Ryouga's First Kiss

It was a quiet day in Nerima. The sun was up, shining in the blue sky, barely a cloud in sight. To many of the people who walked the streets of Nerima that Saturday, it was a beautiful start to the weekend. To one boy, however, the weather didn't really matter, as long it wasn't raining; and today wasn't for enjoying anyway. This boy was Ryouga Hibiki, and he was on a mission. He ran quickly down the streets of Nerima trying to find the Tendo Dojo. He had less than five minutes now to reach the Tendo's. He had gotten lost again and hadn't been back in Nerima for about a month now. The last time he was here Ukyou had convinced him to help her with a plan to break up Ranma and Akane. He'd of course gone along with it and everything was going perfectly, until Ranma made an offhand remark about Akane being a tomboy. During the fight that somehow ensued, Ranma had led him away from Nerima and gotten him lost. But now wasn't the time to be thinking of the past, he had to find the Tendo's. Ukyou had found him wandering just past her shop as she opened it about 3 hours ago and drug him inside. He rubbed his head lightly still sore from her 'little chat' about last month and the plan. After she had finished she made him some okonomiyaki and explained she had another plan. The hardest thing he had to do was to make it to the Tendo's before Ranma and Akane left to do the shopping for Kasumi. Then he just had to tag along and help Ukyou cause a few incidents. He knew what he had to do. He just had to find the Tendo's and SOON! A familiar voice then called out from inside the yard he was passing.

"Ranma! Hurry up! We have to be back in two hours." It was Akane. Ryouga skidded to a halt and turned around. He looked back and saw where he was; The Tendo's. He almost had run right past it. It would seem luck was with him today. He walked back towards the entrance to the Tendo's, remembering what it was he was supposed to say. He had his lines down. Just as he was reaching the entrance he was greeted by Ranma, who leaped up and onto his head and then pushing off drove him face first into the ground. Ranma landed, turned and looked down at the fallen Ryouga and grinned.

"Hey welcome back Mr. P. Nice to see ya again after all these weeks." Ranma said smirking.

"Hey, shut up Ranma!!" Ryouga noticed Ranma in his usual attire. Red shirt, black pants. Not that he himself wore many different clothes as he was in his usual yellow shirt, black pants outfit complete with backpack and umbrella. He was about to get up and pound Ranma into the ground when Akane stepped out into full view, smiling lightly. Akane looked radiant in a plain blue sundress holding a purse. He glanced for a moment at her short hair and a small part of him sank a little. He still regretted it getting cut off that time, even if it was all Ranma's fault. She seemed happy though and smiled at him.

"Hi Ryouga, I'm sorry about Ranma. It's nice to see you again. What are you doing here?" Akane said and reached a hand down, crouching lightly and taking his hand, helping him to his feet. Ryouga swallowed lightly momentarily lost in bliss. She had....touched him. She about him.

"Yeah P-chan! What are you doing here anyways?" Ranma said lightly frowning at Akane and Ryouga's closeness.

Ryouga whirled glaring at Ranma and walked right up growling in Ranma's face. "Who are you calling P-chan?" He ground out at Ranma through clenched teeth.

"Wouldn't we all like to know?" Ranma said back with a definite smirk to his face. "Last I saw of you was last month during that fight you...." He didn't get to finish as Ryouga interrupted with a low growl.

"Figures a coward like you would run from me again. Very cunning how you managed to escape me once more Ranma." Ryouga said tensing his muscles ready to strike at a moment's notice.

"Hey! I didn't run!!! It's not my fault you went and got lost in that dust cloud and ended up who knows where!!" Ranma retorted. Ryouga didn't believe a word of it though. So what he had a slightly bad sense of direction? Ranma was a coward and he knew it. He'd been running from him since Ryouga made the challenge back during the now infamous Bread Feud. Ryouga's mind raced with images of Ranma always running. Now was time for payback. Now! Ryouga was about to leap at Ranma and give him the beating he thought Ranma deserved when suddenly Ranma was knocked to the ground; by Akane.

"Ranma what do you think your doing?! We don't have time for this!! We only have two hours, remember?!" Akane shouted after whacking Ranma with her purse. Ranma grumbled and was getting up when Akane then turned to Ryouga and smiled lightly, "Don't listen to him Ryouga he's just trying to get to you. So....what are you doing here?"

"Oh. That's okay...Akane-san. I....." Ryouga said suddenly stopping. He blinked. His lines! What were they? He was supposed to say? He cursed Ranma making him forget his lines by making him angry. He'd pay later right now he had to think of something. And fast!

"Well!?" Ranma said after a few moments watching Ryouga think.

"Uhhh, well I was just...uhhhh, out enjoying the day. Yeah! I was just out for a walk....enjoying the day." Ryouga managed to stammer out.

"A walk?" Ranma said, not believing a word of it. Ryouga was up to something.

"A walk? How nice. It is the perfect day for it. Ranma and I were just going to pick up the groceries. Would you like to come along, since you're just out walking?" Akane said offering a small smile. Ranma groaned. This was definitely not how he wanted to spend the next two hours.

"Uhh sure? Why not? It's not like I had anything planned for today." Ryouga said and almost immediately he felt like hitting himself at those words. He growled inwardly at himself. Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid!! Why not just tell them the plan!? He was sure had just given himself away. Akane only smiled a bit wider and nodded.

"All right then. Let's go. We have to back home in two hours, and Ranma! Don't pick any fights with Ryouga either. We can't afford any delays!" Akane said and then began down the street. Ranma's face registered his surprise at that comment.

"Me?! Huh? What?! Hey I don't....." he started to say but Akane had already past him and was walking down the street. Ryouga, grinning widely, walked past him and jogged to catch up with Akane. Ranma's sighed and lowered his head briefly. He grumbled and turned jogging after Ryouga and Akane. He quickly caught up and the three headed down the street, Akane leading and Ranma and Ryouga on either side of her. Ranma grumbled to himself wondering what Ryouga was up to. He didn't want to fight him so something must be up. Ryouga walked along beside Akane, paying no attention to Ranma at all. He didn't have to until later. Right now his mind was focused on only two things. The first was keeping Akane in his sight at all times and the second was the next part of the plan: Get Kuno's attention as they passed the park where he was known to go every week to meditate about his two loves. After about ten minutes of walking they were passing the small park Nerima had.

Tatewaki Kuno sat on the grass meditating on his dilemma of Akane and his Pigtailed Goddess just as Ukyou had said he would be. Ranma and Akane were talking about what they were supposed to buy at the store, which was developing into one of their arguments. Neither of them noticed Ryouga stopping for a moment.

"Get Kuno's attention." Ryouga whispered to himself. Well the direct way always seemed best to him so he picked up a rock and hurled it at Kuno quickly moving to catch up before it hit.

Kuno was stuck. How on earth was he supposed to prove himself worthy of two such beautiful women as Akane Tendo and the mysterious Pigtailed Goddess if he could not even decide on which he would pursue. He was in a quandary. He had to choose one...but in choosing one he would surely break the heart of the other to such depths that she would all but scorn the race of man entirely from the utter despair of not having the greatest gift it had to offer. He could just simply see no way of choosing!!! He had to have them both!!! Just then the rock struck him square in the back of his head. He immediately shot to his feet and looked around for the culprit. He caught sight of Ranma and Ryouga just passing out of view behind a building. He narrowed his eyes and grabbed his bokken from the ground nearby.

"So! The foul Saotome now taunts me from afar and has resulted to such childish action as throwing rocks. Has he no pride? No dignity? I, the Blue Thunder of Furinkin High School, Tatewaki Kuno shall finally teach him his lesson and free my loves from his twisted grasp. Today Saotome, is the day you die!" Kuno exclaimed holding his bokken up to the sky. The few nearby children that were playing giggled and laughed at the funny man as he talked to the sky and then ran off.

Ryouga glanced back to see the rock connect with the back of Kuno's head and Kuno leap to his feet and see them, or more importantly see Ranma. Okay that was good; he had gotten part two done, now for part three. What was part three again? Oh yeah, dodge the water. Water?!! He panicked. He immediately went on alert for anything and everything around him looking around frantically for the water. This caused him to trip himself, stumble forward lose his balance and crash into the ground. Ranma cracked up laughing and was about to say something when he was splashed. Ranma-chan looked up, extremely annoyed. She saw nothing but an open window and growled. Ryouga was sitting on the ground, a small cut on his forehead. Akane was kneeling beside him looking at it. Ryouga had a goofy grin on his face and Ranma-chan was about to say something about the situation when something stopped her. That something was Kuno wrapping his arms around her.

"Ah my Pigtailed Goddess. My heart soars just gazing upon your infinite beauty my one true love. Where did that evil Saotome go? Today shall be his downfall!" Kuno said hugging Ranma-chan tightly to him. Ranma-chan squirmed trying to get out of his arms. Ryouga and Akane just stared. Ryouga breathed an inner sigh of relief. Part three, done. Now for part four: Ask Ranma if he needs help and make sure Akane leaves Ranma alone to deal with Kuno while taking him to the store. Ryouga got to his feet, along with Akane while Ranma-chan was still struggling with Kuno who seemed a little more stubborn than usual today and wasn't getting knocked out as easily.

"Uhhh, you need any help?" Ryouga said barely keeping himself from laughing at Ranma and sort of sounding concerned.

"No! I can handle this myself!" Ranma-chan said slamming an elbow into Kuno's chest. Ranma-chan glared at Ryouga, convinced he was up to something. Akane was obviously annoyed at the delay but wasn't complaining as Kuno hadn't noticed her yet.

"Fine then! You deal with him and meet us at the store. Come on Ryouga." Akane said as she turned, grabbed Ryouga by the shoulder and pulled him along with her around the corner grumbling to herself about a certain martial artist and his stupid pride. Ranma and Ryouga both looked at each other in surprise, until they couldn't see each other. Ryouga was dumbfounded. Okay, part four was complete and he didn't even have to do much at all. The rest of the plan he didn't have to worry about. He'd done what he was supposed to do. He was walking along with Akane to the store. No Ranma. No anyone; just him and her. He smiled lightly and followed her to the store. After about a few minutes of walking they entered the store and began to shop. They still had an hour and a half before they were due back at the Tendo's and Ryouga had that time in which to finally tell Akane how he felt about her. He was definitely going to do it this time.

Meanwhile, back with Ranma-chan and Kuno, Ranma-chan had managed to get out of Kuno's hold and was preceding the throw him around the street. Usually into various large, hard, immovable objects such as houses, walls and telephone poles. Kuno was looking a little worse for the wear but was still coming. Ranma-chan was about hit Kuno again when suddenly the gleam of something big and metal appeared near Kuno. It lifted him up and threw him through the air. A thud in the distance signaled that he'd landed. Standing before Ranma-chan was Ukyou, putting her spatula back.

"Hi Ranchan! Is Kuno bothering you again?" Ukyou asked smiling.

"Yeah. Thanks Ucchan. I'd better get going." Ranma-chan said back turning to go.

"Oh? Where are you going to?" Ukyou asked.

"Oh, Akane and I went out to get groceries. She's probably at the store now with Ryouga shopping." Ranma-chan said growling lightly at the mention of Ryouga.

"Okay, but why don't you come back to my restaurant for some hot water so you can change back." Ukyou suggested stepping a little closer.

"Uhh, I don't think..." Ranma-chan started to say but Ukyou took hold of her arm and gently pulled her along towards Ucchan's.

"Oh come on Ranchan. It'll only take a minute. She won't miss you." Ukyou said. Ranma thought about that and Ucchan's wasn't far. It'd only be a couple minutes. She smiled and walked alongside Ukyou as they headed to Ucchan's.

Meanwhile, back at the store, Ryouga was helping Akane shop for the Tendo household. Akane had the list of what she was supposed to get and was walking around, getting what they needed and putting it in the cart. Ryouga was pushing the cart, happy to be just spending time with Akane. He occasionally ran into a shelf or another cart, apologizing to the person when it was a cart. He frowned inwardly as he ran into a shelf again and paused to look at the cart wheels. Something had to wrong with them but he couldn't see anything. Akane came back and set a couple boxes of rice into the cart noticing Ryouga looking at the wheels.

"Something wrong Ryouga?" Akane said a curious expression on her face.

"Huh? Oh...no. Just the cart keeps....bumping into things. I think there's something wrong with the wheels...but I can't see anything. Not that I'd know...anything about these things. I mean I'm not...ahhh..eheheheheheh." Ryouga said eloquently ending it with lightly nervous laughter as he scratched the back of his head lightly. Akane just smiled a bit and went over look at the cans of soup and began checking her list. She knew what was wrong with the cart. It was him. She noticed he kept veering off in the wrong direction and bumped into things. She was thankful for the aisles of shelves in the store otherwise she'd be worried about him getting lost. She began picking the cans of soup they needed setting them in the cart. After a few moments Ryouga mentally scowled at himself. He had a chance for a conversation and let it go. They were beginning to lapse into silence again. He had to say something.

"Uhhh, that's a...nice dress Akane." Ryouga said and frowned inwardly right after saying the words. That was the dumbest thing to say. Akane turned back and blinked.

"Oh. Thank you Ryouga." Akane said with a smile and wondered why Ranma never said anything about the dresses she wears. She frowned lightly and tossed a can into the cart lightly mashing the bread. Ryouga noticed this and sighed lightly. He tried to think of something else to say as that line had gotten him nowhere.

"Did you get my letters Akane? I wrote three to you while I was away....uhhh...training." Ryouga said lightly gripping the handle of the cart.

"Hmmm? Oh. Your letters, yes I did. I read each one too, thank you." Akane smiled slightly causing him to smile as well.

"You're welcome, Akane. It gets pretty lonely sometimes....when you're traveling alone so I write letters to you. That always makes me feel better; less lonely." Ryouga said looking down the groceries lightly blushing from his words. He was closer than he had gotten so far at telling her what she meant to him and was worried he'd embarrass himself. Akane was looking over the list wondering if she forgot anything while Ryouga was speaking.

"Oh? That's nice Ryouga. I think we've got everything. Let's go pay for them." Akane said as she turned and headed for the cashier. Ryouga sighed lightly and followed, wondering if she heard him. How was he supposed to tell her how he felt about her if she wasn't listening? He still had a chance though, before Ranma got back.

At Ucchan's Ranma had just changed back to his male form and was exiting the kitchen ready to head back when he saw Ukyou just finish setting a table for two with lit candles and two plates of okonomiyaki.

"Have a seat Ranchan. You must be hungry after beating up on Kuno like that." Ukyou said with a wide smile. Ranma wasn't sure if he should. Akane would be expecting him back soon, but that okonomiyaki looked pretty good.

"I really should go Ucchan. Akane is probably gonna kill me if I'm any later." Ranma said half-heartedly glancing from the door to the table.

"Please Ranchan? Besides, the way you eat, you'll be done in no time. Didn't you say you and her were supposed to be getting groceries? Is she going to be cooking tonight?" Ukyou said with an almost Kasumi-like innocent look to her face. Inside she grinned. That should get him. Ranma blinked at that. Akane was fairly anxious to get to the store and back. What if she was planning on cooking something? He looked at the okonomiyaki and swallows lightly. This might be his only chance at real food.

"Sure why not Ucchan? I can stay for a little while I suppose." Ranma said and sat down at the table immediately beginning to eat. Ukyou smiled to herself and sat down for a, somewhat, romantic candlelit dinner for two alone with her Ranchan.

Ryouga and Akane walked down the streets, Ryouga's arms filled with the bags of groceries they had just bought. They were looking for Ranma. He seemed to have just disappeared. Akane was a little worried, but more angry. If he was off with that bimbo Shampoo again or off with Ukyou goofing off instead of helping her, he'd be getting a piece of her mind later. She was looking around the street; glancing back every now and then to make sure Ryouga was still with her. "I wonder where he's gotten off to now. He was supposed to help me shop for the groceries. That idiot! He's never around when you need him. I guess it's a good thing you came along Ryouga. I would've had a hard time carrying those bags home by myself. Thanks." Akane said having stopped and turned facing Ryouga. Ryouga stopped for a moment and craned his neck around the bags that partially obscured his vision.

"Oh. No...no problem Akane. I'd do anything...to help you. It isn't...I means it's no trouble." Ryouga said and smiled a little. Should he tell her now? This wasn't exactly the best time to, but they could run into Ranma any moment now and then he wouldn't get the chance to. Yes. Now! He looked at Akane, standing watching him a slightly amused smile on her face.

"Ummm.....Akane-san?" Ryouga began.

Across the street from Ryouga and Akane a pair of eyes watched them; a pair of eyes that should have been behind thick glasses. Mousse had been wiping down a table at the Nekohanten when he glanced up and saw them standing across the street talking. He had been watching them talk for the past few moments and wondered why Ranma and Akane weren't fighting as usual. Maybe he was beginning to like her and would finally leave his Shampoo alone.

"Mousse! What you do?! Why you no work?!" Shampoo shouted at him, seeing him just standing there. Mousse turned around to face her.

"Oh. Sorry my love. I was just looking at Ranma and Akane. They're across the street talking and acting rather friendly." Mousse said.

"Uhh yeah. Whatever." The man who had entered a few moments ago said looking at Mousse like he was an idiot. Mousse pushed his glasses down over his eyes and blinked.

"Oh sorry sir. Please have a seat I'll be right with you." Mousse apologized and then turned and looked around for Shampoo but she had disappeared. She probably went to tell the old ghoul they had a customer.

Shampoo had run back and grabbed her bonbori and raced back outside in record time muttering, "Violent girl no keep Ranma from Shampoo. Shampoo get rid of violent girl then take Ranma on date with Shampoo."

At the same time Shampoo was heading out to fight Akane, not too far away a man was escorted from a bar rather harshly. A large man, much bigger than the one he just tossed onto the sidewalk, looked down at the gaijin man in rather dirty looking clothes. He knew he was obviously an alcoholic because he reeked of alcohol in a long term kind of way. The drunken man grumbled and was getting up, or trying to not quite able to balance yet.

"Listen buddy I don't care how much money you've got you aren't getting anymore to drink here. Go home and lay down." The large man said turning and shutting the door behind him. The drunken man final managed to get to his feet and mumbled out something making a few obscene gestures at the bar's door before shuffling off down the street. How dare they treat him like that? Didn't they know he had money? He reached his car and leaned on it taking a few minutes to get his keys out and open the door. He got in and started the car nearly backing into another car he started off down the street. Who needed that bar? He'd just go to that restaurant with the cute purple haired waitress. They'd serve him no problem.

"Yes Ryouga? What is it? Is something wrong?" Akane asked getting concerned. Ryouga had been stammering and grasping for words for about a minute now. Something was wrong. She was about to say something else when she felt she was in danger. She saw movement out of the corner of one eye and turned her head seeing Shampoo advancing quickly towards her bonbori raised to attack.

"Violent girl!! DIE!!!!" Shampoo shouted as she neared Akane and thrust her bonbori at Akane's midsection. Akane leaped back dodging the blow and glared. Ryouga had dropped the bags at Shampoo's shout and pulled his umbrella ready to defend Akane. Shampoo leaped again at Akane swinging her bonbori. The two leaped one attacking, the other dodging, and a section of wall from a house getting crushed. Ryouga leaped into the fray at the right moment and blocked Shampoo's bonbori with his umbrella. He pushed her back growling and moving to the left to stand between Shampoo and Akane.

"Leave her alone!!" Ryouga shouted at Shampoo who remained unfazed.

"No. Shampoo beat violent girl and then date Ranma. Where Ranma at?" Shampoo said looking around. Mousse had said Ranma was here. She realized Mousse had saw Ryouga and Akane and made a note to beat him up later.

"He's not here! Why don't you just go away?!" Akane shouted at Shampoo angry that she was attacked for just being there.

"It no matter. I beat violent girl and date Ranma anyway." Shampoo said and leaped again only to be blocked by Ryouga once more. Shampoo became angry and began attacking Ryouga to get to Akane. The two fought around a telephone pole, each attacking while the other dodged. Their hits connected upon the telephone which was showing signs of splintering. Shampoo swung again and hit the pole as Ryouga dodged, "Why stupid pig-boy here? Why you no lost?"

"Shut up!" Ryouga growled and lashed out with his umbrella again slamming it against the side of the pole. An audible crack sounded but none of the three paid any attention to it.

"You leave now pig-boy and Shampoo no cook pork dinner tonight." Shampoo taunted and swung a bonbori at him. He ducked and her bonbori slammed into the side of the pole. Another loud crack and several more loud splintering noises sounded out. The three noticed this and all three moved away from the pole. They stood and watched as it began to tip and fall. Right at the Nekohanten.

"AIYA!!! Great-Grandmother look out!!!!!" Shampoo shouted at the restaurant as the pole quickened its fall and slammed down into it crashing through the roof and caving in part of the ceiling. Shampoo screamed and forgot all about Akane rushing over to the restaurant hoping her Great-Grandmother was alright. Akane and Ryouga looked at the destruction and both decided it was best to leave before Cologne decided to put some of the blame on them.

"We'd better get the groceries and hurry home Ryouga. We'll be late." Akane said. Ryouga nodded and went, getting the groceries. He carefully picked them up one by one and noticed some of the items were damaged.

"Uh-oh. I think I broke something when I dropped them. Sorry Akane-san." Ryouga said lowering his head a bit.

"That's okay Ryouga. They'll understand." Akane said smiling and they quickly headed for the Tendo's. After a brief ten minute jog they arrived at the entrance to the Tendo's. Kasumi had just finished hanging out the clothes and saw them. Nabiki had been resting on the porch and noticed them as well a little curious. Both of them headed over and began taking the groceries from Ryouga.

"Oh hello Ryouga. How nice of you to help Akane with the shopping. Oh Akane where's Ranma I thought he went with you?" Kasumi said sweetly smiling getting the last bag from Ryouga.

"Ranma?! That idiot went off who knows where!! We haven't seen him since before we even got to the store." Akane said still angry at Ranma.

"What happened to these? Some are damaged?" questioned Nabiki.

"Oh...uhh....I sort of dropped them when Shampoo attacked Akane. Sorry." Ryouga said lowering his head lightly.

"No problem Ryouga. You'll be getting a bill for what's damaged." Nabiki said turning to follow Kasumi who had already turned to go start dinner.

"Nabiki!!! You are NOT charging Ryouga for those! It's Shampoo's fault not his!! Don't listen to her Ryouga." Akane said. Ryouga merely nodded and sort of walked out on the sidewalk outside the Tendo's yard. Akane followed noticing the pensive look on Ryouga's face.

"Ryouga? Is something wrong? You've been acting a little weird since we left?" Akane said concerned for him.

"What? Oh no. I'm fine Akane-san. It's just....." Ryouga said pausing. It was now or never! Just tell her! Just say it! He bolstered his courage and looked up at Akane. "Akane. I.....I....I lo....Akane I.....I....." Ryouga stammered trying to get words out. Off in the distance a sound like squealing tires is heard barely.

"Ryouga? What...what is it?" Akane said getting really concerned now.

"Akane I...I lo.....I....." Ryouga tried with all his might, fists clenched fighting for the words. "Akane I.....I.....ever since I first met you Akane I....I knew you....Akane I loooov...." He had nearly gotten the words out when about thirty feet from behind Akane a car drunkenly swerved out from a street and turning sharply, nearly flipping over, and kept speeding down the street right at them. Both of them were startled by the sudden loud noise. Akane turned to see the car barreling down the road right at them and froze. She managed to scream, which shook Ryouga out of his shock. He grabbed Akane and tossed her effortlessly to the side out of the path of the car across the street and then faced the car. Akane was safe but he had no time to dodge. He pulled back, extended his index finger and thrust it at the hood of the car just as it neared him.

"BAKUSEI TENKETSU!!!!!!" Ryouga bellowed as he struck the speeding car.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!! The entire front of the car, engine and all, exploded. The force of the explosion stopped the car instantly, but also sent Ryouga flying back through the air a good hundred feet coming to a crash against the hard ground. He tumbled and rolled another thirty feet before coming to a stop lying motionless on the ground. He lay there in pain unconsciousness slowly taking him. Just before he lost consciousness he saw Akane's face appear before him and her concerned voice call out to him.

"RYOUGA!?!?!?! Ryouga are you alright?!?! Say something!!!" Akane shouted at him and watched him pass out. She looked back to see her father, Kasumi, Nabiki and Mr. Saotome emerge onto the street, looking at the car in shock. She shouted out to them, "DAD!! KASUMI!!! Over here!! We've got to help Ryouga!!!"

Three hours later.

Ryouga slowly came to, his eyes opening to see the most beautiful thing he had ever seen; Akane. She was sitting right beside him as he lay on the floor on the Tendo's living room. She smiled down at him, relieved his was awake. Nabiki had called the police as they brought Ryouga in and the drunken man had been taken away, his car towed. The police said they'd be in touch when the man became sober enough to ask for a lawyer. Kasumi had almost cried hearing what nearly happened. Her father had cried and it took him an hour to just calm down. Nabiki was relieved as well but didn't show it. Akane was more worried about Ryouga right now. He'd just saved her life and may have been seriously hurt in doing so. She swallowed lightly and felt her eyes getting slightly wet. Ryouga lay and watched her smile at him and then noticed her eyes. She was...crying? For him? He blinked a few times and moved a bit groaning lightly as he began to sit up. He reached a hand up and took one of his bandanas off and handed it to her, his expression saddened seeing her crying.

"Akane-san...please don't cry. I'm…ah...alright." Ryouga said wincing lightly from a pain in his side. He guessed his ribs were bruised but he was more worried about Akane. She took his bandana and smiled lightly, wiping her eyes before anyone else saw her.

"Thank you Ryouga. Are you sure you are alright? You did get thrown pretty far." Akane said still unsure if he really was alright. Just then Soun rushed in and grabbed Ryouga in a tight hug once again crying uncontrollably.

"Oh thank you son thank you so very much for saving the life of my little girl!!!! You are welcome in this house anytime!!!" Soun said bawling, happy his daughter was saved. Ryouga, meanwhile, was twitching in pain just on the border of screaming. Soun was squeezing him right over where his ribs were bruised.

"DAD!! Let Ryouga go you're going hurt him worse than he already is!!!!" Akane shouted. Soun let go and bowed several times before Ryouga still crying.

"Oh forgive me son. I am just so happy my little girl is still alive, all thanks to you. I can not thank you enough!!" Soun said as Kasumi entered and took him by the arm and began to lead him out.

"No...no problem...Mr. Tendo.", Ryouga got out his ribs hurting more now but not saying anything.

"Come along father. Let's let Akane take care of Ryouga." Kasumi said as she lead Soun out smiling as she always did. Akane sighed lightly and turned to Ryouga who was getting to his feet slowly. She moved to his side and helped him up. He smiled a bit nervously and nodded his thanks. After a moment of silence…

"I'd...uhh...better get going now Akane-san. I've...been a burden on your family long enough. Sorry for all the trouble." Ryouga said moving and lifting his backpack around putting it on. He got his umbrella and placed it on the top of the backpack lightly wincing from the pressure it put on his ribs, but again not saying anything.

"Ryouga? You're not a burden! But...if you have to go at least let me walk you out. Alright?" Akane asked smiling lightly still holding on to the bandana Ryouga gave her. She still wasn't convinced he was in as good a shape as he was saying but she knew he was tough. She convinced herself he would be alright...she hoped. A few moments later they were both just outside the Tendo's yard. Ryouga glanced to the ground and saw a few pieces of the car. He looked to Akane and sighed. So much for the plan. He had all this time and he still hadn't managed to tell Akane how he felt. Wait a minute. He still had now right? He hadn't seen Ranma around. It was just him and Akane now; alone on the street, under the stars and moonlight. What could be more romantic? He nodded lightly and looked up at Akane. He was going to tell her now!

"Akane I..." Ryouga began to say softly but Akane interrupted him not having heard him begin to speak.

"Ryouga I just wanted to say...thank you, for everything. Thank you for helping me with the shopping today....and with Shampoo." She paused for a moment and glanced back down at the bandana Ryouga had given her and smiled lightly. She then looked back up and smiled a bit seeing his lightly confused face. Was he blushing? No, he couldn't be. She continued, "Also....for saving my life. If you hadn't pushed me out of the way I.....I could've been killed. I just froze up there and...well...I just can't thank you enough Ryouga." Akane paused a moment at his lightly spaced out expression as he smiled at her. She glanced at the bandana in her hand once again...then to him. She remembered how she froze up seeing the car and then Ryouga throwing her out of the way. Then watching him use the Bakusei Tenketsu technique on the car and how far threw the air he flew. She also remembered how she sat worried out of her mind for him while he was unconscious. He had saved her life. Put himself in danger for her without a second thought.

Then, on a sudden impulse she moved forwards and leaned up and gently kissed him on the lips for only a brief moment. She pulled back and blinked in almost as much shock as he was. They both began to blush bright red then. Ryouga just blinked in utter shock. Akane was shocked herself but managed to smile very lightly and shyly. Ryouga just blinked. After a moment of silence she took a couple more steps back.

"Good night Ryouga....and thanks again." Akane said before turning, still blushing madly from what she just did, and entering the Tendo's yard. A few moments later she was inside the house. Ryouga just stood there and blinked more. He stood there for a full five more minutes just blinking. Slowly...very slowly a wide goofy smile formed on his face. She had kissed him. Akane. Had. Kissed. Him.

Ranma walked towards the Tendo's taking his usual fence top route. As her turned a corner he saw Ryouga just standing there in front of the house. Ranma groaned to himself. He's probably going to want to fight. After an hour long dinner at Ucchan's and being chased all over Nerima by Shampoo and Mousse while looking for Akane and Ryouga, he wasn't in the mood to fight. He just wanted to go home and relax for a while. He hopped down off the fence and walked along until he got closer. Ryouga was facing him but apparently hadn't noticed him yet. As he got closer he noticed Ryouga was grinning like an idiot and just standing there. He came to a stop right in front of Ryouga.

"Hey P-chan what do you want now? A fight?" Ranma said ready for an attack. None came. Ryouga just stood there staring right through him. Ranma waved a hand in front of his face. "Yo Ryouga! What's wrong?!" Ranma asked a bit concerned.

"If you kill me now I will die a happy man.", Ryouga said in an extremely happy voice. Ranma blinked. What was that about?

"Yeah whatever. See you in a few days if you're lucky to find your way back here." Ranma said and turned heading towards the house. He glances back once at the door to see Ryouga hadn't moved. He shrugged and went inside the house.

About thirty minutes later Ryouga was just heading down the road away from the Tendo's. He walked slowly along the same blissful expression on his face. Akane had kissed him. The world was a GREAT place to be in!! It was a beautiful night out! The stars were shining, the full moon was out, it wasn't raining, Akane had kissed him. He walked along and after a short while he passed Ucchan's. Moment's later Ukyou was out and in front of him frowning and holding him back.

"Ryouga you jackass where are you going?! I've been waiting for you here for hours where were you?!" Ukyou said annoyed.

Ryouga sighed happily. Akane had kissed him.

"What's with that stupid grin on your face? What happened? Did you tell Akane you loved her?" Ukyou questioned hoping against hope that idiot managed to get it out. That was the whole purpose of the plan.

Ryouga sighed again and lightly brought a hand up and touched his lips. Akane had kissed him.

"Ryouga if you don't start talking right now I'm going to start hitting!! Got it?!!" Ukyou threatened and pulled her spatula holding it ready.

Ryouga closed his eyes lightly and began daydreaming of the future. Akane had kissed him.

"I warned you!!" Ukyou shouted and brought the spatula down on Ryouga's head with a resounding clang. He didn't budge an inch. She blinked and stared. Her spatula was dented on Ryouga's head and he was still smiling. What was going on? She pulled her spatula off his head and stepped back a bit knowing something was up.

Ryouga sighed again and opened his eyes. He began walking again and went around Ukyou walking off slowly. Akane had kissed him.

"What the...?! Hey Ryouga where do you think you're going?! Get back here!!!" Ukyou shouted watching Ryouga just walk off still smiling. She sighed exasperated and concluded he failed. Again! She shook her head and muttered to herself, "Ryouga you stupid jackass! Another good plan and you ruin it." Ukyou just sighed and let him go off. She turned and headed back into her restaurant.

Ryouga kept on walking slowly, smiling to himself. He exited Nerima and kept on going walking along down the road and off into the forest. He walked and walked and walked. He walked all night and into the next day the same thought repeating itself in his head over and over.

Akane had kissed him.

The End