Disclaimer: Ranma1/2 belongs to Rumiko Takahashi.

'Thoughts'

":Chinese-Amazon dialect:"

"Normal Speech"

(Sound Effects)

Notes: Well I had this ready for a while now, but kinda wanted to do a massive post. Which would have been chap3 of FMU and two-three new stories I've been writing. But since it's the giving season, I decided to post this chapter earlier. The brand new posts shouldn't take much longer and hopefully you'll enjoy my new stories. Any way on to the story. Enjoy

The Way Things Are?

Chapter 5:

The warm soothing water of the furo felt great after being hit into that slimy pond. Ranma sighed as his muscles started to relax. Steam wafted through the air and the soft sound of flowing water was heard in the bath area, as he stretched his arms out. Even so a frown appeared on his face.

' I'm definitely gonna leave before Akane and Nabiki come home. I don't want the Tendos and my pops to find out I'm going to Ukyo's tonight. I get absolutely no privacy in this house. It's always either Nabiki or Akane that spills the beans.'

He rubbed his temples from the futility of it all. The more he thought about it the angrier he got. He could kind of understand Nabiki's reason for intruding into his life, but Akane had no right at all. She always demanded to know everything and never asked politely. True she was his fiancée, but that still doesn't give her the right to tread all over his personal life. He knew he was putting extra strain on their finances, but it still hurt to see Nabiki act so callous towards him. The first time he saw her on the day he came to the Tendo house, Ranma almost lost his breath at her beauty. She wore a stunning kimono which made her almost glow.

' Damn she really does have a beautiful body. That kimono hid very little.'

Ranma shook his head to clear it. The warm water was starting to wrinkle his hands. Flexing the rest of his muscles, he got out and grabbed his green towel. He hadn't realized how long he had been inside until he heard Akane greet Kasumi as she came back from school. He definitely had to leave before Akane told his father and Mr.Tendo about his " date " with Ukyo.

' I need to talk to Shampoo again before I go any way. So I better get dressed before all hell breaks lose.'

Ranma finished drying his hair. His braided hair looked much better than his old pigtail. It also felt right with the major change his life was about to take. China had been really exciting when he was there. Everyday was a challenge and he enjoyed that. Sure Nerima had even more excitement, but where China was fun, where as Nerima was hell.

' I wonder how life in the Amazon village would be like. Sure Cologne said that I could always go on training trips. I only had to show my face now and then in the village. But that didn't sit to well with me. I want a permanent home, plus I'm sure that Shampoo and the other girls would like something stable. I still can't believe I have accepted to marry more than one girl. Sure it fixed a lot of problems, but from experience I know that handling more than one is very difficult. If multiple marriages are a very common thing in the village, then I'll definitely have to ask one of the men as to how they handle all those women.'

Ranma put on a new pair of clothes and sneaked out of the bathroom. He really didn't want to get caught by anyone as he was leaving for the NekoHaten. He just hoped that Akane hadn't spilled the beans yet. Otherwise his father and Mr.Tendo would soon be looking for him. Genma would obviously ask why the heavens cursed him with such a weak son and Soun would say that he and Akane had to get married today. Ranma really wasn't in the mood for that, must likely if they found him then he would punch both of them out. He didn't have much time to worry about that now, he had to get to the NekoHaten and fast. Ranma hoped that Mousse was still away on that errand that Cologne had sent him on. Most likely Cologne had contacted Mousse again and made sure that his trip would last for another couple of weeks. Ranma could hear some one coming up the stairs, it was definitely Akane from how hard the person stomped up the stairs. So he dashed for his bedroom and closed the door behind him softly, so that the person wouldn't find him as quickly. He looked at himself in the mirror and nodded. Ranma wore his usual black kung fu pants and slippers, but had a white dragon pattern on his black silk shirt and red bracers on his forearms. He wanted to do something nice for Ukyo, fooling her into believing that they would spend the entire night at Ucchan's still left a bad taste in his mouth. But he had something else in mind, tonight was going to be life changing for her. So he wanted her to feel as comfortable as possible.

' I just hope she doesn't slice off my head when I tell her about Shampoo and the whole Amazon marriage thing.'

With a final sigh, Ranma jumped out of his window and landed in the backyard of the Tendo compound. He leapt over the wall and onto a roof, making his way to the NekoHaten. Ranma stopped on a roof a few homes away from the Tendo's.

' I wonder how far and fast I could jump if I try to mix Amaguriken speed with my family's jumping techniques.'

Ranma crouched down and started concentrating. A blue aura with streaks of purple flowed around him in circles. It slowing drifted down and faded into his legs. He disappeared from sight, even a heavily trained martial artist would not be able to follow him now. He was moving faster than he could have ever believed possible. Everything was a blur, even the auras of the people he flew over. Many Nerima residents got a fright that day, as multiple sonic booms where heard right above their homes. The tiles of their roofs were getting ripped off, windows shattered as a blue and purple streak moved across the sky. The speed his body had achieved was scaring Ranma. Also the purple aura his body was emitting felt familiar but foreign at the same time. His senses had sharpened, and he could feel his reflexes going into over drive. He couldn't believe it, he was using the Neko-ken without being scared into it. His fear of cats just seemed to disappear. Just as he was about to get the hang of it, a sharp pain exploded in his right eye. It felt as if a hot coal had been driven into his eye socket . He lost his concentration and fell towards the earth. Ranma knew if he didn't land properly, then he would get seriously hurt or worse hurt someone innocent. Placing all of his might into his legs, he landed hard while creating a long trench about a foot deep as he skidded to a halt. He dropped to his knees as the pain continued to eat at his eye. Ranma had placed both hands over his right eye trying to force in green healing chi, but the purple colored energy from the Neko-ken wouldn't allow it. Blood was now dripping down from his eye socket onto the forest floor, creating a small pool of scarlet.

' WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!' Ranma screamed in his head.

The pain was slowly fading away into a dull ache. It was a few more minutes before it disappeared all together. Ranma took away his hands and opened his eyelid. He could see just fine, whatever happened to his eye hopefully didn't cause any permanent damage. His head rose and absorbed his surroundings. It was that forest where he had trained with the wasps. Ryouga had almost defeated him here. Ranma looked up into the sky to determine the time.

' Well at least I have enough time to make it to Ukyo. If I stop by the NekoHaten, then I'll definitely be late. I need to ask Cologne if she knows anything about what just happened to me. I'll go and talk to her after I'm done talking to Ukyo.'

With that Ranma jumped to the nearest branch and was off in a flash towards Nerima.

Akane was pissed, there was only one other time she had been this angry. That was when her wedding was destroyed by the other fiancées. She still couldn't believe that Ranma was on a date with Ukyo, her blood was boiling. Akane had left school as early as she could, considering her club activities. When she got home the first thing she wanted to do was pound Ranma for being suck a jerk. Kasumi had greeted her at the door like every other day.

" Welcome home Akane, how was your day?" Kasumi asked with her usual smile

" It would have been great if it wasn't for that jerk Ranma, he arrived late at school and then had the nerve to ask Ukyo out on a date. Then I gave him what he deserved." Akane said with a scowl on her face.

" Are you sure he asked her out on a date, you know how Ranma is."

" I saw it with my own eyes Kasumi-neechan, he's such a pervert. Ranma no baka." Akane's anger only grew as she continued to think of Ranma.

This confused Kasumi completely, Ranma wasn't the kind of person to ask a girl on a date. He was just too shy. But she had been having that strange feeling that everything was going to change again and change drastically. Kasumi had seen over the year after the failed wedding how Ranma had slowly started to pull away from Akane. It hurt her deeply seeing her baby sister throwing away her own happiness.

" Do you want anything to eat before you go outside to practice?" Kasumi asked with her usual smile back in place

" No thank you onee-chan, I'm going to pound that jerk and then go outside," Akane stomped her feet as she went upstairs to look for Ranma.

Shampoo was getting worried, as Ranma should have been here a while back. She wanted to ask him if he would need any help talking to Ukyo. Shampoo really didn't mind being there with Ranma, explaining to Ukyo what was going to happen in Ranma's life. Her husband had almost never been late for anything before. Shampoo had this strange feeling in her chest that something had gone wrong with him, but she shrugged it off, telling herself that Ranma could handle it.

' : It's probably only a fight with that pig-turd Ryouga: '

Shampoo gave off a small giggle at the thought of her teasing name for Ryouga. Cologne could see that her great-granddaughter was having a hard time staying calm since Ranma was late. But soon saw her sigh and giggle, lightening her mood. But she could still see the doubt and unrest in Shampoo.

" Don't worry Shampoo, if anything did happen. I'm sure your husband can take care of himself, " Cologne said with a re-assuring smile.

"Shampoo know. But Shampoo still worry for Airen," she finished with a timid smile.

" I'm sure as to whatever has happened, has already passed Shampoo. He's probably already on his way to Ukyo's. I have no doubt that he will return here after he has explained the situation to young Ukyo."

Shampoo trusted in the strength of her husband. Slowly, but surely she started to calm down and get back to work. It was one of those busy nights again at the NekoHaten.

It had taken Ranma about fifteen minutes to get to Ukyo's restaurant. The forest wasn't all that far out of Nerima, but with normal transportation it would haven't taken a hell of a lot longer to get back into Nerima. There was a piece of paper in the front window apologizing for the inconvenience that the shop was closed for the night and would return to normal business the next day. Ranma had been nervous about how his talk with Ukyo would go. Normally nothing really got under Ranma's skin, but he had this uneasy feeling the entire day about how Ukyo was going to react to his 'situation'. He just hoped that she wouldn't cause him too much bodily harm or worse...cry. No one knew exactly how much she meant to Ranma, not even Ukyo herself. With a final sigh Ranma knocked on the front door of the restaurant.

He didn't have to wait very long, as Ukyo had been ready for his arrival almost as soon as she had returned from school. She was so excited that Ranma had asked her to spend time together. The door opened and Ranma's jaw hit the floor. Ukyo was wearing a black skintight dress, which had a slit on the side that ran up to her waist. Her hair was in a long braided ponytail, much like Ranma's hair. Her face glowed with a faint blush and had a pleasant smile on her face. She had painted her lips red, it was the only make-up she had on. It made her look like a goddess. Another thing Ranma quickly noticed was Ukyo's bust size, it appeared to be at least a size or two larger than he thought it was. Ukyo saw Ranma's eyes on her breasts. She let out a small giggle with a slight blush on her cheeks.

" Chest bindings," she said in a small whisper while leaning in next to his ear.

A slow shudder went down Ranma's back as her breath warmed his ear. Ukyo noticed this and gave him a loving hug, which Ranma gladly returned. She let out a contented sigh and reluctantly let go of her beloved. Ranma now had a heavy blush as he had noticed that Ukyo had decided against any underwear for the dress.

" Come here you perverted jackass," she said in a loving way, when she noticed his look, dragging him inside of her restaurant.

The warmth of Ukyo's hand felt pleasant in his. As he was dragged along Ranma couldn't help but appreciate the view. Ukyo had a very beautiful body, he hadn't really ever noticed it that much because of her choice of daily attire. But right now Ranma had no more doubt that his Ucchan was definitely the cute fiancée.

' Damn she's beautiful, makes me wanna take a bite straight out of her ass.'

Ranma's face flared up into a neon red as he realized where his mind had wondered. He quickly shook his head to clear it, because he was having a hell of a time from keeping his hand from pinching her sexy toss. He was now definitely having a real hard time keeping his hands to himself. Ukyo could just feel how Ranma's gaze rolled over her body. It excited her immensely, she put a little more sway into her hips. Making sure Ranma got a proper eyeful of her assets.

' Eat that Akane and Shampoo! I'm absolutely sure Ranma has never looked at either of you in that way. I'm sure I can get him to kiss me before he leaves tonight. Oh Ranma honey don't you see that those other girls only care for you as a prize.'

Ukyo felt a slight sting as she said prize. She knew that she had not really treated Ranma that much better than Shampoo. But Ukyo had no doubt that she treated him far better than Akane ever would or could. She had seen how Shampoo looked at Ranma when he wasn't looking. Ukyo might act like she doesn't know how Shampoo feels about Ranma, but she was no fool. She knew exactly how Shampoo felt, since she felt exactly the same thing for Ranma. They fought almost every day for who would give Ranma his lunch first. Their continual fighting eventually created a mutual respect for one another's skill. Though Ukyo would never admit it publicly, Shampoo had become somewhat of a friend to her. But in the end she knew that only one person would be with Ranma. So she never initiated the friendship that she and Shampoo could have, for it would create too much resentment to whoever had 'won' Ranma. She cleared her mind of these things quickly, as she needed to make this date with Ranma an event worth remembering for a very long time. Ranma had asked her out and she knew that if he enjoyed it as much as she did. Then it might become a regular event for the two.

' You wait and see Ranma! This is going to be the best day of your life!'

She interlocked her fingers with Ranma's and turned around giving him a dazzling smile and a playful wink.

" So Ranma honey, what do you want to eat first or do something else before that?"

" Well, not to sound rude or in a rush Ucchan. But I think we should have something to eat first."

Ukyo's smile seemed to drop by a little but she nodded and turned around to get the food ready. But before she could get far Ranma warped his arms around her shoulder and spoke into her ear.

" Please don't be upset Ukyo. I want to eat now cause we're going to take a walk in the park afterwards and I have something very important to tell you."

She relaxed in his arms and accepted his explanation. Her fear that he had only come here for food again slowly faded away as she accepted his warm embrace. With a soft sigh she hugged him back as she could. Leaning her head back slightly , she gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

" Ok Ran-chan, I guess the sooner we finish eating the quicker I find out what you have planned," she said with a gentle smile.

Ukyo let out a soft giggle as she saw that her lipstick had left its mark on Ranma. It made her feel all warm inside as Ranma stared back with a confused look. She couldn't help but giggle a little more.

" What? Do I have something on my face?"

" Not anything that shouldn't be there Ranma honey," she said with a playful smile.

" Huh?" his face crunched up in confusion.

" Don't worry about it Ranma," she said with a gentle laugh, " here sit down and I'll make you your favorite okonomiyaki."

With that Ranma sat down by the counter and watched how his cute fiancée make him food. There are very few things in life more beautiful than as a loved one making food for their loved ones. She glowed with positive energy and Ranma could clearly see the cute smile on her lips. Ranma loved to look at his Ucchan when she made food for him. She had this soothing grace about her. Her movements were so precise but also had an amazingly graceful flow to them. Ranma had a very hard time keeping his eyes glued to her face. The dress she wore hid very little of the pleasures underneath. He always knew Ukyo was beautiful, but knowing something and actually seeing it is a lot different.

" The food should be done soon Ranma-honey." she said with a loving smile

" Thanks Ucchan, you make the best okonomiyaki ever."

Ukyo just loved it when she got praise from Ranma. She could never get enough of it from him, it always left her feeling loved and appreciated. Ranma was one of the most caring souls Ukyo had ever met. She had been in love with him since the day they met on the road. She had met a lot of boys that lived in town but this one was different. He never teased her and would play with her, even though she was a girl. Ukyo laughed at that now, she still cherished those memories, but now she knew Ranma had never known that she was a girl. It really didn't matter to her, since she knew that even if he had known that she was a girl, it would not have made an ounce of difference to Ranma. He was just too kind to really care about irrelevant things like that. Ukyo finished the last preparations and was ready to serve their meal.

" Looks and smells great Ucchan, I can never get enough of your cooking." Ranma had with a happy expression

Ukyo placed their okonomiyaki on the counter and took a seat next to Ranma, sitting as close to him as humanly possible.

" Thank you Ran-chan." she had a light blush on her face.

All that was heard were the noises of eating as both enjoyed the meal in each other's company. Ranma would now and then steal a glance at Ukyo, and she in return would catch him doing so and wink in return. Ranma now had a healthy red hue to his face from being constantly caught by Ukyo. It was a comfortable silence as the two of them finished their meals.

" That was the best Ucchan," Ranma said rubbing his stomach, " I'm ready to leave if you are."

" Ok Ran-chan, I'm ready to leave. Just let me just get my purse and then we can go." she said with a wink.

With that both left the store, Ukyo locked the doors and placed the keys in her purse. Ranma stood there smiling at Ukyo with his arm held out for her. She was surprised to see Ranma willingly make physical contact with her. She quickly grasped his arms, almost expecting it to disappear. Ukyo absolutely loved the feel of Ranma's arm in hers.

" Ucchan, we're going to the park. I found this nice secluded spot were we can talk. But it still pretty far away, we can walk all the way or I can carry us there in a few minutes."

Ukyo was really having a hard time deciding what to do. On the one had she wanted to spend more time with Ranma, but then on the other hand she would definitely not mind being carried by Ranma. To feel those strong musclar arms holding her and his warmth close to hers. Ukyo's mind was made up right there and then.

" I think it would be better if you carried me Ranma, it's kind of far to walk with high heels." Ukyo tried to make a valid excuse.

" Ok Ucchan." he said smiling down at her.

Ranma swept up Ukyo in his arms and took off, jumping on top of the nearest roof. Ukyo felt so soft in his arms, she had a tight grip around his neck. She also had placed her face in the crook on his neck, inhaling deeply. It smelt exactly like Ranma, just the way Ukyo liked it. Ranma could not deny that the feel of his Ucchan against him felt extremely exhilarating. She gave Ranma this special warm feeling inside his chest. Shampoo did the same, but now he had noticed that both gave off a different kind of warmth. But both felt just as great. The experience would have been a scary one for Ukyo, if she had been paying attention to what Ranma was doing, but right now all Ukyo could concentrate on was Ranma. His hair almost flowed as the air disturbed it. His face full of concentration as he didn't want to accidentally drop Ukyo. That would definitely ruin the date. Ranma saw that the park was coming into sight.

" Ucchan, I see the park. It shouldn't be long now." Ranma said with concern, Ukyo hadn't said word yet.

" Ok Ran-chan, just be gentle with me." Ukyo said with a giggle.

Ranma caught the joke all right, his face could definitely not hide that. He added a little more speed into his roof jumping. It was another 3 minutes before they made it to his favorite spot in the park. He gently set Ukyo down on the bench and sat in the spot right next to her. Ukyo leaned over, placing her head on his shoulder and her other hand on his knee. She was enjoying this date more and more as it went along. Ranma had not once shrugged off any physical contact that she had made so far.

" So Ran-chan, what did you want to talk about?" Ukyo sighed.

Ranma took a deep breath.

" Well the truth is it's about where my life is going at the moment Ucchan, and I don't like it. This entire fiancée mess is at the core of all my problems. It's getting to be far too much for me to handle and I needed help."

" What do you mean by needed help Ran-chan?" Ukyo was getting a really bad feeling about this.

" Cologne and Shampoo are helping me deal with this entire mess that my life has become."

" WHAT? How can you trust them Ranma, they're a bunch of liars and thieves Ranma!" Ukyo screamed out.

" Wait Ukyo I haven't finished yet. They have a way that would save most of my honor. Shampoo actually made a decision that surprised me. They have a custom that allows a man to marry more than one woman, actually it's more of a need that a special custom, their birth rates won't allow for any thing less. They have a lot of more women than men Ucchan. But that's beside the point, Shampoo is considered the first wife. It gives her the right to accept or refuse any one's 'claim' to marry me. Ukyo, she said that she accepts you as a friend and a fellow warrior. She also said that she would not mind having you as a sister wife."

" What the hell have those Amazons sluts done to you Ran-chan. Did Shampoo put something in your food again!" Ukyo was hysterical.

" They did nothing of the sort Ukyo. It's just that I can't take all this crap any more. My life is a mess, everyday it just gets worse. I needed a way out. This is the only way that I know of that's going to allow me to keep most of my honor. I know it's going to hurt a lot of people but I need to start thinking a lot more about my own future. The thing is that Shampoo accepts that having me will require some sacrifices, and vice versa for me Ucchan. I've been going over this in my mind for a while now."

" I don't understand Ranma-honey, why haven't you talked to me about this. You know anything you tell me stays between us. I'd never betray you in that way," Ukyo saw the tired look on his face," You have been thinking about this a long time now haven't you Ran-chan, then why didn't you speak up sooner?" Ukyo was now thoroughly confused.

" Because I wanted to keep it quiet Ucchan and I kinda hoped that things would get better. But they never did, so I needed a way out. I thought about everyone that could help me, but the Amazons were the only ones that could make a significant change. I wanted to ask you Ucchan, but I just couldn't. Your life was already hard enough as it is. I didn't want to hurt you any more than I already had."

" Ran-chan don't you understand. If it meant burning down my restaurant, I would help you. I don't care about those things nearly as much as I do you."

" That's why I love you so much Ucchan. Many people don't see it, but you have a wonderful heart." Ranma said hugging her.

Ukyo returned the embrace. She was still completely confused as to how all this had happened. But having Ranma near her like this, she would give up the world to be with him.

" Ran-chan, I'm still very confused about all of this. But I know that Shampoo and I need to have a nice long talk about it. I won't lie to you and say that I accept sharing you with her, but I'm also not saying that I'd never do it. A lot of things need to be cleared up before I can make any kind of decision." Ukyo said with a wavering voice.

" That's all I can ask of you Ucchan. Just give Shampoo and Cologne a chance to explain everything. Then you can make whatever decision you want to." Ranma smiled down at her.

Ukyo could accept that, but now she wanted a little revenge on Ranma dropping this huge bomb on her. Their date was supposed to be un-interrupted. A smile grew on her face as she thought of the perfect revenge...teasing him and maybe a kiss or two.

" You know Ranma maybe Akane wasn't so far off as to call you a pervert. I mean here you have Shampoo and now you want me as well. Right now I wouldn't put it past you if you wanted me and Shampoo to "be" with you at the same time." Ukyo said a sly grin on her face.

Ranma's nose exploded into a bloody fountain as the thought hit his mind. Ukyo and Shampoo kissing him at the same time, which alone was enough overload any guy's brain. But the thought of 'being' with Ukyo and Shampoo, well that was stuff that would fry a brain. Ukyo nearly fell over with laughter at the look on his face. Damn he was so easy to tease, it always proved to be a hell of a lot of fun.

" Come here you perverted jackass, you're just too easy to tease." with that Ukyo warped her arms around him and kissed Ranma for dear life.

People that walked past saw a beautiful couple sharing a loving embrace as the last of the sun's rays died down on the horizon.

...to be continued.

Author's Notes: hmm well, found some errors. Hopefully I got the good majority of them out. The next installment will come out in the mega post either this or the next month. Till then.

OokamiShiroi out.