I know I say this EVERY time I post here, but this time I am BEGGING. Please read this at my website. I tried to fix the formatting here, but it was screwed up horribly, almost beyond recognition: it took away strikethroughs, indents, and all the good things in life. It's not hard. Just go to my profile and I'll have the link right under my STORY STATUS section.

But if you insist on reading this (inferior version) don't say I didn't warn you!

Oh! And words that are underlined are supposed to signify a strikethrough (or a line through the specified word/sentence).

Sincerely Akane
By: Angela Jewell

Disclaimer: Don't own them, sorry.

"I don't have any green ink," Sayuri apologized as she handed her friend a pen. "But since you're not really sending it, it shouldn't make much of a difference."

Akane tried to smile, really she did, but her heart just wasn't in it. She knew she couldn't keep stalling forever, and she had accepted the dare—but why—why had she agreed to go through with it? Taking a long, deep breath, she turned at last to the blank sheet of paper that lay before her—the paper, she realized, now that she looked closely—which wasn't quite blank.

Unamused, she narrowed her eyes. They had to be joking As if the task before her wasn't degrading enough...

The stationary paper was covered by a myriad of tiny hearts, the word Love, written prominently across the top in fancy English script. She lifted her head to glare at her friends, her lips drawn into a tight, thin line.

Sayuri and Yuka laughed at her expression, obviously enjoying their friend's discomfort. "It's the only paper we could find," Yuka shrugged innocently.

Sure it was, Akane glowered, turning her attention back to the sickeningly sweet paper. She tried to push her annoyance out of her mind, tried to focus her energy on the task at hand.

...A love letter to Ranma...

Honestly. The thought alone was repulsive. Even now, her hand refused to go anywhere near the paper; no doubt, disgusted by the very idea, as she was.

Besides, the stupid jerk would certainly take it the wrong way if he ever found out; and the last thing he needed was an even bigger, more inflated ego. She didn't even want to think about the consequences should her father or Mr. Saotome get their hands on it first. Or worse, she thought with a shudder, Nabiki.

It would take more than a few measly yen to get her out of that nightmare...

Akane sighed, resigned to her fate. She had agreed to play the game knowing the potential risks—and her pride, her word of honor—neither would allow her to back down from a challenge. Especially not this; not something they expected her to fail at.

Besides, she reasoned, they never said she couldn't tear it up after she was finished. If need be, she'd even swear them all to secrecy. After all, she couldn't allow something like this to get out!

Feeling slightly more confident and determined to complete the task, Akane put pen to paper, and thinking seriously for a moment, began to write. Her head was bowed low over her paper, her expression one of intense concentration; her friends watched her closely, eager to see what she had written.

At last, her head shot up, a smile lighting her face. "Done," she said triumphantly, holding the paper out before her.

It was short, sweet, and to the point.

She nodded appreciatively, her eyes once again admiring her work...


I don't really hate you. Well... not much.

Signed, Akane

"That was a lot easier than I thought," she grinned. Confident, she handed the paper over to her friends and leaned back on her arms, satisfied with a job well done.

Her friends looked at the paper and then each other; shaking their heads, they frowned. "Akane, this isn't a love letter," Yuka said with a sigh. "Actually, I don't know what this is."

Sayuri nodded as she handed the paper back. "Try again," she instructed. "And this time be honest. It's not like he's going to see it."

"But I was honest," she protested.

Sayuri laughed dryly, and Yuka groaned.

"We know Ranma isn't the greatest catch," Yuka replied, patting her friend's shoulder comfortingly. "But we all know you've fallen for the guy—though none of us are quite sure why." Her statement was met with various nods of approval, while the other girls voiced their agreement.

Akane started to protest vehemently, but was quickly cut off. "We graduate in a week," Yuka interrupted, continuing. "And as your friends, naturally, we're worried about you. It's already been three years since Ranma moved here, and you guys have made absolutely no progress. If you don't make a stand, and soon, you might lose him for good."

Akane blushed at that, and laughed. "And that's a bad thing?" she asked.

Sayuri shrugged. "Not really," she replied. Yuka elbowed her lightly before turning back to Akane.

"Of course it is," she said. "If you're unhappy, we're unhappy."

"Fine," Akane muttered. "I'll rewrite the dumb thing." It was obvious protesting wasn't going to help. Grumbling under her breath she took the paper and pen back from her best friends and quickly crossed out the few lines she had already written.

Staring intently at the white space on the paper that was left, she willed the words to come. She sat that way for several long minutes, pen hovering over paper, her mind a jumbled mess. But nothing she came up with seemed to fit…

Sighing in frustration, she wrote:


I might actually kind of like you. But then again, I might not. Oh well, I guess we'll never know.



Feeling ridiculous, she handed the revised letter to her closest friend. All she could do was pray they'd grow tired of this silly game, and let her off the hook. The look Sayuri threw her way after skimming the page, however, told her there was no such luck.

Holding the paper out to her, Sayuri said, "Try harder."

For the twelfth time that night, Akane wondered why she had agreed to come to this sleep-over in the first place. Chewing on the tip of the pen, she rewrote Ranma's name, and then began to brain storm.

What did she feel for Ranma, anyway?

She knew he could be a jerk sometimes, and he was often insensitive and thoughtless... but he had to have some good qualities. All she had to do was list as many of those as she could think of and then make it sound like she admired him for them. Besides, that was what mostschool girls with silly crushes did anyway, right? Not that she had a crush, mind you. But if that's what it would take to make this nightmare end, to win, then she'd do it!

Feeling much more confident, again, she began to write.


You can be nice sometimes, and you're a really great good martial artist.

And strong too. Physically, anyhow. And you... you...

The pen, for a moment, stopped moving across the page and Akane stared at it in surprise.

Oh no, she was drawing a blank. What else was there…?

With stubborn determination, she bent closer to the paper and wrote:

And you never give up.

...Again she paused.

So don't ever change.

Yours truly, Akane

There. Perfect.

Holding it out before her, she carefully re-read her work of art... and frowned. Now that she looked closer, there was still something that was missing... something that just didn't seem right.

Maybe a few minor adjustments were in order. Crossing out her closing signature, she added a few more lines—important, necessary lines.

So don't ever change.

Yours truly, Akane

Although you could be a bit nicer to me, you know.

And in case you're curious... being a man-among-men doesn't include hitting on every girl you come in contact with. In the very least, you should be putting up more of a fight whenever they try to grab you. I mean, you're a martial artist, aren't you? You expect me to believe you can't get out of one little hug despite all those special techniques you've mastered?

And honestly... how can Shampoo accidentally end up soaking wet on your futon—naked!—without your knowing? Do you think I'm an idiot, Ranma?

But aside from all that, don't change.

One more thing: about my cooking. You know... you can't expect me to get any better if you continue to insult me, or run away every time I ask you to try a bite. All I'm saying is that you should stop being such a baby about it, and suck it up like a man.

But other than that, I think you're great. Really.

Though a few improvements couldn't hurt...

Love, Akane

"There!" she said happily, handing the finished product to Yuka. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised," she told them. She waited several minutes as they perused her letter, and leaning back on her elbows, waited for the praises to begin.

Hey, wait a minute... were they laughing?!

"Akane," Yuka said between giggles, tearing her eyes away from the paper. "This is the worse love letter I've ever read."

Sayuri nodded her head in agreement, and quickly handed the paper off to the others. "Really, what were you thinking? Did you honestly expect us to believe this could even qualify as a love letter? You start insulting him half-way thru, and even tell him all the things he can improve upon."

"I didn't tell him everything he could improve," Akane huffed, crossing her arms against her chest. "Just a few suggestions..."

That only succeeded in making her friends laugh harder. Feeling silly and embarrassed, she immediately snatched back the letter. "It's not that bad," she muttered. "You try thinking of something nice to say about that dumb pervert. Besides... the word love was in there. Didn't you see how I signed it?"

"Simply tacking the word on at the end doesn't mean a thing," Yuka replied, waving the comment aside.

"Of course," Sayuri added quickly, "if you'd like to forfeit this challenge, we'd be happy to make up a more fitting one for you," she said with a smile. She knew her friend well enough to predict just what her reaction would be.

And Akane didn't disappoint.

Her mouth fell open at that, and she sat up straight, her eyes bright with determination. Her? Quit...?! NEVER!

"No, no," she said earnestly. "I can do it! You just watch!"

Yuka rolled her eyes and sighed dramatically. "This could take awhile, girls. Why don't we let Akane concentrate on her challenge while we continue the game, shall we?"

Her suggestion was met with various shrugs and several, "sure, why not's." Though some looked more interested in watching Akane struggle to write her love letter; two or three of them were already placing bets, trying to determine how many more attempts it would take their short haired friend to complete her task.

Akane pushed up the sleeves of her shirt, and standing up looked at her friends with resolve. "Don't worry," she promised them, clutching the pen and paper tightly in her hand. "I won't let you down."

Moving to a quieter corner of the room where she could concentrate, she laid down on the floor, trying to find a comfortable position. After a few minutes she could hear her friends continuing the game across the room, the standard question of truth or dare making its way around the circle. Ignoring them, she grabbed a new, blank sheet of paper, and settled down to write.

This had to be good. She couldn't take the embarrassment of yet another failed attempt... and what was so hard about writing a love letter to her fiancée, anyway?

She almost laughed aloud at that.

In the few years they'd lived together, their relationship had been many things: easy was not one of them. Why did she expect this time to be any different?

Shaking her head, she silently berated herself. That was her problem—all that negative thinking. All she had to do was write honestly, nicely, what she felt, and if nothing came to mind... lie. It wasn't like they'd know the difference.

But where to begin...

The answer was easier than she cared to admit.

Though she always argued the contrary, there were many innocent moments the two of them had shared; moments—infrequent though they were—that Akane had secretly come to cherish all the same.

...Like yesterday.

When Ranma had carried her over the rooftops...

Even now, she could remember perfectly how it had felt; the way her heart beat just a little bit faster, her cheeks burning with the realization of their closeness. But mostly she remembered his warmth. The safety and comfort she felt in those few moments it took him to jump from rooftop to rooftop, the sounds of his other fiancées fading into the background.

It had been... nice. Much nicer than she had allowed herself to admit at the time—especially since she'd still been angry with him for interrupting her fight in the first place.

But the fact that he had protected her, not them... that had to mean something... didn't it?

Taking a deep breath, she grasped the pen tightly; the look in her eyes one of renewed determination.

She hardly even realized that this time when she started to write, the words came easily.


It's strange, isn't it? The way we always fight and call each other names? We've been denying our engagement for as long as I can remember... and yet, the funny thing is... I've never believed in anyone as much as I believe in you.

Honestly, that scares me.

I'm not used to depending on other people. All my life I've depended on my skills, on my love for the art—and in the past, that was enough.

And then you came.

It was frustrating—being thrown into something so unfamiliar, so different—and having no control over any of it. And then, to add insult to injury, my skills stopped being enough.

But even then, when I wasn't strong enough on my own, you were there. I think that's when I first started to like you... even though I did everything I could think of to push you away, you kept pushing right back.

And it wasn't all bad, was it?

Sure, we fought and we called each other names—but I've never really hated you Ranma.

You were always there for me, whether I wanted you to be or not. And, in my own way, I've tried to be there for you too.

That's a start, right?

It's something, isn't it?

If our fathers weren't constantly forcing the engagement on us—if we'd met on our own terms, at our own pace—would things still be like they are now? Would you still want to be with me, if you weren't honor-bound to?

I... I really wish I knew the answer to that.

If I did... maybe I could be honest with myself. Maybe I could finally tell you the truth—tell you what I've been afraid to say for so long.


I think I've fallen in love with you

Setting the pen down, she sat there, staring dazedly at the page; not believing what she had just written.

Her, in love with... Ranma...?!

It was this stupid party, that's what it was. It had her jumping to conclusions, making crazy assumptions. She was tired, that's all. Sleep... she needed sleep. And a vacation; a break from Shampoo and Ukyo, and their crazy, selfish demands—and from Ranma too, of course...

Really! Interrupting a woman-to-woman fight... how could she have possibly thought it was a good thing?! That only further proved the questionable state of her mind!

Again, her eyes drifted to the page, her eyes taking in the last line.

But for some inexplicable reason she couldn't bring herself to cross it out...

Glancing nervously at her small circle of friends, she looked again to the letter, suddenly embarrassed. She hadn't meant to get so—so serious. There was no way she could show them this!

"Are you done now, Akane?" Sayuri asked, her eyes shifting from her short-haired friend to the paper she held in her hand.

Akane quickly shook her head. Crumpling up the small piece of paper, she shoved it quickly into the pocket of her pants.

"Not yet," she told them, smiling apologetically. "This is a lot harder than I thought. But I think I may be onto something."

"Take your time," Yuka told her. "No one's going to be sleeping tonight, anyway." Turning back around, everyone's attention immediately returned to their game; and the sounds of laughter once again filled the small room.

Akane sighed as she glanced at the new piece of paper that sat before her. Blank. Again.

...Just great.

Now what? she wondered. She had to show them something. Pushing up her sleeves, she decided to do exactly that.

They wanted a love letter—she'd give them a love letter.

Feeling the piece of paper hidden in her pocket, she began to blush. She would worry about it later, she decided. Right now she had a battle to win.

Leaning over the paper, she began to write.

This time her love letter was mushy, silly, and filled with beautiful lies she knew her friends would just eat up. She drew from anything she could think of—poems or haikus they'd studied in class, cute little sayings she'd found while window shopping… in the end, she had an authentic, if not a short, love letter.

In the very least, it would be good enough to appease her friends.

She hoped.

"Finished!" she announced. Standing up, she made her way back towards the circle, silently handing over the latest version of her handiwork.

"Wow, Akane!" Yuka said, after she'd finished reading it. "It's pretty good. Much better than your previous attempts," she added.

Akane blushed, feeling slightly guilty for making it all up. "Ya think?" she asked, laughing nervously.

"Of course," Sayuri replied. Holding the paper out before her, she began to read aloud: "When I first saw you, I was afraid to meet you. When I met you I was afraid to kiss you. When I kissed you I was afraid to love you. Now that I love you, I'm afraid to lose you." She glanced at Akane, and smiled. "It's beautiful Akane."

"It is, isn't it?" she replied, beaming. Who would have thought a book on English love poems could be so helpful! "So, I'm done now, right? No more torture?"

"Naw, you've endured enough for one night," Yuka replied with a smirk. "But I hope you've realized something, Akane."

"Huh? Like what?"

Sayuri rolled her eyes. "Why, about your feelings for Ranma, of course. Now that you know you love him, you can't let those other girls steal him away from you!"

"Think of it as a battle," one of her other friends threw in.

"Exactly," said Yuka. "You hate to lose. Just handle snagging Ranma like it's some sort of battle. With Ukyo and that Amazon girl, it's sure to turn into one anyway."

"Oh," Akane said quietly. "Sure. No problem."

"Good," Yuka said, all smiles. "Now, what should we play next?"

Akane moved to sit between her friends, though she found it hard to concentrate on anything they were saying.

Try as she might, her mind just wouldn't stop thinking about the piece of paper crumpled up in her pocket...

Early in the morning, Akane returned home, feet dragging as she made her way towards her room.

Throwing her keys, her bag, and a crumpled piece of paper on her desk, she dragged her tired, weary body to her bed. There she collapsed and instantly fell asleep.

"Ranma," said Kasumi, catching the young martial artist before he climbed the stairs. "Dinner's almost ready. Could you wake Akane up and tell her to come down, please? I'm sure she'll be hungry after sleeping all day."

At the mention of food, Ranma grinned. "Sure thing," he told her. "I'm starving!"

"Thank you, Ranma," she said with a smile. Turning, she headed back towards the kitchen.

Approaching Akane's room, Ranma knocked loudly on his fiancée's door, calling out her name. Not receiving any reply, he slowly pushed the door open and peered in, checking to make sure she was still asleep. The last thing he needed was for her to be awake and huddling nearby; just waiting for a reason to pound him.

But there she was, lying on top of her bed, seemingly out cold. She hadn't even taken the time to slip under the covers or change into her favorite yellow pajamas. Quietly, he opened the door and walked in—careful to keep the door open a notch.

Seeing her lying there all peaceful and stuff, really got him thinking; and forcing back the urge to laugh evilly, he took a few steps closer. Now was the perfect opportunity to get her back for all the times she'd woken him up.

But first, he had to find a glass of cold water... just a small amount should do the trick. After all, he wanted to surprise her, not drown her.

Besides... there was something gratifying in the knowledge that this time he'd know what he was getting pounded for.

Spotting her desk, he walked closer, pushing her bag out of the way as he searched for a cup. He didn't find any water; but he did find a piece of paper that was crumpled into a ball.

Ranma instantly straightened it out; curiosity getting the better of him. At best, it could be something embarrassing he could tease her with later—at worse, homework he could copy. Either way, it looked like a win-win situation to him.

Needless to say, he was a little surprised when he saw his name written at the top of the letter—and after reading the first couple lines in the dark, heart pounding, he glanced over at his fiancée, an unreadable look in his eyes.

Temporarily forgetting his mission, he exited the room, taking the letter with him.

Akane awoke to the sound of someone knocking softly on her door. Slowly she sat up, rubbing wearily at her eyes.

"Come in," she said, still half asleep.

Her eldest sister entered, smiling sweetly. "I saved you some dinner in case you're hungry," she told her. "Since you and Ranma didn't come down, I figured you must be starving."

Akane frowned. Ranma... miss dinner? She found that hard to believe.

"Thanks, Kasumi," she said, climbing to her feet and stretching. "I'll be right down."

Her sister nodded, and as quietly as she had entered, left.

Still feeling groggy, Akane made her way to the door and quickly flipped on the light switch, gazing tiredly around the room as her eyes adjusted to the brightness. Bed, desk, dresser, and bookshelf—yup, everything present and accounted for, she noted happily. With acquaintances like Shampoo and Kodachi, a person could never be sure...

Her weights and bokken were lying in the middle of her floor. Nudging them aside with her foot, she walked towards her desk. Sitting down in her chair, she started to push things aside as she searched for her hairbrush. Her overnight bag was taking up most of the room, along with a small pile of odds and ends she'd emptied from her pockets; her keys, some spare yen, a cute keychain she'd bought—but still no brush.

Opening her overnight bag she began to look in there, moving things around as she continued her search. Where could it be? she thought, quickly growing annoyed. She better not have left it at Yuka's! Growing more frustrated by the minute, she was about to dump the entire contents of her bag on the floor, when something white caught her eye.

Suddenly, her heart stopped.

...The letter!

Akane threw the bag to the ground, the memory of last night quickly returning. Desperately, she changed her tactic as she began to search for the small crumpled piece of paper instead. How could she have been so careless in the first place, she silently berated herself.


She saw it then: the white-thing that had initially caught her attention. It was lying flat in the very center of the desk. Perfectly flat, a part of her mind realized with a sinking feeling. Not crumpled at all...

Taking it into her hands, pulse racing, she read it slowly, having recognized the writing immediately.

Akane, meet me on the roof.


Slowly, she set the paper back down on her desk, trying hard to fight back the near-panic she could feel bubbling just beneath the surface. If it was possible, she would've sworn that the room had begun to spin.

From her place on the ground, Akane looked up at the roof, barely breathing. Her mind was an utter mess, and she couldn't think straight; reluctantly, her eyes drifted to the ladder that was leaning against the house. It was the one thing that would get her up there... but her feet refused to go anywhere near it.

Clenching her teeth, she forced her hands to grab one of the rings on the ladder, gripping it tightly as she stared up at her destination. Maybe she'd get lucky and Ranma wouldn't even be there, she tried to convince herself.

Oh, who was she kidding? He'd be there. If for no other reason, than to piss her off...

Gathering what little resolve remained, she began her slow ascent, trying her best to do so quietly. After all, she wanted the option of climbing back down that same ladder as quickly as possible; one could never tell when retreat might prove vital.

She thought it was a good plan too... until she saw Ranma's head suddenly appear over the side of the roof. "Geez," he complained, "what's taking you so long, tomboy?"

Akane bristled at that. What a jerk! The very least he could do was allow her to arrive with some shred of dignity!

"I'm coming," she growled back, increasing her speed now that the element of surprise had been lost. Ranma nodded, and quickly drew back, his head disappearing from view.

It didn't take her much longer to reach the top, and when she had, she moved silently to Ranma's side.

Not saying another word, she sat down beside him. Waiting, stubbornly, for him to break the ice...

But Ranma seemed intent to follow her example; he was looking off to the right, pretending to see something interesting in the darkened sky—something, she was sure, that wasn't even there.

Sighing, she followed his gaze, not sure what else to do. She still didn't know what the best course of action was in a situation like this. Should she act indifferent and pretend she didn't know why she was here? Or call his bluff, and bring up the subject first?

She didn't have to mull over the question long...

Suddenly a small crumpled piece of paper found its way into her lap.

Startled, Akane looked over at Ranma, only to see that he was still staring at the sky, a faint hint of a blush on his face.

"So..." he began, trying his best to sound nonchalant. He paused for a moment, and clearing his throat, continued in a somewhat less-than-steady voice, "how were you gonna end it?"

Akane felt her insides twist and turn. "End what?" she asked, trying her best to ignore the gut-wrenching, nervous feeling.

Ranma shifted uneasily where he sat. "You know," he said, embarrassed at having to explain himself, "the letter. How were you gonna end it?"

Akane frowned. She wasn't sure how to respond—Ranma looked very serious and it didn't look like he was going to back down anytime soon. "I—I don't know," she replied at last. "I guess, I thought I already had ended it."

Heaving a sigh, Ranma put a hand to his head in frustration. "Ah, geez, I suck at this," he muttered darkly. Not moving from his position, he tried again. "I mean, how were you plannin' on closin' it? With just your name?" he asked, watching her out of the corner of his eye. "Or were you gonna tack something to the end of it? You know, like... Just kidding, Akane... or, Yours truly, Akane." He paused for a moment, trying to gauge her reaction. "You know," he told her quietly, "those kinda endings."

Akane regarded him carefully. She had tried to imagine all the different ways this conversation could go—all the different ways Ranma might try to embarrass her, torment her, or worse, gloat. But listening to him criticize her lack of closure had never once crossed her mind. She wasn't sure what to make of it!

"Why does that matter?" she asked at last, genuinely confused.

"It just does," he told her sharply, with more force than he'd intended. Clearing his throat uncomfortably, and blushing like mad, he continued, slower now. "If—if I knew how you were goin' to close it, then—then I'd know how I'm supposed to take it..."

Akane fell silent at that; it was her turn to blush now. She could feel her heart beating furiously in her chest; so loudly, she was sure he could hear it.

...Did that mean he wanted to take her letter seriously, she wondered? That maybe... just maybe, he felt the same way...?

Slowly, Akane lifted her head to look at Ranma, only to find that his eyes were already locked on hers.

...her face felt warm, her heart, like it would burst...

With difficulty, she looked away, her eyes drifting once again to the piece of paper sitting in her lap.

...He wanted an ending...

And, she realized, so did she.

Picking up the piece of paper in her hands, Akane began to slowly smooth it out, removing many of its creases. Then, grabbing a pen she'd grabbed prior to climbing the roof, she bent once more over the paper and wrote something carefully on the bottom of the page. When she was all done, she crumpled it into a ball and tossed it back at her fiancée without a word.

Ranma stared for several long seconds at the innocent piece of paper lying in his lap, still hesitating. He wasn't sure what he wanted to see when he opened the letter... but he was holding his breath, nervous and anxious, all the same.

Slowly, he began to unfold it, taking his time.

A part of him expected to find a drawing of a face with its tongue sticking out: a sure sign he'd been had. But another part—a part he was trying very hard to suppress lest he be disappointed—wanted there to be something more.

His eyes immediately found what he was looking for, and he felt his breath catch in his throat; his hands trembling as he stared at the words.

Sincerely, Akane

Two simple words and yet... Ranma couldn't seem to stop smiling.

Akane paused to look at him, almost afraid to speak. He was smiling—that was a good sign, right? But... was it a good smile? It could be a trick, she realized. What if he called her a dummy then proceeded to make fun of her for it...?

She'd knock him off the roof, that's what.

It was nice having an alternative. But it still wasn't enough to calm her shaken nerves, or the butterflies in her stomach. Taking a slow, deep breath, Akane finally spoke. "Is that alright?" she asked, her voice wavering slightly. "Does that answer your question?"

Ranma raised his head to look at her, still holding the paper tightly in his hands. She looked so open, so vulnerable now; not like the strong, stubborn Akane he was used to. And he felt something in his heart respond to that—a familiar feeling, he realized, but not an all together unpleasant one.

It felt... nice.

...Much nicer than he cared to admit, anyhow.

"Yeah," he managed at last, his eyes soft. "Thanks Akane."

She was blushing deeply now, her cheeks crimson. The twisting, anxious feelings had long-since subsided, to be replaced with a warmth that seemed to permeate her entire body.

It must have been done unconsciously—the way their hands moved of their own accord, closer to the others; so close, they were almost touching. And then, seconds later, their hands had come together, fingers wrapped around fingers.

Akane, looking over at him shyly, smiled; and Ranma grinned. They sat on the roof together, enjoying the peace and quiet that was normally so rare in Nerima. Their hands entwined.

To some, it might have seemed like a small beginning...

...But to them, it was a beginning that was long overdue.


Authors Notes

Wow. I can't believe I actually finished this. I've been working on it on-and-off for over a year now, and really only got stuff written when I was suffering from writers block, or having trouble with a scene in one of my other stories. This was so much fun to write: probably because it was a stress-free project. So please, don't take it too seriously; I just thought it was a cute idea, and ran with it.

As for truth-or-dare, I'm not really sure if there's a Japanese equivalent to this game, or if they even know what it is... I did find mention of a different version with a similar premise when I did an internet search: but the details were sketchy, and the source not very reliable. So if anything, just pretend they know about the game. If they don't, tell yourself there's an American-exchange student at their school or something, and that she taught it to them. ;)

And I'm sorry if parts were cliché, or predictable. Think of it as a piece of fluff, if you'd like.

Either way, hope you enjoyed it. Now I have to get back to THE FORGOTTEN GAME and THE PROTECTOR.

See you then!

Finished: 09-08-06Revised/Posted: 11-08-06 – I blame the ending.
(TWO months? You hate me, don't you.)