Disclaimer: I do not Ranma ½ or Dragon Ball Z
Author's Notes: Forgive me if it flops, but as always, these stories are for me to write because I enjoy it. I also enjoy sharing what I write. Enough with my pointless ranting. Enjoy the show!
It just wasn't fair. The day that should have been the happiest of his life was ruined by a bunch of idiots. He didn't object to marrying Akane. He wasn't sure if he loved her or not, but they should have been allowed to decide on their own. He sat on the roof thinking about these problems. The tuxedo he wore was still mostly on. It was slashed, burned, and soaked in places.
"Baka." Whether he said it about himself or everyone else even he couldn't tell you. Most of the problems in his life could be traced back to one source, Pops. That worthy stunted his emotional growth, his mental growth, and his physical growth through malnutrition. He cried about his life. Forget what his father said, crying was manly if there was a reason. The real man knows when to cry. His own discomfort mattered little, but what really hurt was Akane's reaction. It was obvious that she wanted the wedding and having it denied seemed to snap something inside of her. He felt as if a light switch had been flipped. When he went to ask if she was okay, Akane blew past him as if he wasn't even there. He stared after her in shock, but couldn't even say her name. His voice frozen in his throat. She had turned to look at him before leaving, so beautiful and perfect, and then she left.
"Why…? Why does this all happen to us? Just when things were getting better…Why?" he buried his face in his hands, anguished sobs could be heard. A soft voice called to him from downstairs. In his pain, he could barely make out the voice.
"Ranma? Come inside, it's cold out." Kasumi called up softly.
"I-I'll be down." He called back, hastily wiping his eyes. What he really needed to do was talk to Akane. That sounded like a good idea so he made his way inside through his window, settling into the room a little loudly to let Kasumi know he had come inside, and slipped down the hallway. He stood outside her door as he had done many times before and screwed up his courage before knocking.
"Akane?" he called softly. No one answered, but he assumed that she was hurting and didn't want to answer.
"Please Akane, it's Ranma. I just want to talk." He pleaded, praying she would answer, but still nothing was forthcoming.
"I am a jerk. I should have done something about this earlier. Please forgive me. I guess I just wanted to say that I l-love you…" he managed to say, but still no answer. With fresh tears, he walked away from her door. As he neared Nabiki's room, he saw the door slightly ajar. Stealthily, he crept towards the open door and peeked inside. The mercenary girl sat staring at a pile of money on her bed and not enjoying it at all. Normally she was happy to have that kind of money, but it seemed like a hollow victory. Fury welled up inside him as he thought about the pain she caused her own family. Akane wouldn't talk to him, but he would make this bitch talk to him. Without preamble, he pushed the door open and walked in. She stared at him for a second before jumping to her feet.
"Get out of my room, Ranma!" she yelled. Her façade cracked by earlier events and by his barging in.
"No. We need to talk." He said in a voice that brooked no argument.
"Fine, ten thousand yen." She said and held her hand out before he slapped it away. The girl recoiled, clutching her stinging hand to her chest.
"No way. We need to talk and this has been comin' for a long time now." He gestured for her to sit before sliding the door shut with his foot. When she wouldn't, he gave her a light shove onto the bed before sitting down in the chair by her desk. Nabiki's face expressed her shock at being struck, let alone struck by Ranma, and at him handling the situation so efficiently.
"What do you want to talk about?" she muttered sullenly.
"What possessed you to sell the information on your sister's wedding? Shampoo even said that she had meant to hit your sister. I used to think you collected the money for your family out of love, but I'm starting to think you collect it for yourself." At her inevitable outburst, he merely silenced her with a glare that lowered the temperature in the room by several degrees. "Sure, some of it gets used for the house, but your methods are growing more and more underhanded." He said.
"Ooh, I'm impressed with the big words." She quipped before another glare cut her off. Nabiki felt like she was being lectured by her mother, as crazy as that sounds, but she seriously doubted that even with Ranma's crazy lifestyle he'd be channeling her mother.
"You obviously didn't think about your sister or you would have realized the problems your schemes would cause. The morning fights, stringing along Kuno, the pictures…The list just goes on and on. It was bad enough that you dragged your sister into it, but you dragged a stranger along for the ride as well, a guest in your house. If you had asked I would have been more then happy to help. Tch, forget it. You obviously won't learn or you refuse to learn, either way I'm through." Without even waiting for a response, he slipped from the room as quietly as he came in.
"That was a waste of time." He muttered as he headed for his room. The boy could see that she really hadn't seemed to care one or the other, but he had to try and get through to her. Akane wasn't listening to him either. He only sister he hadn't talked to was Kasumi, but that could wait until he looked decent. After a quick scrub in the furo and a change of clothes, the boy made his way downstairs to talk to Kasumi. The eldest girl would most likely be cleaning up. Sure enough, he found her in the kitchen, cleaning dishes. Something seemed a little off about the scene, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. He deliberately made his presence known by stepping on a squeaky floorboard. The gentle girl turned to see who was there and looked oddly relieved to see Ranma.
"Oh, Ranma…It's just you." She said with a warm smile before adding softly "Thank goodness." The girl went back to washing dishes. The pigtailed youth moved to dry them and the two worked in companionable silence for awhile before his curiosity got the better of him.
"What's wrong? You looked nervous." He said to her. The girl lowered her head.
"I-it's nothing." She said in a small voice. Ranma rolled his eyes. The girl was as bad a liar as he was. He set a hand on her shoulder to comfort her, but was quickly surprised when she clung to him like he was an anchor and wept in fear. His arms slipped around her of their own volition while a burning rage welled up inside of him. Who dared scare his family? They may not be blood, but they had all been through hell together. With an effort, he calmed own enough to care for Kasumi. He led her into the living room and sat down, the girl promptly placing herself in his lap and seemingly trying to get into his shirt with him. Whatever had her scared must be bad indeed.
"K-Kasumi…Tell me what's wrong. How can I fix it if I don't know what's going on?" he soothed, stroking her hair softly. She had comforted him enough times, it was finally time to repay the favor.
"A-Akane's g-gone…She took off shortly before you came down." The gentle girl said. Ranma's heart turned to ice in his chest, but it didn't stop there. "Sh-she was talking about going to a place called Satan City to learn from Mr. Satan. She said she was tired of you always being above her." The girl gradually began to calm down, but that fear was still there. Now he knew what it was, it was fear for her little sister.
"Hey, I'll catch up to her and talk to her. How big of a head start did she get?" he asked.
"She left shortly after the wedding. Akane made me promise I wouldn't tell you where she'd gone, but I just had to. D-do you love her, Ranma?" she asked him softly.
"I don't know. I know I care about her, but she should have told me she had a problem. I-I went to talk to her earlier, but she wouldn't answer. I guess she'd already left." He sighed, feeling his chest tighten, but held back the flood. The boy didn't want to end up like Mr. Tendo. Kasumi snuggled into his lap, the day's events catching up to her, making her eye-lids droop. He continued to hold her until she fell fast asleep. With fluid grace, he stood up and carried her to her room. After making sure she was tucked in, he left, closing the door behind him. He saw Nabiki standing in the hallway, her face unreadable.
"Saotome." She said.
"Tendo." He replied. The girl seemed momentarily startled, but let it slide.
"You're going after my sister?" she asked.
"I need to find Akane and apologize. If I hadn't let things get this bad…" he was cut off by the mercenary girl.
"No, I meant are you going after Kasumi?" the question took Ranma off guard, but he managed to get himself under control.
"Nope. She's nice, but I feel like she's sort of my sister. Ya don't date yer sister." He said with a small smirk. The girl shook her head.
"…I'm going with you." She made it a statement of pure fact and it brooked no argument.
"Fine. I could use someone who can think. Ya know I'm bad in that department." His smirk turned into a grin, but the middle Tendo girl could see through it. Things must be bad if he's admitting faults.
"When do we leave?" she asked.
"In the morning. I still need some sleep." She agreed and went back to her room. Ranma watched her go before stepping into his room, grabbing his backpack from behind the door, and taking off out the window. This was his problem and he would fix it himself. Who knew what the new day would bring, but for Ranma Saotome, it always brought more trouble.
Author's Notes: Alright, I'm not quite sure how far I'm going to take this, but I was thinking of going through at least the Buu Saga. Suggestions are welcome, but don't be upset if I don't use your idea. Setups are always the most important part of any story. I'm not covering new ground, I know, but I do hope this is a good read. Well, enough of my jabbering. Ja ne!