By M. Zephyr
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 is a trademark of Rumiko Takahashi and VIZ Communications, and its characters have been borrowed without permission. This story was written for non-commercial purposes only.
Ranma x Akane. When desires are suppressed, they can emerge in unexpected fashion.
Warning. Intense scenes below. Not for minors.
Kasumi Tendo, eldest daughter of Soun Tendo, paused with her foot on the doorstep. She was on the verge of going out on her first date ever with Tofu Ono, the young doctor whom she had secretly loved for years. Walking beside her, Tofu stopped as well, wondering at her hesitation. Kasumi turned back to give her youngest sister a long, considering look.
When Doctor Tofu has suggested that she might accompany him to dinner and a movie, Kasumi hadn't realized that the other members of the household would also be away at the time. All of the other members, that was, except for her sister Akane, and her sister's fiancé Ranma. A fact which was the cause for her present concern.
One or the other of the two teenagers would be just fine, but both of them? Alone together? Given the stormy history of their relationship, this seemed a recipe for disaster. And in Akane's hands, any recipe was bound to end in disaster.
"Akane, are you sure that you and Ranma-kun will be all right by yourselves tonight? I could always stay ..."
"You will not!" her sister interrupted forcefully. "No way. You've waited too long for Doctor Tofu to come to his senses around you. You two are going out together and you are going to enjoy yourselves and that's an order!"
Behind Kasumi, Doctor Tofu looked chagrined at Akane's oblique reference to the insanity he had exhibited in Kasumi's presence in days past. However, his expression lightened as he glanced over at his lovely date with a boyish and self-deprecating grin. She smiled in response, casting her eyes down and blushing attractively.
"Akane is right," he remarked quietly. "She and Ranma are both eighteen now. They're adults. I'm sure we can trust them not to wreck the house while you're gone for a short time."
"Yeah! And it's only gonna be a few hours, right? We can do that." This opinion was offered by Ranma Saotome, Akane's aforementioned fiancé. The engagement was an arrangement between their fathers which the two teenagers accepted with outward reluctance. Ranma was the son of Soun Tendo's old friend Genma Saotome. He was also a semi-permanent guest in the Tendo house along with his parents, and quite possibly the greatest martial artist of his generation, at least in his opinion.
Thinking of the vocal, and frequently physical, resistance the couple showed to their engagement, Kasumi favored both Ranma and Tofu with a look which suggested they might have taken leave of their senses. Before she could say anything, however, Tofu replied.
"There, you see? There's nothing to worry about. Except losing our reservation by being late." He put his hand under Kasumi's elbow to help guide her down the walk.
Unfortunately, Ranma wasn't finished. "That's right. After all, Akane and I haven't fought nearly as much since we got back from China. I mean, you can barely count that window she knocked me through last week. Or that hole in the ceiling the week before that." Looking faintly horrified, Kasumi pulled her arm away from Tofu and stepped back toward the house. Obliviously, Ranma went on. "The wall in the dojo wasn't really our fault at all, and as for the ..."
His catalog of minor disasters was cut short with an 'oof' of expelled breath as Akane drove an elbow into his gut. Her smile now a bit strained, Akane said, "Just go. There won't be any trouble. I promise."
Although still dubious, Kasumi allowed Tofu to take her by the elbow once more and guide her to the gate. She stopped briefly to call back, "Remember. I want you to wash up after yourselves when you finish eating, and put away the dishes I left in the rack to dry."
"We will. We will," Akane promised, waving them away as if she were shooing geese. As they disappeared from sight, Akane rounded on the young man standing beside her, glaring at him with the deep exasperation which he always seemed to bring forth so easily in her.
"Honestly! Did you have to remind her of those incidents? They were accidents. Completely unavoidable. Were you trying to convince her to stay home?"
Ranma grew irritated in his own turn. "What are you going on at me about? Isn't that what I was saying? That they were accidents? I was only pointing out we used to be a lot worse."
If anything, Akane's glare intensified. With great effort she forced herself to calm down. "Never mind. Come on. Kasumi left something for us to have for supper." Leading the way to the kitchen, she muttered, "I just hope nobody comes over to cause trouble."
Ranma followed, pursing his lips thoughtfully as he considered the matter. After a moment he shook his head slowly. "Shouldn't happen. Let's see." He started counting off on his fingers. "The Amazons are in China and aren't due back for two weeks. Ukyo hasn't spoken to me since the, er, recent fiasco. Principal Kuno dragged his kids off on a vacation to Hawaii. I saw them kicking and screaming as they left." He paused, a wide smile spreading across his face at the memory. "Don't know what threats he used to make 'em go."
After one more happy contemplation of the scene, Ranma returned to his count. "Ryoga's been staying at Akari's farm, with that homing device clipped to his belt so she can track him down. Happosai is at the beauty contest in Kyoto which runs through day after tomorrow. Our fathers are at the martial arts tournament in Osaka and my mom is with them." He shuddered suddenly, remembering his mother's words. "On a second honeymoon, or so she said. Ick." He shuddered again. "Nabiki is away at college. Uh ... did I forget anyone?"
"Only random pests like Pantyhose Taro," Akane replied, frowning with thought. Finally she shrugged, conceding his point. "I suppose there's a marginal possibility we might actually enjoy some peace and quiet."
Assembling the meal which Kasumi had put together only required taking it to the table. Conscious of her youngest sister's culinary difficulties, the eldest had carefully selected foods which would need no heating or other preparation.
Akane and Ranma sat at the low table in the family room and began to eat. Out of long habit they sat beside one another, even though no one else was present. For a while they managed to eat in peace, conversing politely enough about minor events at school. Both expressed pleasure at the arrival of the weekend.
But peace was an unstable condition for these two.
It began with Ranma's innocently casual remark, "I sure am glad that Kasumi left dinner for us."
If he had left it at that, everything might have been all right. Unfortunately, his mouth kept going after his brain stopped. "Especially when you consider what we'd be having otherwise."
"What's that supposed to mean, baka!" the girl beside him shouted.
Akane's cooking was very much a sore point for her, a fact which Ranma knew perfectly well, even though his brain was frequently too slow to stop his mouth before it made yet another remark about it. There had been a time when any food Akane prepared would have been best used to clean the drains, but that was rarely the case any longer. Maybe her current efforts were still unpalatable most of the time, but they caused no worse reaction than a little nausea. In fact, a few of her dishes were even marginally edible, usually. If you were hungry enough.
And no one could say she didn't try!
Ranma knew all of these things, but at the moment his stomach was doing the talking. "You know what I mean," he insisted. "I'm just glad that tonight I won't have to worry about whether I'll be able to keep my food down. That's all."
Through long experience, the family had learned the value of durable tableware. With a snarl of rage, Akane picked up the metal teapot in front of her and whanged Ranma upside the head with it. The pigtailed boy somersaulted through the air from the force of the blow, but landed on his feet, shaking his head to clear it.
"What was that for?" he demanded, aggrieved, his face stinging where the pot had struck. He noticed that she had managed to dent the teapot, despite the advertised claims of the manufacturer. "All I said was I enjoyed the dinner!"
"Yeah!" Akane snarled back. "Especially since I didn't fix it, you mean!"
Feeling a little hot under the collar himself, Ranma put a finger to his chin and retorted, "Well, now that you mention it ..."
"You ... you ... baka!" She threw the pot in her hands at him. He dodged to one side, letting it fly past to strike the wall and clatter to the floor behind him.
"Whatsa matter, tomboy? Can't take honest criticism?" he sneered. "Can't cook and you can't hit me either. That wasn't even close."
The truth was, Akane was feeling a trifle ashamed about hitting him with the pot in the first place, so she hadn't exactly been trying to hit him when she threw it. Recently she'd begun to think that there might be a touch of dishonor in striking out at her infuriating fiancé with such implements, and had been trying to confine her attacks to fists, elbows and feet. But his jibe stung all the same.
"If it wasn't close, then why'd you dodge?" Akane demanded angrily. "Why don't you stand still for once and take it like a man?" She took one quick step forward, then pivoted in a blurring kick. She felt the ends of Ranma's hairs tickle the ball of her foot as he dodged the blow by mere millimeters.
"Slow as always," Ranma mocked, doing a back flip to dodge the snap kick which followed.
"Stand ... still!" she ordered.
"Make ... me!" he replied, deliberately mimicking her. Ranma's brief flare of anger was fading and he was enjoying the exchange. It wasn't that he intentionally set out to upset Akane, but he loved the passion she showed when her emotions were fully engaged, and this was always so when she was angry. At such times she burned with an inner fire that none of the girls who chased him could ever hope to match.
He dove away from another attack, heart thumping from the sight of the flames in her eyes and the color in her cheeks. Ranma regretted, after the fact, that his runaway tongue had thoughtlessly hurt her feelings yet again. He felt a touch of guilt for having prodded one of her sore spots, her cooking, without thinking. Even so, it was almost worth it to see her like this, so impassioned, so alive.
The objective martial artist who always resided within him, however buried, watched Akane's moves carefully. Inwardly he smiled as he saw how fast Akane was getting. Ranma wondered once again how she could fail to realize how much her speed had improved as a result of attempting to strike his dodging form whenever they sparred. One of these days, he thought smugly to himself, Shampoo was going to attack Akane again, and when that day came the Chinese girl was going to be in for a nasty surprise.
"Why won't you fight?" Akane growled as a punch slid past him, brushing his sleeve but making no contact with flesh.
The boy called out cheerfully, "Why should I bother fighting back when you can't hit me in the first place?" He began to circle around toward the shoji out to the yard, remembering that Kasumi would be upset if they damaged the house again. At the same time he kept a close eye on Akane, whose strikes were coming unexpectedly close.
"Because I'm a martial artist!" Akane snapped back. "Because I deserve to be taken seriously!"
"Nyaah, nyaah!" Ranma stuck out his tongue as he leaped over a kick, wincing inwardly but giving no outward sign as he felt her toes brush the cloth at his crotch. "Little tomboy can't hit me unless I let her."
Ranma landed lightly on his feet, immediately twisting to the side to dodge the heel which was rocketing straight toward him, when the impossible happened. He didn't make it. The heel connected with his chest, a glancing blow yet hard enough to send him flying. He crashed through the shoji behind him, tearing it down.
"Son of a ...!" He bounced back to his feet, one hand pressed to the pain in his ribs, impressed in spite of himself. "That was ... whoa!" Ranma cursed himself for forgetting momentarily that he was in the middle of a fight. He blocked the blow clumsily, stumbling back into the next shoji, tearing that one down as well. A piece of the wood frame stabbed him painfully in the back.
"Dammit!" Ranma felt his own temper flare again. "Back off for a minute!" Akane ignored his words, driving in, exactly as he would have done against an opponent. He swept her legs out from under her to buy himself a moment.
Akane felt shock shutting down her mind, although instinct took over as she used an arm to break her fall and then spun back to her feet. Ranma had just struck her! Ranma Saotome, who had refused to ever lay a hand on her in any previous sparring match, had just knocked her feet out from under her! It was ... impossible!
It was ... exhilarating!
It was ... preventing her from exacting the retribution she was trying to inflict upon him. She leaped through the air at him. He started to dodge, but her foot shot out in a kick which ... would have connected. Except he grabbed her foot. And yanked on it. And sent her sailing through the air.
Twisting at the last moment, Akane struck the wall with her shoulder, knocking a hole in it. As she fell to the floor she was unable to get her feet fully underneath her, and landed on one hip. Instantly she was on her feet again, and two quick steps brought her once more within striking range of her opponent. The pain in her shoulder and hip simply fueled her fury all the more greatly.
Ranma made the grave mistake of assuming his throw had effectively ended the fight. Therefore, as he stepped back into the room, his reaction was perhaps a tenth of a second too slow. Akane caught him solidly with a punch that sent him flying upward to shatter plaster in the ceiling, followed by falling into the middle of the table on which they had eaten, smashing it into kindling.
Despite the considerable shock that Akane could manage to do something like that to him, Ranma's reflexes were deeply ingrained. He leaped back out of the wreckage, in the direction of the person the martial arts computer inside his brain identified as his "opponent." He was also feeling the pain of quite a number of bruises now, and anger had become a significant portion of his mental state as well. At the same time, he was more than a little upset over his own carelessness, directing a portion of his anger inward. He should have been able to dodge that last one.
As Akane closed with him once more, Ranma swept her first punch to the side with a block hard enough to raise a bruise on her forearm. He slid his head to the side only to the degree necessary for the punch from her other fist to miss.
His normal reservations tossed aside, acting on pure instinct, Ranma attacked, barely pulling his punch at the last moment. Even so, the heel of his palm struck her in the gut with enough force to cause Akane to double forward with an agonized whoosh of expelled breath. Grabbing her by the shirt and one leg, he threw her over his shoulder. It wasn't until he heard the crash when she smashed through the wall and into the hallway beyond that he realized what he'd done.
"Oh hell!" Ranma groaned, looking toward the hole in worry. He almost ran after to make sure she wasn't seriously hurt, but instead caught himself and peered cautiously through the opening. Consequently he wasn't caught too badly by surprise when Akane jumped through the doorway off to his side and attacked again. He dove backward over her kick, rolled on the floor, and leaped to his feet.
This was getting ridiculous. It was time to put an end to it before he hurt Akane. When she launched another lightning quick attack on him, Ranma diverted her kick with his own leg, grabbed her arm as she tried to punch him, twisted it up behind her back, and pulled her into a close embrace, face to face. He grabbed her other arm as well, pinning it to his side.
He smirked down at her, infuriatingly male. "So whatcha gonna do now?" he teased.
Akane was livid, pressed up against his chest, looking up into his eyes centimeters from her own. He was too close. Too tight. He was pressed against her in places where he had no right to be pressed. She tried flexing her muscles, but could not break free from his grip and the effort only made the problem worse. It was affecting her breathing, being held so tightly. It made her stomach feel odd.
Her mind ran rapidly over possible ways to break the hold. Unfortunately, he knew what he was doing. Akane squirmed, trying to get a better position, but she couldn't get any leverage. He had her arms securely locked in place. His strength prevented her from throwing her weight to either side. Most annoyingly there was no way that she could get a knee up between his legs.
She glared at him, at his face, enraged by the silly, confident grin he sported. His face, which had haunted her dreams for a long time now. She gazed into his eyes, seeing the fire, the spirit, which matched her own. She burned to win, or at the very least, to make him pay much more highly for his victory. She looked at his grin again, at the curve of his lips ...
Akane licked her own lips, as a sudden, insane, almost irresistible thought occurred to her. She hesitated for only a moment, doubting the wisdom of such a plan, before she cast her doubts aside. ‹What the hell,› she thought to herself, her heart skipping beats as it sped up, ‹the name of the school is Anything Goes.›
Without warning, Akane suddenly leaned her face forward, closing the distance between them, and kissed Ranma firmly, right on the lips.
Ranma had, up until that moment, been feeling very cocky. He had been convinced that the bout was over, that he'd won, naturally. At the same time, he'd found himself reluctant to let her go.
When Akane made her move, she caught him entirely by surprise, in more ways than one. His mind seemed to splinter, shards of thought falling all around him.
‹Mouth. Lips. Kiss. Akane. Kissing. Akane's lips. Akane's kissing me!› His nerves caught fire. His brain melted. He was instantly and excruciatingly aware of every point of contact between their bodies, some much more so than others. He stiffened reflexively and relaxed his grip at one and the same time.
Akane's entire focus narrowed to Ranma's lips on hers, hers on his. Her thoughts seemed to be shutting down, one after another, as her senses overloaded. When his hold on her loosened, ever so slightly, she sighed and moved in even closer. Yet some corner of her mind managed, somehow, to remember her intentions. She allowed herself another few seconds to enjoy the kiss. Then in one sudden motion Akane broke her arms free and grabbed the front of Ranma's shirt. She fell backward and, with a mighty heave, sent the stunned boy flying through the air. He vanished through the doorway into the hall.
But he didn't land in the hall. His body described an arc which crossed the hallway, passed through the doorway on the other side, and ended in the kitchen. Where, instead of landing on the floor, he then slammed into the kitchen counter with an involuntary grunt. As he collapsed to the floor, the rack of dishes which had been left for them to put away followed him down, dropping several plates and bowls to shatter on top of his head, hitting him one after another like a scene from some cartoon.
Ranma slowly climbed back to his feet, short of breath, his mind in a whirl. Akane had kissed him. She had kissed him!
His eyes narrowed to slits. She had kissed him, yes, in order to break his hold! As a tactic! It had been nothing more to her.
More painful than the impact, more humiliating than the dropping dishes, was the sense of betrayal. He had dreamed, many times, of kissing Akane one day. Pleasant dreams. Exciting dreams. Dreams he had feared might never come to pass.
Ranma rolled his shoulders, stretching them, barely aware that he was grinding his teeth. His hands clenched and unclenched. For her to use a kiss as a tactic to win ... that meant war! His breathing slowed as he filled his lungs deeply.
"That ... does ... it!" he announced in a loud, flat voice.
In the room across the hall, Akane was having some difficulty recovering from the success of her stratagem. She was simply standing there, staring sightlessly outside, her mind's eye helplessly replaying the scene over and over. Suddenly she was struck from behind, propelled forward while held in a tight grip. The remaining shoji crashed down in ruin as the couple landed on the engawa. They rolled over once before coming to a halt on the very edge, just short of falling into the yard.
Ranma saw to it that he ended up on top, straddling her thighs, holding her wrists pinned to the floor on either side of her head. Akane lay there, looking up at him, a stunned expression on her face. The fire in his eyes held her mesmerized.
Ranma's breath caught in his throat. He licked his lips, feeling a hunger he refused to recognize. For some reason his heart was thumping erratically. Part of him wanted to run off in terror at the strength of his emotions, and a vision of how Akane would react, but he refused to give in. She had started this.
"So, you want to play, do you?" he asked, trying to make the words sound threatening. They came out hoarsely instead. Breathy. Promising.
And then his mouth was on hers, lips against her lips, searing her, shattering every coherent thought she had. Those lips satisfied some hunger within her, while inflaming it at the same time. His tongue tasted her lips, traced them. Without thinking, she parted her lips slightly and it slipped inside, barely touching her teeth before retreating. Her own tongue followed after, seeking his. Then sanity returned as it struck her what they were doing.
‹How dare he? How dare he kiss me ... Fren... like that?!›
She told herself that she was outraged, but it was fear that lent her strength now. Fear at the intensity of her own reactions. Akane yanked her knees forward to slam them into Ranma's back with all the force of a mule's kick, sending him flying over her head. But he held fast to her wrists, pulling her after him. Ranma landed hard on his back, and Akane twisted in midair to land on top of him, pulling his hands up with hers and crossing them over his head. She broke his hold as his grip loosened, instantly grabbing his own wrists. Their roles were reversed, in that she was now pinning him down.
‹What do I do now?› she asked herself desperately. If she tried to get up, he'd grab her or come after her. She'd certainly need a distraction first. Akane adjusted her seating slightly, while trying to form some plan. Come to think of it, she kind of approved of their current position. Much better than the previous. And as for a distraction, well, turnabout was fair play.
"Let's see how you like it," she muttered, and leaned forward to clamp her mouth down on Ranma's. Acting purely on instinct, he lifted his head, bringing his lips up to meet hers.
After a few moments of mindlessly, blissfully enjoying the sensations, it began to dawn on Ranma that there was something wrong with their positions, that this wasn't going as he'd intended when he launched his attack from the kitchen. She had humiliated him, and he was supposed to be paying her back. He was the one who was supposed to be in control. He was the one who was supposed to be kissing her.
Ranma started testing her hold, without breaking the kiss. He quickly realized that it wouldn't be easy to get free. He was surprised to note that he felt proud of her, that she had achieved a position of considerable leverage from which he couldn't escape easily. Too bad she was using it on him. In fact, he wasn't sure how he was going to get out of this without seriously hurting her, which he was loathe to do.
As her opponent squirmed underneath Akane, he unintentionally rubbed himself up against very sensitive portions of her anatomy, which were growing increasingly sensitive as a result. Instinctively trying to maintain control of the situation, Akane had to constantly adjust her own position as well, which only made the situation worse. It never occurred to her to stop kissing him. That, after all, had been her plan, though she had forgotten that there had been more to the plan.
As the minutes ticked over, Akane became aware of something ... happening. Where she was sitting. Something pressing against her. Something ...
Eyes widening in shock, Akane jerked upward to break the contact. It was only a few centimeters, and she immediately tried to recover on realizing her mistake, but it was too late. The balance shifted and she found herself flying through the air once more.
Both of them surged to their feet, faces flushed, eyes burrowing into one another, looking a bit wild. With no signal they leaped toward each other simultaneously, fists and feet slashing forward. Limbs moving in blurs, strike after strike was blocked, Akane striving for all she was worth to get through, Ranma no longer dodging, watching for an opening. He still held back his full strength, almost subconsciously, unwilling to risk injuring her.
Akane gripped his shirt, attempting a throw. Ranma blocked hard, sweeping her arms to the sides. Unfortunately she didn't relax her grip on the fabric and his shirt tore away, revealing the rock solid muscles of his chest and back. Akane's eyes widened as Ranma looked down in dismay.
"That was my favorite shirt!" he exclaimed.
"Oh, Ranma! I'm sorry, I ..."
"Not yet, you aren't," he retorted, with a sensation like wild laughter echoing in his head. He drove in once more, somehow curling around and behind her. Akane felt a tug at her back. There was a sound of ripping cloth, and she looked down to find that her shirt was gone, the lacy white bra she had on underneath revealed for any to see.
"Now you're sorry!" he smirked.
Face reddening, she gave a shriek and spun around, snapping off a kick faster than any she had ever before achieved. She was determined to wipe that smirk off his face if it was the last thing she did. She saw his expression change to fear just before her kick propelled him through the wall at his back.
Without pause Akane leaped through the hole his body had made. The small table in the front hall was overturned, the telephone which usually rested upon it lying on the floor, dial tone faintly audible. The only other sound was the heavy breathing from both teenagers. Ranma was just getting to his feet in the genkan, slippers from the rack he had knocked over falling off of his body as he hastily stood.
Akane tried a flying kick, but Ranma caught her feet and pushed her off again, sending her spinning toward the stairs. He was right behind her, tackling her in an attempt to pin her again. Twisting as they fell, Akane managed to drive her elbow into his stomach, knocking Ranma away and gaining a bit of space.
Not much space, however, and certainly not enough. Ranma grabbed one of her wrists, using it as a fulcrum to spin around and slam her back against the wall near the kitchen. His hands grabbed for her shoulders to hold her against the wall, but the thumb of his right hand hooked under the bra strap. Not noticing, he continued the move, his shove tearing the front clasp and leaving the cups hanging uselessly to either side of her breasts.
For a moment, a brief moment, Ranma froze, unable to look away. His limbs trembled. His breathing grew ragged.
It wasn't that he was unaccustomed to the sight of breasts, considering his own curse which changed him into a girl at the touch of cold water. It wasn't even that he hadn't seen these particular breasts before - he had, through accident or coincidence, on a handful of memorable occasions. Still, they were Akane's breasts, and that compelled a moment of awe.
A moment which was more than long enough for Akane's blow to send him crashing to the side, as she sprinted down the hallway. Except she started running without taking time to consider which direction to run. So she found herself running away from the stairs which could have led up to her bedroom. Grimly, Akane set her goal for the furoba, where she could get a yukata, or maybe a shirt from the laundry, and then see about murdering her fiancé. She wanted to murder him, yes? It was hard to think over the roaring of her blood in her ears.
Get to the furoba first. Cover up. Then decide.
And try to run faster, because the sound of pounding feet is right behind her.
Unwilling to have her arms tangled by the ruined and dangling bra, Akane shrugged it off as she slammed open the door to dive into the changing room. She got two steps into the room before Ranma crashed into her, causing them both to fall into the door to the inner room. With a crack the door came off of its rails, and they fell to the tiled floor beyond.
Once more Akane found herself lying on her back, pinned to the floor, with Ranma straddling her. This time his feet were hooked over her legs, preventing her from kicking her knees upward. Akane blushed furiously as she realized that her bare breasts were fully exposed to his gaze, and her pinned hands left her with no means to cover them. Her blush deepened as she realized he was looking right at them. Staring at them.
"Let me go!" Akane demanded, every word aflame.
Ranma's eyes lifted to meet hers. He smiled, and there was something very hungry in that smile. Something which stole her breath away, and summoned a matching hunger from within her.
"No," he answered quietly, with finality. Slowly he leaned forward, very deliberate, very controlled. Akane tried to turn her head to the side, but his lips found hers anyway. His chest brushed across the points atop her breasts, and Akane's lips parted in an involuntary moan, her hips bucking up against his. As an effort to escape it was sadly ineffective.
On the other hand, the effect on Ranma was electrifying. Suddenly, he couldn't get enough of her. He forgot about the fight, forgot about control and leaned forward, kissing her harder, with increasing desire. His tongue traced her lips, seeking entry, probing for an opening. Akane parted her lips briefly and he was in.
Despite the reactions of her body, despite the odd pleasure sweeping through her, Akane had no intention of giving up. Ranma had her mostly immobilized, but she did have some movement of her feet. Her left foot brushed against something.
Concentrating on the object at her foot distracted her from Ranma, from the strange impulse to surrender that was undermining her determination. Slowly, she managed to push it, sliding it closer until she could reach it with her right foot as well. Whatever it was seemed to be fairly heavy. Finally able to press her feet firmly to either side of the object, Akane gave a jerk upward, sending the unknown item flying into the air. She had to hope it would provide enough of a distraction to allow her to break free. While she still could.
Ranma felt her motions, of course, but he interpreted them as more of the same writhing which had set him off in the first place. The sudden jerk of her feet seemed pointless and ineffectual. Thus he was totally unprepared for the cascade of cold water which drenched him from the pail Akane had launched into the air. His curse took hold, his body transformed from male to female, turning him into a girl several centimeters shorter and kilograms lighter.
Akane realized what had happened immediately as she felt the water pour down across them. With a heave to one side, she flipped them both over, so that Ranma was now the one flat on his back. Making sure that she had the red-haired girl firmly pinned down, Akane gave him an evil grin. She lowered her eyes to stare at his breasts, long enough to make him squirm, before raising them to meet his own eyes again. She leaned forward to kiss him, deliberately rubbing her chest against his, and Ranma found himself moaning at the friction and the sensations it sent shooting through him.
After allowing this to continue for several minutes, Ranma realized that he had an advantage which he could exploit. Both of them were now wet, and both they and the floor were slippery. With a sudden jerk he broke his hands free of Akane's, then tossed her off of him.
Ranma stalked toward Akane, who backed away warily, her bare chest now seemingly forgotten. Ranma spoke quietly, "If anyone around here is going to be doing the kissing, it's gonna be me. Why don't you just give in now, Akane?"
"Ha!" It came out explosively. "You think I'm going to let you molest me? If anything of the sort is going to happen, then I'm going to be the one doing it."
Akane spun an untelegraphed roundhouse kick at Ranma. He ducked under it, but she leapt over the leg sweep he attempted. When her foot touched back down, it slipped on the wet floor, and she was suddenly falling. With a murmured expletive, Ranma grabbed for her, but ended up slipping himself. Together they tumbled into the hot water which filled the furo.
A second later their heads broke the surface of the water, spluttering. Their arms were wrapped around each other, holding together tightly. Thanks to the hot water, Ranma was male once more, and he noticed how Akane's breasts were pressed into his chest just as she noticed that something lower down and harder was pressed into her belly.
With a strangled cry of surprise Akane tried to leap out of the water. Ranma grabbed for her, but only succeeded in snagging the waistband of her sopping sweatpants. Akane fell to her knees outside the furo.
The teenager glanced back to see what had tripped her. There, wrapped around her ankles, were her sweatpants and panties, a fact she quickly confirmed by glancing at the rest of her bare flesh. Even worse, Ranma had them in a tight grip, as he stared at her. Akane gulped heavily, before the flames of righteous fury rose within her, accompanied by another source of heat for which she had no name.
The thought echoed through her skull like a peal of thunder. ‹That pervert is trying to strip me completely!› The need to pulverize him was intense, but just at the moment her legs were still tangled up in her pants. Worse, she was certain he had no intention of letting go without a struggle. The boiling fire in her veins overrode any embarrassment. Akane yanked her legs free, kicked the pervert in the face, then jumped to a standing position to finish the job.
When she tripped, Ranma at first just sat there in the hot water staring at Akane's nude body. He sensed that things had gone too far, but was unable to move, to respond, even to release the pants which he held. He struggled mentally to reassert control over his body, so that he could call a truce, before anything else could happen.
Then he felt a foot ram into his face, knocking him backward. All thoughts of a truce flew out of his head as his temper slipped its bonds once again. He jumped out of the furo while dropping the pants, dodged a punch from his fiancée, and knocked her back into the water.
"Die pervert!" Akane shouted, jumping out once again, aiming a kick at Ranma's nose. He dodged but was distracted by the sight the lifted leg presented, and his head rocked as a followup punch connected.
Spinning to the side to take himself out of range and gain a few seconds to recover, Ranma yelled, "Stop calling me a pervert! I ain't never done nothing perverted!"
Akane snarled right back, "And I suppose it was a bunch of invisible oni who tore off all my clothes? Left me naked? While you're still dressed? Stop dodging!" Her rapid kicks and punches were failing to connect as Ranma wove around them.
"Fine!" Ranma shouted in turn. He leaped back to gain some space. "If being dressed makes me a pervert ..." His anger leaving him no space to think clearly, he reached down, grabbed a handful of his pants and boxers, and tore them off of his body. "There! Satisfied!"
'Satisfied' was about as far from a description of Akane's current state of mind as it was possible to get. The roaring heat within her, both the anger and that other something, doubled in temperature. With a wordless howl Akane leaped feet first at Ranma, and this time he misjudged by a fraction as her foot caught him a glancing blow, sending him tumbling.
Akane jumped after him, but Ranma continued rolling, coming to his feet and brushing her attack aside. As he did so, his hand brushed over her breast, and he jerked the hand back as if burned. Akane spun back around with her leg out low, trying for a leg sweep, only to have Ranma hop above it with contempt. He grabbed her as she turned, hoping he could immobilize her, somehow.
Akane found herself in another clinch, her upper arms trapped at her sides, with Ranma's arms across her lower ribs, one of the arms resting along the lower curve of her breasts. Her forearms had some freedom of motion, and she tried to push back behind her, pressing her hands against him, seeking leverage to shove him away. In doing so, her right hand came in contact with something firm, which immediately stiffened further, the end brushing lightly against her buttock.
The sensation of Akane's fingers, coming into contact with him there, was too much for Ranma. He groaned and his grip loosened. Akane twisted under his arms, trying desperately not to think about what she must have touched just now, and her open palm struck solidly against Ranma's chest, shoving him back.
Akane's foot snapped up from the floor for Ranma's chin, only to be stopped on meeting his crossed forearms. Her next two rapid punches were swept to each side as he closed. When his arms encircled her, the young man proclaimed in a deep and ragged voice, "I'm going to make you hold still if it's the last thing I do!" His leg snaked behind to trip her. Then they were falling.
Ranma had one of his arms across Akane's back, the hand of his other arm cushioned against the back of her head. As she struck the floor Akane's hands slapped down, helping to break the fall. Between their efforts, Akane suffered no injury from the impact, and barely any pain, although the breath was forced from her lungs as Ranma fell atop her. Instinctively, both of the martial artists instantly took stock of themselves as muscles tensed for their next moves.
And both froze, shocked into absolute motionlessness, at the reports they got back from their bodies.
Akane felt something pressed against her, between her legs, spreading her slightly. A little painfully.
Ranma felt himself within, if only just barely, an opening which pressed tightly all around him. Burning hot. Slick. He couldn't convince his lungs to breathe. His thoughts were as frozen as his muscles.
Akane tried to force her brain to work. She had imagined many times how such a moment might take place. In fantasies, in daydreams. Usually it involved a wedding first. Though not always. Somehow she had never pictured feeling the floor, the cold, wet tiles of the bathing room, pressing against her back. Had never considered that this event might happen by accident.
Did she want to go forward? Finish this? Even though he had never said that he wanted to marry her? Never told her, to her face, that he loved her?
Could she still back out? Shove him away? Claim that the penetration was so minor that it didn't count?
Would they be able to look each other in the eyes later if they went through with this? Would they be able to look each other in the eyes if they didn't?
Did she really want this?
‹Yes.› A breathless whisper in her mind, with all the gentle strength of a typhoon behind it.
"Ranma," Akane whispered. Slowly he turned his face a few millimeters, looked into her eyes, still unable to form his own thoughts.
She licked her lips, then continued. "Maybe ... maybe this is right. Maybe this is the only way you and I could ... But I need to know. This is too important. No more lies. No more pretending. I need the truth, need to hear you say it. Do you love me?"
Ranma stared down at her, desperate to think, to speak, to come up with the answer. Looking at the hope in her eyes, knowing what he had done, any thought of further denial was out of the question. The consequences of answering that question honestly no longer mattered. Slowly he nodded his head up and down. Letting his face drop down beside her, Ranma whispered hoarsely into her ear, "I love you."
"Thank you," Akane whispered back, boundless happiness resonating in her words.
Then her voice changed, a hint of her previous anger to be heard once more. "But not like this. It's going to be my decision, not yours!" With a heave, she flipped them both over, Ranma landing on his back with Akane on top of him, knees to either side. The movement had separated them for a moment, but Akane reached underneath with one hand to hold him in place, then forced herself down in one firm motion until her hips rested on his thighs. Her teeth drew blood from her lower lip, and she exhaled raggedly once she was fully down.
Ranma's eyes rolled up in his head.
Akane groaned at a feeling of fullness unlike anything she had ever before experienced. The feeling of being stretched warned the young martial artist that she was going to be sore later. She took several deep breaths, releasing each one slowly. Then she used her legs to lift herself centimeter by centimeter, stopped, and gradually lowered herself once more. On reaching bottom she changed direction, moving upward again. Then down again. A moan forced itself past her lips.
Ranma was barely aware of anything beyond the sensations he was getting from where their bodies were joined. His thoughts were scattered, taking intense pleasure in the moment, rejoicing in the fact that he had admitted his love and she had apparently accepted it, trying to cope with the idea that this was really happening. The other girls might have freely given this gift to him, but Akane was the only one from whom he had ever wanted it, and he had at times despaired that it would ever come to pass.
With sudden clarity, Ranma looked into the future, at the prospect of marrying Akane. He wondered what it was about the idea of marriage which had so spooked him. Especially if it included this! Marriage, a life together, children ...
Ranma tried to struggle up onto his elbows. Akane shoved him back down, hissing, "Hold still!" She continued the slow, ecstatic rhythm.
"But Akane!" Ranma tried to complain. "What about ... you know ... what if ... you could ... pregnant!"
Akane raised an eyebrow. "Now you think about that? Do you even have any condoms?"
"Well, no," he managed to get out in a choked voice. "But ..."
Akane shook her head and laid a finger across his lips. "Don't worry. Kasumi insisted a long time ago that I get a prescription for birth control pills. I argued till I was blue in the face that there was no way I was going to let you ..., but she just kept saying, 'You never know.' And you know how impossible it is to say 'no' to Kasumi for long."
"So ... it's safe?" Ranma asked in whispered hope.
She nodded. "Yes, baka. Now how about paying a little attention to what we're doing." She lifted his hands and pressed them against her breasts, hissing in pleasure at the contact, moaning aloud when he tentatively caressed her.
Several minutes passed during which the couple concentrated on becoming familiar with these new feelings. Ranma felt the pressure building up within him, and began a quiet struggle to hold off for Akane's sake. As the prospect of maintaining control looked more and more hopeless, he thought of a few times he had explored his female form, and gently moved one of his hands down from Akane's breast, tracing across her taut stomach, until she gasped as he reached his goal between her legs.
Akane's motions became more erratic, and little gasps escaped her lips. She closed her eyes in pleasure as she bucked against him. Finally, with a drawn out wail, she froze in place, shuddering. A look of immense relief crossed Ranma's features as his hips jerked up against her spasmodically. Akane slowly collapsed forward until she was lying upon him.
After several minutes of lassitude, Ranma tried to speak, cleared his throat, then tried again. "Uh ... this might be kind of an awkward moment to ask, but ... will you marry me?"
Akane opened her eyes, startled, to look into his blue eyes gazing at her from centimeters away. She chuckled helplessly, before replying, "Baka! What are we going to tell our children when they ask how you proposed to me?"
"Dunno," he said seriously. "But that sounded sorta like a yes. Was that a yes?"
"Yes." She leaned forward and kissed him softly on the lips. Then she pulled herself up and off of him, wincing slightly as they came apart. When she climbed to her feet Akane wobbled for a moment, feeling dizzy. "Whoooh!" she exclaimed, steadying herself. "I think my head came unattached at some point in there."
Ranma grinned with a feeling of superiority, which disappeared when he almost fell over as he tried standing himself. He looked around half-heartedly for his pants before remembering how he had shredded them. Sounding sated, he suggested, "I guess we oughta head upstairs and get some fresh clothes, then start cleaning up." He headed for the door.
Akane followed after, grabbing a small towel on the way through the changing room to dab at herself self-consciously. "Guess so." Now that it was over, she was feeling horribly embarrassed, but also wildly exultant. It felt so weird to be walking naked with Ranma without pounding him. At the same time, the knowledge that he had finally, officially, proposed was causing her feet to feel like they were walking on air. It was so strange that she was compelled to say something to reestablish a feeling of normalcy. "Well, at least for once, I can claim that I won when we sparred."
Her pigtailed fiancé came to a complete stop in the hallway. "What ... did you say?" He paused only for a moment, turning to look back at her over his shoulder, eyes narrowed. "How do you figure you won?"
"Easy." Akane shrugged. "I was the one on top. The one in control."
"That's ... that's ... I sure as hell didn't lose!"
Akane patted his cheek as she walked past. "There, there. Don't let it get you down."
Ranma was flabbergasted, watching the sway of her bare hips as she strolled down the hall. His teeth ground together. In two quick strides he caught up, grabbed her wrist, and yanked her back against him, crushing her against his chest. Looking down into Akane's wide eyes, he announced forcefully, "I always win in the end!"
Akane's eyes narrowed in determination, though her inner euphoria kept a smile on her lips. "Not this time you don't!" Both of her palms struck his chest simultaneously, knocking him backward, although he managed to keep himself from falling.
Akane turned to walk away again, but kept him in her peripheral vision. When Ranma jumped toward her, she spun around, kicking. He dodged, colliding with the wall in doing so, and bounced off to meet her fist coming straight at him. Somehow he managed to interpose his hand, catching the fist at the cost of a stinging palm. Yanking back on the fist he held, Ranma caused Akane to stumble into the family room once more.
Akane whirled to face him, feeling the heat rising within her again. She watched his approach, with the advantage that she knew what he intended. In fact, it looked as if he had completely forgotten any fighting finesse in his eagerness. She grabbed his outstretched hands, falling backward. Ranma knew instantly what she was doing and, even though he could keep her from hurting him, he was helpless to prevent the throw. Akane's bent legs caught him in the stomach, then whipped out straight over her head, throwing him through the air. He spun head over heels several times before landing on his feet out in the yard, naked and embarrassed.
Wasting no more time, Akane ran up the stairs quickly. She flung open the door of her bedroom only to stop in shock at the sight of Ranma crouched in her windowsill, eyes dark with resolution. She gasped and tried to slam the door closed only to have it torn off its hinges, falling into the hall beside her, as he smashed through it.
"That was my door, baka!" she cried, grabbing and throwing him into the wall on the opposite side of the hall. Akane grunted as his foot caught her on the side, knocking her back into her bedroom.
"I'll fix it for you later," he responded sternly, stalking into the room after her. Akane raised her fists, prepared for whatever he might try. At the moment, neither of them bothered to waste any mental effort on being ashamed of their nudity.
Ranma raised his own fists, matching Akane's stance. "You're going down, Akane," he told her firmly.
Her eyes widened in shock. "I will not, you pervert!"
Ranma stared at her, bewildered. He reviewed his words in his head, then flushed darkly. "That's not what I meant!" His expression changed, grew thoughtful. "At least not today." Shaking his head to clear it of such thoughts, he turned calculating eyes back on his fiancée.
Akane watched him nervously. Somehow she had thought she need only reach her bedroom. But he was still coming for her, even here, and Akane knew she was in trouble. She knew how good he was, and for once he wasn't holding back against her ... or, well, at least he wasn't holding back as much as usual. Deciding that the best defense might be a good offense, she stepped forward and snapped a kick, watching in despair as he moved out of the way with ease, not even bothering to block.
Ranma's arms circled around her from behind, but he was still allowing thoughts of his goal to betray him into leaving openings. Akane's elbow shot back, driving into his stomach, lifting him from his feet. The pigtailed boy crashed into the wardrobe, pulling dresses and shirts down on top of himself. He bounced immediately back to his feet, shrugging the pieces of clothing aside.
Akane's punch shot out toward him, but Ranma leaped over it. Fingertips barely touching her outstretched arm, he flipped over her head, landing behind her and grabbing her around the waist immediately. With a strangled yelp, Akane felt him lift and throw her backwards. No, it wasn't precisely a throw - he was jumping with her, still holding her, twisting around so that he faced her.
Before she could make a move to shove him away or hit him, her breath exploded from her body as her back slammed into the mattress of her bed and Ranma landed with a thump on top of her. The bed collapsed, the box springs hitting the floor with a crash. Akane found her hands pinned once more, above her head. She looked up at the boy lying upon her. He had somehow managed to land between her legs.
Ranma's eyes burned into hers. "Surrender?" he asked.
Clenching her teeth she shook her head minutely from side to side. She tried to squirm, but stopped immediately, fires igniting inside her, as she realized what her lower regions were squirming against. She felt him harden, brushing against her most sensitive flesh, bringing forth from her an involuntary gasp.
"Are you sure?" he inquired. She stared back resolutely, but her mouth opened of its own will as he lowered his head and pressed his lips against hers. Akane moaned into his mouth, and her hips started to squirm again, in small rotations, uncontrollably.
Ranma pulled his lips back slightly. In a breathy voice he said, "I know it sounds strange to hear me say this, but sometimes winning isn't everything. Sometimes losing is just another way of winning." His lips brushed hers softly, drew back. "Are you willing to surrender? Until next time?"
Her breaths had shortened, her eyes half glazed. Akane wanted to feel his lips on hers again, wanted to feel him in her again, wanted to be joined with him, together with him, forever, never letting him go. She nodded. Ranma pressed forward. Akane felt her body stiffen, her neck arch, her mouth stretch open in a long exhalation of fulfillment. He paused, then slowly withdrew and pushed forward again.
Her hands were free again. She wrapped her arms around him, pressed a hand to the back of his head, locked her mouth against his. She was being borne forward on a tidal wave of emotion, relentlessly, knowing that it would soon crash upon her. A corner of her mind reflected that Ranma was right. Sometimes losing was another way of winning.
"Well, here we are," Tofu said outside the gate. "I want you to know that I truly enjoyed tonight, and I hope we can do this again soon."
Kasumi smiled at him. "I hope so, too, but there's no need to rush off. Please come inside and have some tea before you go. I also made some mochi earlier that I think you'll like."
As they stepped through the front door they were forced to stop and stare. At the scattered slippers. The overturned table. The telephone on the floor, emitting a strident buzzing noise. The hole in the wall, big enough for a person to walk through.
Moving robotically, Kasumi did just that, stepping through the hole into the family room beyond. She looked at the shattered table, the holes in the other walls, the plaster hanging from the ceiling, the remains of the shoji.
"Oh ... my. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my!"
"It looks like someone fought a war in here," remarked Tofu from behind her. "Am I mistaken, or before we left was I really so foolish as to say we could trust them not to wreck the house?" He paused, a frown appearing on his face. "And just where are they? It's awfully quiet. You don't suppose they really did kill each other, do you?"
Kasumi shook her head, unable to form further words. She walked to the doorway into the hall, wincing at the sight of the broken dishes in the kitchen, then turned toward the stairs. Mounting the steps quickly, she noted with relief that her own bedroom appeared to be intact. As she turned the corner, she winced at the sight of another bedroom door lying on the floor, the knob holding one side up.
Tofu had followed her upstairs. He now stepped around Kasumi and picked up the door, leaning it against the wall. They both moved quickly to the doorway from which it had come, half fearful of what they would find within.
On a mattress in the midst of the remains of the bed, Akane and Ranma were sleeping peacefully, totally unclothed. Ranma lay on his back, head on the pillow, one arm around Akane. She was lying on her side, curled up against him, head on his chest, one arm across him possessively. It was more than clear what the young couple had been doing before they fell asleep.
Kasumi took Tofu's arm and turned him around to face back out through the doorway. Blushing furiously, she tiptoed over to the bed, lifted a quilt from the foot, and covered the sleeping pair. Taking Tofu's arm again, she led him out of the room and back downstairs, though not before he paused long enough to move the door so that it mostly covered the doorway.
Down in the kitchen, Tofu sipped slowly at his tea. Every half minute or so he would shake his head, as he tried to make sense of what he had seen.
"It doesn't add up," he finally declared. "When we came in I said it looked like a war was fought in here. It still does. But that doesn't fit with what we saw upstairs."
Kasumi had also been thinking it over. She knew her sister and Ranma much better than Tofu did, and all of the frustrations they had been forced to deal with. "I think it does," she told him quietly, the words emerging slowly. "I think that perhaps a battle was the only way they could bring themselves to break down the walls they had built. To admit the love they have for each other."
Tofu looked at her in bemusement. "They couldn't admit they love each other without fighting first?" He shrugged helplessly. "I suppose it does explain what we saw."
They sipped their tea silently for several more minutes while Tofu reflected on a couple who made love by making war. He gazed toward the ceiling thoughtfully. "I wonder who won?"
Kasumi looked up at the ceiling as well, in the direction of the bedroom beyond. Her mouth lifted in a gentle smile. "I believe they both did."
The title is of course inspired by the slogan "Make love, not war." This is my first attempt at a lemon. I hope it turned out all right despite my intentional avoidance of being pornographically explicit.
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