Title: A Magical Moment
Author: Trevelyan Duke
Word Count: 1400
Summary: Something magical happened when Ranma and Akane were just kids and they didn't know each other yet. Akane forgot this childhood memory, and Ranma could have. Until something came up… and he remembered.

Author's Notes: If you're the type who likes short, cute fics, then you've chosen the right story to read. Yes, and I mean really, REALLY short – this would take you less than five minutes to get it over with. I do hope that you'll tell me what you think of it, though. Read on! (",)

Disclaimer: Not mine, not yours, but Rumiko Takahashi's. Now and forever.

A Magical Moment

In life, one event may take on an exceptional significance and become permanently engraved in our minds.

One such magical moment happened to me. I was sitting in this small, dark pub one time when my father took a break from training in China and decided for us to visit Japan for a while.

I was eight. My father was talking to his friend who had pretty long hair for a man. They looked happy, chatting together while everybody else was busy eating, drinking and talking. It seemed I was the only kid in the pub, so I was definitely bored even when I began daydreaming about defeating a giant fire-breathing dragon single-handedly. I was sitting on a small wooden bench a few yards away from where my father was. He shouldn't have left me on my own, especially when I was tired and bored to death, but I let it pass that time – I knew for a fact, as I observed Pop's face, that he was much too glad in seeing a long lost friend.

I breathed jadedly, only to have my lungs irritated by the cigarette smoke coming from a table of fat, obnoxious men wasting the time of their lives with bottles of beer and corn chips.

Then I noticed a girl – a really cute girl – who was about my age. She just entered the pub, and while she walked across the room from the entrance to where Pop was, I couldn't help staring. I realized she wasn't meeting my dad, but hers – the guy with long hair. He patted her head and introduced her to my dad, and they briefly admired her adorability before continuing their happy conversation. The girl frowned and sat on one of the chairs beside them, her feet dangling from the seat. I stared, transfixed, as she tenuously tapped her yellow slippers together, then, seeing that they wouldn't come to life no matter how many times she collided them with each other, gave up and sighed unenthusiastically. She started twirling a few tresses of her shoulder-long hair with her finger, and then stopped.

She looked at me. I blushed and shook my head as I pretended to be really interested with the rough, dirty floor.

A few moments later when I thought it was safe, I looked at her again. This time, a boy, a few years her senior, who seemed to have just arrived was trying to engage in a conversation with her. He was waving his wooden sword about the small spot he was on, obviously showing off his fighting skills (at this point I scoffed, instantly recognizing the signs of wrong posture).

The girl showed him a thumbs-down.

"Hah!" I couldn't help jeering.

As the older boy turned his back and went away hopelessly, the girl smiled at me and giggled. Apparently, she heard my monosyllabic comment, and had the same opinion of the egotistic boy who just left. She watched me with those deep brown eyes that flickered with amusement and interest. I looked back in curiosity, not having the power to evade her stunning gaze. Her smile made my heart flutter so much, and that was the first time I felt like that.

She surprised me by walking over and sitting down next to me on the bench. Close. She smelled good – so good that I've always wondered what that smell was exactly. A nervous wave washed over me as I struggled awkwardly to make a conversation, which was totally Pop's fault (my inability to converse, I mean). I've never had the chance to mingle with other kids because of all those years of martial arts training ever since I could remember.

"H-hi," I greeted, stuttering.

"Hey," she said.

There was a long pause as we both shifted uneasily on the bench.

"Uhm… what kind of cologne are you wearing?" I asked, not finding anything else to say.

"I dunno," she said uninterestedly. "It's my sister's perfume or something."

She lightly tugged my pigtail. "Pretty long for a boy's," she remarked, but this time she seemed fascinated.

"Y-yeah." What more was there to say? I rebuked myself mentally for not having enough conversational skills especially in dealing with the opposite sex.

An amused, playful smile grew on her lips.

Then she leaned over and kissed me, a warm, gentle kiss that made me feel dizzy and fuzzyheaded.

In that moment, I felt independent – like being "all grown up." Perhaps that kiss sparked the man inside me. I tasted freedom and felt the soft flutter of romance in my heart for the first time.

And that was the end of the magical girl because the next thing I knew, my father said we had to leave. I didn't even notice the girl getting up from our bench, because I was so awed by the short gift she gave me. I never got to ask her anything, not even her name, and I didn't ask my father, either. I thought that he would just do something silly, like setting us up into a date or something, or, heaven forbid, engage us on the spot. I knew my dad to be a person who would most likely do one of those things.

I spent the journey back to China thinking about the girl, all the while touching the pigtail at the back of my head. It kept me with her all the way to China. The tingle of her kiss always stayed fresh in my heart.

I didn't cut my pigtail for many years, even though many times it got me into trouble. I don't know if it was special to me because of the girl, or because it represented a time in my life when I gained a new sense of independence, a magical coming of age. It would keep growing when I cut it, anyway, because of something – one of the many troubles – I went through.

About eight years later, I found myself in Japan, back from training, being dragged by my stupid father to meet some people in the dojo I was supposed to inherit. I was introduced to three sisters, and was asked to choose one of them for a fiancé. I immediately cringed at the thought of it, and the fact that I was in my girl form didn't help.

Two of them volunteered their youngest. So that's when Akane Tendo became my fiancé.

Aw, nooo… that's when she entered my life and made it a living hell… at the same time made every day with her heaven, for some reason. There was just something about the way she does her stuff, whether it was studying and sucking at the tip of her pencil, or sweating it out in the dojo, or humming to herself whenever we walked home from school, or wrinkling her nose contemptuously whenever I called her names.

That "something" had gotten her into a lot of trouble, too – along with her reputable status came a horde of perverts willing to do stupid things just to have her, from trying to beat her with brute force to slipping love potions into her food. She was just too damn attractive for her own good.

But no way am I telling this to anyone.

I have doubts, though, about keeping my feelings to myself. The first time I sparred with Akane when we first met (I was in my girl form, courtesy of a particular curse I got from Jusenkyo), I thought there was something about her that went back all the way to my past. I didn't know what it was until after some time, it persistently reminded me that it was there everyday and I couldn't take it anymore, and I just had to ask about it.

One day, when Akane and I were walking to school, I noticed that she smelled fantastic, and that unremitting, nagging sensation started again. It bugged me so much that even before I could stop myself, I had asked her what scent she was wearing.

"I don't know," she said.

The idea of saying that it stank terribly popped suddenly into my head, because it was one of those days when I felt too energetic and cheeky for my own welfare. I was really about to say it, until she added a short sentence that stopped me dead in my tracks.

"It's Kasumi's perfume or something."

Author's Notes: I read a story from Kay Allenbaugh's chocolate books about two little kids who met in the carnival one day and hanged out without the slightest idea about each other's identities, and when they met again in the future, they didn't know they'd met earlier but they ended up together anyway. That became my inspiration for this fic, although I'm not really sure if Ranma and Akane had met before the day they were engaged. Nah, it's best we pretend they did in terms of this story.

Anyway, thank you for reading and feel free to leave a review! It always helps one way or another. (",)