"Hey Akane," Ranma asked as they slipped into the hot water, enjoying having the entire house to themselves for the summer holiday when they celebrated their eighteenth birthdays. It had been nice, the quiet.

"What is it Ranma?"

"Want to get married?" he asked, staring up at the tiled ceiling. "Appreciating that we've known each other for roughly two years now, and lived together and all that, I was just wondering."

"Ranma," Akane said, confusion written across her face as she focused intensely on his.

"I think you're wonderful Akane," he said, smiling just a little ruefully, but still not looking at her as he spoke. "I even have suspicions that I'm crazy in love with you. I'll understand if you want to say no though," he finished, finally looking down from the ceiling to face her.

Akane was crying, which immediately worried him, until he noticed that she was smiling through the tears.

Gently, he wiped them away with a wet thumb.

"I think I probably love you as well," Akane answered. "I'll marry you Ranma."

Great, now he was crying and smiling.

Akane lunged at him in the water, wrapping her arms around him and burying her face in his neck, sobbing happily.

Ranma wrapped his arms around her tightly, and breathed in the scent of her wet hair.

"We'll go somewhere far away, and we won't be associated with our families, or our high school, and we can set up the dojo anew if you like. We'll have whole new lives," Ranma promised in a hoarse whisper.

Akane nodded happily against Ranma's chest.

~oOo~

Through some minor miracle, the wedding went off without too much trouble, even if it did happen not far from the dojo, and all of their families and a very few close friends were in attendance.

"I, Saotome Ranma, do take this woman to be my lawful wedded wife. I shall honour, cherish, respect and keep her through the good times and bad, whether sick or hale, wealthy or poor," he swore, holding Akane's hands in his as they stood before the priest.

"I, Tendo Akane, do take this man to be my lawful wedded husband. I shall honour, cherish, respect and keep him through the good times and bad, whether sick or hale, wealthy or poor," she said, smiling happily up at Ranma.

"Akane, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and everlasting fidelity," Ranma said, sliding the simple golden band onto Akane's finger.

Akane sniffed and a tear of happiness rolled down her face as she looked at the ring before taking up the one she was to place of Ranma's hand. "Ranma, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and everlasting fidelity."

The priest smiled at the couple. "Let all those gathered here today bear witness to the love of these two people, and let nothing ever part them. You may now kiss, as husband and wife."

Ranma and Akane smiled as he lifted the veil from her face and leant down to press their lips together.

Akane slipped her arms around Ranma's neck even as his came up around her waist, pulling them closer together, unaware of the cheering that had erupted in the shrine. At last they were married. At last they belonged to each other. At last. Nothing would ever part them now.

Ukyo caught the bouquet when Akane through it, and blushed very prettily in her suit as she looked over at the feminine assistant she'd nabbed up a while ago in a bout of Nerima strangeness who now helped to run her shop and was standing next to her. He blushed too and, looking away, subtly wove their fingers together. A blush soon highlighted both of their cheeks.

~oOo~

Ranma and Akane were stopped at a hotspring hotel the first night of their honeymoon. With just the pay from his after-school job, they wouldn't have been able to afford the holiday that they were having, but they'd also made out very well on Nabiki's greed, and had swiped a pile from their parents as well – which both of them agreed was fair, since between the lot of them, their lives would have been ruined if their parents had gotten their ways.

Tomorrow, they would see where they felt like going, but for now, the newly-wed couple were going to enjoy the private hotspring that was attached to their rooms.

Akane moaned – and Ranma thought it was a delicious sound – as he sucked and nipped and laved at her neck, while his hands caressed smooth skin beneath the water's surface, going down, going down, tickling ribs and twisting nipples in a way that caused Akane to moan even louder before he slipped one hand behind her back to hold her steady, and the other hand went down to that place that was even hotter than the hotsprings water, the sacred place between her legs.

"Ranma," Akane gasped, feeling shocking through her like nothing she had ever felt before.

"I am quite certain Akane," Ranma said softly, dragging his lips up her neck, pecking a soft kiss just below her ear before he moved to her lips, "that I am completely and hopelessly in love with you," he told her, their breath mingling and their lips barely brushing against each other as he spoke.

Their eyes locked for the briefest of moments, and then they shut as their lips clashed hungrily, passionately, and Ranma greedily swallowed every moan he caused Akane to rumble out as his fingers moved over her folds and tweaked at everything just right, before he slid one finger into her core. He rubbed and petted and stroked her inside, and took note of what exactly he was doing that caused each and every minute reaction.

If he crooked his finger just a little, her breath hitched before she clenched up around him a little tighter. If he thrust deeply, she moaned in satisfaction. If he petted her, she panted. Carefully, he added a second finger to join the first, and then, just because he could, and he wanted to know if she would like it, he took a breath and replaced his hand with his mouth, sucking, licking, nipping, thrusting his tongue in and out where his fingers had been moments before.

When he couldn't hold his breath any more, he came up to see that Akane was a beautiful, dishevelled mess and begging for him. Just saying his name over and over, pleading in her voice.

He kissed her, and gently pulled her away from the edge of the pool – onto him.

Her breath hitched again, but Ranma could tell that this time it was in pain, rather than pleasure.

Ranma finished lowering her onto him slowly, and then moved to rub gentle, soothing circles into her lower back, kissing along her collar bone and neck once again. He adored her, truly he did.

She shifted herself on him, then halted suddenly, her eyes closed and a look of ecstasy on her face as a moan passed her lips, and then when she caught a moan coming from Ranma, she smiled and shifted the same way again, laying her hands on Ranma's shoulders to help steady her.

It was the most wonderful feeling either of them had ever experienced, and they basked in the afterglow as they floated through the hotspring waters, still joined together, smiling as they held each other.

"Next time," Akane said quietly, lazily, as they looked up at the moon above them, still warm in the steaming water, "I want to play with you a bit first."

Ranma chuckled, and she could feel it vibrate through his chest into hers. "If you really want to, then I won't complain," he answered with a smile, twisting just a little so that he could kiss her hair. "But would you like me to fetch the towels now, and we can make use of the futons our parents are paying for?"

Akane nodded, but yelped in surprise when Ranma picked her up when he stood, staying inside her as he walked into their room, carefully keeping that contact even as he dried every inch of both of them, even when he draped her sleeping yukata over her shoulders and pulled on his own.

"I'm warning you now," Ranma said as he lay them both down on their futons. "As a man in my prime, there's a thing that I get called 'morning wood', which means that when you wake up, chances are good I'll be hard inside you."

Akane smiled. "I'll wake you up gently then, and play with you afterwards," she said, kissing him soundly and curling into his side with a truly content sigh.

They were both asleep in minutes.

~The End~