Saving Akane
Part 3: Disappear…
By Azurite []

This fanfic, in no way, has anything to do with Saving Silverman or anything like that. O.o;;

Ranma ½ is the property of Rumiko Takahashi-sama, Viz Communications, Shogakukan, Shounen Sunday, Kitty... etc. etc. Not me. But this fic belongs to me, so before you distribute it anywhere, please let me know. Same goes for anyone who has the sudden need to thank/congratulate/dance around/flame/hit me. You can always IM me, to save yourself time, too: AIM is Meriellen5.

This is a drama-romance, twisting the events of the final Tankubon of Ranma-- Volumes 37 and 38. I seem to be fond of doing that as of late... ^.^ Wuahahaa... [too bad there aren't EMSiTs for Ranma fics, ne? 'Course, with all the competition out there for that, I'd never get in… *sniff*]

Anything wrong with this tidy new HTML format? Do tell. I'm trying to make it simple, neat, and easy to read, compliant to's rules. The "code" used in this fic is as follows:

[Panda Signs]
*Sound Effect/Action/Setting*

That's all, folks! Onwards with the story!

Act 3: The Hatchling

"The Jusenkyo Secret…" Hikari murmured, rifling through a small handbag she had with her. She withdrew a scroll wrapped tightly. The Phoenix People did not yet shred it; so far, they'd avoided that. But soon enough, the Phoenix people would figure out where she had gone. Of course, unless they were smart enough to realize that the strangers they'd been chasing since Jusenkyo had the ability to age at will with the Mirror of Change, well…

"Is everyone downstairs?" Hikari turned, standing up to her full height of 5'5". Kazeya nodded grimly; everyone involved in the Jusenkyo escapades—that is to say, Mousse, Shampoo, Ryoga, Genma, and Ranma—were all gathered downstairs. Where Shampoo and Mousse went, Cologne followed, especially in matters of importance such as this. The 'true identity' of Kazeya and Hikari had thus been disclosed, but none of the cursed ones –save Ranma, Genma, and Ryoga- knew of Hikari's metamorphosis from a child into a young woman.

"Then we better get going." Hikari took one last look at the room, sighed, and walked out, sliding the shoji door shut behind her.

As the two came downstairs, conversation below ceased. Cologne's eyes narrowed into slits, seeing Hikari a good eight years older than she had been in the restaurant. Since Kazeya's curse was already public knowledge to those present, it was no surprise to see him male—it was just the striking resemblance between the twins and their future parents.

Akane and Ranma, both sitting next to each other and looking as uncomfortable as they had ever been, had remained silent while the Tendo sisters and patriarch, and all the cursed ones, in addition to Cologne, talked about the Phoenix people. A general consensus had been reached regarding the winged people of Jusendo—their arrival could not be halted. Damage would be done, but at all costs, the Secret of Jusenkyo had to remain intact and safe. It could not fall into the hands of the Phoenix People—the effect would be much greater than the Jusenkyo Springs simply "drying up."

"Since we're all here…" Hikari started, settling down at the head of the table, Ranma and Akane to her right; Cologne, Shampoo, Mousse and Ryoga to her left. Soun and Genma were at the other end of the table, while Kazeya sat slightly behind her and to her right. Everyone had anxious expressions on their faces.

Hikari produced her mirror, while Kazeya brought out the Nanban. Settling both face-up on the table, they spoke.

"We could show you what would happen if the Phoenix People had gotten hold of the map—which they eventually did, following the attack on the Nekohanten that Ranma and Akane saw." Ranma and Akane both nodded at the memory. They'd skimmed over the details about what had happened in their "future" with the others, but leaving out the details—such as when Ranma's head had been buried in Akane's chest, or when Ranma had seen Akane's future self stare at his other future-self worriedly, as the latter packed.

"But it's pretty obvious what would have happened next." Kazeya stated, his head falling. Out of the corner of his eyes, he noted how his future parents were both tense—sitting close to each other without being outwardly obvious about it. It seemed as though their father in this time was far different than the one they knew.

Under his breath, Kazeya murmured something— "It's happening too soon…" Ranma knew full well that that meant, and immediately spoke up.

"What do you mean, it's happening too soon?" Ranma demanded. He cast a concerned glance at his fiancée, who was expressionless. As of late, when it came to matters of a 'future-family,' and her dying, she seemed pretty tight-lipped.
"The Phoenix Prince –Saffron- he's already started to mature. By the time the soldiers here figure out what we've done with the secret of Jusenkyo, it'll be too late for us. Jusenkyo—"
"…Will dry up completely," Ryoga finished, a grim expression on his face.

"We have to divide the map up between everyone here—even the Tendo sisters. Nabiki-san," Hikari began with a smile, addressing her aunt with respect, "We know that you could keep anything hidden from prying eyes at any cost, so we're giving you the vital part of the map." Hikari's tone was quieter than normal, and when she made a slight gesture to Kazeya, his eyes glanced to the open veranda. Shadows moved in the darkness, and he nodded back. They were here.

Hikari pretended to hand Nabiki a paper, when in truth she still had the rolled up scroll in her hand, underneath the table. Upon Nabiki's suspicious and confused glance, Hikari passed Nabiki the scroll underneath the table. Nabiki pretended to read her portion of the scroll while she untied the real thing, and quietly shredded it into different shaped pieces.

One for Kasumi. One for Genma, one for Soun. One each for Akane and Ranma; one for Cologne, Shampoo, and Mousse. One for Ryoga, one for Hikari, and one for Kazeya. The last one, the one at the very bottom of the scroll, depicting the source of Jusenkyo's springs, was Nabiki's. Total, there were 12 pieces, making the scroll twelve times harder to steal. What was more, since Hikari and Kazeya already memorized the secret, if their pieces were stolen, then no harm would be done. It was only crucial that Nabiki's portion didn't get stolen.

"Well," Kazeya stood, slamming his hands on the table rather loudly and abruptly, "Guess that takes care of that then, huh?" With a quick nod to his sister, they turned, in ready stances, facing the veranda. The others stared at the empty black space bewilderedly, save Ranma, whose eyes narrowed upon catching sight of a floating feather.

Kiima, who Kazeya and Hikari recognized all too well from the Shampoo and Mousse of their times' descriptions, stepped out from the blackness, a sardonic smile on her face. Her wings were spread out fully, their tips looking just as innocent as any other feather. Ranma and Akane both knew the opposite, having been to their "future" and seen her maelstrom of feathers. If she attacked…

"Akane… let's get out of here." Ranma murmured to his fiancée at his side. She stared up at him in surprise, but her gaze was not returned. Ranma was staring harshly at the winged figure in the doorway, and the two figures that appeared beside her, those of Koruma and Masara. The pigtailed boy took a step backwards, and Akane stumbled slightly beside him, a move that immediately caught Kiima's attention.

"And just where do you think you're going?" Kiima asked snidely. She knew full well that each member of the party in the Tendo dining room had a piece of the map she desired, and she wouldn't let any of them escape. The birds in this region had told her tales about the dangerous martial artists—and the one who was looking to escape with that girl at his side—he looked to be the one the birds chirped about the most- the dangerous Ranma Saotome.

Regardless of birds' rumors or the fact that these landlings outnumbered the Phoenix people present, they would be no matches for the Phoenix people. The only thing these blasted landlings had over them was the damned map…

"Run, Akane." Ranma said harshly, his gaze finally falling on Akane. She stared up at him in shock and bewilderment, but at her own son's same gaze piercing her, she did just that—dodging out the kitchen door behind her and then slipping back inside through the laundry room. Since the back door to the laundry room was rarely ever used, extensive growth of bush had covered the area up. If the Phoenix people saw her go in, she could just slip out the main way, and into the hallway—which could go any number of ways.

"Split up!" Akane heard Ranma yell as a loud cry, almost like a crow's kaa, burst out.

"After her!" Kiima's voice sounded, and Akane forced herself to run faster. They were after her now…

It seemed like an eternity later, Akane nearly suffocating in the small, damp closet underneath the stairs. But she had to remain still and quiet, if just to protect her portion of the lamp.

In the dim light that filtered through the slats on the door, Akane stared at the map. The ancient, and now shredded scroll looked as though it had been drawn many centuries ago, though the paper remained thick and the ink black. The strokes were fine and brush-like, as though produced from a thin calligraphy brush. From what she could make out, there was the side of a mountain, a single pole, indicating a spring of Jusenkyo, and…

"A dragon's head?" She couldn't make out the writing next to the dragon's head, as the paper was ripped at that point, but the faint tracings of a character were there all the same.

Akane was so engrossed in the image, trying to figure out what it could all mean and just what the Secret of Jusenkyo was, that she didn't notice when her light source vanished entirely. Her eyes quickly adjusted for the darkness, and she glanced up through the slats, her breathing becoming sharp, realizing someone was very close to the door.

A voice came as a strained whisper—"Akane, are you there?" It was Ranma. Akane heaved a sigh of relief and slowly opened the door. She barely had time to think before he barreled into her, nearly slamming the door shut on his way in.

"R-Ranma!" Akane exclaimed, startled. Her face was a crimson red as Ranma adjusted himself on top of her. Akane was torn between hitting him into Lower Earth Orbit (a noise which would surely bring the Phoenix people to their position) or just sitting there, motionless, waiting for him to do something.

Akane opted for the latter. Ranma's warmth disappeared from her as the pigtailed boy forced himself up and stared down at Akane, whose face was still pink and red. Her eyes, though unable to see very clearly, bored right through him, daring him to say something.

"…Kazeya and Hikari said they'd hold the Phoenix people off until they met up with us…"

There was a loud crash and the growf of a panda outside.

"Ranma, it's not like you…" Akane trailed off. She couldn't say 'running away,' but that was just what Ranma had done. Or what he'd been pushing her to do earlier, and now…?

"I wanted to make sure you were safe." Ranma said quietly, his voice void of any emotion. His seriousness startled Akane so that she had no reply, she simply stared up at him, wondering at what point he changed.

"PSSST!" Akane and Ranma both gasped audibly and turned to the door, staring at the eyes that peered at them through the slats. Both exchanged a glance and crept closer to the door, opening it a fraction of an inch. Ranma wouldn't budge from his position in front of Akane: a protective stance, if anything.

Kazeya and Hikari were hunched near the door, both looking a bit worse for the wear. Ranma scowled, not liking being left out of the fight. But what Kazeya had told him earlier—that if he didn't watch Akane, she'd get kidnapped—had forced him to rethink his tactics. The situation at the time appeared to be as good as any to exploit the 'Saotome Secret Technique.'

"How goes the fight?" Ranma asked. He didn't want to involve the Tendos, and he was already glad enough that his mother wasn't here, and had instead gotten the old Saotome house fixed up. Genma just happened to be visiting tonight, normally staying with his wife in their newly built house.

"The Amazons seem to be holding up okay." Kazeya said, his voice containing a tinge of disgust. Hikari glared at her brother and jabbed him cleanly in the ribs, and he glared back at her.

"Here." Kazeya said breathlessly, withdrawing the cracked Nanban mirror from his shirt. Ranma took it with some care, having not handled the mirror in quite a long time. As he stared into his shattered depths, his reflection refracting and showing an odd, disfigured Ranma back at him, Hikari pulled out her mirror.

She murmured something that sounded like "Oumiika watara wamisumiaka aka…" and the Mirror of Change burst out in a brilliant white light. Kazeya quickly tried to cover up the light show, but the attentions of the three Phoenix fighters were now drawn to the small hallway between the living room and the stairs.

"There! Get them!" Kiima called, while battling off advances from Shampoo, Mousse, and Cologne.

Koruma and Masara were too engaged fighting Soun, Genma, and Ryoga, while Nabiki and Kasumi had taken their chances and made an escape in the melee.

"You fools!" Kiima cawed, thrusting herself upwards into the air. Though the hallway was small, it was enough space for Kiima to propel herself into the air and up—flying straight towards Ranma, Akane, Kazeya and Hikari like she intended to dive bomb them.

"NOW!" Kazeya's voice called, and the Nanban mirror, in unison with the Mirror of Change, both burst forth a blinding light that engulfed the whole corridor.


"Wh-Where…?" Akane murmured. She felt as though a ten-ton mallet had whacked her in the head—hard. She smiled at the irony of it all, and got up on shaky legs. Ranma was nowhere to be found. Neither were Kazeya and Hikari, or the Phoenix people, for that matter. It was unnerving. She knew Ranma had wanted her to escape, but… alone?

A low moan came from behind Akane, and she turned around abruptly, nearly fainting from the shock.


Ranma found himself lying in the Tendo family living room. He got up with a groan, feeling as though he'd been sent to Upper Earth Orbit care of Akane Airlines. But there was no telltale hole in the roof to mark any kind of descent (or ascent, for that matter). Ranma shook his head and the pain away, and suddenly remembered what had happened.

"Akane…?" If she was in the vicinity, she wasn't visible. Ranma remembered what Kazeya had said about 'not being part of the plane' that they traveled to—that was what had happened, right? They'd been transported to some nameless time, probably in the future?

"Damn her… damn her…" Ranma was startled to hear his own voice cursing aloud. When he saw his "other-self" pacing the room in what looked like worry, Ranma moved forward. He grinned at his other self, and stood only a yard away. When his other self began to pace once more, he walked right through Ranma—a feeling that left Ranma standing stock still and shaking.


"That's it!" The other-Ranma said with exasperation. His routine halted, he stomped upstairs to the room Ranma recognized all too well—Akane's. Maybe Akane –that is to say, his- er, the Akane from his time would be here. Ranma followed his other self diligently, wondering what all the fuss was about. He noticed on the trek upstairs that his other self had something in his hand—and for a moment, he wondered what it was.

"Akane, I'm coming in!" Ranma announced. Without a second's delay, he did just that—and the other Ranma behind him stared in shock at the sight before him.

"Damn you…" Other-Ranma murmured, rushing forward. Akane lay on the bed, covered like a polar bear in layers upon layers of blankets. She was sweating from the heat, and her face was flushed red—she had a fever. Other-Ranma placed his hand on her brow and pulled it off immediately. His eyes fell on a small brown pill on the side of Akane's bed, and a full glass of water, and his gaze shifted from concerned to upset.

"All you had to do was take the damn pill, Akane…" Other-Ranma murmured. Ranma was staring at the scene with some concern and worry; what had caused Akane to get this sick? Were they in the past… or the future?

"Ranma!" Akane's voice sounded, and Ranma whipped around, face to face with the Akane from his time.

"Thank god, I thought you were—"

"Me too," Akane smiled, embracing Ranma tenderly, "Me too. I'm glad you're okay."

Shocked, Ranma stood stock still, accepting Akane's hug, but not returning it in kind. Rather, his eyes became fixated on the back of his other self, who was kneeling over Akane as he murmured something to her in hushed tones.

"…Why, Akane?"

"It… hurts…" The invalid Akane murmured, her head lolling to one side. Her eyes were barely open, and despite Other-Ranma's attempts at cooling her down with a cool cloth, she was still sweating and feverish.

"Your throat? You can't do something as simple as swallow a pill?" Other-Ranma asked with a frustrated tone. He grabbed the glass of water and tilted Akane's mouth open, pressing the pill into the back of her mouth. At the moment he tried to pour so much as a milliliter of water into her throat, Akane started to convulse and cough horribly, spitting the pill out.

"Akane! You won't get better if you don't take the damn pill!" Other-Ranma growled, exasperated. His face betrayed the level of concern and worry he felt for his sick fiancée, and his closeness to her proved that he didn't care if he got sick; all that mattered was her health.

Ranma had since turned and face the scene, and dared to wrap his arm around Akane's shoulder, pulling her close. He remembered what Kazeya had said—their mom –or Akane- had gotten dangerously sick with fevers caused by the Kinjakan evaporating water in her body. Dad –or Ranma- had stayed by her side constantly, waiting for the day when she would get better. But she never did.

"Then I won't get better… baka." Other-Akane coughed. It was obvious how raw and sore her throat was from her raspy voice, and the noise of gurgled saliva as she tried to speak.

Other-Ranma only looked angry for a moment before a smile –guilty and concerned- broke over his features.

"H-Hey, don't say stuff l-like that. It's really not funny." Other-Ranma bent his head down, even as Other-Akane weakly tried to force herself to sit up. She stared with some level of awe at her fiancée, having only seen him this concerned over her once before—or rather, heard him this concerned… and that was when…

"Hey… I…" Other-Akane murmured, her voice sounding slightly smoother, "I didn't mean it. Besides, no stupid fever is going to be the end of me… I still have a dojo to inherit!" She attempted a smile, at which Other-Ranma looked up and returned. With an almost shy smile becoming his face, he asked, "So does that mean you'll take the pill?"

Akane sank back into her pillows and groaned.

"I'd rather sweat it off, if it was all the same to you," Other-Akane moaned, pulling a fallen blanket onto her. With the sleeping bag, down comforter, knit blanket, and wool covering over her, she was hotter than a turtle in the Sahara. But none of that mattered—she had to sweat off her fever. But she'd never had a fever quite this bad before…

"It's NOT all the same to me!" Other-Ranma exclaimed, startling his past self in the corner. The twosome had been watching the proceedings with quiet curiosity, wondering what was going on.

Other-Ranma opened his hand and pulled out another small brown pill from a glass jar, and slipped it into his own mouth. Other-Akane stared at him for just a moment before her fiancée's mouth clamped over hers.


"Something's wrong." Kazeya murmured. Hikari and himself were the only ones still in motion in the entire house—everyone else was frozen in the last position they'd been in before the bright lights of the combined mirrors had flashed. Even Kiima remained motionless, in mid-flight. Only seconds later, she would have attacked Ranma and Akane, and no amount of speed on Ranma's part would have saved them.

"Aren't we supposed to just freeze, and then Mom and Dad just…" Hikari gestured with her hands, "*Poof*?"

"*Poof*?" Kazeya raised an eyebrow in question.

"Yeah, like last time, when we showed them what happened at the Nekohanten," Hikari explained, referring to the last time they'd sent Ranma and Akane through the mirrors to show them the future.

"… The mirrors are getting old." Kazeya murmured after a moment. The excuse hardly sounded any more plausible in his head than it had when he said it.

Hikari shook her head in disagreement; "No… it's not that…" She looked into the refracted depths of both mirrors, her reflection disjointed and misshapen.

"It's not that at all."


"Mmmf?" Other-Akane murmured before succumbing to Other-Ranma's "kiss." Quite easily Other-Ranma forced the pill into her mouth with his tongue, and for what seemed like a moment or more too long, the kiss was more than just a way to get Other-Akane to take a pill.

Standing stunned near the closet door of Akane's room, the past-Akane and Ranma stared. They both took one look at each other, blushed, and turned away, forcing their gazes to be anywhere but on their future selves or each other. After a moment, when no sound came from either their future-selves or their fiancée, Ranma and Akane dared to look forward. Other-Ranma pulled his lips away from Akane, and groaned, exasperated.

Other-Akane was sound asleep, a peaceful smile on her face. Her face wasn't nearly as flushed as before, but it was still raging hot. This had been going on for over a week now; Ranma was more than worried.

"Akane… I won't let you leave me. Not again." Ranma murmured, standing. From the expression on his face, he didn't like what he was about to do, but it was one of those tough-it-up situations when you had no other choice. Ranma strode out of the room, his past self following at close quarters.

"Ranma!" Akane yelped, unable to follow. She tried, reaching the doorway, but was held back by an invisible barrier of sorts.

"Kuso… I guess we can't leave the place where our future self is… keep watch after your future-self—yah!" Ranma was dragged rather forcibly after his future self, who was leaping onto the Tendo compound fence and away from the house.


"Wonder where the hell my future-self's going anyway…?" Ranma wondered. He followed his other self along the fence quite agiley, wondering how his future self was balancing without some amount of concentration. Ranma's unspoken question regarding his future-self's concentration was quickly answered when a "W-Woaaah!" came from him, and both of them toppled into the canal below.


"What happened to myself… my… future self," Akane corrected, "That I became so sick?" It would cause the death of her, and yet it seemed like a normal fever. Akane, at this point, had far too many questions, and not enough answers. Kazeya and Hikari obviously weren't here, yet this was obviously the future.

'Maybe… the future they were trying to prevent? They did say something about me getting fevers… and the Phoenix people were indirectly responsible for them, and it lead to my…' Akane's thoughts halted where they were. She remembered what her future self has murmured so softly before her fiancée had kissed her—that is, forced a pill down her throat.

Akane blushed at the mental image, and glanced at her future self. The fever that Ranma had helped reduce with his pill seemed to come back full force- Akane's future self was red once more, and sweating immensely. A soft moan came from her parted, dry lips as she thrashed about in her sleep. Her left hand emerged from the pile of covers, and Akane stared at the palm in wonder—

A strange scar was there, flat, and shaped like a crescent, with elaborate designs on it. Like…

"A burn…?"

That was all Akane had time to observe when she heard a noise from downstairs.


"You owe me this much, Old Ghoul. Destroying my wedding, helping get rid of my cure…" Ranma was growling at the old crone who hobbled into the Tendo compound on her withered staff.

"Ranma," Cologne began, startling the boy –she didn't call him 'Son-in-law'-- "I never said I wouldn't help you. It's just a matter of whether I can or not." Upon returning from Jusendo, Shampoo had related the events of the past few days to Cologne—everything, including how Akane had sacrificed her life to save everyone. She'd withered into a doll, with no water in her body, and nearly died, even in that shrunken form. Yet Ranma had somehow saved her…

And now, after the failed wedding, Ranma had quit his boycott of Team China, and went to the Nekohanten, seeking help.

"Akane's sick," He'd started, "I want you to help." It was less of a request than a demand, and considering Ranma had defeated the legendary Prince of Phoenix Mountain, and held a sort of power over them at this point, Cologne was forced to accept his demands. Shampoo hadn't said a word to Ranma the entire time he was in the Nekohanten—she'd stared at him with wide, violet-maroon eyes, tears brimming on her lash-line. She'd then disappeared into the kitchen, the soft sounds of dishes being done filling the empty Nekohanten.

Ranma hadn't come to forgive her. She couldn't bring herself to apologize, even though in her heart of hearts it was what she wanted to do. But the only thing that kept her going, despite the fact that Ranma outright ignored them –her- was that one day, she'd forget about the idiotic ideals of her people, and apologize for the honest mistake she made.

One day…

Cologne had left the restaurant in Shampoo's "capable hands," and hobbled after Ranma to the Tendo home.


"…upstairs." Only a fraction of a second later, the door to Akane's bedroom was opened, and to Akane's surprise, Ranma –and his future-self—stood there, with Cologne in tow. The elder of the Amazons came forward and stared down hard at Future-Akane's still form. Sweat still dripped down her face, which was flushed redder than it had been before.

"Boy, leave here. I must examine her." Cologne said harshly. Future-Ranma crossed his arms over his chest and stared at Cologne.

"I understand you do not trust me, Ranma," Cologne began simply, "But you must, just this once, if I am to save her. If I even CAN save her… I must assess why she is sick." Off Ranma's still-suspicious glare, she continued, "I don't think Akane would take lightly to you staring at her naked form while she is being examined for sickness." With that, Ranma stepped out of the door, and before past-Akane could get a word in edgewise to her fiancée, they were both gone.

Akane turned and looked at her future-self in the hands of Cologne with worry. Suffice it to say, she hadn't expected this. A local doctor; Kasumi, maybe… but Cologne?

Cologne undid Future-Akane's pajama top, and spread her arms apart. Akane stared in wonder at the left hand palm. The same burn mark which had caught her attention earlier now was in Cologne's plain view—and the old crone stared at it in shock.

"No… not the Kinjakan…" Cologne murmured, inspecting Akane's hand. She pressed her fingers into future-Akane's soft flesh, and dropped the lifeless hand back to the bed.



Hikari and Kazeya stared at the mirrors, as if waiting for something to happen. And something did. In what was surely only a matter of moments, Kiima fell to the floor and stared up angrily at Kazeya and Hikari, quite noticeably aware that Akane and Ranma had disappeared.

"Those mirrors," She started, her voice a low growl, "Give them to me."

"Heh! Over my dead body!" Kazeya smirked, dropping into a ready stance. He quickly shoved the mirror away into his shirt, behind a small spatula that Mom—Ucchan—had given him. Should Kiima try to break the mirror and thus trap Ranma and Akane (despite the fact that they had two vital pieces of the map—those depicting the dragon tap and the phoenix tap), the mirror would be well protected.

"That's the idea, landling!" Kiima crowed, and charged forward. But before Kazeya and Hikari could prepare for an attack, or even assemble some sort of a defense, bright light came forth from the two mirrors once more. When all had dimmed, Kazeya and Hikari were gone.


The end of Part 3: Disappear


^^ I liked this chapter. It was fun to write. I'm glad I'm getting parts of this out so often… And now that ffnet's upped its Microsoft Word formatting, I can have all the nice ellipses (…) and such without hassle. Plus it's easy to post on my webpage… which I would very much like for you to visit!

Coming up in the next Scene of Act 3: The Hatchling, and Chapter 4 of "Saving Akane:"

There was a bright flash accompanied by that familiar feeling of nausea. Ranma and Akane, gripping onto each other for dear life (and dear sanity) toppled to the floor like leaves in a windstorm. When they came to again, distant voices got louder—and the scenery of a home decorated for a wedding assailed them.

I have to try and stop giving so much away in these "coming up" segments. I try to utilize them as much as I can for inspiration, but I'd hate to say "coming up next" and then not use the scene described at all (which is what I almost did with this chapter… ehehe…). Therefore, this is the last "sneak peak" you'll see—don't worry though, I have everything for SA planned out nice and tidy-like, so look forward to the next several parts in the uh, next several weeks *bright smile* Yeah!