I don't own any of the characthers, they are all borne from Rumiko Takahashi's mind and heart. I'm just borrowing them, and they're probably out-of-character in things they'll do in this fanfic. But, since it's my plot, it's the way I want to write it.

I'm a fan of Akane + Ranma pairing, so if you're not into them getting together I suggest you drop reading any further. For those of you who also like the idea of those two being together, do continue. There might be some lemon/sexually scented scenes and a bit rough language later on, but so far I haven't planned any straight out sexual scenes.

" " talking

# # thinking

Any questions or comments, just write a review and I'll do my best to reply.


Midnight Cook

The First Night

Ranma Saotome was trying to go back to sleep, counting the snores coming from his father, Genma Saotome, who laid cuddled up in his cursed form on the sleeping-mat next to Ranma's. He wasn't having much luck with it though, although it had nothing to do with neither his father's snoring nor him not being tired enough. The problem was that his fiancée Akane Tendo – well, one of three fiancées he had at the moment – had left her room over one hour ago, and hadn't returned yet. If you asked him, he would vehemently reject the idea that he was worried about her, or that he cared in any way at all, but still he couldn't relax until he heard her pass outside on her way back to her own room. Normally he would sleep like a log all night long, but after a couple of years of hoards of people kidnapping and attacking this particular fiancée, and to top it off with her almost dying in a battle against a semi-god a couple of weeks ago followed by their wrecked wedding, he was now extremely sensitive to her moods and his own need to know her whereabouts at all times. Again not that he would admit to caring at all, it was all just so he would know sooner when he would be needed to rescue her again.

Anyway, after the wedding their parent's had tried to pull off after their 'eventful' trip to China, Ranma had noticed that Akane had started going to bed earlier than normal every night, just to get up after everyone else had fallen asleep. Ranma didn't know what she did at night, he just knew that this was the sixth night she'd followed this new schedule of hers, and tonight was the longest she'd been out of her room. Finally giving up after snore number 613 from the big panda that was his father, he kicked off his crumpled blanket and grumpily headed out of the guest-room to check up on his tomboy-fiancée.

#If she's gotten herself kidnapped again, I'm gonna whip her ass when I have gotten her back – girl or not!# Almost convincing himself that he wasn't worried at all, he stealthily moved through the house, searching for any signs of the girl with short midnight black hair and large chocolate brown eyes. Suddenly he heard people talking, and froze as he tried to hear who it was and what was being said. As he crept towards the sound, he saw light seeping from the kitchen, and relaxed slightly as he realised that the voices came from a radio.

"…wants to send her love to her secret sweetheart in class 2D at Furinkan school here in Nerima, and she wishes to hear Sting with 'Desert Rose'…" The radio show started playing what obviously was 'Desert Rose', and before Ranma could peek into the kitchen he heard Akane's voice starting to hum along with the song. She was sitting at the kitchen table, tapping her naked foot in time with the beat from the radio, humming happily. Ranma's nose twitched slightly as he detected an enticing smell coming from the room, and as he crept up behind Akane he could see her munching on what looked like warm, mouth-watering cookies.

#Hmm… Nothing smells burned, nothing looks burned or wrecked, and she's eating it herself without any obvious side-effects… Equals not made by Akane, equals safe for me to eat also!# As soon as Ranma's train of thoughts came to an end, he dove in for the last five cookies. Akane squealed in shock, tumbling back from the table and falling off her chair to land on the floor, gawking wide-eyed at a happily munching Ranma now sitting on the kitchen bench.

"Ranma..! What are you doing here? And who told you that you could eat my cookies!" She laid half-sprawled on the floor in a pair of dark blue cotton pyjamas with stars and moon pattern on it, her half-eaten cookie in one hand.

"…I just couldn't sleep… needed to go to the bathroom… and on my way I saw light in here… and I felt a bit hungry… and these are great! …Kasumi made them this evening..? …mmm, they're still warm… Ranma spoke in between mouthfuls.

"Uh, yeah! Kasumi made them…" Akane sat slightly up on the floor, staring at Ranma. Ranma suddenly blushed at her piercing gaze, and slowed down his chewing to fully enjoy the last cookie. It was seldom that he could relax and take his time when eating, thanks to his previously mentioned father, who had ever since the first day of their 10 year long training trip made a weird form of training out of their meals/food-fights. But as the cookie filled with chocolate chips and nuts melted in his mouth he found himself incapable of just inhaling the last piece of heaven. He also realised that normally Akane would have hit him with her mallet for scaring her with his dive for the treats, and the fact that he didn't even ask first before he inhaled them, but shrugged it off as it being a result of her being up in the middle of the night so often lately. Besides, she had been much more patient with him in the past week. He patted his back mentally as he congratulated himself with all the times he'd kept back on his insults too. Licking his fingers to get all of the crumbs, he looked down at Akane from his perch on the bench.

"So… um… What are you doing up so late?" He asked, trying to sound casual.

"I… I couldn't sleep… and as I was hungry I decided to go look for something to eat. And then I found the cookies that Kasumi had made…"

Ranma stared covertly at her as she made her way back to her feet, somehow feeling that she hid something from him. Shrugging it off, he jumped down to the floor and headed back out from the kitchen.

"Well, I'd better get back to sleep. You know, I think those cookies are the best Kasumi has made so far… Yum! Good night, Tomboy!" Ranma grinned, expecting Akane to send her mallet after him. When nothing happened he popped his head back into the kitchen to see a stunned and blushing Akane staring at him, quickly looking down to conceal her eyes as he looked questioningly at her.

"Good night, Ranma…" she said softly, turning to walk to the bench to switch off the radio, which was by now playing a song Ranma recognized as 'Streets of Philadelphia'. Shaking his head in confusion, he bounded back to his room – or the Tendo guest-room that had been his and his father's room for the last couple of years – and slid onto his sleeping-mat. Minutes later he recognized Akane's soft padding going towards her room, and seconds after that he was fast asleep.


The next morning Ranma remembered his feelings the previous night that Akane had been hiding something, as other things suddenly didn't add up. He had just asked the oldest of the Tendo sisters – Kasumi – if she couldn't make some more of those delicious cookies, and her reply was what made his brain turn a gear.

"Cookies? No, you must be mistaken, Ranma… I haven't made any cookies for several days now, and your father took the last ones." Her tone as mild as ever had a slightly confused note in it, and something made Ranma almost lie to her.

"Oh… Maybe I just dreamed it all… After all, it would be typical of me to dream of food. He, he…" Ranma sweat dropped as his voice got weaker. There were very few people who could lie outright to Kasumi, but she quickly accepted his alternative solution to the mysterious midnight-cookies. Ranma fled the kitchen as fast and as inconspicuously as he could, and decided to go outside for a walk. He sometimes felt like moving as he thought, and he also needed some privacy to concentrate. Some people would say that they didn't believe Ranma ever had a thought of his own, but some also used to believe that the moon was made of cheese, and that the earth was flat. Put in other words, Ranma did have his moments of deep thinking. He just seldom felt the need to put his energy into anything that had no direct connection with martial-arts.

#I know I didn't dream up those cookies last night… Never before has anything I've dreamed about tasted so good… But why would Akane lie about something like that..? Didn't she know who made them..? That's weird, considering they were still warm…# Ranma trotted along the top of one fence after another, his unfocused blue eyes looking without seeing anything but the 'scene of the crime'. Unconsciously he tugged on his long black pigtail. The shop-windows mirrored a young man walking the fences, in his black fighting pants and soft shoes, and a bright red Chinese style, long sleeved shirt. Then he froze in mid-step as a new thought entered his head.

#Maybe there was someone else there last night..? Someone that left before I entered the kitchen… Someone that made those cookies… for Akane..?# With a frown, he jumped down from the fence and jogged back to the Tendo dojo, making up his mind to get some answers if Akane continued her midnight routine.