I foudn this on my computer from a while ago and realized it wasn't bad as I thought it had been and decided to post it. Takes place after the failed wedding so !SPOLIERS!. Also if you ever get a chance, listen to 'Invisible Touch' by Genesis. I think it just fits Ranma really well. Tell me what you think.
Spoliers for end of manga.
I do not own Ranma1/2 or any of its characters.
Ranma winced as he heard the grunt from behind the door.
She was angry, and every fiber of his being screamed at him to run away from the danger. It had only been a few hours since their failed wedding, and they had been avoiding each other since then. He was inclined to listen to instinct and flee while he still could, but something held him steadfast. The martial artist frowned. This wasn't like him. He usually had a very strong sense of self-preservation. All thought and reason seemed to leave him though when he was in her presence.
Sighing softly, the boy shook his head and glanced at the clock against the opposite wall. Three o'clock. What was that girl thinking, practicing so late at night? Never mind that the reason he was even there to notice she was awake was that he had had the same idea. He had been unable to stop thinking long enough to get some sleep, and experience had taught him that a few of katas would get rid of any insomnia.
Steeling himself for whatever she decided to throw at him this time, he silently slid the door open and stepped into the room. The sudden change in light from the hallway to the dojo made him disoriented and he had to blink to clear his vision. The air was warm from being inhabited and Ranma wondered how long the girl had been down here. His eyes quickly found the lithe form of his fiancé.
Akane was so absorbed in her own kata that she hadn't noticed his arrival. Unwilling to break her concentration, the pig-tailed martial artist closed the door as silently as he had opened it and sat down against the wall, watching his fiancé dance through her movements. She had gotten better a part of his mind noted with pride. When he had first met her, her movements were sloppy and disjointed. It had been ridiculously easy to dodge her punches during their sparring matches.
Her short hair stuck to her face as a sheen of sweat coated her skin. She didn't seem bothered by it though, her chocolate eyes remaining stubbornly focused on some invisible opponent. Her bare feet slid across the polished floor, barely making a sound. Her limbs sliced through the air with deadly accuracy that he had experienced several times firsthand. It was definitely good to see the girl back to her lively, albeit violent self. Unbidden, memories of her lifeless body at Jusenkyo flashed through his mind and the cursed boy shivered.
Akane jumped and spun, delivering a crushing roundhouse kick to her imaginary adversary. The move had turned her enough for her to spot him however, and he felt himself tense as her eyes locked with his for a moment. The short-haired girl landed in a crouch with a gruff grunt. It took her far longer than usual to fully stand and face him, and Ranma wondered if he it wasn't to late to save himself.
He picked up one of the folded towels by the door and offered it to her, a meager peace offering, but it worked nonetheless. A small smile, a shadow of the dazzling one she'd given him this morning, crossed her features as she accepted the white cloth and wiped the sweat off her face. Relief flooded through him. It seemed all her anger had been vented on the invisible opponent. He almost felt sorry for the imaginary person.
"What are you doing here?" Blue eyes snapped up to look at her face, surprised that she had decided to talk to him. He hadn't thought that would happen for a few days or until he insulted her enough to light her short fuse after what had happened today. The anger he had been expecting was replaced with confusion.
"I could ask you the same thing." She bristled for a second as he refused to answer her directly, but visibly deflated after a few heartbeats. Her face was weary and the boy could sympathize with her. The last few weeks had been one heck of an emotional roller coaster. It had left him feeling empty and just as tired as Akane looked. With a large sigh, the girl sat down against the wall beside him.
"I couldn't sleep so I decided to try and practice." Ranma made a noncommital noise in the back of his throat and the pair fell into silence. It wasn't long until his fiancé fidgeted though. "Um... Ranma?" The martial artist turned to face the girl beside him, eyebrows quirked. "About this morning...."
Against his will, the boy tensed. The wedding was the last thing he wanted to talk about right now, especially with her. "What 'bout it?" He tried not to wince at the defensive tone his voice had adopted. Akane refused to meet his eyes, finding her fingers far more interesting than her fiancé at the moment.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the Nanniichuan earlier." The girl tightly hugged her knees. "We could have avoided this whole mess if I hadn't tricked you into almost marrying me." Ranma starred at the female martial artist in disbelief. Tricked? Is that how she saw it? Was that the only way she thought that he would even think about marrying her? If she tricked him? His pride pricked, the boy snorted.
"Don't give yourself that much credit. It takes more than anything you can think of to trick me." His arms were crossed behind his head and were useless to help him avoid the punch. Holding his head in his hands and cursing the girl for hitting one of his bruises from this morning, he hissed in pain. Peaking up through his fingers, he glared at the now-standing girl. "What was that for," he demanded, jumping to his feet to gain the height advantage. Akane noticed the move and scowled up at him as he towered over her.
"And what's that supposed to mean? That I'm not smart enough to outwit you?" Without waiting for a response, the girl launched herself at him. "You jerk!" Her fist slammed against wood as the boy easily dodged the attack. The easy smirk on his face only heightened the girl's anger.
"No, I'm just saying your brain is as obvious as your attacks." Ranma frowned as he easily maneuvered around her punches and kicks. This wasn't how he had wanted things to go. His fiancé growled in frustration as she continued her attack. Swing. Duck. Kick. Jump. Punch. Dodge. It was endless cycle.
"Fight me! Come one! Fight me, you coward!" Her words stung his pride yet again, and he felt anger bubble up in his chest. He was never one to roll with the punches. If someone hit him, he made sure to hit them harder. A scowl replaced the smirk on his lips.
"Sorry, but I don't fight helpless, uncute girls!" Her brown eyes flashed with emotion. Anger, hate, frustration. Those he could pick out easily from a year of practice. It was the tiny bit of hurt that caught his attention. Before he could look closer, a fist was aimed at his face.
"I'm not helpless! I can take care of myself! Why can't you mind your own business? I never asked for your help!" Something snapped inside the pig-tailed martial artist, and his gaze became steely. Akane unconsciously took a step backward in fear before she realized her mistake and glared at her fiancé.
"That's a joke right? I've lost count of how many times I've had to save your sexless, tomboy butt! You can take care of yourself? Ha! Then prove it!" With that declaration, the boy disappeared. The youngest Tendo gasped and spun in time to block the punch with her forearm. Tear welled in her eyes as she felt her bone creak from the pressure. She stumbled backward before the next punch caught her shoulder. The next one hit the small of her back.
The girl turned as she tried to find her opponent. A low kick took her legs out form under her, but she was ready for it. She rolled from the blow and flipped out of reach. In a flurry of limbs, she attacked. Her move was fruitless however, her blows hitting air. Another punch hit her stomach and she doubled over, clutching her stomach. She didn't have time to protest as she was thrown into the wall. Her knees locked instinctively, keeping her standing. The girl flinched as Ranma's fist slammed into the wall beside her head, breaking the wood.
"Still think you can take care of everything yourself? It's that kind of stupid thinking that got you in trouble before! Do you want Jusendo to happen again?" Ranma froze as the sentence left his mouth, cursing himself. It was a low blow; one of the lowest he could have used. Shame instantly swallowed any remaining anger he felt toward his fiancé. He slowly pulled his hand back, and realized just how close he had been to seriously hurting her. He had let his anger get the best of him again, like he had with Saffron. "Akane... I... I..."
"I get it alright?" The martial artist swallowed at the dejected tone of her voice. "I'll never be as good-looking as Shampoo. I'll never be as good a cook as Ukyo. I'll never be as good a fighter as you. So what?" Her voice was regaining its self-confidence and anger. "Do you want me to give up? I want to get better! Can't you just accept that?" The boy gapped, not sure whether he was supposed to answer her or not. Glaring at her fiancé, Akane pushed him away from her and stepped away from the wall. "Maybe it was a good thing that the others stopped us." She made her way for the door.
Ranma could do nothing but stare. He had been wound so tight over the last few weeks that it had only been a matter of time before he snapped. He hadn't meant to take his frustration on his constantly changing emotions out on Akane, even if she was the cause for most of them. Now that all the tension was gone, he felt helpless and confused as to what to do. He brushed his fingers through his hair in frustration. "Dammit"
Akane slid the door open and stepped through. Or at least she tried to. She bounced back into the dojo as she hit a well-built figure. Glaring at the pig-tailed boy, the Tendo girl crossed her arms over her chest, looking peeved. Ranma stepped back into the room and shut the door. "Ranma let me ou...."
"You're relying to much on your strength. It makes your movements predictable. Try to not put so much force into your punches so you have room to defend." The short-haired girl blinked owlishly at him, her arms hanging limply by her sides. "Come at me."
"What?" Ranma sighed and rolled his eyes.
"I'm trying to help. Come at me so I can show you what you're doing wrong." His fiancé hesitated for a moment before initiating the attack. The boy didn't move, but deftly caught her fist in his own. "See? Here try this." He moved to her side, hand still holding hers, and started to position her body in the correct stance. "Now do that." She complied and smiled as she felt the change in her attack.
"It worked!" The pure amazement in her voice made him roll his eyes.
"Of course. Did you expect anything else?" She flushed and he took the chance to appraise the color on her. "Now if your opponent dodges that..." He gently guided her through the steps, the martial artist in him taking over as he taught her. Her features were set in a determined line as she quickly picked up what he showed her. He was impressed. He positioned himself behind her, his arms over hers.
"And you want to block like this. It will throw them off balance so you can attack." He shifted her body into the desired pattern. The sleeve of her gi fell to her elbow and he froze. There were several old bruises and cuts from earlier training and their adventure in Jusendo, but a fresh one was forming in the middle of her forearm. The boy winced. It was a deep one and it didn't take long for him to figure how she had gotten it.
"Akane?" The girl looked over her shoulder at him, confused at the sudden stop in his lesson. "About before." Her eyes dropped from his and she twisted in his grip.
"We both messed up. I shouldn't have said those things in the first place." A weary sighed escaped her lips and he felt her body move against his. "I just needed someone to take my anger out on. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get mad at you." Ranma nodded, but the something else bothering him.
"Did you... did you mean what you said before about.... about the wed....wedding?" This time Akane turned completely in his arms to face him, chocolate eyes searching his. "I.... I mean.... about being glad that.... that we didn't... didn't...." She saved him from completing his question as she wrapped his arms around him. He stood for a moment, unsure what to do with his hands, before he awkwardly wrapped them around her small frame.
"No. I didn't" She pulled her face away from his chest and frowned. "Why? Do you...?"
"No! I just.. I just... Dammit!" He cursed himself as his tongue refused to listen to his head once again. Akane didn't seem to notice and just squeezed him tighter.
"I wouldn't have minded you know? If we were married." Ranma swallowed loudly, but his fiancé didn't seem to notice. The wedding had always seemed like something on the horizon to him. He never thought it would actually happen. Akane had shown no signs of protest as they continually dodged their fathers' requests. Never in his wildest dreams did he think Akane might actually agree to marrying him. It was then that he realized, he had actually wanted to marry her today. Even if there hadn't been any Nanniichuan, he would have gone through with it.
His expression softened as he looked at the girl in his arms. He didn't know when it had happened, but he had fallen inexplicably and irrevocably in love with her. Their fighting and insults had become a part of his life, and it scared him to think what would happen if it suddenly vanished. She had been forcibly integrated into his life, and now he needed her. Sure, his life had become much more hectic once she got involved, but he didn't want that to change. It kept things interesting.
"C'mon. We should get to bed before the old geezers find us both missing." The girl laughed, her dark eyes sparkling.
"Oh! I can't even imagine how bad they'd be then!" She giggled into her hand and he shook his head. "'Night."
"'Night." The warrior waited until she had walked up the stairs and heard her door close before turning back to the training room. Now his mind was racing more than before. He began a kata, giving up any chance of sleeping tonight. "Stupid Akane."