" teases Nabiki.

"I just going to bed." replies Ranma. He leaves the living room for his bedroom.

"Well thank you for dinner, Kasumi. It was wonderful. Now I will . . ."

"Ryoga, you will help me with the dishes won't you?" asks Kasumi with her sunny smile.

"Hai, Kasumi." replies Ryoga. Kasumi and Ryoga take the dishes to the kitchen.

"Here father, this should help with the month's expenses." says Nabiki pulling a large amount of Yen from her pocket.

"Thank you Nabiki, you always remember your family. It is kind of you." remarks Soun.

"I have homework to finish. I will be in my room if you need me." says Akane.

Akane walks up the stairs and goes to Ranma's room. The light is out and the door closed. Akane opens the door slightly and sees Ranma laying on his bed, fast asleep.

"Good night baka." says Akane carefully closing the door. Akane returns to her own room and starts on those stupid History questions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Thank you for drying the dishes Ryoga-kun." says Kasumi with her sunny smile.

"No problem, It was a wonderful dinner it was the least I could do."

"Ryoga what are you going to do now?" asks Kasumi.

"Well I am going leave and see where the Kami take me I guess."

"Ryoga, I want you to stay here for a little bit. You shouldn't have to leave. It must be hard being own in the wilds of Japan. I think it would be better if you stayed here for a bit."

"Well I wouldn't want to be a burden. No, I should leave."

"Please Stay you won't be a burden. Besides it is my family's fault that you are in this state. I have to do something. I couldn't sleep tonight knowing that you were out there alone."

"Kasumi it not your fault, it is mine for being so stupid." replies Ryoga.

"Ryoga you are not stupid, you maybe a little naive but given you age who isn't. I know what it is like to have your heart broken. It may have been quite a while but I know the best thing for a broken heart is good friends and I not sure but I think your best friend all live under this roof Ryoga-kun. Besides next week Akane and Ranma are often on a trip with some of their friends and well if I didn't have another mouth to feed I would be wasting food." says Kasumi.

"Well, ok, Kasumi if you really want me to stay." responses Ryoga. He pulls out the yen bills he had earlier and gives them to Kasumi. "Here to cover my stay."

Kasumi carefully counts the bills and hand back 60000 Yen. "What you gave me is more than enough Ryoga-kun tomorrow. Let us go shopping and get yourself some thing nice for yourself." says Kasumi.

"Thank you, Kasumi. You are sure you have enough?"

"Positive!" says Kasumi.

Nabiki pokes her head in Kasumi "where are we going shopping tomorrow?"

"Hmmmm . . . that new department store sounds good doesn't it Ryoga-kun?" says Kasumi.

"Hai, Kasumi."

"Sounds good." and with that Nabiki returns to her room.

"I will so you to your room as soon as all the dishes are done."

Kasumi and Ryoga work on the dishes until they are all done. Kasumi takes Ryoga up and shows him his room it closes to the stairs ironically across of Akane's room. Kasumi Show him in and pulled out a futon for him. "I will get you some sheets."

Ryoga put down his back pack. It was a plain room with a couple shelves and a chest. Ryoga looked around for a moment. The Kasumi returned with the sheets.

"Here you go Ryoga-kun. I will let you unpack. If you will bring any your clothes that need washing I will wash them tonight." says Kasumi with a sunny smile. Kasumi closes the door behind her.

Ryoga opens his back pack. He pulls out several sets of his black pants and yellow shirt. [These need a wash, as do my socks and underwear. The next thing he pulls out is a Blue and white haitio with a jagged pattern between the two colours. I remember this, that old man gave it to me because I reminded him of pictures of his Grandfather when his grandfather was young. It seemed to give him such joy I couldn't refuse it.] Ryoga hangs it up. Ryoga pulls out an old walkman. [I have to remember to get batteries tomorrow. It is really nice for the Tendo to be so nice to me and let me stay. Their kindness knows no bounds.] Ryoga continues to unpack, a note book and some pens came out. A brush and a bottle of green ink followed, a bathroom kit came out next. Then Ryoga pulled out several books, one was the Art of War in traditional Chinese, The saying of Chairman Mao, the last four issues of Shonen Jump, Shogun by James Carvell in English, The Book of the Five Rings, A paperback copy of the Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, and a how to romance women self help book. [I remember these to books] thinks Ryoga holding the art Of War and the Saying of Chairman Mao. [ I got them after chasing after Ranma in China. Yeah that college professor gave it to me because I helped him with his luggage. The other one was from when I saved that little girl from getting hit by that truck. It was all that they could spare. I even told them I didn't need any reward. Still, they gave it to me.]Then he took out a long object wrapped in black silk. He carefully un wraps it. Under the silk is a Fine quality Tanto. [May grandfather gave me this tanto. It goes everywhere with me. I have never seen one so fine.] Ryoga carefully rewraps it and puts it on the shelf. He then stacks the books on the shelves as well. He then gathers up his clothes and take them downstairs. Ryoga sees Kasumi cleaning up the kitchen. "Kasumi where did you want me to put my clothes?"

"Oh just put on top of the washer for me I wash them in a little bit." replies Kasumi

"Ok." Ryoga walks to the bathroom where the washing machine is. He opens the door and sees Nabiki naked just getting out of the bath tub. Ryoga grasps his nose and holds it. He can feel the blood trickle on his fingers as he turns around. Half his clothes fall to the floor. "I am really sorry Nabiki, I didn't know you where in here. Kasumi told me to put my clothes here on the wash so that they could get washed." stammers Ryoga.

[A nose bleed, well that is reassuring!] Nabiki smiles evilly "Ryoga am I so ugly you can look at me?" fake sobs Nabiki.

"Uh, no I think you are quite beautiful Nabiki. I mean it is just not polite to walk on a woman bathing." replies Ryoga.

"If you mean it, then turn around and look at me then." sobs Nabiki.

Ryoga sighs and turns around [Well my luck is going bad to worse.] Ryoga sees a still naked Nabiki with the cutest little pout that he ever seen. He is still holding his nose and there is blood on his fingers. Ryoga fights the light headedness that is affect him.

"Well Ryoga how do I look?" asks Nabiki.

"You look very Beautiful even more beautiful than any idol singer I have ever seen." replies Ryoga.

"Ryoga I didn't know you suck into idol singers' bathroom and spied on them naked."

"No . . . I don't . . ." Ryoga passes out.

[Now that makes me feel good!]. Nabiki puts on a yukata and gets Kasumi. The two of them carry Ryoga upstairs to his room.

"Nabiki what happened." asks Kasumi.

"Well he walks in on me coming out of the bathtub." remarks Nabiki "he passed out shortly after."

"Nabiki you didn't hit him did you?" asks Kasumi.

"No of course not I am not the kind of woman that would resort to violence like that. I don't have Akane's issues." smirks Nabiki.

"Well I better start his clothes." says Kasumi.

**********Later that Night********

Ryoga wakes up, he in his room. He stumbles for the light switch and turns on the light. He looks around the room. [Was it a dream?] thinks Ryoga. Then he spots a piece of paper near his backpack. He opens it and reads 'hello Ryoga, you are forgiven. Nabiki.' [She forgives me?] Ryoga looks at his left hand and sees the dry blood on it. [Guess it wasn't a dream.] Ryoga turned on his portable radio. The station came on in the middle of 'U2 - Mysterious ways'.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nabiki is lying in her bed listening to an English pop station. 'Cheap tricks - I want you to want me' is coming through Nabiki's stereo's speakers. [Well if Ryoga is going to be half as fun as he was tonight I going to have a blast.] thinks Nabiki with an evil smirk on her face. "I can't wait for tomorrow." mutters Nabiki as she drifts off to sleep



Japanese Terms

Sensu, a Japanese fan

baka, idiot, stupid

Hai, Yes.

Nani, what

Ne? Right, or Like Canadian "Eh?"

Sensei, used for Professionals, Doctors and Teachers are the most popular use of the term.

-chan, honorific means small or little often used between parents and children, sometime between friends can be use between lovers too.

-kun, Sort of a male version of Chan but more masculine often used between friends and older people to boys that they know.

Otou-san, father

-sama, honorific a term of respect to some superior to the speaker.

Konichiwa, Good afternoon, hello

Okan-san, Mother

haitio: a Coat like garment often worn over a Kimono for Men. Tenchi's Grand father wears one in the opening of the ninth OVA episode and Does the entire Shinsengumi in the Rurounin Kenshin OVAs. For anyone wondering Ryoga's is a Shinsengumi Haitio.

Tanto, A Japanese style knife, it has a point similar to a Wakazashi rather than the common point on knives in the west.



Author's notes:

1. Ryoga has in the past gone from the Tendo Dojo and the Bathroom in the House proper quickly therefore why Ryoga can move around the house without getting lost.

2. 10000 Yen is about 94 dollars US.

3. This is my poor attempt to make Kasumi act like a mother, the role she often assumes in Ranma ½. I had trouble trying to convey this. I hope calling Akane Chan is this story helps.

4. Dutch courage in this instance is derived from an old English saying of the late 17th century, when Dutch soldiers would take a drink of Gin before going into battle. I am not sure if this was a common expression but I sort of liked it.