A/N: *Whew* Finally! The sequel to Whatever you Dish, Part 1. Please let me know what you think of the first one if you haven't already. (I'm impressed at how fast this is flowing...) But anyway, enjoy :). Please R&R.
Whatever You Dish - Part 2
Akane yawned and stretched her limbs. The warming rays from the sun illuminated on her form as it spilled in through the screen door, giving her a comfortable, yet roused feeling. She blinked back the fatigue that generated heaviness in her eyelids. She really shouldn't have stayed up late last night.
The thought brought her back to the incident with Ranma. After crying herself to sleep eventually, she had released any amount of resentment that may have formed at the product of their fight. She didn't want what happened last night to change their status with one another. Maybe, with luck, they could even proceed as if it never happened. Maybe she could just ignore the hurt that still panged her, even from the thought of it.
Her thoughts were faded as Nabiki entered the living room, stretching. She had her school uniform on and was carrying her school bag. "Good morning."
Genma, in Panda form, walked by carrying a briefcase... He held up a sign that said 'I'm off to the clinic now.'
Kasumi entered with a tray of rice-filled bowls. "Hey Akane, can you go wake, Ranma?"
"Why do I have to do it?" she blurted, sharply.
"He's usually awake by now."
"Well that's his problem,"she stated.
"Whoa," Nabiki said. "What's with the attidude, Akane? Are you and Ranma still fighting?"
"No, I just wanted to know why I'm expected to wake him all the time."
"Well, he is your fiancee..."
She glared at her older sister. "Not by choice!"
"Whatever." Nabiki placed both palms flat on the table and pushed herself into standing position. "I'm leaving now. You coming?"
Akane's facial expression softened. "Uh...go ahead without me. I'll catch up."
"Fine," she stated.
Soun came into the living room dressed in a moquette charcoal gray suit. "Good morning."
"Good morning, Father. You look nice." Kasumi said kissing his cheek.
"Yeah, well, the job I'm applying for calls for this type of attire." He went to the hat/coat rack and grabbed his gray hat. "Wish me luck."
"Good day. I hope you get the job." Kasumi waved. The eldest Tendo sister turned to her younger sibling. "Akane, I'll be out this evening. I have a doctor's appointment. Father may not be back from his interview and Mr. Saotome won't be home till night, so please don't go near the kitchen. You, Ranma, and Nabiki can order out for dinner. In the meantime, I need to go pick up some groceries, so could you go wake Ranma for school?"
Akane rolled her eyes. "Fine." She got up from the table.
"Thanks," she said pulling on a sweater. "Try not to be late, okay?"
"I won't." She reluctantly shuffled down the hallway. Damn, Ranma. Of all the mornings for him to oversleep, why did he choose this one? She probably wouldn't have minded if she wasn't the one who had to go wake him. After last night, he was the last person she wanted to face. She slowed down as she arrived closer to the guest room. Flashbacks of their little "encounter" stopped her in her tracks. She stared at the closed screen door as a blush crept over her cheeks. God, this was going to be awkward.
She inhaled and slid the door open. The breath quickly escaped her as she stared at Ranma's futon. It was empty.
Instead, Ranma was across the room, fully dressed, digging through his back pack. His gaze quickly met hers.
Akane looked down at the floor, attempting to hide her blush. "Uh...K-Kasumi asked me to wake you...but I see you're already awake..."
Ranma went back to what he was doing. "Yeah." He closed his back pack and threw it over his shoulder. "Sorry. I woke up late." He walked past her without looking at her. After a moment, Akane followed him into the living room.
Ranma glanced around but said nothing. He caught glimpse of the platter of lonely rice-bowls that no one had time to eat. His back pack slid down his shoulder and hit the floor as he took a seat at the table and grabbed a bowl.
Akane stared at him. "What are you doing?"
He picked up a pair of chopsticks. "I'm eating. What does it look like I'm doing?"he replied, bitterly.
"But we'll be late."
"No, I'LL be late...What does that have to do with YOU?"
Akane glared at him when she realized what he was saying. "Fine. Sorry for trying to help!" She stomped out the door.
Ranma continued to eat his rice, nonchalantly, as if he hadn't heard a word she said.
Akane pouted. She was about a block away from Furikan Highschool.
"That dumb jerk." she said. She wondered what his problem was. He couldn't have possibly been mad at her. Could he? No way. He had absolutely no reason to be mad. Now, SHE had a reason to be mad.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a familiar ringing. She turned around to see a figure on a bicycle coming in her direction. The figure waved as it approached.
Akane slowed down and stopped. "Oh. Hi Shampoo."
Shampoo glanced around. "Huh? Akane no with Ranma?"
Akane scoffed and continued walking. "What does HE have to do with ME?"
Shampoo stared at her confused. "Shampoo have special surprise for Ranma at Cat Cafe."
"Hmm." Akane looked up in interest.
"Oh well. Tell him stop by after school." Shampoo rung her bell and took off.
Akane watched her as she disappeared down the street. "Surprise...?"
Akane quickly averted her eyes to avoid meeting Ranma's gaze. They were sitting in English class and she found it difficult to focus. Her mind kept shifting back to this morning's events. She had been so strenuously occupied by the thoughts that she had even caught herself staring at him a few times. This time he almost caught her.
Besides his remarkable behavior before school, he hadn't been behaving abnormally. He had acted regularly contented with his friends. He was affable when greeted by Ukyo earlier.
But when it came to Akane... he failed to say a single word to her. Not that there hadn't been days when they went the whole school day without speaking to one another, but those were simply unintentional. Today seemed different. He failed to even throw her an acquainted glance.
Today, it was almost as if he was TRYING not to deal with her.
'Hmm,' she thought. Maybe it had had something to do with yesterday. She had already guessed, but the last thing she wanted was for the incident to create awkwardness. She didn't mind them being a little awkward, but not to the extent where he avoids her.
She glanced over at him. He hid behind his textbook, sneaking bites of food when Ms. Hinako's back was turned. Yep. He definantly wasn't acting abnormally today.
Except for with her.
After school, Akane walked with Yuka and Sayuri out of the building. Teens came pouring out of the school with eagerness.
"Come on, Akane. The movie starts in fifteen minutes."
She had been too busy looking around, searching for a particular person. Yuka's voice caught her attention. "Huh...Oh. That's okay, guys. I think I'll catch you next time."
The girls stared at her. "Is everything okay, Akane?" Sayuri asked.
"Yeah. You seem really out of it today," Yuka justified.
Akane looked back. There he was! After the crowd of students had cleared out, she spotted him coming down the steps alone.
Yuka and Sayuri followed her glance. Suddenly, smiles came to their faces. "Oh..." Yuka leaned in closer. "Does it have to do with Ranma?"
Akane blushed and looked at them. "No. Of course not."
Her two companions laughed. "Sure...See you tomorrow Akane." She inattentively waved goodbye, turning back to her previous engagement. She watched as Ranma neared the gate, his hands rested at the back of his head, looking up at the sky. Right when he briefly made eye contact with her, Daisuke and Hiroshi ran up to him, stealing his attention away.
"Hey, Ranma...You wanna head to the pool?" Daisuke asked.
"Are you sure? You said no last time."
Ranma pondered it and sighed. "I guess... Just for a little while, though..."
Hiroshi stared at him. "Hmm...Is there something on your mind?"
Daisuke slapped him on the back. "Come on. You can tell us. We're your buds, right?"
"Is it girl problems?" Hiroshi said, elbowing him.
Ranma clenched his teeth. "NO! For the last time, there is nothing-"
"Ranma," Akane said approaching him.
They stopped and looked at her. Hiroshi and Daisuke got the hint. "We'll go on ahead, Ranma."
"Alright. see ya later." Ranma turned back to Akane and stared.
"I just thought you should know that i ran into Shampoo this morning and she wants you to stop by the Cat Cafe...she said she had a surprise for you or something."
Ranma blinked. "A surprise?..."
"That's what i said...but, yeah. That's all."
Ranma thought about it. "Hm...alright." They walked out the gate without saying another word to each other. They walked down the block and went seperate directions. Akane watched him as he headed toward Shampoo's restaurant.
That was weird. Judging by his reaction, even he didn't know about it.
Akane almost shrugged it off. She WAS curious to know what it was, but at the same time, it had nothing to do with her. So she continued down the street toward home.
Something still wasn't right. A few seconds ago, she could have sworn there was some tension between them. Maybe she could try to talk to him about it when he arrived home. That's when Akane remembered...
"Oh, that's right! Kasumi, Dad, and Mr. Saotome won't be home till late. I forgot to ask Ranma what he wanted for dinner." She turned and ran back.
Bells jingled as Ranma entered the restaraunt. "Alright, I'm here. What did you-"
"Hiya!" Shampoo glomped onto him. "You came."
"Yeah, yeah." he said, nonchalantly. "What's this I here about you wanting to see me?"
"Oh..." Shampoo released him and grabbed his arm. "Follow Shampoo." She lead him through the kitchen to the side door. They exited and went outside. Ranma stopped and looked around the alley.
"What's out here?"
Shampoo reached into her shirt and pulled out a pink envelope. "Can no let Mousse see this." She handed it to him.
Ranma curiously accepted the envelope and tore it open. He pulled out the contents (which were two thin looking tickets) and studied them. His eyes widened as he read the text on the tickets. "Free round trip to Jusenkyo?"
Ranma looked at her starry-eyed. "You're...giving this to me?"
"Mm-hmm," she said nodding.
"Wow...I don't know what to say. I-" Ranma hesitated. "Hey, wait a minute..." He glared at her. "What's the cost?"
"Oh, there has to be a cost," he said skeptically.
Shampoo smiled and cuddled his arm. "Shampoo have extra ticket, so she give to Ranma."
"Really?" He stared at her gratefully. "Is that why you said that we can't let Mousse see these?...You wanted to give it to me instead of to him?"
"Wow. Thanks a lot, but...you have to let me repay you somehow. Anything you want?"
"Hiya! Ranma marry Shampoo."
"Anything EXCEPT that," he frowned.
Shampoo thought about it. "...Ranma give Shampoo kiss."
He tensed up. "Kiss...?" Shampoo removed the tickets from his hand. "Yep. You kiss Shampoo and ticket all yours."
Ranma blushed. "U-Uh...okay..."
Why not?, he thought. It was just a kiss. Shampoo closed her eyes and leaned toward him. Ranma swallowed hard and stared at her lips. He closed his eyes to find the much needed courage. He moved in closer. But then he found he couldn't move any more. His body froze when his face was just inches from hers. 'Come on, Ranma.' he thought. 'You're THIS close from never being a girl again.' No matter how hard he tried, his body just would not comply.
He opened his eyes and stepped back. It just didn't seem right. Especially when Akane kept flashing in his mind...But he REALLY needed that ticket. He sucked in his breath. 'Let's try this again,' he thought leaning toward Shampoo.
A few more seconds passed and he still couldn't do it. Shampoo opened her eyes.
"What take Ranma so long?...Do Ranma not want ticket?"
Ranma swallowed again. "...I do..."
"Than let Shampoo help." She encircled her arms around his shoulders. He tensed up even more. Shampoo's face gravitated towards his. He pulled back as far as he could. Which wasn't very far due to the wall behind him. That's when he panicked.
"Wait a minute, Shampoo..." He waved his arms wildly. She continued to lean in. He could practically feel her breath on his lips. "Let's not-" He attempted to quickly scoot away, but Shampoo's legs were to either side of him. He tripped over one and fell foward, knocking her down with him. He landed on top of her.
Shampoo cooed underneath him.
Ranma groaned in frustration and planted his hands to both sides of her body in order to push himself up. Right when he had made it to his knees, a shadow towered over them. Ranma was almost nervous to look up. But when he did, he almost wished he hadn't.
Akane stood in the entry way of the alley. Her face carried several emotions: Anger, confusion, disgust, hurt...and probably several other things Ranma couldn't read. He gulped and stood to his feet.
He should have been relieved, because unlike many other times when he had made her angry, her body wasn't surrounded by her famous "flaming aura". But at this moment, she made him feel more terrified than he had ever felt. Because she didn't hit him. She didn't yell at him. Though her eyes held every last ounce of emotion she was feeling...
She just turned and walked away.
"Akane, wait..." He started after her. When she heard his footsteps approaching behind her, she took off.
"Wait!" he shouted. She didn't stop. Ranma chased her for two blocks, ignoring Shampoo's calls from behind.
Akane stopped and bent over to catch her breath.
"Akane, please listen. It wasn't what it looked like, okay?" For the first time since they had began running, she looked at him. Ranma's breath got caught in his throat.
She was crying.
"Just stay away from me!"
"But you gotta believe me," he said reaching for her shoulder.
Her hand bolted out and struck his face. "Don't touch me!"
Ranma froze. Her eyes were piercing with resentment and her thin lips quivered involuntarily. "Akane..."
"I HATE you! Perverted Jerk!"
Ranma reached toward her with guilt. "But I-"
She scowled down at the ground. "I never want to see you or speak to you again..."
Ranma watched as she turned to walk the other way. "Akane...Please. Just this once...will you listen to me?"
"Don't bother...Why don't you just go away...I..." She turned back to him once more. "I wish this whole engagement NEVER happened!" And with that she took off.
Ranma stood there. He had no idea what he could do this time. He clutched his head in defeat. 'Why does this always happen to me?' Akane disappeared down the street.
Ranma sighed in frustration. "Damn!" He couldn't help but beat himself up mentally for screwing up once again. How in the hell had he always managed to...
He glanced down at the ground. Something Akane had said the previous night came back to him. He remembered he had spent the past twelve hours or so thinking about it. It had caused him to reconsider their relationship...It had caused him to reconsider a lot of things...
She had said, "Don't even try to make me feel better because you never can."
Something inside him broke when she said that. He wasn't sure what, but it had shut him down emotionally. And after that, he couldn't find the purpose to be as close to her as he had been. After thinking about it for long hours, he had come to a result:
Why be so close to her when all he did was hurt her?
He found a near-by bench and slumped down onto it. He couldn't go home now. It wasn't like last time, or like any of their previous fights. This was intense. He had dug himself so deep that he wasn't sure if he could get out. (Or cover the hole back up.)
And the expression on her face. It wasn't just her normal anger. It was a combination of feelings molded tightly together...He felt every emotion radiating from her as if they were fighting to escape. He felt the rage. He felt the shock. He felt the hurt. He felt the despair.
And for the first time, since he had met her... he could have sworn he felt the hatred.
To be continued...
A/N: Well, here it is. And for the second time. The story is longer than I expected it to be. Which means, (yep) there will be another sequel.
But this time I'm not sure how long it will be before i post it. I apologize to all my readers. :( But I promise as soon as I get back on my feet, this will be the first project i complete. ~Thanx for reading.~ :D