Thinking 'Bout You

By: Crystal_V_Princess

Disclaimer: All characters and storylines (except for the one I'm writing of course) belong to Rumiko Takahashi (God bless her genius!). Note: Don't try this at home kids.just kiddin'.

Ranma Saotome sat quietly on his bedroll thinking about the past events of the day. It had been fairly normal; he and Akane had been late to school because of a sudden duel challenge by Tatewaki Kuno (which the older boy had lost, though this was also not unusual), Ranma himself had fallen asleep in class only to be awakened by the lunch bell, where at the so- called "period of quiet" he'd been attacked multiple times, once by Ryoga Hibiki, who'd sworn to avenge Akane against the "enemy to all women", twice by Shampoo, who'd been determined to force him into marrying her on the spot, and six times by Kuno's demented sister, Kodachi, the Black Rose; Lord knew what she wanted. However, it wasn't these things that troubled the young martial arts master, it was something altogether different. Something he always feared confronting himself about. It was Akane, his less than reluctant fiancée. Amazing how someone he swore to be the most tomboyish, clumsy, un-cute excuse for a girl he had ever met, could plague his thoughts night and day.

The pig- tailed boy lay back on his pillow and closed his eyes, remembering.

"Ranma, you jerk!" Akane shouted at him, launching whatever blunt or large object within arm's length at the boy. Ranma grinned arrogantly and front-flipped over her head, landing in perfect form about six feet away. "What are you so steamed up about, Akane?" He questioned cluelessly, she'd been taking an unquenchable anger out on him since they'd arrived back at the dojo from school, and it was nearly dinnertime. "If this is about Shampoo then-" He was cut of mid- sentence by the impact of a flying cactus pot against his cranium. "If you think I'm jealous, then think again!" The dark-haired girl shouted angrily, fists clenched menacingly at her sides. "Then why so mad, eh?" He said, rubbing the throbbing bump on his head, "It's not like you care or anything, right?" He stressed the word "care" with a merciless sarcasm.

Akane's body stiffened noticeably, and Ranma wondered if he was going to make it to dinner. "That's right! I don't care!" Suddenly, she went limp, her velvety brown eyes clamping shut in defeat. "I don't care at all." The girl's voice didn't hold the ire that she wanted to convey. It was if her fierce rage had dissolved beneath his accusation, her own cause for fury crumbling against the solid wall of Ranma's resolute insensitivity. This was unusual, and the pig-tailed boy relaxed his defensive stance in astonishment. Unless he was mistaken, there were tears forming in his fiancée's eyes, and they weren't the kinds that occur from the emotion of joy. This was something he never knew how to handle. So he did the only thing he could think of doing, he made a joke at her expense. "Maybe I should switch to the fiancée who can handle a little competition." Needless to say, it definitely didn't help things.

Akane went rushing from the dojo, her hands covering her eyes in a blind charge to the house. Ranma sat down on the floor in confusion. His mind spinning with shock and something else he wasn't ready to acknowledge. Heart in throat, he backtracked carefully, sure to recount all the details of the elapsed conversation. His eyes followed Akane's trail to the door, and then to the house, repeatedly, trying to capture in a clear thought what had just ensued. So far, he was summoning a blank. "Dinner!" Kasumi's sweet voice called from the house, hailing the boy back to reality from the jumbled mess of his thoughts. "Something wrong, Ranma?" Nabiki, the middle sister asked more from interest in a possible black- mailable issue rather than concern, as he padded silently into the dining room. "You seem so timid." He shook his head wordlessly and sat down at the table, eyeing the place next to him where Akane always sat. "She's upstairs," the brown-haired girl stated, reading his mind, "She said she wasn't feeling well or something. Kasumi's bringing her dinner now." Ranma lowered his eyes to his twiddling thumbs, half ashamed, half fearful of the consequences of his imprudent words. Suddenly, self- righteous action kicked in and he ignored his conscious during the quickly eaten meal. Somewhere in the core of his brain a small inkling of guilt was appearing and unknown to him, as soon as he rose from his seat, he was going to be washed away by a sea of remorse and head straight for his room, kicking himself all the way. Sure enough, that's just what happened.

Now, here he was, still trying to gather all of the sentences together in such a way that they would be understandable to him. It didn't seem to be working, especially with his father, who had been changed into a panda bear sometime after dinner, snoring like a steam engine beside him. He needed to think, and outside was just the place to do it. At the edge of the koi pond, Ranma stared down at his reflection, straight into the azure blue eyes mirrored on the glistening waters. Stupid, stupid, stupid.He cursed himself, crouching down to glare at the false replica of his personage. He swatted the water with an angry hand and straightened to stare up at the open window of Akane's bedroom.

The white curtains fluttered about in ghost-like forms, dancing to the sound of the night-breeze. He could imagine the girl sleeping; the only motion that of her chest rising and falling with her breathing, for he had discovered that on cool summer nights she slept peacefully. And this was one of those nights. An incredible urge to see her, even if she woke up and sent him flying high in Nerima airspace, swelled in him, and he leaped gracefully to the roof in one quick movement. Hanging upside down, he peeked through the open window, his eyes searching out and finding the quiescent form of his fiancée. Suddenly, it wasn't enough, and he swung down from his perch on the roof to squat on her desk. Stepping off carefully, he made his way silently to her bedside, gazing down at her latent face. She had that delicate, feminine, sleep-soft look that he rarely had the pleasure of bearing witness to, except for those few times she'd fallen asleep beside him while watching a television program, or when he'd had to share a room with her for a night to convince Ukyo of their "marriage", which hadn't actually happened. A comber of regret rose in his chest and he found himself wishing for a few minutes that it hadn't been just a show. Ranma blushed at his own thoughts, and moved to step back from the bed, but a soft noise from the sleeping girl stopped him immediately. She had turned her head in such a way where if she'd been awake, she would have been looking straight at the ceiling; and this gave him perfect viewing access to the gentle curve of her cheekbones and the small, pouty lips half-opened in slumber.

Within seconds, he found himself reaching to trace the lines of the side of her face with his fingertips, relishing the silky smoothness of her skin. "I'm sorry," he whispered, the words barely audible, even in the perfect silence of her bedroom. Her eyelashes fluttered in response and for a split-second Ranma was afraid she was going to wake up, but she just raised one arm to lie beside her head on the pillow. It was enough to make a man want to stand there forever. Unfortunately, he knew she would rouse sometime, and when she did, if he was still standing beside her, he would quickly find himself flying over Fuji Mountain. In a moment of insanity, Ranma stooped over, bringing his face inches away from hers. "I'm so sorry." Slowly, he dipped to let his lips brush hers delicately, then pressed them harder against her mouth to permanently imprint the moment on his brain in a soft-as-summer kiss. As he pulled back, he ran the tip of his tongue over his bottom lip, savouring the honey-sweet flavour of her. He breathed in the lavender scent of her hair, which filled the entire room and closed his eyes to take it all in.

Stepping away from the bed quietly, he fled through the window before he could give into temptation and steal another kiss. As he left, he didn't notice the sparkling brown eyes watching his retreating back, or the gentle smile which graced those appealing lips. Akane raised a small hand to her mouth, fingertips brushing the place she'd been kissed. Her eyes danced with silent joy and she dropped her arm back to her side. "Ranma," she breathed quietly, "I do care. More than you know."

Author's Note: Thank you very, very much for all your reviews on my other story, "Wanna' Bet?!" I really appreciated all of your thoughts and comments, especially the one about capturing the characters, that meant a lot. I try my best to stay true to the very real personalities of these individuals and I'm so happy that you understood that. Thank-you so much! On the other hand, if you haven't checked out my other story, please do. I work hard on them all. If you have any ideas for another fic (I can always use them, and will, probably grouped with others thought up or sent to me, or else if it's an actual story, who knows.) or just if you want me to send you my stories for your site, please contact me at Caged-Goddess@lycos.com. Thanks and God bless!!!! -Crystal_V_Princess