Solar Demise - Five Series

Part 5b - Ai shiteru [I love you].

This is a supplemental side story to part five of my main story, Solar Demise.
It chronicles the events that took place with Ranma and Akane during part 5
of the main story. ^^

Ranma 1/2 is copyrighted by Takahashi Rumiko, along with a plethora of
companies. I don't make money from writing this, and I don't plan to.
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"You better take care of yourself. Now get out of here before she wakes up;
it'll be hard for you to leave if she protests."

"That was just what I was thinking. Name the baby after me, okay?" Ryouga
ran off before I could say anything.

That jerk. I sighed, sitting down in the sand. The air had a really cold
feeling to it, thankfully. My body was a bit hot after using my energy to be
angry at Ryouga.

I absentmindedly traced a finger in the sand, thinking about last night.
*She said she'd do anything for me...* I marvelled at that. In all of my life,
I'd never heard anyone say that they would do a thing for me, unless it would
benefit them. I had to fight to keep things normal. When I was growing up, it
was too hard to keep things routine when there was a chance that Pop would pack
up everything and leave one night (of course, chased by an angry mob of
townspeople or the like). There was hardly a chance to make a lasting
friendship, hardly a chance to have a normal childhood. Back then, I didn't care
all that much. I had never become accustomed to asking for anything; after a
while, I figured out that no matter what, Pop would continue his sphiel about
how "the path of a true martial artist is fraught with peril..." I figured that
it was his way of saying that he was too cheap/lazy/wrapped up in kicking my ass
to listen to anything I had to say.

When we finally settled at Akane's house, I thought that things would be
easier after the first month that we lived there. I hadn't changed schools in
more than two weeks, and it didn't look like Pop was going to wear out his
welcome any time soon, since he was such good friends with Tendou-san. For once
in my life, things had been.. regular. For once in my life, there were things
that I could count on, like waking up to a familiar ceiling, and seeing people
(besides my father) on a regular basis. At that time, I asked myself, was this
what it was like to have a real home? I had a roof that I could (pretty much)
call my own, a place to set my backpack, even a girl to call my own.

...not that I would have done that. Akane was her own person, of course.

I sighed. Akane and I were companions, whether we realized it or not.

"Why SHOULD it surprise me that it would come to this?" I whispered out
loud. The answer came instantly. It wasn't a surprise, after all. For once, my
dad was right about something. Akane was right for me.

"Ryouga-kun?"

"Huh?" Having been thrown off-guard, I turned to see Akane crawling out of
our tent. I watched as she smiled in salutation to me. Quickly after, her
expression suddenly switched to uncertainty, and she promptly looked away from
me. I turned my back to her and faced forward again.

"He's gone," I heard Akane whisper to herself. I didn't know what to do.
Minutes crawled by as my mind ran through a million things that I could have
done or said at that moment. Before I could actually come to a decision as to
what to do, I heard some quiet sobbing. Damn. More indecision swept me, and I
still had no idea what to do.

"Ranma?" Akane whispered.

"Mmm?" I said, not even turning around. *Dammit, Saotome!* I cursed at
myself. Why couldn't I even say a full "yes" to her?

"I..." her voice seemed to shy away a bit more. "I just want to know how
much longer you're planning to travel?" This wasn't the fiery Akane that I knew!
Did I screw up so badly last night? Did I hurt Akane badly enough to turn her
into this meek little girl?

"I don't know, Akane. I still feel like doing some things..." I turned
around to face her, only to find her looking away. "Why?"

"Then I guess I'll go on myself. I just want to go home now."

"Wha..." Was she serious? Did she now want to get away from me? I sat up
quickly in disbelief. "Are you feeling okay?"

"..." Akane shook her head.

"Is it me...? Did I do something?"

Akane was silent again, but didn't move in any reaction to my question. I
sighed, and scooted closer to her. Almost backing away, Akane flinched a bit
before she resolved not to move.

"I heard you crying last night, Akane." Hesitating for a second, I finally
pushed myself mentally and pulled her into my arms. I was determined to fix what
happened last night, even though I would be playing by ear. Akane raised her
hands to push against my chest. The force wasn't very hard, but it made her
point.

"What are you doing, Ranma?" Akane asked softly. Her hands pushed against
me a bit harder, and I pulled her closer to me. "Stop it... please..."

I didn't know what the hell had gotten in to me then. I also didn't know
what I was going to do after that. Akane continued to half-heartedly push away
from me, but I didn't let go. I refused to let go until I could think of
something to say to her. "Look, Akane," I blurted out. "I don't wanna see you
cry like that ever again."

Akane's pushing finally stopped, and her hands fell limp across her lap.
"Oh... thanks..."

"I mean," I continued, "it's like I said before... right? You and me...
we're friends, right? We have to take care of each other." I hoped that what I
said was enough.

"And here I thought that you were asleep. I'll be damned." Akane sighed and
leaned foreward into my chest. Before I could react, I felt more sobs passing
from her lips. My hands instinctively moved up to stroke her hair in a
comforthing gesture.

"What's wrong, Akane?"

After a few more sobs, Akane finally raised her head, tearfully smiling up
at me. "I just wanted to thank you... for being my friend, Ranma... but..."

"But... what?"

"BAKA!" I jumped, startled at Akane's sudden outburst. "I can't stand it
anymore! Are you going to ignore me forever, Ranma?"

"What are you talking about, Akane?!? What do you mean, ignore you? What
was I just doing??" Akane pushed me harder this time, and stood up. I stood up
as well, and Akane turned to me resting her head and hands on my chest.

"I'm not only talking about just now, Ranma, I'm talking about every other
time I do this, too!" Akane started to pound on my chest as she spoke. "Can't
you tell? Back when I wore that battle dougi, and how I wanted to stay sitting on
your lap in the park? Or when I hugged you after you came back from fighting
Herb?" Akane's pounding halted, and she began to grip my shirt. "I even agreed
to MARRY you! You can't just sit there and play stupid forever, Ranma! Last
night was the last straw!"

"Akane, what are you talking--"

"I LOVE YOU, DAMMIT!"

I hope she didn't notice how my heart was pounding at that moment. Though I
told Ryouga that I wanted to enjoy just being Akane's friend, it was hard to
stick to that idea right now. She crumpled in my arms, holding herself as she
was sobbing. *What the hell do I do?* I asked myself frantically.

"...and.. the worst part is that you keep leading all of us on... we all
love you, Ranma..." Akane fell to her knees, still hugging herself. I followed,
determined to keep my arms around her.

"I'm sorry, Akane..." All I could do at the moment was rub my hands up and
down her back. What else was I supposed to do? "I don't mean to be doing this to
you... any of you."

"What else can I do besides throw myself at you like they do, Ranma?" Akane
began wiping her eyes, and continued to speak. "I even changed the way that I
looked... all of those new clothes so that you would notice me.. I was happy
when it worked."

"What?" My mind raced back to the day that Akane came back from shopping
with Nabiki. Akane looked so... cute with her new clothes. I smiled a little to
myself. She did it for.. "That was to make me notice you?"

Akane nodded quietly. "Why... don't you ever do anything about all of your
fiancees, Ranma?"

I sighed, not saying anything. Looking down at Akane's face, I could notice
that tears were still streaming down her face. Sighing once more, I brought up a
hand to run through her hair, hopefully in a comforthing gesture. My mind
wandered as my eyes did. Akane's eyes were clenched shut, tears still coming
down. I brought my other hand up to wipe off her cheeks. My hand then came to
rest on her shoulder. Where my hand stopped, my eyes continued. They traced down
the contours of her arm, and trailed off, stopping at the opening in her tank
top. There, my eyes caressed the curve of her breasts as Akane breathed in and
out.

...it was getting harder and harder yet to just be her friend... I mentally
kicked myself for taking advantage of the view. *You idiot!* I screamed in my
thoughts. *Stop being such a jerk and fix this!*

"Akane?"

"What is it?" Akane looked up at me, with trembling, pink lips that she
fought hard to subdue.

I couldn't help myself after looking at that. Whatever mental control I was
keeping had been shattered by Akane's look. Being a man was really difficult
right then. I wanted those lips for myself. Bringing both hands to cup her face,
I suddenly kissed her with wild ferocity. The taste of her lips was
intoxicating, and I continued to drink her in. I felt Akane's arms finally
closing around my shoulders, and her soft hands running up my back. The heat of
the sunrise began to peak from beneath the morning clouds, and my skin trembled
under her touch.
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Author's notes: (1998)

KYYYAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! What have I done?? To tell the truth, this was not what I
had planned, but this story has turned into a runaway horse. Ah well. Know this:
the series WILL have a happy ending, but not here. ^^; Stay tuned for the next
part, and let's see how I fix things so that the situation is somewhat
managable.

(May 2003)
Hm. Know this: I don't know what kind of ending this story's going to have. ^^; The other sentiments are the same, though. ^_~