If You Were Here
By Naoko Asakura
Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma… DON'T HIT ME! winces
Author's Note: Hello! Its very nice to be writing again! I've had some problems with my computer, so I can't really update my fics. My main computer is dead, I fear. All of my stories (including the third chapter of Kiss The Cook), were on that computer, and now they're all gone! Uwaaaaaaah!!! ;; I'm really sorry about this whole thing, I'll try to rewrite it as soon as possible.
I've thought this for a really long time, and I don't think any of you will really care, but here we go. Its kind of a pet peeve of mine when people put recent songs in Ranma fan fictions. I guess its just because the entire show is so eighties and early nineties. I don't really bother with stories that are song fics just for that reason. It kind of makes me lose the feel for the time frame that Ranma is in. I'm taking note of this because of my title. "If You Were Here" is a song by the Thompson Twins, and the song is played at the end of one of my favorite eighties teen movies, "Sixteen Candles". John Hughes rocks my socks!!!
Hope you enjoy this! It was supposed to be a one-shot, but after mucho consideration, I've decided that this will be a three parter! Love to all of you who read, and even more love to those of you who review!
Summertime in Nermia had always been a bit stressful for the citizens of the town. The hot, humid weather was a surefire way to put even the most cheerful into an at least irritated mood. Those who have short fuses were worse off though…
Akane Tendo screamed bloody murder when the old master Happosai lunged at her in an attempt to grope. The ambush had been on the way to summer school, and had it not been for Ranma jumping in the way, Akane would have had a bad start to the day. Before Happosai realized that he had been feeling up Ranma, he'd been punted into next Tuesday. As they continued on down the side of the canal, Ranma shuddered.
"There's no way I'm letting him lay a finger on me ever again." He muttered under his breath, his grip tightening on his satchel. Akane frowned at him.
"It couldn't have been that bad. At least you weren't a-" She sidestepped quickly as they passed the old woman's house. Ranma, now a girl, groaned in frustration. "…Girl?" Akane finished lamely, earning a stone cold glare from her fiancé. She laughed nervously, but drew from her own satchel a thermos. She handed it to Ranma, who promptly dumped the contents over her head.
"Thanks." Ranma said, shaking out his black mop of hair. Akane yelped as water droplets sprayed in her direction.
"Stop it!" She cried, glaring down at her wet school uniform. "You're like a dog or something." She complained, making Ranma look at her with a quirked eyebrow. Suddenly, a picture of an Canine-Ranma popped into her brain, and she stifled a giggle.
'Actually…' Her mind spoke to her, 'I wouldn't mind having a pet Ranma-Dog.' Akane's eyes widened and a splash of red covered her cheeks. Ranma smirked at her flustered expression and chuckled.
"Thinking about me?" He joked, nudging her with his elbow. Akane's temper flared up, making the hairs on the back of Ranma's neck stand on end. He was slowly backing away when a another thought popped into Akane's head.
'You can get him back in a different way this time… Come on! Say it!'
"Actually," Akane said, forcing her temper down and smiling at the pigtailed boy cheekily, "I was thinking of how cute you'd be as a dog." She said, making Ranma stop in his tracks. He openly gawked at her as she walked past him, his brow creased in obvious abashment. His mouth twitched as if he were trying to fire back a retort… Or to at least say something. After a brief moment of awe, Ranma realized that Akane was about to turn a corner.
"W-Wait a minute!" He exclaimed, dashing after her with speed that only he possessed. He screeched to a halt in front of her, his hands planted on his hip as he scrutinized her. Uncomfortable under his blue-eyed gaze, Akane's face burned brightly once more.
"W-What?!" Akane said, feeling her internal alarms were going off one by one. She was just about to smack Ranma into oblivion when he finally spoke.
"Are you sick or something Akane?" He asked her, quirking an eyebrow at the girl he was betrothed to. She blinked at him as he lifted a hand to her forehead.
"W-We're going to be late!" She exclaimed, reeling backwards and running past Ranma quickly. Ranma frowned and shoved his hands deep in his pockets and cocked his head to the side.
"She's running the wrong way." He muttered to himself thoughtfully as he took off after her. Buildings rushed past as Ranma ran after Akane, and he suddenly marveled at how fast she'd gotten. They turned a corner and right as they were passing the Neko Hanten, Ranma was hit with a cloud of sickeningly sweet smelling dust. He coughed and shook his black mess of hair.
"A-Akane!!!" He coughed, waving the dust away from his face. "Can't you wait up for two seconds?!" He called to her. Much to his surprise, she stopped. A moment of silence passed, where all Ranma could hear was the sounds of the morning rush. A truck drove by, its speakers advertising the takoyaki it was selling. Akane turned around, smiling casually at Ranma.
"Ranma, come here for a moment, will you?" She asked in a pleasant voice. Ranma, unsure of what else he could do, walked until he was standing a foot away from her. He became nervous as she turned around fully, her eyes half-lidded as she advanced. Much to his dismay, she pinned him to the wall. Ranma swallowed hard as she leaned in to say something.
"You've kissed a lot of people… haven't you?" She asked, earning a curt nod from her fiancé. She smiled and pushed herself up on her tip-toes. "Then you won't mind one more." She said, quickly catching his lips with hers. Ranma's eyes widened in shock and he stood there rigid. Just as his eyes were fluttering shut, in the distance, he heard something clattering on the sidewalk. It was the mortified and furious voice that brought him slamming back to reality.
"What you do with Shampoo's Airen?!?!??!?!?!"
The pair broke apart, Akane looking somewhat irritated herself and Ranma in the complete state of terror. Ranma's blood ran cold under Shampoo's narrowing ruby leer, and he was slowly backing away when Cologne pogoed out on her knarled staff.
"Shampoo, what's all the fuss?" The old woman asked her great granddaughter, looking at her flustered son in law and Shampoo's rival. Her eyes narrowed and she sniffed softly at the air. "Shampoo, did you happen to find a broken glass vile on the floor?" She asked, turning to the purple haired girl.
"Yes, Hiba-chan… Why you ask?" Shampoo asked, her mood completely changing as she acknowledged her elder. Cologne sighed and closed her eyes.
"Please tell me you just didn't sweep it into Son-in-law's face." She said, exasperation coming to her voice as she raked a hand through her long silver hair. Shampoo looked fearful for a moment. She looked down at her twiddling thumbs.
"Y-Yes, Hiba-chan. Shampoo swept all mess outside." She murmured. Cologne shook her head and hopped over to Ranma.
"Son-in-law, you're in for some rough times." She said, putting a withered hand on Ranma's shoulder.
"Have a seat."
Ranma sat down at the chair Cologne had pulled out for him. Shampoo stood off in a corner, Akane standing beside her. They both wore disgruntled expressions on their faces as Cologne stood on the chair opposite Ranma. Between the two was a bowl of ramen.
"Won't you have some ramen?" Cologne offered. Ranma shook his head and declined the food that sat before him for the first time in his life. "I made it myself. Shampoo had nothing to do with it. She's already given you… Enough problems." She said, shooting a glare at her fellow Amazon. Shampoo looked guilty for a moment, but continued silently on her anger trip. Ranma sighed and ran a hand over his forehead.
"So what did you do to me this time, Baa-san?" He asked, his voice surprisingly tired. Cologne frowned and filled herself a bowl of ramen.
"The powder that was in that vile… You inhaled it. This is a big problem for you." She said, eating some of the noodles. "It was a little something I had shipped in from Izumo, actually. It should be easy to find a cure for it, since it's a domestic aphrodisiac. Shougou-Raikaku is a fine, sweet smelling powder that you apply to yourself." Cologne explained.
"Yeah, but Akane didn't get hit with the cloud of dust, I did." Ranma interjected.
"I wasn't finished." Cologne stated sharply. Ranma glared spitefully at the large bowl of ramen. "Akane kissed you." Cologne stated simply, earning a splutter of embarrassment and a hot red flush from Ranma. "I'll take that as a yes." Cologne said in a slightly depressed tone. "At any rate, she kissed you because you called out to her."
"Y-You don't mean-" Ranma paused, his eyebrows creased in worry. He looked back to Akane and Shampoo. "If I say any girl's name, they'll be all over me?!" He said, the distress evident in his voice. Cologne laughed shortly and shook her head. Ranma sighed in relief.
"Actually, Akane will be the only one 'all over you'. You see, the Shougou-Raikaku is an aphrodisiac for two people alone. There's the caller: The person who applies the powder to themselves and calls the name of the person the choose to call to," Cologne pointed a wrinkly finger at the designated pig tailed boy. "And then there's the responder: The one who is put under the actual spell. The one put under the spell is utterly infatuated with the caller."
"But I really love Ranma."
Cologne, Ranma and Shampoo stared at Akane, who looked very angry. She narrowed her brown eyes at Cologne. Shampoo was abashed.
"What you say, Kitchen Wrecker?!" She asked harshly. Akane fixated her icy glare on Shampoo, making the purple haired Amazon gulp nervously.
"I said that I love Ranma. Do you have any problems with that?" She asked, raising an eyebrow. Shampoo glared back, though not as fiercely as Akane was.
"A-Akane, calm down…" Ranma said feebly. At the sound of Ranma's voice, Akane turned to him with a happy smile on her face.
"Alright, Ranma!" She exclaimed cheerfully. Ranma's smile was pained, and he turned quickly around to avoid the feeling of guilt that was settling at the bottom of his stomach. Cologne gave him a sympathetic look after she ate the last of her ramen.
"Unfortunately, I need a little bit of time to research the cure for your and Akane's problem. I'll have your cure by Sunday at least." She said, helping herself to another bowl of ramen. Ranma nearly gagged on his own tongue.
"SUNDAY?!?! BUT TODAY'S MONDAY!!!" He shouted, slamming his palms flat on the table.
"No matter, Son-In-Law. You'll just have to put up with Akane." Cologne said, adding a tinge of sarcasm to certain words. Ranma sighed in exasperation and stood from his chair.
"Thanks Baa-san. I think I'm going to go home now." He muttered, walking out the door. A worried expression graced Akane's features as she ran after Ranma. As she got out to the street, she saw Ranma walking ahead, his head inclined and his hands shoved in his pockets. At that moment in time, a swell of emotion passed through Akane that made her clench her fists at her sides and shout.
"Don't you love me, Ranma?"
Ranma stopped, rooted to the spot. That same old conscious-stricken feeling building in his stomach. Finally, he turned to look at her. For a moment, he would have almost said that he did. Unluckily, there were three very important reasons for him not to voice his feelings.
Reason Number One:The effects of the powder were kicking into gear, and telling her that he loved her would only hurt himself and her.
Reason Number Two:They were standing right in front of the Neko Hanten, meaning that there would be a tremendous confrontation between two out of three of his fiancés. That would definitely not be a good thing.
Reason Number Three:His pride, of all things, wouldn't let him say it.
This was quite the dilemma for Ranma. A simple dilemma, but still, a terribly hard dilemma. He could either say nothing and hurt Akane… Or he could say yes and start World War Three. Either way, Ranma would be in deep trouble.
"Ranma…" Akane's voice broke him out of his speeding thoughts. He watched her look to the side, a mournful expression on her face. "Am… Am I not cute?"
Ranma opened his mouth to reply, but all that came out was a faint hissing noise. He clamped his lips shut and balled his fists at his sides.
…This had to be one of the biggest problems he'd come to face.
I've never actually done a cliff hanger before. How'd you guys like it?