A Gift for Kasumi

By DojoRanma


Chapter 5 - Of Mallets, Pipes and Parties


Akane searched through the darkened house, searching for Ranma. Damn! Where is he? I was hoping to give him his gift while the rest of the girls were eating, singing kareoke, and doing other stuff in the dojo.

She searched through the living room and then peered into the kitchen. That's strange. I haven't seen Kasumi either.

Then she remembered meeting Tofu's new fiancee. I wonder if she's alright? she pondered as her search moved up to the second floor, looking for either her loving sister or her ill-treated boyfriend. Looking through her sister's room, noting the absence of her sister, her thoughts turned back to Ranma and his treatment of late.

It's not that I'm really upset about the wedding or at him, but I can't let anyone know that I like him, or the parent's will have the priest at the door in a flash. She tried to tell him of her reasons for the beatings of late, that it was just for show. But every time she tried to, one of his other fiancees or rivals shows up and she ended up malleting him for his unwillingness to tell them off. I know he's strong, he killed Saffron to save me. So, why can't he just admit to me that he loves me? Why can't I? Her face saddened as her search was beginning to be fruitless as she searched the last room on the floor.

"Where are they?" She asked herself again as she peered out the window. Then she noticed two figures outside the front door that she recognized to be the two people she had been searching for. Then she noticed her sister turn around and run towards the gate, followed by Ranma who was chasing her. From her vantage point, Akane had not seen the snowballs due to the amount of snow falling and was forced to jump to the conclusion, "RANMA NO BAKA!" as she turned and ran to find her shoes and coat.


10 minutes later...

Kasumi and Ranma walked in silence through the streets of Nerima, their snow fight finished and forgotten. Snow blanketed everything around them, bringing a seemingly serene peace to the world. The endless white covering the land over, a surprising contrast to the clear night sky. The air seemed crisp and sharp on their breath as they continued towards the train station.

Kasumi held her bag with both hands draped in front of her body, and although she walked tall, her head was slightly bowed and was taking small, pointed steps to avoid getting snow in her shoes. Ranma walked next to her, his hands in his pockets. His backpack was slung over one shoulder and he was hunched forward slightly.

Man I am so dead if anyone finds us, Ranma thought to himself, maybe I should've just walked away by myself. He looked up at Kasumi. No way! I'd take the tanto blade over leaving her to suffer.

Kasumi turned her head to look at him, blushing slightly at his gazing. He smiled gently before turning his gaze back to the road ahead. Kasumi however, her heart skipped a beat.

Why was he looking at me like that? Like I was actually worth looking at? I'm not that pretty, I'm very homely. Look at me, I'm a housewife that's unmarried looking after my father, my two sisters, and two guests. No wonder Tofu-sensei didn't choose me. I feel like such a fool for believing anything could come of it.

Her head drooped a little lower, though however slight it had been, it had not gone unnoticed by the pigtailed martial artist. He watched as her emotions had dropped lower and lower, she was starting to take the mood of Ryouga. (Wait! That's impossible for anyone to get THAT low), It wasn't that low, but being that the person in question was Kasumi, it was enough to be a serious concern.

I need to do something, she must be thinking about what happened with Tofu earlier. Ranma thought, I've got to do something! Say something!

"Ummmm," Ranma struggled in his efforts to put his thoughts together into a coherent sentence.

"Yes, Ranma?" Kasumi turned her head, after placing her mask of happiness firmly over her face. This did not go unnoticed.

Ranma had stopped his gait. Kasumi stopped a few steps past, turning her whole body to face Ranma.

"Kasumi, I-"

"What, Ranma?" She smiled, the mask becoming as visible as night and day.

"Stop it."

"What do you mean?" She asked, confusion spreading over her features.

"Stop trying to hide yourself," he spoke monotonely, "I can see right through your facade. Who are you trying to fool? It's only me. You can trust me right?" His face becoming more concerned, "Right?"

Kasumi looked up at him, the mask crumbling under his words and the soft tears that began to flow from her gentle eyes. "Ra-"

"RANMA!"

The two turned around to see Akane standing there holding her mallet. Her aura burning a bright red. Akane turned her focus from Ranma to her sister. Upon seeing her sister with tears in her eyes, her aura got darker a deep blood red with black tinges around the edges.

"WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY SISTER, YOU BASTARD!"

Ranma panicked as Akane lunged forward towards him, Kasumi would get injured if he didn't get her out of the way. He turned and launched himself at Kasumi, sweeping her up and jumping up towards the rooftops.

Akane reacting to Ranma's movements, launched her mallet end over end at Ranma instead of an overhead smash into the ground.

Unfortunately, Ranma did not see this nor was he able to react in time before it connected. It impacted at the apex of his jump, knocking him further into the air. The mallet connected with his ankle, just below the knee. It snapped his leg inward and shattered his knee, his only saving grace being his other leg prevented any further damage. The force of the mallet knocked Ranma sideways. He had no control over his movements as he spiraled sideways still clutching Kasumi's lithe body.

Kasumi meanwhile, not being used to being launched into the air, flying over the rooftops, and being afraid of moving at such speeds, promptly fainted towards the climax of the jump.

Impact was imminent for Ranma, it was unavoidable with his ankle. His hope was just to keep Kasumi from getting hurt. He twisted around as they impacted the roof of the house three blocks over. He landed back first on the terracotta shingles, several breaking under the impact. They rolled down the snowy roof and fell off. Again he managed to twist his body to let him take the brunt of the fall.

God that hurts! he thought as he tried to sit up and see past the mass of soft brown locks stuck to his face. Dr. Tofu's going to have a field day with this mess.

His back cracked with every movement as he sat up. Sweeping the hair out of his face, he gazed down at Kasumi. Her hair was matted down and covered in snow. He reached out and brushed her hair away from her own, framing her face just beautifully. The light flecks of snow made her seem absolutely angelic.

Ranma finally pulled himself away from his gaze after a few seconds. The pain in his ankle was bad. He looked around desperately for something he could use as a splint. He saw a three foot length of pipe about ten feet from where he was. Bracing Kasumi up against the wall he dragged himself across the ground using his arms and one good leg. He grabbed the piece, once he was in reach and began to shed his jacket and shirt while using the wall to brace himself. He then placed the makeshift splint against his leg and proceeded to rip apart his white undershirt. He used the strips of cloth to bind the temporary splint to his leg. He then slowly began to get up, using the wall as a bracer. He got up and hobbled to where he left the sleeping maiden. Gently scooping her up in his arms, he began to carry her out towards the property gate and the train station.


Cutting over to Akane...

Akane had just watched herself kill her fiancee and eldest sister in slow motion. Her body refused to move, her mind just kept replaying the incident. The mallet throw, the VERY audible crack as it impacted them, the frame by frame descent of Kasumi and Ranma both with pained expressions on their faces, and then the sound of a large mass crashing into the roof of a building.

Over and over again, her mind shorted, her thoughts on the two victims of her latest assault. 'Why?' the stray thought ran through her short-circuiting mind. 'Why did he try to run? Why was Kasumi upset? Why did I throw that mallet at them? Why did I jump to conclusions again?'

Slowly her mind slipped into a depression that only one other person felt (and if you need to ask who, you'd better rewatch the series-DR). The questions kept pouring out and she had no answer for any. 'Was Kasumi really crying? Are they still alive? What am I going to tell everyone when they find out I've killed them?' The questions haunted her so that she didn't even notice her feet moving lethagically towards the train station, her face listless and pale.

'What do I do?'


Back at the Dojo...

The party had become rowdy and noisy after Soun and Genma broke out the Sake.

Weird pairings had begun to take shape on the dance floor. A dolled up purple cat and a duck in a penguin suit (ahem tux) were dancing on the floor, Kuno and Konatsu were hitting it off, as were Ryoga and Tsubasa. The only thing more scarier was Kodachi and Asusa singing Kareoke together. No one ever thought they were good, until they started singing. Cologne and Happosai were dancing slowly, while Tofu and Akira were also dancing. Correction, Akira was dancing and Tofu was frantically attempting to search for Kasumi while failing to dance properly with Akira.

Ukyo was drunkly hitting on Shinnosuke, the Gambling King was down to his heartshaped boxers while Nabiki looked on like a cheshire cat. "Would you like to play again?" Embarassing him yet again. Miss Hinako and Principal Kuno were laughing gaily at a table. And Genma and Soun were already passed out, lying in a heap. The only thing proving that they were somewhat coherent before that was a badly scribbled sign next to Genma-panda:

Where is the boy+


End Chapter 5


Finally, after being frozen in carbonite, I am back with Chapter 5. Hopefully I will be able to get chapter 6 done soon, but don't be surprised if I turn into a cardboard cutout again. And just two notes I should mention. 1) This does take place after saffron, I just changed it that Akane was still unconscious when Ranma told her he loved her and she responded subconsciously, and 2) I know those are weird pairings I created, I plan to make things very... ahem interesting for the entire NWC. I've already started on Chapter 6 so I hope everyone R&Rs for me, I love suggestions and comments, it always improves the final result (in my opinion) Anyway, Thanks again to my prereaders Mindily and Loverdante for whom I would be lost without. Lastly, a little preview for next chapter, there will be more party hijinx, 'train'ing blues, and a meeting with the mother. Enjoy!