By Gabriel Blessing
Author's note. Honestly. Who saw that coming? Go on, tell the truth. That's right. No one. I wrote this piece specifically for the Church of Time and Chaos. Type it into google and see if the place is still there if you wish. It was a sight specifically for Ranma/Setsuna matchups. The owner/creator/whatever (I have never been, nor ever will be especially tech savvy) complimented me on "Finishing what you start" and in return for the flattering letter, I wrote this story for their site. Please enjoy my work, which I hope is as completely off the wall unusual in it's premise now as it was back then!
Disclaimer. Not mine.
Quiet. Peaceful. The park is a beautiful oasis of green in the great city that is my home. Trees, the gentle viridian giants swaying softly in a light breeze. Quiet paths stretching amongst them where lovers and friends can enjoy a quiet moment of peace together. A single lake, like a diamond, laps softly at its shore. The light reflecting off of the ever-so-slightly choppy water.
And in I come.
"a… a… a… a… a… a… a… aauuuGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" SPLASH!
Yup. In I come.
I surface from the center of the surprisingly, and thankfully, deep pond that's really a drainage ditch in disguise, sputtering and spitting. The water had been cold and I was wearing a thin t-shirt. Looks like I would be in danger of stares and T.H.O as I walked home to day. What a great way to finish of a wonderful day. I take a towel from the woman by the edge of the pond who had offered me a hand out and began drying off.
"Stupid fiancés! Where do they get of calling me that? Just because they're all obsessed with sex they gotta take their frustrations out on me! I have half a mind to marching back there-no, thank you-" I interrupt my vicious muttering to turn down the woman's offer of a new shirt as I turn my attention to my hair. It takes forever to dry, damn it, "-marching back there and WHAM! BAM! I have half a mind..."
Wait a second. The woman giving me a towel? Who the hell? I blink twice before peering out from beneath the towel that I had been using to clean my hair. Yup. Not a hallucination brought on by the depressurization of my rapid descent. I tense up a second to leap backwards, before realizing that if she was gonna do anything to me, she probably would have done it by now. But still. A woman hanging around a drainage pond with a towel? That's strange even for my life. Especially with a woman dressed in a rather stunning business suit. And what's with her hair? I've never seen anyone else with anything near that color.
It's right about than that my ultra-sensitive 'weird stuff' sense starts to kick in on overdrive. And when I say ultra-sensitive, I mean ultra-sensitive.
"Um," I mutter, "Hi?"
"Hello," the woman murmurs in response. She has a strange way of talking. It's smooth and quiet, controlled, but like velvet. It makes me feel all tingly just listening to it. Kind of cool actually.
"Yea. Um, thanks for the towel. Can I ask why you have one? I mean, it's kind of weird to be just walking around with one in the middle of the park. Unless you're going swimming?" Swimming in a drainage pond. It's not the weirdest of things. I mean, I just got out of one, didn't I? Now that I've kind of gotten out of my shocked mode, I start toweling myself off again, though more slowly.
"I have one incase I need to dry off," the woman tells me. She brushes a strand of that strange colored hair back. The both of us are standing on the green embankment next to the pond, a couple of feet away from a path. I plop down onto the ground so I can towel off my pants without hopping around like a fool. The woman, despite the fact that her suit looks expensive as the earth, kneels gracefully down next to me.
"Um, right. Drying off. Never tell when that's gonna happen." I finish off as best I can, and drape the now soggy towel around my shoulders before leaning back a bit. I look at the strange lady out of the corner of my eyes again. Let's see, besides the strange hair, she has strange eyes as well. She moves like she's a martial artist (I know, I can judge these things. After all, I am the best), even in something as simple as kneeling. And despite the fact that she's actually kind of short, she projects herself. Just being around her I find myself unconsciously hunching my shoulders down. She reminds me of the old ghoul, for some reason.
She's also incredibly attractive.
I quickly turn my head away with that thought. It wouldn't be good to go around blushing like a schoolgirl. Definitely not good at all. And it's also bad to go around staring at beautiful women. Especially with my problems.
"Have I offended?" the woman asks me, having caught my quick turn away.
"Heh, heh. No not at all. Just..." just what? Come on, good excuse, good excuse. "Just looking at the sunset!"
"Yes," the woman answers, sounding amused. "It is very beautiful. But isn't it over here?"
Alright it was a bad excuse. Sue me. "R-right!" The lady just smiles at me, an understanding smile. That in itself is pretty weird. Understanding, not mocking. Like she was laughing with me, rather than at. A little bit of time passes in silence, and finally it starts to catch up with me. Sorry, but silence makes me nervous. I must kill it whenever possible.
"Look," I start. "You're handling all this pretty well. I mean, the towel, my entrance." I'm not really going anywhere with this, just talking to keep from being quiet. "Can I ask... I mean how are... I mean..." What do I mean.
"Why am I taking this so easily?" she asks softly.
"Um," I start intelligently. "Yea?"
In response she just smiles, and then stands in one swift and graceful movement. Despite the fact that she was just sitting in the grass, her suit remains immaculate. Then she turns and walks away. I gawk for a second (I can't help it. It was sudden, and besides...She has a great ass and when I'm on the ground and she's on her feet...) before stumbling to my feet, tripping over myself like a kid in my haste.
"Hey, lady!" I shout. "Your towel!" I don't know how, but in the second it takes for me to stand, she's already covered like a dozen meters. She was approaching a bend in the path that would take her behind a tree.
"You can keep it," she tells me. Her voice is still soft, but it reaches my ears easily.
"Wait!" I shout then, tripping off after her. She stops in obedience, turning to look over her shoulder at me without turning around. I stagger to a stop behind her, sopping wet despite her towel and all messed up while she remains the poster girl of perfect. A breeze rustles the tree leaves around us, and she tucks back a strand of her amazingly colored hair that had somehow gotten loose behind her ear.
"I..." I trail off for a second, unable to think of anything. The lady smiles slightly and waits patiently for whatever it is that I'm going to say. Finally, I settle on a question. "What's your name?"
The woman's smile widens at that. "My name? You can call me Ranko. And I'm sorry about this, Setsuna Meioh." and with a flash of her crimson hair she turns around the bed in the path.
I stand there frozen for a second. How had she known my name? And what was that with 'you can call me Ranko'? How did she know my name? Was Ranko her name or not? And also, how did she know my name?
"Hey," I shout again. I start to speed off, clearing the bend in the path. "How do you..." I trail off. The path clearly extends for nearly two dozen meters, but nowhere on that expanse is that redhead who I can call Ranko.
Oh well. That had definitely rated a seven point six on my weird-shit-o-meter. Never mind.
I tuck a strand of my viridian hair behind my ear, wincing as I discover that the little ball of it I keep up on the back of my head had shaken loose in the flight. Might as well get back to that place where I'm staying. It wouldn't be half bad if it wasn't for that jerk. Who does my father think he is, engaging me to some guy out of nowhere? Or to a bunch of guys? Or a bunch of girls, for that matter? What's are girl supposed to do?
"Stupid," I mutter, and start my trip back to the craziness.
End of Prologue