Four Shades of Gray

Part 2: Fog

A Ranma ½ Fanfiction by Azurite

sailor_andromida@yahoo.com

http://www.geocities.com/azurite_moon

11.18.01 - Total layout update coming soon!

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Total Pages: 3

Please note: This fanfiction contains some realistic portrayals of sexual activity, but is in NO way a lemon. It is a highly dramatic, angst-scented fic. and a romance in the future. Just to warn you. It is rated PG-13. If you're not mature and/or under 13, please do not read this. Domo.

"Spoken"

Remembered/Emphasized

'Thought'

Emphasized

YELLED

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Recap:

In the last chapter, we found out that Akane, when she was 14 years old, was a victim of rape. Obviously, this startling information surprises her friends, but Ranma is the most surprised of all. Unable to cope with the facts, he decides to ask her about what happened while they are sitting together on the roof one night. Akane says she remembers the day perfectly, much to her dismay. one January 17th.

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Akane Tendo, aged 14, was trudging her way through drifts and drifts of snow. She was chattering horribly, and holding her thick wool jacket over her junior high's skimpy uniform. Winter or no, it was no help. Akane was only getting wetter, not to mention colder.

"S-shou-ulda j-j-just g-gone home." Akane whispered to herself, in a desperate attempt to keep her lips warm. She'd stayed an extra two hours afterschool to work in the Home Economics kitchen. Since Kasumi had "gently" told her a week and a half ago that her cooking would surely destroy the kitchen and give food poisoning to their "poor, old father," she'd been forbidden back into her own home's kitchen. So she had to practice her cooking at school. She did so without permission, because the school's teachers knew just as well as Kasumi that Akane had a black thumb in the kitchen.

In any case, Akane had paid no heed to the earlier weather warnings of at least a foot of snow, and a potential blizzard warning. She was intent on proving her family wrong before Christmas-and cooking them a delicious meal. Or at the very least, she amended, a nice dessert.

But of course, whatever cooking Kamis Akane needed to pray to had ignored the youngest Tendo once more. She'd spent more time cleaning up her messes than cooking.

"M-Maybe I'm dys-dys-lexic or something. I just can't read recipes right." Akane sighed. She had to be the only one insane enough to be outside in a blizzard. If there was anyone else out here, it was impossible to see them.

"Akane?"

The aforementioned girl turned around, but saw no one. When she finally saw a figure emerging from the constant whiteout of snow, she managed a squeak-like gasp.

"U-Umada-kun!" Akane's crush since her first year of junior high was standing there-right before her. Just like that. Was this a dream?

Akane tried to pinch herself through her layers of clothing, but was unable to. Instead, she stood rigidly still, a goofy smile on her face, blushing as red as a tomato. Not to mention freezing cold.

"What are you doing here in the cold?" Umada asked. He smiled at her, and Akane swore the snow beneath her feet melted and soaked its way through her socks. Before she realized he was beside her, his arm was around her, guiding her away from the heavy snows.

Akane was more giddy than she could possibly express. Her thoughts were running amok in her head, dancing gleefully.

'Umada-kun! The silent, handsome guy that a lot of girls want. he doesn't talk to anyone, let alone touch them, but me! He's with me!'

Umada Hisarushi was his name, and he just happened to be in Akane's class. Every year since the start of junior high, and now, in their final year, he was here.

Before Akane realized it, she and Umada were standing in the lobby of a large apartment complex.

"Na-nani? Where are we?" Akane looked around in awe. The place had to be three times as big as the entire Tendo compound, and maybe if she'd been paying attention outside, she would have seen how tall the building was.

"This is home." Umada said simply, flashing Akane a smile that caused her to shiver deliciously to her toes. Akane followed Umada without a second thought, staring at everything she passed, wondering just how rich Umada's parents had to be to afford a place like this.

They were in the elevator for a short while before they got off and walked down a dismal, gray hall. They came to an apartment -number 2131- and stepped inside once Umada unlocked the door.

She wasn't cold anymore, but rather embarassed. The chatters that had plagued Akane earlier were back now, though more out of embarrassment than hypothermia.

"Th-Thank you. I mean, you didn-didn't have to b-bring me here."

"Are you cold?" Umada asked concernedly. Without a second thought, he removed her wet, wool coat, and set it over a wind-vent heater. Akane felt strangely naked, but shook the odd feeling off. Umada was her classmate, for Kami's sake. Sure, he was cute, and horribly popular with a good number of girls, including Akane herself, but.

In any case, Akane felt like the luckiest girl alive, just to have been able to speak to him for a straight minute, let alone be in his house.

Time seemed to be out of warp for the Tendo girl, embarassed and as giddy as she was in her crush's presence. She was sitting on the couch, admiring all the furniture, electronics, and fine décor of the apartment when Umada handed her a cup of hot cocoa.

"I hope you like cocoa." He smiled, and Akane nodded, averting her gaze for fear he might see her blush.

Outside, the storm was worsening. Some tiny part in the deep, deep parts of Akane's subconscious reminded her that she had to get home somehow, or at the very least, call Kasumi. But what would she say, "Hey sis, I'm staying at my crush's house?" No, she couldn't do that.

Akane finished her cocoa and wanted to smile at Umada to thank him, but became flustered when she realized how close he was to her face. Her heart started racing at what felt like inhuman speeds. His eyes met hers dead-on, and the tomato-red blush that had masked Akane's face earlier was back on once more.

The room seemed unearthly silent for what felt like an eternity to Akane, but then, Umada stirred. Akane would have gasped, had her lips not been covered by his.

'He-He-Umada's kissing me!'

The thought sank in, and like a dizzying drug, Akane kissed him back. Her arms went around him almost automatically, and she warmed a good five degrees when Umada returned the gesture in kind, letting his fingers play in her long hair.

It wasn't just Akane that seemed to heat up, however. The whole room seemed to become a dizzying mirage of heat waves. Akane had never, ever, ever felt this way before, and wasn't exactly sure how to react to this kind of intimate attention. The part of her once yelling to go home was now screaming in her ear. Her heart was racing, her mind working out the tiny details of what was going on at a snail's pace.

So out of it was she that she didn't register being brought to Umada's bedroom, or her shirt being removed. His lips graced her neck, her cheek, her brow. Lower still, to her collarbone, and each of her breasts.

"U-Umada." Akane whispered. This wasn't supposed to be happening!

But these thoughts, these worries, these. foolish concerns were gone with the snowdrifts. Akane didn't know how she knew, but she just did-this was right. It was only after the fact. after the intense pain and struggle. that she dared to doubt herself.

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When Akane got home much later that night-after 10:00, she was dazed and unsure of herself, or her surroundings. She practically tripped into her own house, forgetting to take off her wet and slush-covered shoes.

Her older sister, Nabiki, was the first to approach her. Nabiki looked startled to see her sister so out of it, and had a sinking sensation in her chest.

'What happened to her.?'



Ranma listened to Akane and then glanced at her when she trailed off. She pinched her eyes shut, and shook her head slowly.

"I could have fought back, but I. I chose not to. For the longest time, I convinced myself that protecting Umada was the right thing to do, but when I realized what he had done to me. that I was some pawn in his sick game. I told Nabiki. She got in contact with a counselor at Furinkan, and called the police. Umada was arrested, even though he was a minor at the time, and I haven't seen him since."

"Were. were you in love with him?" Ranma asked. He wanted to hit himself on the head for that. But he didn't know what else to say. A girl he thought he knew. wasn't. She'd had something very precious taken away from her, and she lived, scarred with memories.

"I thought I was. I don't know. I'm just a gullible, kawaiikune. idiot, I guess. I don't deserve. oh, never mind." Akane stood up and slipped down the ladder back into the house. Ranma stared at the space where she had been and shook his head. He really didn't know her. not at all.

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The story behind "Mist" and "Fog:"

The term "Gray Area" refers to a situation, time, or place, when things aren't what they seem. The rules don't always apply, and things are unknown. The first stage of this "gray area" is Mist: mysterious and unknown, shrouding something much deeper.

Fog is the second stage, revealing that there is, indeed, a deeper secret. One that must be forged through to reach the lighter stages. But every step is a journey in itself, and Ranma and Akane both have a ways to go, in facing her past. together.

Part 3: Shadows