Disclamer: I do not own Ranma ½ or its characters; Rumiko Takahashi does and I make no money from writing this story.

Together at last

It was another ordinary day in the Tendo house.

Akane got up around 7 a.m. and 20 minutes later when she entered the living-room she heard her sister Kasumi saying: "Would you wake up Ranma, please?" It was the same thing every morning, she had to wake him up. As usual she went into his room and saw him sleeping like a baby. She stopped near his bed and watched him for a few moments and she was surprised to realize that she liked him very much - she didn`t want to admit that she loved him, at least not yet. Still she decided that she would try to be more friendly with him and so she didn`t wake him up in the usual way, i.e. throwing cold water over him, she sat on the bed and she called him gently: "Ranma ... Ranma … wake up sleepyhead!"

To her surprise it seemed that Ranma had really heard her words and he woke up slowly. After a few seconds Ranma realized that he wasn`t all wet as he used to be every morning. He watched Akane without knowing what to think or what to say. It was a very unusual situation for both of them.

The girl broke the silence: "Good morning, Ranma!" and she got up. "Good morning, Akane!" replied the boy. "Hurry up Ranma or we`ll be late on the last school day." said the girl walking out of the room. Ranma was amazed. 'What got into her? Why was she being so nice to me?' were the boy`s thoughts. He didn`t have anything against the fact that Akane was acting so friendly, it was strange but he liked it. He liked her too, a lot, but he didn`t want anyone else to know it. He decided that he would behave better with Akane and that he would try not to fight with her. After 5 minutes he entered the living-room, he greeted everyone, he took his place near Akane at the table and he started eating.

The family was amazed that the two were not fighting as they always did but nobody said a word about it. Mr. Tendo and Mr. Saotome started making wedding plans in their minds, but, luckily for them, they didn`t say a word out loud, they just watched their children sitting peacefully at the table. 10 minutes passed and the two teenagers left for school. On their way none of them said a word but they also did not fight which was odd but they liked it. They got in class in time - Ranma helped Akane with her morning fight in the school yard and she thanked him and smiled. Ranma was even more amazed but he replied: "You don`t have to thank me, you know I`ll always help you." It was Akane`s turn to be surprised but they didn`t have time to waist, they had to hurry.

The time passed quickly and finally the bell announced the end of the school year and the beginning of the summer holiday. During the breaks everybody talked about how they were going to spend their time, all except Ranma and Akane. When they were asked they replied that they had no idea how they would spend their holiday. On the way home the two of them walked silently side by side thinking that if they were lucky they would get rid of their fathers during the holiday. When they arrived home they were surprised by the silence. They looked around and they found a note on the living-room table which informed them that they would be alone for the summer because all the others left to visit some relatives. The teenagers were simply amazed and for some minutes none of them could say a word.

"It`s incredible!" said both of them at the same time. They watched each other and started laughing. They laughed so much that they had tears in their eyes when they calmed down.

"What do you want to do now?" asked Akane. "Well, I`m kind of hungry, aren`t you?" responded Ranma. "Let`s eat! Kasumi left us some food in the refrigerator but it won`t last us for more than a week. We`ll have to manage with the money they left us. It`s enough, I think..." said Akane.

After eating and cleaning the two teenagers went to sit on the porch. Each of them was lost in their thoughts when all of a sudden they heard the words: "Nihao airen!" None other than Shampoo appeared near Ranma. Akane was furious but so was Ranma. He knew the Chinese girl would not let him in peace so he hit her but she landed in the small pond that the Tendos had in their yard. When she got out she was a cat and she came to Ranma managing to stay too close to him so that he entered in the Neko- state. This time he simply kicked Shampoo far away from their house. Akane watched all this happen being glad to see that her fiance didn`t like to have the Chinese girl near him. Now she had to get Ranma out of the Neko state, she was the only one who could get him out of it.

"Ranma, come here!" said Akane and the boy came as fast as he could to sit on her lap as he usually did when he was in this state. Akane liked taking care of Ranma. She caressed him and she was very glad that their family wasn`t present at the time. Akane was tired, she lay on the floor with Ranma beside her and felt asleep. After some time Ranma woke up and found himself lying on the floor beside Akane with one hand wrapped around her. He didn`t know how they got in that position but as he wanted to take his hand away what he feared most happened: Akane woke up. He was terrified at the thought that Akane would hit him. To his surprise nothing of that happened. The girl just looked at him with her chocolate eyes and smiled. He was puzzeled by her attitude but didn`t say a word. She was pleasantly surprised to wake up with Ranma`s hand around her and she liked the feeling of security that he gave her. The teenagers stayed on the floor watching each other without saying a word for some time.

"Would you like to train a little in the dojo and, maybe, a spar between us?" Akane broke the silence. "O.K." said Ranma. "I`ll be ready as soon as I take my training outfit. Be right back." replied the girl running up to her room to change her clothes. After a few minutes both of them were in the dojo. They trained together for some hours and finally they decided to end their training with a fight. Akane tried to win but Ranma was too strong for her and, as usual, he won the match. During the fight Ranma noticed, to his surprise, that the girl had improved her technique. She was a very good fighter and Ranma told her that: "You know Akane, I noticed that you have improved a lot since I came here." As the girl watched him surprised and didn`t know whether to belive him or not the boy continued: "Now you are a better fighter, much better if I may say so." "Thanks, I guess..." were the only words that Akane could say.

The two entered the house and after dinner they decided to watch a movie at the TV. They chose a thriller and while they were watching it a storm came over the city – a storm with powerfull wind and with a lot of lightning. All of a sudden Ranma noticed that Akane was trembling on the couch. For a moment he thought it was because of the movie but soon he remembered how scared Akane was during the storms. He didn`t know what to do. He feared that if he touched her she would hit him but he saw no other way to help her. He approached carefully and took the girl in his arms. To his great surprise, instead of hitting him as he expected, Akane just got closer to him. After a few minutes she stopped trembling but she remained in his arms. Ranma wanted to get up but his fiancee kept clinging to him, she looked at him with her eyes wet because of the tears and said: "Please ... stay with me ... don`t leave me alone ... don`t ever leave me ..." "O.K. Akane, I`ll stay here with you..." replied the boy and he added softly " I promise I`ll always be by your side..." So he took her again in his arms. They just sat there quietly for some time, they fall asleep and they remained like this until the next morning.

The gentle rays of the morning sun caressed the girl`s face and she woke up. To her surprise, Akane realized that she was in Ranma`s arms and as she tried to get up the boy pulled her much closer to him. As she didn`t want to wake him up, although she thought that the situation was a little odd, she decided not to move yet. But, before she could fall asleep again, the boy woke up. Surprised to find the girl so close to him, Ranma could only watch her very surprised. The girl finally broke the silence: "Good morning, Ranma!" "Good morning, Akane!" After a few moments of silence the girl continued: "Thanks Ranma!" The boy remained silent for a few seconds and then he said: "I told you that I`ll always be by your side and I meant it." Akane watched him attentively, she kissed him quickly on his right cheek and, blushing, she looked at the so 'interesting' floor. Ranma was shocked and for some moments he couldn`t make any move. But he recovered pretty quickly from that shock, he watched Akane for a very short moment and, blushing, he drew her closer. She didn`t fight him, actually she embraced him. None of them said a word and they stayed like that for some time. Each of them enjoyed feeling the other so close. Finally, they had the courage to watch each other and seeing each other`s red face they started smiling and soon after that they burst out laughing. They laughed until tears came to their eyes and then they started calming down. As they stopped laughing they had a serious look on their faces. "Akane, I`m serious about what I said before." "I know and I thank you for that." Blushing a little, Ranma said: "You are my fiancee and I`ll always protect you… You are the most important for me…" As he realized what he had just said, he blushed violently and did not dare to watch his fiancee`s face. After a few moments of tension the boy felt the hand of his fiancee touching his face and turning it to her. He had to watch her in her chocolate eyes and he was very surprised. Her eyes full of love were a little wet with tears but she kept watching him attentively and she smiled pronouncing the words: "You are the most important for me too!" Ranma could hardly belive that Akane said those words but her eyes convinced him that it was real. Slowly, Ranma`s hand caressed Akane`s right cheek and slowly their faces got closer and closer… When their lips touched for the first time they felt like stroke by a lightning. Their first kiss will always remain in their memory and they will never forget it.

The end

or is it

A beginning...