Blush

Chapter One


Disclaimer: Oh I wish he was mine, but he's not. WAH!

A/N: This is a sorta-sequel to 'Two Akane's: Ranma Look At Me!' Most likely I got the title wrong, it's the OAV where Akane gets trapped in the body of a doll?


One year had slipped quickly by, (though not quietly) since the Vengeful Spirit Doll had taken Akane's body in order to inflict a heavy dose of pain to Ranma who had not only rammed into her table, but also broke her! However, that was in the past and for some estranged reason, the owner of the Doll Inn requested the Tendo family to come back again and bring all their friends along.

As if the family really could have stopped the friends from joining them.

Never ones to turn down a free meal, and time away from the havoc of their once peaceful town of Nerima, the Tendos quickly agreed. Ukyo, Shampoo, and Saotome males were in tow. Thankfully, the group had an uneventful train ride, pleasant even, if they chose to exclude the times when Ranma and Akane decided to get mad at one another.

Everyone was wary of the brunette doll as they made their way to the bath. Akane insisted Ranma walk with her only to make sure he didn't do anything stupid. Again. After which, the evening consisted of Ukyo and Shampoo bickering over who Ranma would sit beside during diner, watching tv, etc. The other fiancée humphed quiet a few times at these debates and simply decided to not get drawn into them.

Soon the group was settled into their respective furos, and after pinching a pressure point in Shampoo's neck, Ranma was assured a night free of worries that she'd sneak in his bed. Again. Even with that reassurance, sleep seemed to evade him. Perhaps if he'd been sleeping he'd never heard the window to the balcony open and click softly shut.

Curious, the pig-tailed boy snaked his way between the various people littering the floor, and noticed the only absent member. Akane.

Akane shivered against the breeze as it swept over the stony path, wrapped around her like a snake before it slithered on. Her bare feet began to ache, why hadn't she grabbed her shoes? Sighing, the girl knew she should go to the front of the hotel before venturing out to -to wherever she was going, but the chances of even making that doll close to upset scared her.

The dark colored kimono she donned hung loosely around her shoulders, as its ends where tugged by the cool wind as it brushed by.

Why was she out here? Well that was easy to answer, it was the only place she seemed to be able to breathe a sigh or even breathe! On the train, the tension was thick enough to ice a cake with. Unfortunately Akane used her favorite scapegoat—anger toward Ranma. Maybe she kept him angry to make sure she was on his mind in any way shape or form not those other girls.

iWhy do I even care? It's not like we like each other or anything!/i Akane shook her head as if to clear her mind of the thoughts she did not want to think. Yet, like everyone, when she didn't want to think about something (or someone), it was the most prominent thing in her mind's eye.

The moonlight painted the leaves a bluish grey and washed the normally dark and foreboding path light. The young woman looked at where she was walking and paused.

"A well?" Slowly stepping toward the dilapidated stone and mortar structure, she noted the wood covering had been destroyed and lay a few feet away from the rest of the rubble. Leaning over to gaze into the water below, Akane squinted and recognized her reflection on the distant water. Her image appeared in its depths, fuzzy and discolored.

Grasping the fragile sides firmly, the dark haired girl leaned further over the side, trying to gauge the depths of the well. Bits of rock and ancient paste shifted loose and bounced down the throat of the well, diving into the small pool of water at the bottom. Balancing on the tips of her toes, while still holding the loose stones firmly, Akane ventured to look down more into the mouth of the stony circle.

The stones gave out and Akane, who lost her balance, began to fall forward.

A sharp cry escaped her lips as she realized her folly.

"Akane!" Came a male voice, a second before her waist was encircled by strong arms and pulling her from her mistake. The arms, yanked her back quickly, causing the owner to lose hsr balance and to end up on their backside, with a shocked Akane in his lap.

The well crumbled completely before her. Stone by stone instantly disappeared into the hole. After the dust settled, the person shifted beneath her and grunted.

"Geez, Akane what are you trying to do kill yourself?"

Looking down at her savior, Akane saw a dirty Ranma looking up at her, one eye clamped shut and an unpleasant frown on his lips.

"Ranma? What are you doing out here?" Akane questioned as the boy sat up, which was a bit difficult since she was still sitting on his legs. "Did you follow me?"

"I-uh, just couldn't sleep."

"Oh," clambering to her feet, the dark haired girl brushed the bits of debris off her kimono. Ranma followed her example and began to get up.

"What're you doin' out here anyway?" Ranma asked after cleaning off his pants. The girl looked away from his curious gaze.

"Couldn't sleep," she replied curtly, turning to the where the well had caved in on itself. Ranma followed her gaze, half expecting to see their family jump out from behind a nearby bush and demand to know what he was waiting for. After a minute ticked by with no such actions, the boy was surprised to be alone with Akane. For the first few months he had pondered whether or not they had a tracking device on the couple or something because no matter where Ranma and Akane would go, there the family would be. The Soatome boy finally accepted the truth, their families were just nosey.

"I'm going to keep walking, you can go back." Akane announced indifferently, turning and walking further into the dark woods.

Ranma was about to reply with a smart aleck remark that would get him star gazing up close and personal with the stars when a memory struck him. Whether she knew it or not, Akane was following a very familiar path. There was no way he was going to let her go down that path alone.

"Hey, 'kane, wait up!"

Akane let out an irritated growl when she heard him call out to her. "What is it Ranma?"

"Can I join you?"

This definitely caught her off guard. She waited a few ticks of the clock to make sure he didn't say something about Ryogua rubbing off on her and getting lost or something as equally demeaning, but it never came.

"Why?"

"You're out here, and I am too, why not take this time to-I mean, it would be dumb to just wander around here in the dark and all-we could, uhm, I guess keep each other company?" By the end of his word fumble, Ranma was nervously scratching the back of his neck.

Akane's right eyebrow rose in doubt and question, but she nodded her consent.