Just a shorty sort of prologue chapter to start. I usually like to write them a few pages long, but it just seemed like the right place for a chapter break, so, yeah.
The chime over the door tingled as it opened, and Ukyo looked up from the okonomiyaki she was cooking. "Hey Ran-chan." Grinning, she waved to an empty stool with one hand. As skilled of a cook/martial artist as she was, Ukyo didn't need to see what she was doing to turn the diced chicken, or the noodles.
Ranma sat down on the stool he was directed to, holding a little envelope in the hand he rested on the counter infront of him. "Ukyo, we need to talk."
Ukyo blinked. "Uh, sure." It was jarring, to hear him talk like that. Ran-chan never gets to the point about anything. Something must be wrong. Flipping the chicken and noodles onto the okonomiyaki, she drizzled a little sauce on top, then flipped the entire thing into a take-out box. "Thanks for stopping at the Ucchan, here you are." Turning on a bright sunny smile, Ukyo handed the man his food, and watched him walk out. The after school rush was over, and it was just herself and Ranma in the restraunt now, until the dinner rush began. "What's up Ran-chan?"
Ranma fiddled with the little white envelope he held, not answering her right away.
Now that's the Ran-chan I know. Smiling, Ukyo rinsed her spatula, dried it off, and tucked into the bandolier she kept close at hand behind the counter. "Come on, spit it out already." Oooh, maybe it's a love note, and he wants to give it to me in person. Out of habbit, she slung her battle spatula over her shoulder, it's familiar weight pressing against her back.
"...Uh..." Turning the envelope over in his hands, Ranma suddenly stuck his arm out, nearly jabbing Ukyo in the nose with the envelope. "Here!" Getting up after Ukyo took it, he hurried out the door.
Oooh, I bet I'm right! Grinning, Ukyo wasted no time in opening the envelope and pulling out whatever was inside. It wasn't a note, but a fancy looking card that said 'You're Invited' on the front. Curious, Ukyo turned it over. There wasn't anything on the back at all. It's not store bought. Oh! He made it himself? I didn't know Ran-chan was any good at this sort of thing. Opening the card, she scanned it quickly. "What... What is this, a joke?" She read it again, taking her time to read every single word to make sure she wasn't mistaken.
"..." Setting the card on the counter, she put the envelope next to it. Walking over to the front door, she flipped the sign in the window over from 'open' to 'closed'. Turning the deadbolt, she flipped off the front lights, then walked into the back. Pulling open the fridge, Ukyo grabbed a half-empty bottle of cooking wine, heading for the back door. Unscrewing the cap, she choked out a sob, hot tears spilling down her cheeks.
Dropping the cap on the floor, she lifted the bottle to her lips, tilted her head back and gulped noisily until the bottle was empty. After a moment or two of trying to suck back thin air, she set the bottle down on the floor, opened the back door, and stepped out into the yard. Sitting down on the soft grass, she crossed her legs, pressed her hands to her face, and sobbed brokenly until the alcohol kicked in.
You're invited to the wedding of Akane Tendo and Ranma Saotome.
Please come at ten o'clock, saturday morning, june nineteenth.
Dress nicely, bring a gift, and don't try to sabotage the ceremony.
RVSP as soon as possible, thank you.
Sometimes, people drink to help them deal with their problems. Sometimes, people who have never had a drink in their life try this, without realizing that it doesn't work that way. Sometimes, people get fed up and decide to blame someone for all their problems. Sometimes, people blame God for it all, thinking that he's listening in.
Ukyo was fitting nicely into the above categorys, considering it was her first time trying all four.
Standing out in the middle of her back yard, with her head tilted back, she was screaming to high heaven, both hands clentched into fists at her sides. She didn't care what time it was, or how long she'd sat in the yard, crying until she was dry of tears.
"You call this fair? You call life just?! I've had the worst life anyone can possibly deal with, and I can't do a single thing about it! Why do I have to suffer like this? Why me? What did I ever do to you?" Choking back a sob, Ukyo swallowed, then continued her tirade at the sky. "If you're so intent on making me suffer, why don't you come down and do it yourself?! Huh? Face to face! Don't like what I'm saying? Why don't you come down here and make me stop?" Pulling her battle spatula off of her back, she gripped it tightly. "Do you hear me? Come down here and make me! Do you HEAR ME?!"
"I heard you."
Startled, Ukyo froze in place. The last thing she'd ever expected was someone to answer, and considering that she was more than just a little tipsy, she figured for a moment that she'd just imagined the sound. Shiverring a little at the unnerving feeling that she'd got exactly what she'd asked for, she turned around to see where the eeriely soft voice had come from, just to confirm that she'd imagined it, of course.
Swallowing a few times, Ukyo stared at the person standing there, trying to get her throat to unlock. She really hadn't imagined hearing someone saying something, unless she was imagining that she was seeing someone too. "Uh, God?"
"Mmm, no." He held up a single finger, and Ukyo cringed. "See, you didn't specify who you wanted to come down when you were yelling at Heaven. So, you get me."
"I... Get you?" Her eyes widened as her numbed by alcohol brain began to process the details her senses were feeding it.
"Uh, no. He's not a god, he's a jackass." Frowning, the Lost boy lookalike rested his fists on his hips. "Look, I'm really not that good at granting rewards for being a decent human being, or wishes for being a deserving person. You're gonna have to help me out here."
"Uh... I... Um..." Brainlocked, Ukyo couldn't help but stare and stammer semi-coherently. "You're... From Heaven?" Something unstuck in her head. "You're going to reward me for being good? Why?" More of the cogs in her brain slipped back into normal motion. "Why you? You're not an angel... Right? I mean, no wings, or... Or good looks, or-"
"Oh, ouch. My fragile pride." Sighing, he put a hand to his face, shaking his head a little. "Why do I always run into the critics? Look." He let his arm drop to his side, leaving the other fist planted on his hip. "Call it divine community service. Angels don't do this stuff either, you're thinking of Goddesses, they grant the wishes, usually. I'm... Filling in for a friend or something?"
"You're kidding, right?" Ukyo chuckled a little in disbelief. "This is a joke, somebody got you to memorize a script? Who's hiding in the bushes?" She started looking around. "Is it that jackass Kuno again?"
"I... Oh for-" Sighing, he tapped his foot, thinking for a moment. "Ryoga's a directionally challanged, grade A moron. Ranma's a genderswapping, martial arts genious slash twit, and Akane's a shortfused, self-conscious flatchester who couldn't cook to save... Well, anything really." He frowned again. "Is that enough proof, or do I have to start laying into the rest of the Tendo family?"
"Ght." For a moment, Ukyo was in a state of total lockup. It was impossible to comprehend the possibility that Ryoga was anything other than an intelectual black hole, which ment... "You really aren't Ryoga." A sudden, horribly embaressing reality hit her. "So... God really did hear me?"
"And I'm not going crazy?"
He shook his head.
"A-and... He wasn't too happy with all the things I said?"
He shook his head again.
"And, so that means... He must think that I'm the worst per-"
"Ah, no, not really, no. Seeing as how I've personally gone and told God to go take a long walk off a short pier, I think I've got that title right now."
"Y-you told him to go-"
"Look, it's complicated. We have a complex history together." Looking away, he brushed down the front of his tunic. For someone who claimed to not be Ryoga, he sure didn't do anything to help dispel the notion, dressing exactly like him.
"Trust me, you don't want to know." Sighing, he walked over and took Ukyo's arm. "Ok, as much fun as it is to stand out in the open, playing drunken twenty questions, why don't we go inside before you pass out?"
Ukyo shrugged him off, irritated. "I'm not drunk! And who are you to judge me? Dropping in out of Heaven uninvited and without calling ahead first." Swaying a little on her feet, she crossed her arms over her chest, her head buzzing almost pleasently.
"Right, silly me. Why didn't I think of calling ahead bef- oh right, no payphones in heaven." Snorting, he put an arm around Ukyo's waist and began steering her towards her house. "Idiot."
"I'm an idiot? You're the one who didn't put any phones in heaven!"
"What, do I look like I work for Telus?" Snorting, he ignored Ukyo's efforts to shrug him off a second time, firmly holding onto her.
"What?" Struggling a bit, she gave him a confused look as she half-walked, half-staggered towards the house.
"Oh, right. You don't have that company here in Japan, do you? Man have I been gone a long time."
"I'm not drunk! And where are you from anyway?"
"I didn't say you were, I- oh for..." Sighing, he pressed his free hand to his face. "Is there any last words you'd like to say before you pass out?"
Grunting in annoyance, Ukyo pulled free of his grip, and stepped away, turning to face him. "I told you, I'm not drunk, and I'm not gonna pass ou-... I- ... Oh." For a moment, Ukyo swayed on her feet, a glassy look in her eyes. A second later, she pitched forward, limply falling over.
Staring blankly, he watched her flop to the ground and lay limply on the grass. "Oy." Scooping Ukyo up off of the ground, he shook his head. "I really, probably should have caught her before she landed." Sighing, he shook his head again, then headed inside, carrying the girl in his arms. "I just hope your bedroom is still where I remember it."
Well, I hoped you liked it. As a writer, I tend to prefer to leave stuff hanging for a chapter or so before I answer any questions I intentionally place in my stories. I also answer any and all questions readers may have about my work, so, ask away if you're confused, or simply curious.
Comments and critisims are always welcome too, so feel free to say whatever comes to mind. Do I do requests? I dunno, I suppose? It might depend on what is is though. If you want a character to pop into the story, I guess I could do that, but I really don't do cameos... Unless it's for the right price, wink wink.
Nah, just kidding.