"Get back here!" I wail, flap my free hand in his direction, and speed up my pace.
"Na-na-na-na-na! Catch me if you can!" Ranma sticks out his tongue. My face flushes with rage. I grip the worn leather handle in my palm.
"I know I'll never be able to catch," I sigh. "You!" I throw my case in Ranma's direction who's barely hobbling on the nearby fence to begin with. It strikes him in the face and he falls into a nearby pool.
"Hey, Akane! What's the big deal?" He squeaks and shakes off the water from his red mane like a dog.
"Grrrr…" I growl. "You've got to be kidding! Now I'm late! Give me my bag!" I yell and jump over the fence.
"You are so uncute." He sputters. Oh, Ranma. You're going to die.
"RANMA!" I scream and kick him up into the sky and out of sight. A lonely bell rings in the distance.
"Oh no!" I yelp and scurry over the fence. Oh, Ranma, you've done it this time! Why are you always so….
"Akane Tendo?" I can hear my teacher call through the open window in our classroom.
"I'm here!" I shout and jump up to a limb from a maple, to the window. "I'm here, I'm here! Sorry I'm late!"
"Th-that's alright, Akane. Just don't let it happen again." He stutters and pushes up the plastic piece of his glasses higher onto his nose. I huff out a heavy sigh and plop down in my seat. I'm fully relaxed and finally, I zone into class to get started. I notice a red shirted individual smirks at me from the front of the class. Ranma…..I pretend to not notice him at all, but in return he throws a crumpled up piece of paper at my head. I close my eyes, and my brow twitches with frustration. Ball after ball, I'm soon covered in a mountain of crumpled papers. Ranma….
"Ranma! I'll kill you!" I spring up out of my seat and grip the edges of my desk. My anger broils my blood.
"Ms. Saotome! Go stand in the hall." My teacher says. I focus in on him, and heave out a sigh. I push in my chair and make my way over to the door. He begins to return to his lesson when I accidentally step on a scrunched up ball of paper, which in response makes a variety of crinkling noises.
"Careful, Akane." Ranma pets his black bangs out of his face. "You wouldn't want to make more noise, would you?"
The nerve of this guy! I flip my shoulder and slam the door behind me. I lean against the cold, painted wall and slide down to hug my knees. I wish Ranma could grow up a little bit! I grit my teeth and tighten my sweaty hands into fists. My thoughts quiet down and I'm left in the ongoing silence of the hallway. It's quite peaceful, actually. I close my eyes to heighten my other senses. The fans beneath the wooden walls that oppose me whoosh to a rhythmic beat. The tiles beneath my hands are warm, as they installed heating for the ceiling below so that the heat would fall downwards, if that makes any sense. With winter rolling around, everything's been so cold. I stare blankly out a window when I notice something. Specs of white are falling. What? Is that ash? … It's snow! My eyes lighten and I quickly press my face up against the glass. It's snowing! The bell rings and the class shuffles out of the classroom. I hear a few exclamations and remarks as people begin to notice the white flurries that are slowly coating the ground.
"Snow? Oh how romantic!"
"I love snow!"
"Woah! Haishi! Come look at this! It's snowing!"
"Hey, Akane," Nabiki trots up beside me and hands me an off white bag. "You forgot your lunch this morning."
I smile awkwardly and accept it. "Sorry.. I was late because of Ranma."
Just remembering that little dog brings me wanting to snap something in half.
"What? Were you two too caught up in your love that you couldn't make it on time?" She laughs mischievously.
"No! It's not like that!" I yell and point my finger in her face, accusing her of being so outrageous.
"Heeeeeeeey, Aaaakaaaaneee!" A shrill voice calls from behind me. I turn to be face to face with Ranma.
"What do you want, Ranma?" I loom over him, the muscles in my face, tight.
"I'll leave you two alone." Nabiki teases, and skips off.
"Hey, Akane, can you do this math homework for me?" He pouts. "I'm so busy looking after uncute girls that I have no time to do it!"
"What did you say, she-man?!" I grip his collar and grit my teeth. He smiles a goofy smile.
"Oh, Akane. You kn-"
"I'll kill you!" I rage and slap him in the face. I notice lines from my palms are engraved on his left cheek. He's sitting on the ground, rubbing it.
"Jeeeez. What was that for?!" He gets up and yells.
"What was that FOR?!"
"Yeah! What was that for?"
Before I can answer, I hear the crackle from the loudspeaker overhead.
"Goooooooood aftanoon, me keikies!" The whack job blurts out in a Hawaiian talk show voice. "Dis day, me have very very speshel game planned fo you keikies. Meet me in da big room wit da red chairs. Adios!"
"The big room with the red chairs?" A student says.
"The auditorium?" Another questions.
"Yeah, that's what I think he means…"
What could he possibly want now?!
"Akane!" My parade of friends choruses and run down the hallway. "Let's go!" They grab my arm and haul me down the hall, full of running teenagers.
"Wait just a moment! I didn't even eat my lunch!" I cry and let myself be dragged. Ranma's standing there, wondering what just happened.
"Where are you guys taking me?" I ask.
"We're going to the auditorium, Akane! Do you always ask so many questions?" They let go of my arm and start to run. "Last time we were late, they took an inch of our hair off!"
I start running down the hall, barely breaking a sweat. What could this loon possibly want now? We make it to the auditorium before the bell strikes. First time I'm not late to somewhere. The seats are already filling in with students. We sit down in the second to last row and start to chat.
"So what's going on with you and Ranma?" One of them pipes up.
"Ooo yeah! I heard you guys sleep only a few doors apart!"
"Ranma and his father are guests at my house. They… Ranma doesn't sleep anywhere near me!"
"We saw how he was flirting with you in class."
"Don't deny it, Akane."
"F-flirting with m-me?" I croak. "You've got to be kidding!"
Suddenly, the lights go out. A few people scream and a tumble of people fall down in the neighboring isle.
"I'm scared of the dark!"
"Grow up, won't you Airi!"
I can't see anything! What is this old bat planning anyway? A circle of light hits the stage and everyone stops talking. Principal Kuno walks into it.
"Goooooooood keikies! You all make daddy so so happy!" He gushes with delight. "Me have berry berry excitin challenge fo you today!"
Whatever it is, please don't involve me.
"We have scavenger hunt! Da prize, you keiki say?"
Chatter breaks out all over the room. The principal without hesitation runs upstage and out of sight, runs back down with a coconut in hand. He tosses it up into the air and it explodes into a puff of yellow smoke. The whole room screams for a split second, but then quiets down. Something's coming out of the explosion…. What? Are those bells? Lollipops begin to rain down on the students and a riot breaks out to attain one of these prized candies. I reach up and one falls into my hand. I bring it down to read the label.
'The Nectar of the Fourth Century Pineapple' it reads. A picture of a red and blue pineapple is on the rapper, along with a man sitting back on a beach chair sipping at a drink with an umbrella in it.
"Hush, me keikies. Do you gentlemen and gentle ladies want to know what I has as prize?" The principal takes off his backpack and unfolds it, unveiling a beach chair. He sits down on it and crosses his legs. "It a no-uniform pass. You wan it? You got it!" He starts singing Bust A Move by Young MC. The audience groans.
"Ok, me keikies. We have very speshel pair of winnas today! They get deys lists before eeryone o you! Seatas 119B and 46W! You a pair! Common up ere and get your list before da rest a da keikies get it!" The lunatic belches out and pops a pineapple candy in his mouth. I look at the number on my chair just to be sure that I don't have one of the numbers. My mouth drops open and my eye twitches.
"Woah, Akane! You won!"
"Yeah! It says it right there! 46W! Go on up there!"
I hope this is for something worthwhile of my time… I shimmy out of my row and walk stiffly down the isle and onto stage.
"Keiki numba 119B! Come up!"
Oh god. Here he comes. JUST when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I was clearly mistaken
"Oh, Akane! Thou art my love! As the blue lark proclaimed, the two broken pieces will always fix and become whole once again." Tatewaki Kuno proclaims and scampers onto stage, gripping my hands in his hands. His hands are so sweaty and gross that I gag a little bit.
"Here you go, keikies! You list! I get started, if I is you." He winks under his glasses and focuses back on the crowd. I glance over all of the faces to spot Ranma. He's sitting next to Ukyo! I lock eye contact with him. I can read his eyes very clearly. He's annoyed for some reason.
"Fo da rest of you, da lists are aaaaaall scattered throughout me school. Dere not very many of dem! I'd go n' look, if I is you keikies! Hasta luego!" He laughs and a rope comes from above and drags him up and through the ceiling. A pit of plaster falls on my face. I fidget with rage.
"Me? In the same group as the fair and lovely Akane Tendo? Oh it's too good to be true!" Kuno wraps his long arms around me.
"Get off, you weasel!" I start off quietly, but I'm screaming by the time I stick him in the face with my fist. He goes flying.
"Hey, Kuno! Back off! She doesn't want you on her, so leave her alone!" Ranma jumps onto stage, his back facing me. "See, Akane doesn't even like y-" He begins while still facing Kuno, points backwards, and pokes my chest.
"Ehhhhhh?!" I scream. "Pervert! Get out of here!" I kick him in the head and he goes crashing through the roof.
"But Akane!" He cries from overhead.
"Let's go, Kuno." I say.
"I'll follow you wherever you want to go, my sweet!" He gawks. "If only the pigtailed girl were here… Then I'd be eternally happy."
"If you help me win this, I promise you you'll see the pigtailed girl again." I stare at him, bored with this conversation. As soon as I'm finished, he leaps up and is out the door in a matter of seconds.
"Well, why didn't you say so, my sweet queen? Onwards!"
"Wait up!" I holler and chase him out of the room.
"Ranma-honey! Are you all right?" I hear Ukyo call in the direction of the gaping hole in the ceiling. I turn my back and sprint as fast as I can, passing Kuno within a matter of milliseconds.
"Okay!" I pant. "The first item on the list is…" I read loudly, making sure Kuno can still hear and that he's not distracted by how close I am. I look at the list, slow down to a walk, and to a stop. "A pair of… girls gym shorts?" Why do I feel like…. this list was made by my dirty old goat for a grandfather Happosai?
"Rest assured, Akane Tendo. You wait here. I will fetch them myself to prevent you from being beaten down!" He exclaims and runs toward the girl's locker room.
"But Kuno.." I say but he can't hear me. "I can go in there… I'm a girl." Too late. I hear some girls screaming, Kuno screaming, some violent beating noises, and Kuno, again, emerges.
"I g-g-got them for you Ak-k-kane.." He mumbles and flops down on his face in front of my feet. His one non-broken hand holds up a pair of red gym shorts.
"I guess we can cross that off the list.." I smile awkwardly. "Okay, okay. This one should be easy. It's a quill tip pen they want us to find."
"I know where that is!" Kuno hiccups and is on his feet. Wow. I guess the power of love really is strong. "Mr. Madachi has one of those!"
"Great! Where is that classroom?"
"I'll carry you on my back, Ms. Tendo! That way you don't have to use your strength!" He smiles a scarily big smile, and bends over. He has his hands right where my bottom would be...
"Thanks, but no thanks." I say in a monotone voice through my teeth. Kuno races to the back entrance of the school. He runs in ragged steps and slams into the concrete wall. I guess the beating he just got must've affected him more than he's showing.
"Come on, you worm." I heave him up and over my shoulder.
I carry him through hall after hall.
"Kuno, is the classroom around here somewhere?"
"Y-yeah. It's up here on the left." He mumbles.
"Okay. You wait here." I sigh. I drop him on the floor and sprint to the room. The door has the label 'Madachi' on it. I kick it open to see….
Thank you lovelies for reading this! I hope you enjoyed it! I don't own Ranma 1/2, by the way. No ® for me.