DISCLAIMER: I do not own Tenchi Muyo or Ranma 1/2. All questions, comments, flames are welcomed!
"Another long day." Tenchi sighed to himself, adjusting the opened umbrella in his hand with slight irritation. The steady drops of rain drowned out the whirring motors of the cars that sped by. Looking left and then to the right, he peered down the street, fondling with the book bag in his other hand. The slow shower pattered against the blue nylon canopy that protected his person. "So slow."
He glanced at the bus stop's sign, closed his eyes and sighed again. Tenchi turned his head around to the left when sounds of hurried footsteps splashed on the wet pavement. Tenchi could only stare as she lugged shopping bags in both her arms. The woman stopped as soon as she was within an arm's reach from where he stood, turned her bright blue eyes to his brown ones, "Did the bus come by yet?"
It took a moment for him to really that he was staring and Tenchi only shook his head and turned back to look out at the road. Nothing more was said between the two as they waited in the rain. Realizing he was the only one with an umbrella, he offered it to the drenched woman. "No, but thanks." She shook her head and heaved the bags up in her arms. "I don't want to trouble you."
Her outfit was soaked through. Her baggy pants sagged and her shirt clung to her body.
"Please, it's no trouble at all. It'll be only until the bus arrives. We can share." With that, Tenchi carefully side-stepped closer to envelope the protesting woman under the umbrella as well. At the moment, he was thankful that his umbrella was large enough to fit two people.
"Thanks." He glanced at her to find her cheeks were as red as her hair. He grinned sheepishly in response, "It's no problem, miss. I don't mind, really."
Piling the shopping bags' handles to wrap one arm, she managed to gather up her shoulder-length hair and squeeze out the excess water. "The name's Ranma," she said as she wiped her red bangs to the side of her face. Dropping her arm to the bags, "'Miss' makes me feel old."
"Tenchi? Meaning 'Heaven and Earth', right?"
Before he could reply, a gray and blue blur whizzed by, passing by on the street, startling the couple. Ranma looked to the street. "What was that?"
The blur past by again in front of them, Tenchi dropped his umbrella. "Oh no. Not now"
"What is it?" Ranma glanced around, her blue eyes darted from side to side, dropping her bags on the ground, immediately forgotten. She scanned the area around them, her senses on high alert.
The public transit bus honked to notify the couple it was just arriving. "We gotta go now!" Tenchi made a grab at her hand, startling her, and yanked her up into the open bus.
"Wait! My bags!" Ranma wrenched free from Tenchi's hold and hopped out of the bus into the rain. Tenchi followed behind and quickly picked up some of the bags and his forgotten umbrella. He ushered her back into the bus, frantically looking left and right. "Come on! Let's go!"
Soon as they stepping inside, the automatic door shut behind them, the grey blur that whizzed past went unnoticed. The heater in the buss heated their cool skin as they paid for the fair. Finding most of the rows empty, Ranma took a window seat near the back and eyed Tenchi suspiciously as he sat down next to her, "What was that about? It looked like that thing was after you."
The boy only laughed nervously as he thought of a certain space pirate "Weird things kinda happen to me a lot."
"Weird?" Ranma huffed, looking out the window, "I've seen weirder."
When Tenchi didn't reply, Ranma glanced at him to find that he had a funny look on his face. "What? It's true! Angry tomboys with large mallets. People shape-shift with a touch of water. Another person with no sense of direction. Need I go on?" Her arms flailed around expressing her distress.
"Somehow, I can believe you on that one." He sat back in his seat, he could relate. "Back home, I have these girls always trying to impress me. But it turns out to be one horrible mess after another! Some of them are princesses, police, and a mad scientist."
"Princesses? Scientists? Talk about fun. My own pop engaged me to three people. Now, I'm supposed to choose who I want to marry. But I don't want to marry any of them even though they all claim to love me. I think they're all crazy." Ranma sighed, running her hands absently through her wet hair. "I kind of get where you're coming from, though."
It was quiet for a moment, "Fiancés, huh?"
"Yeah. I felt like I had no say in the matter. That's why I ran away."
"You have a place to stay, Ranma?" The bus rocked a little bit as it turned a corner. Tenchi's shoulder brushed up against the girl's shoulder. Ranma took little notice.
"We'll be hitting a few bumps folks. Sit tight." The bus driver warned and immediately the bus hit a bump that caused Tenchi to lose his balance and fall up against Ranma, his face, close to hers. He straitened in his seat, embarrassed, "Sorry about that."
Looking down, Ranma felt her hand being held and blushed. During the accident, he grabbed onto her without knowing. Tenchi pulled his hand away, red as a tomato. "Ah, sorry. Didn't mean to-"
"It's okay. You know, you say 'sorry' too much." She smirked a little when Tenchi turned red. She continued the conversation, "The place I'm living at is not really that great, but it'll do for now." The bus came to a rolling stop and hissed out steam. Ranma got up from her seat and looked out the window. The rain ceased to a drizzle. "This is my stop."
Tenchi moved over to give her some leeway, and handed some of her grocery bags as soon as she was in the aisle. "Here, Ranma."
Ranma could only blush again as she said her thanks. Walking to the front of the bus, she said over her shoulder, "It was nice meeting you, Tenchi. I'll see you around."
As soon as she stepped out, the bus roared to life and started to slowly speed away. Ranma turned as soon as the bus started leaving and grinned at Tenchi, waving goodbye. He chuckled and waved back. He sat back in his seat as soon as the bus turned another corner towards home.
Taking a deep breath, he felt the redness in his cheeks go away. It was quiet for some time. Tenchi had time to think of his new found friend.
"Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenchiiii!" He dreaded the giggle that tickled his ear.
Arms wrapped around his neck and he started to sweat. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end. He turned to face the voice, "H-hi, Ryoko"
"How 'bout we go for a stroll as soon as we get home, hmm?"
"I'm home!" Ranma's voice rang through the hallway as she stepped into the foyer of her home.
"Ranma! Welcome back!" A head popped out from the kitchen. "How was shopping? I saw it was raining earlier."
"Yeah, I didn't know it was going to. Caught me in the middle of it." She walked into the kitchen where the other woman was preparing dinner. She started to put the groceries away, Ranma contemplated. "You know, I met this weird guy at the bus stop on the way home. Kinda nice, though."
"Oh really?" The woman turned to the stove when the pot started to boil. She tucked dark strands of hair behind her ear. "What as weird about him?"
"He acted kind of strange, like something was after him." She grabbed an apple off the counter and bit into it, separating the groceries by category. "Kind of fidgety, too."
The bread went into its cupboard. "Says he has these girls living at home with him and one's a mad scientist. If you ask me, he's just asking for trouble like that." The milk and orange juice went into the refrigerator and the canned goods went into the cupboard. Ranma took a few more bites into the apple. "I'm going to take a bath. Is there any hot water?"
The woman next to her nodded while chopping the carrots on the board, preoccupied with her thoughts. She adjusted her kimono as she plopped the cut vegetables into the pot.
"Thanks, mom." The apple core was thrown into the garbage can as she walked herself out.
Looking out into the yard through the window, the older woman chuckled to herself, "Now who'd of thought my baby was interested?"
Down the hall in the bathroom, Ranma undressed as soon as the small furo filled with hot water. It wasn't as large as the Tendos' had, but it was decent enough for one person. She sat on the a little bath stool and drowned herself with cold water. "Brr. To think there would be an easier way to take a bath." Grabbing the soap, she started to scrub and wondered about her encounter. "What a weird guy."
Immediately, she thought of their hands touching. Pink tinged her cheeks. Picking up the bucket next to her, she filled it with cold water again and dowsed herself with it, rinsing off the soap and the memory.
She took a deep breath and stepped into the furo.
No change. There hasn't been a change since two years ago. Still, Ranma was hopeful. But, not by much. Being a girl wasn't really as bad as she had thought in the first place. She contemplated her situation and wiped it from memory. She needed to relax.
The next couple of weeks found Tenchi drowning with yard work. It seemed his housemates had been more rowdy than usual and suddenly half of the living room was redecorated to a more outdoors' feel. Tenchi viewed the gap in the wall as he swept up the remains of the couch that somehow ended up outside.
"Oh, boy...I need a break." Wiping the light sweat off his brow, he glanced at the lake where his grandfather's tree, Funaho, took root. Tenchi wasn't keen on sticking around any longer since it was just barely after breakfast. He knew the girls would be looking for him soon enough.
"Lord Tenchi." Ah, he spoke too soon.
"Ah, Miss Ayeka. How are you?" He forced a smile, still tired from yesterday's and today's fiasco.
She bowed her head before speaking, her unusual purple hair in pigtails swayed with the movement. "Sasami was wondering if you can go down to town and buy some groceries for dinner tonight?"
"Sure! That's no problem!" He was grateful for the immediate getaway. "I'll leave right now."
Pulling a folded sheet of paper, Ayeka handed it to Tenchi. "Here's the list."
Tucking it away, he thanked her, "I'll be back soon!" He waved her off and hurried down to the bus stop. He knew it wouldn't be long until Ryoko followed.
True to word, a voice rang through the air. "Teeeeeeeeeeenchi! I want to go with you!"
He ignored Ryoko's cry and continued walking as sounds of zapping filled the air. In the short distance behind him, Ayeka's voice screeched, "You will do no such thing, you harridan! Azaka! Kamidake! Confine her!"
Another few zaps were heard. Tenchi could of sworn he heard wood crack, and only tempted him to walk faster. "Teeeeeenchi!" Ryoko's voice was heard.
Ayaka's voice was fading away, but he still heard her, "You'll stay right here, Ryoko, and you will fix what you've done to the house."
A snarl was heard from the other woman. "You pouty princess! I'm not the only one at fault! Here's a present I got for you, spoiled brat!"
A big explosion was heard and the pigtailed boy, tensed and hurried his footsteps even more. He knew by the time he got back, the house would be in shambles. As the voices and booming sounds faded into the distance, he found himself at the bus stop leading into town. Sometimes, he wished the temple was closer to the city.
The sound of wheels and a honk alerted Tenchi of the oncoming bus. The familiar hiss of steam whistled in the air and the bus's door creaked open. Stepping inside, he flashed his bus pass at the driver and sat down at a window seat, exhaling in the process.
So far, so good. Tenchi didn't want any more surprises for today. A few miles later, he stepped off the bus only to trip down the steps. "Whoa!"
Faced down on the pavement, he heard a giggling voice above him, "Well, it nice to see you again, too. Didn't think you'd fall for me so soon, though."
Looking up, he recognized blue eyes. Embarrassed, he got up as the bus rolled away, one hand rubbing the back of his head. He gave out a nervous laugh, "Hey."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Chapter 2 will follow up later this week. I based this on the song "Bus Stop" by The Hollies. I was inspired to write a one shot, but I got too into it, sooo now, it's a few chapters long. Please! Let me know what you think!