DISCLAIMER: Ranma 1/2 and company do not belong to me. *sigh*

NOTES: This is first ever attempt at a Ranma fic - figured I'd better start out short and light! Kinda WAFFy, kinda introspective.

Let me know what you think!

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Ranma stumbled in through the front doors, giggling inanely as he collided with the wall. Akane, hearing him, poked her head through the kitchen door.

" Ranma?"

Hearing Akane's voice, Ranma's face took on a blissful look.

" A-kaaaaaaaaaa-neeee!!!" he sing-songed. Akane did a doubletake.

" Ranma?" She studied him closely. " Are you...drunk?"

Ranma shook his head vigorously.

" Nope, nope, noper!" he said, almost falling over. Akane felt a surge of anger beginning to flow through her. Not drunk? Acting like THAT?

" Liar!" Breaking out her trusty mallet o'pain, she was about to wallop him over the head when Kasumi came into the room. Seeing the situation, she summed it up in a typically Kasumi-like way.

" Oh my!"

" This...HENTAI is saying he's not drunk!" Akane sputtered, advancing on the hapless Ranma who was watching her approach with a goofy grin. " Look at him!"

" Akane." Kasumi's gentle voice halted her sister, and she watched, confused, as her older sister swept past her and went to Ranma.

" Ranma-kun?" She asked, studying his face.

" Heeeeeeeeeey! It's Kasumiiiiiiiiiii!" Ranma giggled again, eyes going in and out of focus.

Kasumi smiled. Akane was still frozen.

" What's WRONG with him?" she asked.

" He's not drunk, Akane," Kasumi said with some concern in her voice. " It looks like poor Ranma's been drugged."

_Drugged_? Akane thought. Her next thought was: _Again_? And finally: _Who did it_?

" Shampoo!" she seethed. Kasumi picked something off of Ranma's shoulder, who was swaying back and forth, humming 'I'm a Little Teapot'.

" I don't think it was Shampoo," she said, handing the item to Akane. It was a black rose petal.

" Kodachi!" Akane swore. " I'm gonna kill her!" She marched past Kasumi, ready to track down the deranged gymnast. Ranma popped in front of her, waggling a finger in front of her nose.

" No, no, no. Bad Akane!" he said. " Can't go after Kodachi, nope, nope!"

" And why not, Ranma?" Akane asked calmly. _If he tries to protect her, I'll kill him first_!

" Because!" Ranma threw up his hands in frustration, and nearly fell over. " She'll beat you up." He shook his head. " Stupid tomboy."

_WHAT_? " DIE RANMA!" Akane shouted, whirling around and slamming the mallet into his head. Ranma crashed into the wall and slid to the floor, body twitching.

" Of all the...here I am, trying to help you and instead of being supportive, you had to open your mouth and be a JERK!" Akane growled at him, blinking away tears. Kasumi put a hand on her shoulder.

" Akane? I don't think Ranma is in any shape to be supportive. And whatever he says, can't be taken seriously. Who know's what drug she's infected him with."

" Truth drug..." Ranma muttered from the floor. Akane and Kasumi blinked.

" Truth drug?" Akane eyed him. " Then why are you acting so loopy?"

" She wanted to get past my inhib...inba..inhibiti...she wanted me to relax!" Ranma said, watching his hands as he waved them in front of his face. " She's nutso! Nutso, nutso, nutso!"

Akane stifled a grin as Kasumi placed a hand over her mouth to conceal hers. Then Akane frowned.

" Ranma? Why did she want you to...relax?"

Ranma pulled himself up and gave her a big grin.

" She wanted to sleep with me!"

Akane and Kasumi facefaulted. Before Akane could raise her mallet though, Ranma continued.

" She wanted to have SEX with me - me and Kodachi! Ick! Ick!" He made a face and shuddered, the motion toppling him over. Akane caught him.

" Ranma?" He looked at her goofily. " Did you want to...s-sleep with her?" she asked timidly, afraid to hear his answer. A horrified look came over his face and he waggled a finger in her face again.

" That's sick! Sick, sick, sick! " He paused, staring at Akane. " If I'm going to sleep with someone, it'd be you!" He shook his head. " Kuwaikunee inukuzaii..."

Akane froze at Ranma's words. _Did he mean that_? With more fiance's then he could count, Ranma could have his pick of any girl. _He couldn't have meant it. Why would he want me when he could have Shampoo? Or Ukyo? _He's teasing me_. Anger mixed with disappointment swept through her, igniting her blue battle aura. Ranma gazed at the site.

" Pretty colours!" he chirped. His tone cut through the fog of anger and she couldn't help but laugh. Her battle aura dissipated and she openly laughed at the expression on Ranma's face as he looked about to cry at the disappearence of the 'pretty colours'.

" I think you'd better lay down until this wears off, Ranma," she said with a sigh. Kasumi nodded.

" I'll call Doctor Tofu, just in case."

Akane helped Ranma upstairs, stopping every now and then while Ranma grabbed the banister, clinging to it and declaring it his new best friend in the whole world. By the time they'd made it to his room Ranma had offically engaged himself to the duck-shaped nameplate on Akane's bedroom door, and tried to stop the hallway table from escaping. Akane lead him into the guest room he shared with his father (who, thank Kami, was out with her father at the bar, and Nabiki was sleeping at friends) and tried to get him to lay down. Ranma, however, had a different idea.

" Not tired," he pouted dizzily. Akane sighed, half amused, half exasperated. Then she had an idea. _Since he doesn't want to sleep, maybe I can put Kodachi's potion to good use_!

" Ranma?"

" Akane?" he mimmicked her, grinning.

" Why were you with Kodachi anyway?" She pushed her anger that automatically flared up, away. Ranma looked disgusted.

" She TRICKED me!" he said, outraged. " Sh-she...sheeeeeeeeeeeeee!" his eyes unfocused and he began flapping his arms. " Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!"

" Ranma!" Akane hit him and he blinked at her.

" What?"

" Why were you with Kodachi?"

" She said she had you!" he said, nodding. " Said she was gonna....gonna...do something HORRIBLE to you!"

" Me?" Akane flinched. " What was she going to do?"

" She," Ranma said, very seriously. " -was going to engage you to KUNO!!!" He burst out laughing. Akane growled at him, before remembering that he said it was a horrible thing.

" And how did she plan on doing that?"

" Was gonna give Kuno-baby-" Akane smothered a chuckle at the use of Nabiki's nickname for Kuno "- a LOVE letter. From you. To Kuno. From you."

" I get it, Ranma," she said wryly. Ranma ignored her.

" I heard her and said 'Nope!' Akane can't give love ANYTHING's to Kuno. Then she paralyzed me. ME!" Ranma sputtered, his outrage coming back. Akane was about to ask him another question, when she heard Kasumi come in, Doctor Tofu behind her.

" Hello Akane!" he smiled at her. His smile grew slightly as he looked past her to Ranma. " Hello Ranma."

" It's the Doc!" said Ranma. " And he's with Kasumi. And he's not dancing with Betty-chan!"

Doctor Tofu blushed as Kasumi giggled. The sound of her laughing caused his glasses to fog up and Akane twitched.

" Uh, come on Kasumi - let's let the Doctor check Ranma." She quickly pulled Kasumi out before the Doctor lost it completely. When Kasumi was around, the doctor had a bad habit of losing his concentration, unable to focus an anything but her. Akane grinned when she thought of Ranma's mentioning of Betty-chan, the skeleton Doctor Tofu had in his office. When Tofu lost his mind around Kasumi, one could usually find him dancing the streets with Betty-chan, singing his happiness to the world. Kasumi sighed as Akane shut the door.

" Doctor Tofu seemed somewhat normal," Akane ventured.

" Only once he heard we had a medical problem," Kasumi said softly. " He's able to turn...professional."

" Well, I think it's progress!" Akane said cheerfully. Kasumi nodded, a smile beginning to grow on her face.

" I suppose it is," she agreed.

Across the hall, a small, black piglet was watching the entire proceedings with part amusement and part anger. The bandana-clad pig then left the hallway, headed to the bathroom. Bypassing the shower, he headed straight to the furo, diving into the hot water. In place of the piglet, a brown-haired, muscular boy wearing the same bandana as the piglet emerged from the water. Grabbing his clothes from where he'd hidden them earlier, he dressed quickly and joined the two girls in the hall.

" Oh Ryouga!" Kasumi exclaimed. " When did you get here?"

" It's nice to see you again, Ryouga!" Akane said, giving him a quick hug. Ryouga returned it somewhat hesitantly, willing back the urge to faint from being in such close proximity to Akane. Akane smiled at him and he felt his knees go weak.

" Ryouga, I hope you're not here to fight Ranma," she said anxiously. In a flash of anger Ryouga growled.

" I heard him say he left you to be with Kodachi!" he growled. _How DARE Ranma abandon Akane for that...that WITCH_? But Akane was shaking her head.

" Let me explain, Ryouga."

By the time Akane had finished, Ryouga didn't know whether he wanted laugh out loud or sink to the ground in dispair when he heard how Ranma claimed he had only thought of doing anything with Akane and no other. Especially when he heard the happiness in Akane's voice at the thought.

_She'll never love me the way I love her_, he thought, dispair washing over him. Then an image of Akari flickered to the forfront of his mind. _Akari loves you_ his mind said accusingly. Ryouga felt the dispair lift slightly. But before he could think more about it, the bedroom door opened and Doctor Tofu walked out, fighting back the urge to laugh.

" Is Ranma okay?" Akane asked anxiously.

" He'll be fine by tomorrow," Tofu said reassuringly. Kasumi smiled.

" What happened?"

Tofu's glasses began to fog again, but he tried to maintain his control.

" I asked Ranma to stand up so I could check his reflexes and sense of balance. When he stood up, he caught site of my black, medical bag and tried to beat it up." The doctor looked puzzled. " Who's P-chan?|"

Akane fumed, while Kasumi choked back her laughter. Ryouga was about to get mad when he realized what the scene must have looked like and he threw his head back, roaring with laughter.

" Ryouga?"

Akane stopped laughing and stared at Ryouga, realizing she had never before heard the Lost Boy laugh like that - deep and from the heart. She grinned happily. A voice grumbled from the door.

" Whatchoo laughing at?" Ranma demanded swaying on his feet. Then he caught site of Ryouga and his face lit up.

" Bacon-breath!" he cried out, and glomped on to him. Ryouga staggered backwards in shock and Akane burst out laughing. Ranma pulled back and grinned crazily at him. " It's my buddy Ryouga!"

_Buddy_? Ryouga wondered. _He considers me a friend_?

" Ranma?"

" Ryouga!" Ranma said in a stage whisper. " Stay away from Kodachi - she's cra-zay!" He shook his head. " Don't want my friend to be drugged too."

Ryouga stared in disbelief. _After all my attempts to hurt him, to break up him and Akane, he considers me a friend_? The thought flashed through his mind that whenever he'd been in trouble, despite their checkered past, Ranma had never hesitated to help him out. And sometimes Ranma would be the one to initiate their legendary battles, grinning the whole time. Ryouga had always thought Ranma was laughing at him - could it be he ENJOYED those matches? _He considers me a sparring partner_?

Ranma unhanded Ryouga and turned to Akane.

" Don't you sleep with him," he warned her. Akane blushed and then got angry at the insinuation.

" Ranma!"

" I think you'd better go lie down Ranma," said Ryouga hastily, pulling Akane back before she could demand a more complete answer from Ranma. He wondered if he should get mad at Ranma for nearly revealing to Akane that he was P-Chan, her pet piglet that slept in her room, when he realized Ranma couldn't be held accountable for his actions. Not in this frame of mind.

" I think you're right, " Ranma nodded. He then turned pale. " 'Cause I don't feel so good."

Akane, still blushing more from the idea that Ranma was jealous then from the actual comment, caught his arm. Ryouga grabbed the other. Together, they dragged him to his futon and put him down. Just before leaving the room though, they heard a mumbled," I am not shaving my head, Principal Kuno," and a thwack as Ranma smacked the floor in an attempt to keep the floor where it was. Akane and Ryouga barely made it to the hallway where they collapsed next to Tofu and Kasumi, laughing hysterically.

The next morning, Ranma opened his eyes. He sat up and stretched, a loud yawn escaping him. He looked over to his father's futon and saw him already gone.

_The old man let me sleep in_? he thought. _Wierd_. He got up and hit the bathroom for a quick scrubdown and soak, before returning to his room and changing. Making his way downstairs for breakfast he was surprised to see Ryouga sitting across from Akane eating breakfast, and Doctor Tofu giggling as Kasumi served him more rice.

" Ryouga? Doctor Tofu?" _What's going on_? He focused on Ryouga.

" Why aren't you attempting to kill me, screaming 'RANMA! PREPARE TO DIE!'" _And WHY are you sitting near Akane_? Ryouga shrugged and gave him a friendly grin.

" Too busy eating. I'll kick your butt after breakfast."

Ranma nearly collapsed at the site of Ryouga being friendly. Akane cleared her throat.

" Ranma? How do you feel?"

" I feel fine," he said. " But confused."

" That's to be expected," said Tofu. " I'll check you out after breakfast."

" What? Why?"

" Do you remember anything from yesterday Ranma?" Ryouga asked, a chuckle escaping him. Ranma searched his memory frantically.

" No..." The group at the table grinned. Ranma blanched.

" What happened?"

" Have we got a story for you!" Akane grinned as she led him to the table.

The end.

By Stormy, /2000