Stranger, Sister, Daughter
By Ryoga's best friend
-The following is mostly from Akane's Veiw and then later switchs back to Sasami's-
It was late evening at this point, friendly chatter could be heard coming from Ucchan's restaurant. Inside was sparely populated, The owner chatting with her fiancee/best friend. One of his other prospective fiancee's to his left and young girl to his left. This was the last stop of Ranma Saotome's tour of Nerima. Ukyo was glad, any excuse to spend time with her Ranma was welcomed, and she'd taken a liking to the cheerful little girl as well. Akane on the other hand was a little out of sorts passing glances to the smiling girl. I must have been seeing things… she tried to tell herself but her gut was still twisting a little with uncertainty.
On the way to Ucchans
Akane stood a little ways back chastising herself for getting so jealous of little Sasami, it was very shallow of her. She looked up to the smiling pair, gaining a slight smile of her own. She really brings a different side of him out, who'd have thought he was so good with kids. The youngest Tendo thought to herself with a little chuckle. It's kind of cute. The moonlight came out from behind the clouds shining down brightly to the trio as they walked alongside the drainage canal. She glanced to the murky water and almost choked. In the water below she saw a women, stunningly beautiful dressed in exotic robes, two dots on her forehead and a soft smile on her lips. This image took the place of the Sasami, Ranma looked to be holding hands with nothing. Akane stumbled a little grabbing the fence causing the other two to turn toward her.
"What's wrong 'kane? You've been quiet." Ranma said confused. Akane almost brought her hand up to point but the image was gone when she looked back Sasami was in her rightful place hold his hand. She looked back up and to the pair, Ranma not understanding but Sasami looked a little concerned.
"I-It's nothing…" Akane said softly breaking eye contact from the blue hared girl. After a short moment the young girl tugged on Ranma to get his attention.
"Ranma, let's hurry to your friend's place. I'm getting a little hungry." She said eliciting a chuckle from the martial artist.
"All right Kiddo we'll get there soon." He said trotting off, Akane looked at the water a moment longer before jogging to catch up. The moon going back behind the clouds…
Akane poke her Okonomiyaki with her chopsticks, My mind must have been playing tricks on me… but if it wasn't. she glanced back to the girl as she giggled. If it wasn't then what is she? She blinked as she noticed Ukyo waving a spatula in front of her eyes.
"Yo Akane, you okay? Your Zoning out." The cook said with a slight note of concern. She had a tentative friendship with the young Tendo, it probably could be more if they weren't vying for the same man. Akane gave an embarrassed smile.
"Sorry, been thinking too much today. I blame the English quiz." She lied causing the cook to nod.
"Yeah that one was a killer. Ugh, sometimes that brat of a teacher really gets me." she grumbled shaking her head. "But not much that can be done when it's over. Just have to put it aside and not think about it." She said with a slight smirk to which Akane nodded to, the cook then shifted her attention back to her other guests. "Enjoying your meals?"
"Tasty as always Ucchan." Ranma said cheerfully bringing a slight eye twitch to his other fiancee, which twitched again at the cooks familiar response.
"Thanks Ranchan, I aim to please." She said with a wink flipping another Okonomiyaki onto his plate. "What about you sugar?" she asked the young girl who gave a pleased 'Mm' as she finished another bite.
"This is really good!" she said excited, "I've never had Okonomiyaki before. I would love to get the recipe so I could try it myself." She said with a bright smile. The cook smiled back with a raised eyebrow.
"So you like to cook Sasami-chan?"
"Yup! It's a hobby of mine" she said before taking another happy bite.
"Well, If you have the time to come before the lunch rush on the weekend I could show you how. We hardly get anyone before eleven." Ukyo said casually as she expertly worked on her meal. Bouncing a little in the seat the blue hared girl smiled brightly.
"Really? You wouldn't mind?"
"Nah, not at all."
"Thanks, I'll be sure to come by then." Sasami said with a firm nod, Ukyo chuckled a little.
"I'll be sure to set the time aside Sasami-chan." The two exchanged a smile before Ranma brought his presence known now that his plate was clean.
"Hey Ucchan are you going on the field trip thing Hinako was blabbing about next week?" Ukyo smirked.
"Why wouldn't I? I love my shop and all but I really need to take a break. A couple of days off will be nice." Akane gave a slight nod at that statement.
"Mm, it would be nice to get away for a couple of days. No Kuno is always an improvement" she added with a nod getting a laugh from the cook. "What about you Ranma?"
"Nah, Principle Kuno managed to get me written off. He won't let me go, feh." Ranma snorted obviously annoyed. "I'll find something to do."
"Can he really do that?" Akane said blinking in surprise, this was the first she'd heard of it.
"Aww I'm sorry to hear that Sugar." Ukyo frowned, she had been looking forward to spending some time with him. Always her luck.
"Apparently so… he may be a loon but he is the principle." Ranma grumbled. But he gained a smirk back, "Don't worry though I'll think of something to keep things interesting.
"It always gets interesting with you around, whether you try to make it or not." Akane said sticking out her tongue.
"Ah shut up…" he grumbled. Akane only giggling back, Ukyo hiding her own snickers. The three classmates chatted a little longer into the night, little Sasami listening in with a small smile. But as the saying goes it was late before they knew it and the little girl had fallen asleep in her seat. Giving their good byes to the chef Ranma and Akane started back off to the dojo, the blue hared girl sleeping soundly in his arms. Keeping a companionable silence Akane looked over to Ranma who was giving a small smile to the little girl in his arms as she snuggled closer. It was a really sweet scene, but at the same time the ghostly image of the older woman was entering her mind. Who was this girl really? She tried to put it from her mind as they approached home… it was probably her imagination anyway.
A few more days past as Sasami got used to life around Nerima. Life with the Tendo's wasn't too different than what she was used to on the shrine. Though it was a little calmer and there was far less collateral damage. Ranma was great fun to hang around with and would make time to spend time with her, the same could be said for the oldest daughter Kasumi. Sasami had been doing what she could to help her out around the house and she accepted it gratefully.
Her Original assessment of Akane had been overturned, the youngest girl was definitely a good person but she tended to tip toe around her. She'd been like that since there night out. The middle Tendo Nabiki hardly spared her a glance, she seemed to be wrapped up in some project, Kasumi had assured her that happened from time to time. Much could be said for Ranma's rather boisterous fiancees of Shampoo and Kodachi, both tended to be quite loud and destructive. Their personalities striking far too close to Ryoko and her sister for her preference… at least Ukyo was nice. The cook often made an effort to talk to her and of the three was the only one that would talk to her while Ranma was around. Overall it was mostly an improvement… save for all the free time.
It had been a productive day working with Kasumi, so productive in fact they actually finished the standard chores early. The eldest Tendo seemed to be the most confused at what to do, she'd never had free time this early in the morning. "Oh dear. Even if I started dinner now it would be cold by the time everyone got home." She muttered confused. "Thank you Sasami-chan, I've never finished this early… It has been such a long time since I've gotten to go to the library." She said softly. The littler girl scratched her head.
"yeah… um, Your welcome Kasumi-nee-chan." The former princess said looking out the window. It was a nice day for sure. "I think I might go on a little walk around town."
"Mm, well be careful. Don't come bat too late okay?"
"Hai!" the little girl ran upstairs to change into some cleaner clothes. Coming down a few moments later in jeans and one of her pink T-shirts, a sweater tied around her waist in case she got cold. "Bye, I'll back soon." She said getting her shoes at the door and scurrying out to the call of.
It was a little past noon from what she could tell, it was moderately busy but with most of the crazy martial artists in school it was a lot calmer. She strolled along the drainage canal as she had several times with Ranma. On path with the usual school route the teens would take but some noises caught her ears that drew her from the path. She stood outside a chain linked fence with an unreadable expression. On the other side a good amount of kids were sitting about in uniform eating their bentos and chatting happily. She griped the fence tightly and let out a sigh as she watched to girls her ages whisper and giggle. "School…" she said softly almost longingly. It was one earth custom she had always wanted to do… even back on Jurai she got all private tutors, there were never any kids her age around. The only friends she had was her family and the trees. She let out another soft sigh as a shadow fell over her. She looked up cautiously to see a stern looking women in a suit. "Um… Hello?"
"Hello… You know if your going to skip class at least have the decency to do it at home." The woman said sarcastically. Sasami blinked.
"What? But, I don't go to school." She tried to argue but was cut off.
"Don't give me that, what's you name girl?"
"…Sasami" she replied cautiously, a strong hand clamping onto her shoulder.
"Your Family Name."
"I, well..." she hesitated not sure if admitting being a ronin would be a good idea.
"Well!: The woman said firmly causing the girl to panic.
"Um, S-Saotome..." she said the first name that came to mind.
"Well Miss Saotome we have a place from trouble makers like you, come along." She said dragging the bewildered girl toward the school.
"I, But. Your making a mistake!" the girl protested as she was dragged inside.
To be continued…
AN- Ha Ha! I have returned… until my new computer gets fixed I had to go back to my old, empty computer. But I finally managed to write something to put up. I know people have been waiting for this story to update for ages, I never forgot it but it took me forever to free my writer's block from this plot. It's not perfect but it moves the story along. But in relooking at this story I realize that the title no longer fits my aim for this story, I may change the title sometime in the near future… and f I have my say I will be updating this again. At the very least quicker then I did last time (a nice easy goal to aim for). I want to thank everyone who kept this on alert, favorites, and C2s over the years. It means a lot to me.