YOU SHOULD THEORETICALLY BE GETTING USED TO THESE BY NOW. THESE CHARACTERS DO NOT BELONG TO ME, RATHER TO A VERY WONDERFUL WOMAN IN JAPAN NAMED RUMIKO TAKAHASHI, AND TO THE RESPECTIVE COMPANIES SHE HAS DETERMINED TO ALLOW USE. DON'T EVEN THINK FOR A MOMENT THAT I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OR CREDIT IN ANY FORM OR FASHION FOR THESE CHARACTERS OR ANY OF THEIR ACTIONS.

Rooftop Confessions- Akane's heart and soul

Prelude to Apology

A fanfic by FrictionX42

Stuff written in italics are thoughts.

Ranma sighed. Waking up wearing a tuxedo, almost getting married, losing another cure to the curse, and having said wedding ceremony practically destroyed along with Akane by his two other fiancees. The day had gone downhill from there. There had been two good points to the day, however: getting to watch Akane work on a new move, and what he was doing now- laying on the roof. It was peaceful on the roof, usually. Every now and then something would happen to disturb his idyllic respite from the craziness that beset him from every side everywhere else, like the night he met that nut-case Kodachi. But tonight was quiet, something he was immensely grateful for. It wasn't often he had the chance to enjoy the sunset, and the sky was crystal clear; tonight promised to be a real treat. He frowned as he realized that he couldn't help but feel that something was missing. He sighed again. Akane. Why did he always have to think about her when he was up here? It wasn't like he wanted to think about that uncute tomboy, she just barged into his thoughts like she blundered through everything else. He smiled as he remembered watching her earlier- the way she had been so excited when she figured out the move she'd been working on, the way she had been so happy afterward, the way she smiled… Uncute. That's all she ever would be: Uncute. Ranma sighed to himself yet again. This is getting old, he thought to himself, I'm up here almost every night now, wondering what to do about Akane. I guess I do have… feelings for her. At least, I'm told that I said as much at Jusendo. And she did look really good in that wedding dress… Oh, man, what am I gonna do about her?

Just then, Ranma heard the noise of footsteps on the other side of the roof. He remained silent, wondering who the other person could be and not wanting to raise attention to himself. The other person stopped for a moment, and Ranma heard sounds of someone sitting down on the other side of the roof. Silently thanking Kami-sama that he was not noticed, he suddenly felt a burning desire to ascertain the identity of the person who had breached his sacred place of blessed peacefulness. He poked his head over the top of the roof ever so slightly, and his gaze fell upon a person with short hair so black it seemed blue at times, a person whom he knew instantly and identified as Akane. She was laying on the rooftop no more than four feet from him and he could hear her breathing. Her eyes were closed, and she seemed to be contemplating something with an intensity he had seen in her only few times before. She was smiling a sad sort of smile, one than made Ranma ache to know her thoughts. Yet he remained silent, enthralled by her presence, her gentle nature that she hid so far below the surface, breathing imperceptibly out of fear that any movement on his part would cause the spell she was casting upon him to shatter and the moment would be lost forever.

After a few moments, however, he wanted to move closer to her, to lay down next to her, to say hello to her- something, anything- so that he could bask in her presence. He was just about to move when she began whispering. Her words were spoken very softly; Ranma could barely make out what she was saying. At first, it was not the words that she said that were important. The sound of her voice suddenly became to him the most beautiful sound in the world, and he focused solely upon that for a few moments.

Then she said his name.

"Ranma, oh Ranma… what am I going to do with you? It seems like all we ever do is fight. But every now and then, you- oh, if only I could…"

Ranma settled down, not wanting to give away the fact that he was there, hoping that she would continue. He kept his gaze on her however, so enraptured of her perfect lips and face to even think of breaking off his line of sight to what he now beheld to be the most wonderful sight he had ever laid eyes on. Her smile returned, only this time less sad and enigmatic. She breathed slowly, her chest expanding with each inhalation of the crisp night air. The lights of Nerima illuminating her features with a shimmering aura that only served to enhance her beauty to a supernatural level. The wind gently blowing through her hair and sending rippling motions through the clothes she was wearing only further enhanced the effect.

That's right, Ranma thought, she stayed out late with friends tonight, and she must have just gotten back. I remember she wanted me to come with her today… they were gonna watch some cheesy movie… Ranma glanced back at her, once again enraptured by the vision of loveliness that he beheld on the other side of the ridge in the roof. Now that I think about it, why didn't I go? I sure woulda liked to spend some time with her, if only we could keep from fighting. Ranma's reverie was broken as her lips moved again, speaking words that Ranma barely heard, and yet couldn't miss; they resounded in his ears with absolute clarity.

"Ranma, can't you see that I love you?"

His heart almost stopped, he was so shocked to hear these words that she spoke. He certainly didn't expect to hear them so soon after the failed wedding ceremony that was botched so badly. Part of it my fault, he thought, feeling more than a slight pang of guilt. Why can't I just come out and say what I feel about her? His mind reeled with the possibilities of actually coming forward and admitting his true feelings for her. The only trouble was that he wasn't entirely sure of what his true feelings really were. No one had ever really given him the opportunity to think the whole thing over, and you really couldn't say that this was anything even resembling a normal situation, so it required a lot more thought. He was fairly certain that he knew in which direction his feelings lay, but he didn't want to mess things up with anyone. That, and if either his or Akane's dad found out, the two would be married before the day was out. And yet she had wanted to get married…

Ranma's thoughts were cut off as he realized that Akane had started to speak again, and he had missed the first few words.

"-arrived at my house, I thought you were just some weird pervert, and then to be engaged to you was like some kind of nightmare, but then you were not like any other boy I ever met. You had honor, and a lot of it. You were the only boy who didn't want to date me. At first, I wasn't sure of what to do about that, but then I remembered one of the first things I ever said to you, '…you want to be friends?' It took me a long time to realize that all you were trying to do was be my friend, and even longer for me to realize that you weren't being mean on purpose, you just didn't know any better. Who could blame you, with your father being how he is. It's a wonder you came out like you are at all.

"I guess at first, I was just really angry about the whole engagement thing, and I took it out on you pretty badly. For that I'm really sorry. I've just never actually said I'm sorry to people very often, and it's hard to say it to you especially, since you mean so much to me. Oh, Ranma, I love you so much that it hurts when we fight, and I wish I knew how to make it stop… but it looks like I'm not very good at not fighting either. I guess when you spend your entire life learning to do one thing and one thing only, then that one thing kind of comes out whenever you do anything. It explains why you and Ryoga fight so much. And… why we fight so much. Too bad there's not any such thing as Anything Goes Martial Art Engagements…"

At this she smiled, a grin that left Ranma breathless with awe. Her face seemed to brighten the entire sky, and stars in the night lost their twinkle in comparison. Without missing a beat, she continued her soliloquy of confession.

"It feels so right, being engaged to you, like it was supposed to happen- fate or something like that. At first, it didn't seem like it would be any good, but then, I don't know… something happened, and you looked at me, and I could see in your eyes… something that I could fall in love with. It happened, without me even knowing it, and I found out only when Shampoo showed up and I started to get… jealous."

He could see that it hurt her to admit these things, and that he was witnessing a true spectacle: Akane confessing her feelings, even when she thought no one else was around, was not something that happened very often, he was sure. As he watched, tears began to seep out of her closed eyes, running down her cheeks and leaving little trails of luminescence where the light reflected off of the moisture left behind. It tore at Ranma's heart to see her cry, and as he watched her, his vision became blurred as tears welled up in his eyes also. He had never felt this way before. Sympathy was not his strong point and the very idea of crying around Akane was anathema to him. Her tears seemed to penetrate through to the deepest recesses of his heart, and open up feelings and emotions that he had suppressed for years and years. The tears flowed freely down each of their faces, each crying for the other's sake. Through her tears, Akane somehow found the strength to keep speaking.

"All of the sudden I couldn't bear the thought of losing you to anyone else, I just couldn't see how to say what it was that I wanted to. And then Ukyo came along, and… things just seemed to get worse. And then… when I almost died at Jusendo, and you held me and said you loved me, I realized that I… I loved you too."

This last admission came with a long, drawn out sigh, almost the sigh of someone who has consigned herself to defeat. The tears continued unabated from her eyes, and she could no longer hold in the sobs that now wracked her body. Ranma quickly wiped his tears away and stood, approaching the distraught girl. As he advanced, however, his foot slipped on a wet patch on the roof- caused by his tears, he realized too late- and he tumbled quickly down off the roof into the open air. With a huge splash, he landed directly in the koi pond. He felt the usual effect, the sudden, biting cold, and the shock of the fish almost palpable in the hated water that triggered his curse. Ranma merely lay there, certain that Akane had heard the commotion and would be angry that he had listened in on her confession to the stars, and waiting for the Hammer Of Death to fall upon him with the force of several small continents.

After several moments, Ranma listened carefully. Akane was still weeping on the rooftop, and seemed to not have noticed his blunder. Ranma breathed a sigh of relief, and went inside to draw a hot bath.

Ranma took a very short bath, only long enough to regain feeling in his limbs again and went back up to the rooftop, but upon arriving, he found that Akane had left. New-found feelings still surging through him, he vowed to finally tell her how he felt- tonight. It had to be tonight, or he probably wouldn't be given too many more chances.

He would do it tonight, even if it killed him.

Author's Notes: Dunno what I was thinking when I came up with this one, just that I figured that if one of the two was ever going to finally come forth and admit their feelings, it would probably be Akane, and then only if nobody else was around. I wrote this about 6 years ago, and had it up on an old web page for quite some time, but never really submitted it anywhere. Now that I'm posting here, I figure it's time to get this one, and it's companion piece - Rooftop Confessions! Ranma's Mind and Body - released. The two are meant to be mutually exclusive. I have written a lot more based on this piece however, as it provides a very nice starting point to another story I was writing at the time (my Apology fic, which I will post when I have more of it written. 8 short chapters so far, and I'm only about 1/8 of the way done.) My apologies if this is not accurate according to canon, but I have only watched the Anime, and have only a very limited understanding so far of the details of the end of Ranma1/2 as far as the Manga is concerned.