Solar Demise - Five Series

Part 5e - Nemurenai [(I) Can't Sleep]

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.
Excitement fluttered in my heart. She laid next to me in the shadows of our stuffy tent, breathing angelically, eyelashes softly twitching, curling up on top of her sleeping bag. I admired her creamy skin. On some nights when we slept under the stars I'd wake up, noticing how beautifully her skin glowed under the deep night sky, or how gently the moon highlighted her cheeks and nose.

I had a reputation for sleeping deeply, but it was a habit that has long since disappeared. The first time I realized this was the night I reunited with her. A gunshot and familiar scream pierced my consciousness on that late afternoon as I was beginning to doze off. It was second nature to go pull her out of danger, no questions needed. Protectively, I watched her the entire time she slept. She's slept peacefully ever since, save a single night of sobbing. Due to my own stupidity it was the one night I couldn't comfort her.

As a child, heavy thoughts weighed me down before I slept. Once I moved to Nerima my mind was "weighed down" by a mallett, suitors (men and women), exhaustion from fighting, or some kind of ancient Chinese Trick of the Day. Those things induced sleep very welcomely as it kept my mind off of other things. Akane and I took a break from that life, and a small but piercing flame inside of me flickered ominously. Those thoughts started to poke their heads out from hybernation: My lost childhood and friends I could have had, worries about people who wanted to kill me but never met me,and the time I lost with my mother. I obsessed over this and many other little things once I was left alone with my mind. These were things that would haunt me no matter how strong I became. While alone with Akane, I needed a distraction from them. I trained hard, as if I could destroy these things with my fists.

To avoid these thoughts, I was forced to run myself into the ground until I was too tired to do anything but sleep. Unfortunately for Akane, it meant I had to run her into the ground as well. We would walk ridiculous distances, take the toughest route, or carry more things than necessary. When I started helping her become a better martial artist, it was an ideal excuse to wear us both out. I'd make it up to her someday. Once she fell asleep I'd sit up in bed each night, the gears in my head still turning.

As nights passed when I'd sit up with only her sleeping form and the moon as my company I'd recall that frigid morning when I couldn't control myself. We shared kisses on what seemed to be a distant beach, once upon a time. Eventually the memory drove previous unpleasant thoughts in circles towards the back of my mind, overshadowed by Her. I realize I told her I only wanted a platonic relationship, but that didn't mean I couldn't adore her while she wasn't looking. I awaited the day when my feelings allowed me to grow up a little. Sometimes I wasn't even sure why I had to wait; I knew how we both felt. I was still shy and sometimes childish about it. At times I was still afraid to hold her hand even though I knew that's what she wanted. In fact, now that I think about it, the only thing that helped to shed my inhibitions was when we sparred.

Soon, I wouldn't even need to hide behind that.

These nights I wake up to think about our future as I gaze down at her. I want to brush my lips across her bare shoulders, and glide my hands across that back while enclosing her in my arms every time I see her like this. Tonight, like many previous nights lately, I realized just how close she and I were getting to this. My chest wavered in anticipation, and I smiled.
Author's Notes: (March 2003)

Heh, this was inspired by a moment I had. ^^ It's nice to write fanfics in a squishy, warm bed, by the way.