Solar Demise - Five Series

Part 5d - Tabemono [Food]

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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Sometimes I can't help but have a one-track mind. I loved when he put his hands
on me. My blushing didn't fade for a second as Ranma held my left arm close to
the elbow and pushed my posterior forward at a slight angle. I loved the view
from our campsite. The last time we'd been to the mountains we were just passing
through. Trees were scattered down the sides of this mountain, and in the
mornings they made a spectacular picture when the light pinks and blues of the
sky peeked out from in between their branches. Sitting in certain trees provided
a vast view of the valleys below. We couldn't stay high enough on the mountain
where it would be difficult to breathe in the middle of sparring.

"Akane, if you extend your arm too much, you're gonna pop your elbow. How do you
expect to get any power when you waste it on extending your arm, eh?" Ranma
pushed at my bottom and pulled the rest of me forward using my arm. "You have to
keep that elbow bent slightly or else you've wasted all of the energy that's
come from here--" he slapped me on the butt and ran his hand up to my back.
"Through here and then to here." He punctuated his last 'here' with a slight tug
on my arm. Ranma crossed his arms and sighed. "How many times to I have to feel
you up in order to get my point across, eh? You' re not messing up on purpose, are
you?"

"..." *Caught...* I turned to smirk at him. "Stop flirting with me Ranma, I'm
trying to LEARN here." Ranma rolled his eyes.

"I'm serious, I want you to get better, unless you LIKE getting your ass wiped
across the floor every night..?" Ranma stood with his hands on his hips and I
swiveled quickly, throwing the punch that he'd been trying to teach me right
into his face. It connected perfectly, shocking him enough for me to move back
in case he was going to return punishment.

"Whoops, you let go of my hips and it just went FLYING." Just as I started to
smile ridiculously, I received a finger-tip Kachuu Tenshin Amaguriken to the stomach.

"Don't get cocky," Ranma snickered. "We've got a LONG way to go."

-----------

"I need lunch, Ranma~!" Damned hot weather. Damned training.
Damned aching muscles.

"Hm, good idea, Akane." Ranma lowered his fists and scanned around for our
towel. He wiped himself off and wiped me down before I could say anything. I
felt his hands pause on top of my shoulders just before he dropped the towel and
massaged my shoulders a bit. I didn't even fight the smile spreading across my
face.

"Mmmm... that's great... ahh.." I sighed and sank onto a rock. Ranma grabbed one
of my feet and started to massage an ankle. "Ranma, thank you!" If anyone would
have asked, I would have blamed my reddened face on the heat and exhaustion.

"I'm gonna make some lunch."

"!! Wow, okay!" I stretched my back a bit and finished toweling off. "I don't
think Ranma's ever been so nice to me," I mumbled to myself. "I bet it's because
of all that abuse I got this morning."

Ranma returned shortly with some sandwiches. Spreading a blanket over the
ground, Ranma removed his shoes and smiled at me. "Itadakkimaaaase!"

"Hey, wait for me!" I jumped up and threw my shoes off before hopping onto the
blanket. "Itadakki-- eh??" As I reached for a sandwich, Ranma snatched up the
plate. "What are you doing?"

"What?" Ranma grinned and continued to eat. "I'll have to admit, Akane, lunch
was a good idea."

I dove at the sandwiches Ranma was holding. "What are you DOING, I'm STARVING!"

Ranma jumped back and took some more bites. "Oh.. you wanted a sandwich?" His
facial expression grew to devious. "Come get it."

"What..?"

"Show me how hungry you are, Akane."

"You JERK! Ranma no BAKA!!" I dove at him, he dodged. "Fine, I'll just go make
my own food--" Ranma leaped in front of me, shot out his hand at my shoulder,
and knocked me flat onto the ground while eating another sandwich.

"No, you won't." Ranma grinned and spun the plate of sandwiches on one finger.

I growled.

"Akane, are you gonna go into a blind rage and forget everything I taught you
this morning?"

"... ..." I shifted to an offensive stance.

--------------------

"OW! There's a bruise there, be careful..." I nibbled and savored my
half-sandwich as if it were my last meal. My attack at Ranma was an embarassing
one-sided failure, but nobody could say I didn't have any persistance. I got to
eat Ranma's leftovers as a consolation prize.

"Sorry. Finish your sandwich so I can take care of you properly. We can't have
you being broken on the first day of your training, after all." Ranma stopped
putting balm on me so that he could roll out the sleeping bags in our tent.

"Aww.." I stared down at the remaining bites of my sandwich before stuffing it
into my mouth. Ranma motioned for me to get into the tent. I crawled in and gave
him a glare. "Wiffebeafer," I hissed, while crumbs flew from my mouth.

"Psssht, you wish," Ranma retorted and ran his hand along my arm. "Come on, get
on your stomach.. good." Ranma made sure there was enough padding below us
before kneeling over the small of my back to give me a massage. The massage was
welcome for a few very obvious reasons, and I sighed to myself, trying to decide
if the abuse would be worth this kind of attention. I wondered how long this
would continue. Prior to today, Ranma and I had "sparred" every night, even
though it was really a session where I would do my best to even touch Ranma
while he yawned and moved out of my way. It was Ranma's idea to try and make "at
the very least, a more decent sparring partner" but I always wished that I could
be seen as a formidable martial artist in everyone's eyes. It was hard being
upstaged so easliy after being unbeatable for so long. It was harder to admit
that I cared as much about my martial arts as I did, when I seemed to be in
everyone else's shadow.

It was a good idea to set the tent up under a shaded area. It was slightly
cooler inside, and laying on the sleeping bag was quite comfortable. I
moaned quietly, focusing on Ranma's fingers travelling across my cooling skin.
"Mmm, why these great massages, Ranma?" I sighed heavily and had trouble keeping
my eyes open.

I felt Ranma's hands pause as he laughed gently. "I wonder." He kneaded at an
area between my shoulder blades. "Maybe it's because I remembered how I felt when
Pop used to train me." Ranma started softly chopping at my back. "..and maybe
because you're gonna need this in order to survive the next few days. You might
want to take a quick nap and we'll continue until dinner."

The small pangs of fear in my stomach were so overshadowed by my sleepiness that
all I could do was sigh before I fell asleep.

----------------

Yes, I had to fight for my dinner. In fact, one could predict how the next few
days went: constant training until mealtimes, when it was a battle for whatever
Ranma had prepared, follwed by a rigorous massage. By the third night, I thought
I would get crafty and sneak out for a meal while Ranma was sleeping. I lived to
regret it when Ranma woke to the sound of me stepping on dead leaves. I spent
that night tied up.

Ranma offered to give me two large meals in exchange for two massages. By the
fourth morning, I found myself too groggy to fight hard for breakfast, so
naturally I used one. I still had two massages left in that day, so I would be
fine. Dinnertime on the sixth night was when I mentioned to Ranma that I wanted
my second meal.

"How disappointing, Akane, I thought you had a little more tenacity than that.
After all, you've improved quite a bit, huh? Is this Akane admiting defeat
again?"

I was NOT in the mood for this. "Not fair, Ranma, give me my meal."

"You think someone who wants to kill you is going to be fair?"

"..." I turned around and darted as fast as I could to the cooler we borrowed to
keep fish in. Ranma easily caught up to me, croquette and rice in hands, while
effortlessly tripping me. He leaped high into a tree and balanced on a small
branch, watching for my next move. I rose and stepped closer to the cooler. Ranma leaped back
down, delivering a more serious flying kick which I barely dodged without having
to dive. Ranma hopped back up onto a branch.

It had been a while since I lost my temper in a near-blind rage. I screamed
messily, delivering my own flying kick to the tree that Ranma stood in. It came
hurdling down, and as Ranma practically flew into a tree behind him, I followed,
focused on the food in his hands.

"I swear, I'm going to KILL you if you don't give me that meal, Ranma!"

"Now, that's a better kind of attitude to have," Ranma laughed. I charged him,
and we leaped from branch to branch descending further down the
mountain. We weren't even close to being low enough to land safely on the
ground, but my awarness that we were up in a high place was skewed. Ranma ran
out to the far edge of a branch as I stood closer to the trunk. If I had been
truly registering the fact that I was standing on such a thin branch, I would
have quickly forgotten about the food and climbed back to relative safety. The
air burned through my lungs as I heaved, still focused on Ranma and the hand
which was holding the food. My mind chanted, *Croquette and rice.. croquette and
rice...* and I masked my sudden idea with a sneer. My foot flew high into the
air, and my heel landed sharply, snapping the branch below us. Ranma's surprise
flashed quickly as I screamed, crashing through branches.

"Akane!" Ranma rebounded off of a tree trunk and launched himself so that he
could catch me. I made no hesitation to snatch the croquette and kick Ranma down
into the trees below. I laughed maniacally and didn't take time to savor the
look on Ranma's face, but to run back up the side of the mountain, eating my
loot."

"Don't screw with me, Ranma!" I called. I reached our camp site, collapsing in
front of our tent and savoring my triumph. Ranma followed shortly after,
scratched up and sweaty. My initial reaction was fear; doing something like that
to most anyone else would have killed them. If I didn't have so much faith in
Ranma's abilities, I wouldn't have tried it. I stared at him with an expectant
look. I tensed, ready to react in case Ranma was going to attack me.

"Akane," Ranma panted. He pulled his tank top off and proceeded to clean himself. "Nice job. Lately, it's been looking a lot like you need less training than I was going to give you; and talk about a sense of adventure..!" Ranma wiped his
face off and spit a little bit. "Do me a favor and get the first aid kit, will
you? It looks like we're going to need a little disinfectant."

"We?" Looking straight down, I noticed a relatively deep scratch across my ribs.
The weather didn't really allow for me to train comfortably in a regular gi (it
wasn't like we had one, either), and I didn't want to ruin the few presentable
clothes I had. It was easier to train in my bikini because of all this, but my
only real disadvantage was the fact that my skin was quite vulnerable to
scratches. My ribs started to sting. "Ahh-- sure, just a minute."

--------------------

Bandaged and cleaned, Ranma and I lay next to each other in the tent. Night
had fallen, and I could barely make out the whites of Ranma's eyes. "Seriously,
Akane, you taught me again today that I shouldn't keep my guard down... heh
heh... I'm surprised I'm not in a rage or something."

"Well. I guess, when properly motivated I've always been good at things, huh?" I
smiled and turned to face Ramna. "Nee, Ranma, do I still get that full meal?"

"Maybe," Ranma sighed. He sat up a little and gently pushed me to lay on my
back.

"Ranma? Whatcha doing?" My face got a little hot and I felt myself blushing.
Ranma slid over to me and gently climbed on top of me, running his fingers
soothingly up and down my arm. Straning to turn my head, I fixated on the
corners of his mouth, which turned up in a slight smile as he leaned closer.
"Ranma," I said forcibly. He leaned low, speaking to the back of my head.

"Akane..?" Ranma purred. I froze, waiting for Ranma to do something else. His
hands closed gently around my arms and hesitation hung in his eyes. It suddenly
got hotter in the tent. "Akane," Ranma said more assertively as his lips moved
lower, close to my cheek. He breathed. Oh GOD, I wanted to just close my eyes and
enjoy this! His lips moved along the side of my face, gently exhaling on my cheek
before he stopped to whisper into my ear. "..I'm not about to let you get away
with what happened today."

I inhaled sharply.

"Prepare for PAIN." Before I could think straight, Ranma's hands tensed around
my arms, and I started to struggle even though it was obviously too late.

My screams echoed across the valley below.
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Author's notes: (November/December 2001)
Oiya, it's been a long time. This new part is just a testament to the fact that
yes, I WILL finish Solar Demise. Like I mention in emails, I've graduated high
school since I started this story, so time has been more scarce. I was planning
on doing this part, ever since I wrote part 5. In fact (in case you didn't
notice ^o~) A line in part 5 alludes to this part of Ranma and Akane's trip.

These side stories are fun. Until Next Time...