Fence-Walking

By: Crystal_V_Princess

Disclaimer: All storylines (except for the one I'm writing of course!) and characters are the property of Rumiko Takahashi (God bless her genius!)

Note: I know that Ranma was actually turned into a girl when he was fighting Ryoga for the first time, but I prefer to use 'he' for both forms, because under it all, he's always a boy mentally.

Akane Tendo watched as her fiancé rushed forward on the very top of the chain-link fence beside her, with the ease of walking. His long legs taking long, graceful strides in their rush to move him to school before the morning attendance bell rang.

The black silk of his pants whipped about his legs in the artificially created wind of his sprinting form, along with his shoulder-passing pigtail. A look of grim determination was spread over the boy's face, his mouth a straight line of tenacity. Akane always thought he looked so much older when he was fighting for something. Anything.

For an extra helping of rice, to win a duel, to hold back emotions, to protect her-She blushed at the thought of the first time he'd come to her defense. It was back when she'd first met Ryoga. He had thrown a bandana in an attempt to injure Ranma in a duel and she was trying to bring a kettle of hot water to her pig-tailed fiancé.

She'd tripped and was near to being hurt or even killed by a stray bandana and he forgot about everything but her. Jumping in the way of said threat, he used his opponent's own umbrella to ricochet it back. Then gathered her up in his arms and leaped to the roof of a nearby building.



Another memoury flickered into her thoughts. The way she felt wrapped in his arms. So safe, and warm. He always smelled so good, like sandalwood. Musky and sweet. And when he'd held her to him on the roof, it seemed as if the whole world melted away, leaving only them, seeking comfort in one another's arms from the hidden ache of what could have happened. A pang of regret shot quickly through her heart as she stared up at the boy above her. Why did she always have to say things she didn't mean?



Suddenly, Ranma stopped and looked down at her, a hint of annoyance and confusion on his face. "C'mon, Akane! We're gonna' be late if you don't hurry it up!" His voice was irritated, but his eyes were inquisitive, searching silently within her own. The girl simply gazed up at him, silence her answer. There was something in her face that called to the boy, something that compelled him.

Unspeaking, he jumped down off the fence and picked her up, then jumped back up and hurried on.

Akane buried her face in his throat, her head tucked neatly beneath his chin. She breathed in the scent of him, exultant in his inviting arms. Somehow, this felt normal, comfortably so, as if they were this close at every minute of the day. The thought was wishful, and Akane found herself wiggling as near as she could before they reached school and their propinquity ended.

Ranma felt his fiancée snuggle closer, her short, silky black hair tickling his nose and intoxicating him with the lavender smell. He considered making a sarcastic remark to help relieve himself of what he was feeling, but decided against it in the end and pressed his cheek to the side of her head, smiling furtively as he ran.

All day at school, he stared at his fiancée clandestinely, trying to figure out what had happened that morning. When he'd looked down at her, there was an unrecognizable lustre in her velvety brown eyes and it brought something out in him that he didn't understand. He didn't even remember thinking when he'd scooped her up, just acting, like it was conditioned. Something was going on, something confusing and slightly frightening. He briefly wondered if she granted it too, then looked back at his un-touched school-sheet.

After the bell implicating the end of school for the day rang, Ranma and Akane walked out to the sidewalk, refusing to make eye contact. Somehow, after the morning's events, as innocent as they were, things seemed different, and it was painfully apparent in a way that forced them into silence.

Just as the pig-tailed boy had jumped up onto the fence, his foot poised to take the first step, Akane's voice stopped him and he nearly tumbled off into the canal.

"Ranma-" It was barely a whisper, but made his heart beat at light speed, "Could you-" She stopped, clasping her hands timorously, a tentative tone to her voice, "Could you teach me-?" Her face turned up and a look of hope graced her delicate features.

Ranma stared straight ahead of him for a second, as if appraising the bright blue sky of late-afternoon, then turned slightly, his eyes calling to hers. To meet him in silent question.

He looked at his hands, then back at her, his face blank of all emotion, then spoke. "Teach you?" The words were confused and sweet. The sincerity of his bewilderment was charming in itself.

The girl smiled weakly, her fingers playing nervously with a strand of short hair. "Teach me to walk on the fence?" He breathed silently, his chest heaving in the quickened pace of his heart.

"The- fence-" His voice was more surprised than disbelieving. She looked up at him, their eyes locked again.

"Yes-" The word was a hiss of barely emitted breath. Her cheeks coloured bright red, and she looked back down at her feet. Quickly, another pair of shoes came into view, Chinese slippers.

Ranma stood like a ghost before Akane, rigid in apprehension. His arms limp at his sides, face turned toward the ground also. "Okay-" He said, his voice barely audible.

Akane felt a strong hand clasp her wrist and she looked up at the boy in front of her. He wrapped an arm around her waist and moved the other hand to grip her forearm. Leaping up onto the chain-link barrier, he held her close to his chest, trying to find the right balance with this new weight added.

His hand gripping her right, and his other holding her waist, the girl stood poised before him, her body tight with sudden fear. She wasn't used to the shaky stanchion of the fence. Her legs quivered beneath her and she felt her knees give way.

Ranma clutched her tighter, his very body her support. "Relax-" He murmured in her ear, his breath moving her hair gently. "Once you're relaxed it'll come easier." Her body calmed under his guiding hands and she closed her eyes, breathing slowly. "That's it." She heard his voice say, and his knee gently urged her forward, pressing against the back of her lower thigh.

She took a wobbly step and almost tripped. Her hands moved quickly, seizing his forearms, her nails digging into the tender flesh. Akane squeezed her eyes shut tighter and gulped. What had she gotten herself into.

"I said relax." Ranma ordered, resting his chin on her shoulder. "Loosen your grip on my arms. That's the only way you'll learn." She did as he said hesitantly, letting out the breath it seemed like she'd been holding for ages. "Now, open your eyes." The girl kept her eyes closed, too frightened to comply. "I said open your eyes, Akane." His voice was firm but gentle, coaxing her out of her uncertainty. Her lids flickered open and she felt the boy smile against her neck. "Good. Take a step."

The petite girl shook her head wildly, nearly throwing them both off balance. "No. I'll fall."

"Akane-" Ranma began, sounding slightly exasperated. But she was too scared to listen. More scared of falling and making a fool of herself in front of this boy than of the pain of the actual impact.

"I'll fall, Ranma! I can't do this! Let me get down! Please! I'm going to fall-!" She was cut off by a pair of strong arms squeezing her tight around the waist, and a face being pushed against the back of her neck.

"I'll never let you fall, Akane." She felt his lips moving to make the words, brushing her skin with every syllable. It was like being kissed a thousand times in a row, very, very quickly. And being kissed always almost always effects people in a positive way.

The short-haired girl felt as if her body were insubstantial, made only of water and skin, lacking all skeleton that could possibly hope to hold her up against the force of emotions that were bombarding her at that moment. Her eyes drooped closed once more and head leaned back against his shoulder, her arms falling limply to her sides.

"I'll never let you fall." He repeated, hiding his face in her hair. "Just trust me. Please." Akane's eyelids fluttered like scared butterflies, then opened slowly.

"I trust you, Ranma." She exhaled, placing her hands atop of his at her waist. His nose pressed into the side of her neck, his cheek on her shoulder, warm breath sending the small hairs at the nape of her neck waving about.

"Then take a step." She did as she was told and then took another, careful to watch her footing. "Keep going." He said, his hands moving from her waist to her hips, thumbs steadying her at her lower back.

As she progressed forward, his hands moved off of her, until all she could feel were his fingertips slipping away. She took another step, more sure of her self this time, and turned to smile at her fiancé. "I'm doing it!" She giggled, dropping her arms back to her sides, loosing the benefit of their balancing effect.

Suddenly, the fence began to shake under the abrupt change in equilibrium. Akane's martial arts instincts kicked in and she tried to shift her weight to find a foothold, but the tops of fences have very few. Tumbling over, the girl shut her eyes, hard. "Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!" She screamed, imagining herself hitting the pavement; bones would crack, skin would tear, blood would flow. The idea wasn't a pleasant one and she found tears had formed in her eyes.

"Akane!" Ranma's voice called and arms, his arms, drew her to him, his hands catching the bend of her knee and curve of her shoulders. Slippered feet met the asphalt with a light tap and Akane threw her arms around his neck, relieved.

They sat there, Ranma crouched with Akane's small frame resting on his thighs, still holding each other, almost like the first time. She concealed her face in the place under his chin, her soft lips pressed against it, letting him experience what he'd done to her only minutes ago. Kissed a thousand times, very, very fast.

Silently, the boy raised his hand to lift her jaw, his index finger stroking gently across her cheek. "I told you I'd never let you fall-" He whispered, leaning closer to her, his pulse quickening.

"I knew you wouldn't." She said simply, licking her lips to rid them of their dryness. His eyes were barely-open slivered moons, dark blue in the shadows of his face. His head was inclining towards hers, their lips inches away. And his inhalation came in rapid little gasps, as did hers.

The index finger moved down to her chin and his thumb traced her bottom lip carefully. "Never-" He murmured, then pressed his lips to hers, tasting her essence in a kiss that explained everything that they'd both been feeling for a long time. Her mouth opened slightly beneath his and his tongue traced the line gently. He deepened the kiss and pulled away shortly.

They were both on their knees now, sitting in the middle of the sidewalk, and an old couple were passing by, watching them intently. Ranma blushed and Akane giggled, touching his cheek.

"I guess they've never seen fence-walkers before." She said, looking slyly over at the fence. The pig- tailed boy gazed down at her and grinned.

"Let's hope we'll be walking the fence more often-" And with that, he helped her up and they walked in the direction of the Tendo Dojo, hand in hand.



Author's Note: Thanks to all the people who read my stuff regularly, I really appreciate it and I want this fic to go out to you!!!!! You know who you are! Thanks so much! For those of you who have read this fic but none of my others, here are the titles, please read and review these too! "Wanna' Bet?!', "Thinking 'Bout You..." and "All I Want for Christmas". If you don't want to go searching for them, just click on my name and it will give you a list of my fics. Thanks again! God bless!

-Crystal_V_Princess