Just Right
A Ranma ½ Fanfiction
By Azurite– azurite AT seventh-star DOT net
Site: seventh-star DOT net

Version 1.2 (Edited August 18, 2011: formatting, updated links, etc.)

It's amazing how you can get inspired for fics. I can barely even remember how this one came into my mind, except now it won't get out. I'm still frustrated about all my other fanfic ideas that have been turned into gibberish, but it'll work out soon, I'm sure. April has been a good month.

Ranma ½ doesn't belong to me—it belongs to Rumiko Takahashi. Richest and greatest woman in Japan. This story idea is mine—so if you plan on stealing, changing, modifying, posting, flaming, or otherwise right-clicking, you better ask first, or the flames of hell will seek you wherever you step.

"Geez, Akane, next time taste-test your own poison before feeding it to someone else!" Ranma griped, coughing over his sleeve.

Akane stood in the kitchen doorway, not saying a word. She didn't look up at Ranma, or show any kind of outright anger at his insults towards her inability to cook an edible meal.

Ranma, for his part, was oblivious—he muttered about being sick for the next two days as he walked out of the dining area, upstairs to the bathroom.

Only Kasumi and Nabiki noticed Akane as she stood in the doorway, her head bent down and her hands–holding a tray of cookies–trembling. She dropped the tray with a clatter and ran out of the house.

"I tried this time, Mother! Really, I did…" Akane's breaths came in ragged gasps, her hands clutching the worn stone of her mother's gravestone. Tears fell softly from Akane's face onto the fresh green sprouts underneath her feet, and soaked into the earth as Akane continued to cry.

So engrossed in her pain was Akane that she didn't notice a nearby figure, also mourning, stand up, and run out of the cemetery grounds.

"…Really, boy, you should apologize to Akane!" Genma admonished his son.

It wasn't as if he disagreed with the boy—his first experience with Akane's cooking and all those thereafter had told him not to question Ranma's strange sickliness after eating his fiancee's food. But it was the principle–

"What for? She should have learned to stay out of the kitchen by now, her cooking's so toxic-"

Whatever insult Ranma had been about to add to his endless tirade stopped—the thin shadow of his fiancee stood in the doorway. Ranma silently awaited his fate—to be punted into lower earth orbit—but it never came.

Rather, Akane took off her soiled apron, tossed it onto the floor, and walked upstairs without a word.

"Ooh, you're in for it, Ranma. Akane's giving you her silent treatment. For her, that's the worst punishment you can get!" Nabiki laughed.

"Yeah…" Ranma murmured, "Like the Three Year Smiling Death treatment."

Nabiki exchanged a confused glance with Kasumi, who shrugged. They both stared at the retreating back of their little sister, and at the apron she had thrown so carelessly on the floor.

The tempting smell of dinner wafted up to Akane's room a few hours later, and the teenage girl had to muster all her willpower not to trudge downstairs and eat.

She hadn't eaten anything for hours– not since she'd gone to the graveyard. She'd eaten a very light breakfast before practicing, but that had been hours ago…. '

'No! I promised myself…and I promised mother!' Akane shook her head and ignored the scent of Kasumi's prize nikujaga.

She shut her door completely and shoved an old towel into the crack under the door. The smell was muffled by the old terry cloth, though the sounds of Kasumi preparing the table didn't help Akane's concentration any.

"Akane!" Kasumi called, "Dinner!"

Akane steeled herself, resolving that no matter what, she would keep her promise. It was bad enough her poor cooking skills gave Ranma another reason to insult her and make her look bad in front of her friends, family, and even rivals— but…

"I'm not hungry, 'nee-chan!" Akane opened the door just a fraction and called down, but she slammed the door just as quickly— and more loudly than she'd intended. The short whiff of roasted potatoes and meat had been enough to drive Akane's nostrils into a frenzy. She heaved for a moment, wavering on her feet.

'No! I won't let that idiot get to me with his insults! I'll learn to cook just right!'

The next morning, Akane woke up with terrible stomach cramps. She was willing to pass them off as injuries from her strenuous training the day before, though she knew otherwise.

She was firm in her resolution not to eat until she managed to cook something perfectly—and she had a bad feeling it would be a long time before that happened. But she was a strong girl—and she was not about to let Ranma "win" this battle.

"Akane…?" Kasumi's soft brown eyes followed her little sister as she came downstairs—walked right past the breakfast table where Genma and Ranma were, as usual, fighting over breakfast. She slipped her shoes on and walked out the door without another word—not even turning to say goodbye to everyone.

Nabiki, who'd been calmly eating her breakfast pulled the spoon out of her mouth and commented, her eyes glancing in Ranma's general direction, "Well, that was weird."

Ranma finally looked up, noticing Akane had completely ignored him–and the rest of the breakfast party– and stared at her retreating form.

'Great. What do I do now?'

First period went by sluggishly for Akane, who was struggling to keep her eyes open. They were slightly pink and bloodshot from the day before, when she'd cried herself dry at her mother's grave.

What was more, since she hadn't eaten since yesterday morning, just before her failed attempt at finally making something edible for Ranma, she had a hard time hearing the teacher's lecture over her own stomach's growls. Luckily, said growls were faint enough not to be heard by the class—though if they were, Akane wouldn't have noticed anyway.

She was oblivious to the worried glances she was receiving from Ukyo, who sat two seats away. Ukyo's own glances were being noticed—by Ranma, who, though his attention was not on the lesson at all, was actually focused on something, for once.

By the time lunch arrived, Akane was about to fall asleep—and that she did. It was another period before Home Economics, when she would actually attempt to make something edible for her fiancee.

Before, just the very thought of trying to please the pigtailed aquatranssexual would have caused a massive mental argument with her conscience. After all, what did he ever do to deserve such treatment from her?

'Aside from saving your life and your virginity a million times over?'Akane sighed, and slipped into a dreamless sleep. She awoke with a start when someone tapped her on the shoulder. To her surprise, it was Ranma.

"Hey, how come you didn't eat?" Ranma asked, the expression on his face unreadable. "Hm…wasn't hungry," Akane murmured, snuggling back into the crevices her arms made.

"Huh, right." Ranma, though he wouldn't admit it aloud, was worried.

Since Jusendo, he and Akane had made it an unspoken habit of sitting together at lunch—always in the same place, always together. Rare occassions when fights broke out or Ranma made the stupid mistake of insulting Akane in the morning were always finished by lunch—because that simple, short time they had together, uninterrupted, felt like the most precious thing in the world.

However, Akane was asleep before Ranma could come up with anything else to say—and so he settled back into his seat, wishing there was some way he could apologize without feeling like such a fool.

As the day drew to a close, Akane couldn't resist the tempting smell of dinner, and so she stumbled out of her room and settled downstairs, in her usual place next to Ranma.

Once dinner was served, everyone was astonished that Akane ate at a speed almost comparable to Ranma's–-and even Ranma paused for a moment to stare at his fiancee. He chuckled silently, and continued his War of the Chopsticks with his panda father.

As everyone was retiring to bed, Akane slipped off to the bathroom—she'd been weak, and wasn't about to break her promise to her mother about finally cooking right.

In Home Ec class, she'd been feeling ill, and ended up missing the class and spending the time in the nurse's office. She'd been afraid Ranma would find out, for some odd reason, and so feigned that she was feeling better in order to be excused back to class. Luckily, the teacher hadn't called on her to explain any problems—and the rest of the day had passed on rather uneventfully.

In gym, just after home economics, Akane had been asked to help the teacher sort out the new uniforms, rather than play games like the rest of the class. Akane hadn't been jealous in the slightest, and relished being able to relax by simply folding clothes and sorting them into stacks.

She'd admired Ranma–just briefly–as he played basketball with the other boys in the gym, since the girls were outside playing softball. She felt a tinge of jealousy at his amazing abilities and athletic form–while he was fawned over by many an exotic woman, and several of the girls at school, as well– that used to be her. Really, it was that she had been the most popular girl in school, fawned over by many boys, handsome and otherwise, and that she'd been envied for her skill in the Art. Perhaps all the hassles that those times had brought were better off in the past, anyway.

But now, at night, she'd given in. However, the promise she'd made to her mother–and to herself–was still fresh in her mind.

Akane opened the toilet bowl and stared into the clear, still water. She closed her eyes and proceeded to throw up everything she'd just eaten less than hour before.

The next day was harder for Akane, because she had to find reasons and ways to excuse herself to the restroom after eating.

At lunch, it was easy enough, excusing herself to the bathroom just before the next period started—and so it continued.

No one was aware of the dangerous path which Akane traversed, all because of a promise she made to a long-passed soul, and to herself—because she believed whole-heartedly that she owed Ranma so much more than she could give.

Let me know what you think, ne? I know, I know, it's horrible how I get ideas without finishing what I've already started, but you know I have an excuse (as always!). Like I've said in my other recently posted fics, my computer has gone haywire on me and turned all my fics and ideas into gibberish. It's terrible.

The same applies to many of my webpage templates and such, so I'm in a huge rut now. To prevent this from happening to my newer fics and ideas, I have to post them online.

What better way to do that than post here on FFnet? I'll get around to putting these on my site eventually… Wish me luck in repairing it, everyone, and be sure, once again, to let me know what you think!