Three Days

By: Crystal_V_Princess

Disclaimer: Like every other sane woman on earth I wish I owned Ranma (heh, heh) but I sadly, I do not have any rights to him. Rumiko Takahashi was the genius who create Ranma ½, so she owns it all!!!!!!!!! Darn-Anyhoo, on with the story!

Note: The fact that Akane's carrying a newly baked loaf of bread and a bit of salt is an old legend (no, sorry, it a New England legend not a Japanese one. My apologies to those readers who disagree with using a foreign superstition) that ensures good luck to the people moving into a new house.

Dedications: To Fireblaze as always, you're a wonder! To Tim, there are no words to describe my thanks for being blessed with a friend like you! You give me incredible encouragement! And to Lana Panther, Juniper Winner, Lian Leviathan, Caramia Shallear Cessiyyess, Sara, and Trinity! Also to Furaidochikin!!!!!! Thanks for reviewing, my dearest, bestest, Neko-chan! Love you guys!!!! Mwaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XXXXOOO!

Akane Tendo clutched the freshly baked loaf of bread to her abdomen, wrinkling her soft white blouse. In her other hand, she held a small plastic bag full of salt. A look of nervousness danced across her face as the bus jerked forward, sending her slamming into the seat before her.

"Whoah!" Ranma's masculine baritone yelled at the driver as his arms caught the girl, "Careful up there!" He held her close against his chest, staring in the direction of the driver's chair. "Jeez, how'd he get his license?!" The pigtailed boy grumbled, his thumb absently rubbing Akane's forearm gently.

He glanced down at her and became painfully aware of their closeness. A brilliant blush danced over the girl's smooth cheeks and her small hands gripped Ranma's biceps with the care of someone who wasn't quite sure of what they wanted to say so had resorted to physical contact in place of simple silence.

He released her quickly and slid back over to the other side of the seat, needing distance, no matter how small. He felt his own face warm at the thought of her so near him, her silky hair tickling his nose, it's lavender perfume mixing with the musky sandalwood scent of him. It was nice, and though Ranma acknowledged this he found it unnerving and scooted to the very edge of the bench, avoiding his own desires with tact tuned over months spent with her.

"Ranma?" The sound of her voice jolted him back to reality and he turned to face her full on, forgetting his discomfort in surprise from the disruption.

"Hmmm?" He replied, swallowing instinctively though his mouth was dry.

"Has Uncle Genma shown you the summer house before?" Her face was thoughtful and she rested her tenderly pointed chin on one fist. The boy shook his head in response, furrowing his brow beneath wild bangs.

"Nope. Didn't know we had one till Pop suggested we go there." He blushed suddenly, bringing back to mind the anxiety of the idea both their fathers had recommended only days ago.

"Why not go to the summer home for three days to see how you adjust to each other when you're finally married?" Soun Tendo had said at breakfast Monday morning. Of course, Genma Saotome had agreed heartily and though Ranma and Akane argued relentlessly with their fathers for hours about it, it had finally been decided that they would depart for the countryside on the Wednesday of that week.

The boy and girl had sat silently at dinner that evening, their hands in their laps throughout most of the meal, agonizingly conscious of the fact they'd be alone together in a remote area for a good three days. Many things could happen between two people in three days. Some of them intriguing, another reason the pair had decided against talking during supper.

Lying awake in their beds for a notable subset of the night, Akane and Ranma had envisaged nervously the foreboding and exciting Wednesday looming above them. Frequent sparks of exhilaration surging through their trembling bodies at the thoughts. Eventually, they'd fallen asleep, dreaming apprehensively of the days they'd spend alone.

Ranma watched the girl sitting beside him from the corner of one azure eye, wetting his lips as the bus carried them closer to what could be their ruin or redemption. He mutely wondered what would happen when they finally arrived.

He found his stomach muscles clench sickeningly, the acidic fluids within his belly churning. He shouldn't be nervous, after all, he'd professed many times his distaste for his fiancée. The only problem was that he knew this was all a façade he'd built up to fool even himself, and it didn't seem to be working on his part.

He shook briefly, gulping, needing, thirsty for something, the one thing he was unsure of, yet needed the most. Akane seemed unaware of his quandary which he was greatly thankful for. The boy wasn't sure what he would say had she asked him why he looked so pinched right then. Maybe he wouldn't say anything. Maybe he'd dip his head and capture the lips he saw visions of in his sleep, digging his fingers into the soft flesh of her shoulders. Maybe was too much of a chance, and he wasn't prepared to be permanently disfigured by her powerful fists because of it, so he turned away from the girl quickly.

Ranma stared out of the window across the aisle, a couple were sitting in the seat beside it. They were holding hands and the girl had her head on her boyfriend's shoulder. The pigtailed martial artist felt a wave of jealousy wash over him. Why couldn't he and Akane be that way?

He closed his eyes, a picture of him and Akane walking to school holding hands flashed through his brain and was quickly followed by other wishful images. Normal things that engaged people did. People who loved each other.

"Ranma!" Akane shouted. He jerked in his seat, feeling as if she'd caught him doing something he shouldn't have been. He turned to look at her, his shoulders hunched slightly.

"Huh?" She pursed her lips and eyed him briefly, then let out a breath of air in defeat.

"This is our stop." She said, standing up, holding the loaf to her side with her arm and gripping the boy's sleeve. "Let's go." He followed her to the front of the bus and waited for her to move down the steps, strangely tempted to seize her arm in case she slipped. It took all his strength to resist the sudden desire for chivalry.

Ranma jumped off the top step quickly, dust clouding around his feet as they impacted with the earth. "Which way?" He asked, pointing in the direction of a fork of two dirt pathways. Akane scrunched her face in a way he found unbearably cute. He kicked himself mentally and cleared his throat. "Well?"

"Mmmm-" The girl hummed tentatively, searching the paths with velvety brown eyes. "That way." She stated, poking her finger at the trail to the right.

"Are you sure?" He asked, worry lines indenting his young forehead, "Why that one?" She let out a sigh, and opened her mouth to say something, but stopped before any words could escape her throat.

"I don't know. I just think it's this one." Akane shook her head, more at herself than him, and started walking toward the path. The heir to the Anything-Goes-School-of-Martial- Arts pursued her retreating form, watching the pale fabric tighten against the curve of her spine and shift across the smoothness of her flesh.

The material which had been so carefully tucked into the waist of her skirt that morning was yanking free of it's bonds, the hemmed edges of her blouse waving gently in the zephyr made by her movements. Flashes of fair skin peeked out at her waist as the shirt altered it's position in the breeze, like the promise of secrets to come; and Ranma found himself hoping, somehow, that he would soon know those mysteries.

Akane abruptly stopped, nearly causing the boy to bump into her. She turned around effortlessly, a small smile gracing her lips. "Slowpoke." She teased, reaching out a slender finger to touch the end of his nose. "Hurry up."

Ranma frowned automatically, stuffing his hands in his pockets grumpily and mumbling under his breath. But he kept pace with her, trying not to glace in her direction too many times, which after the fiftieth time he discovered he was doing.

He fidgeted asininely, scratching his head, rubbing the back of his neck, waiting for her to say something, anything. Strange as it was, despite his disinclination to look at her, he silently hoped she would speak to him, to make him look at her.

"We're here!" Came an enthusiastic squeal, bringing him out of his thoughts. He watched as she pranced up the cobblestone walk and up the steps to a white wooden front door. "Come one, Ranma!" She urged, annoyance hidden beneath hours of weariness.

He joined her on the large porch and stood rigidly as she pulled out a ring with the cottage key on it. The pigtailed boy held his breath as she twisted it in the lock, watching silently as the door swung open, revealing lovely and simple furnishings.

Past the vestibule was a living room; a wooden table stood by a large window at the left of the house accompanied by a white whicker chair with a floral patterned pillow on it, a bookshelf was at the right of it. A medium sized television was placed on a small shelf in the opposite corner of the room and four pillows that matched the one on the chair but were slightly larger were piled beside it. In the very middle of the room was an open irori fireplace with the traditional kettle hanging above it, suspended from the ceiling by a metal pole.

It was a fairly small room, with a wide, open doorway leading into the dining room which also served as the kitchen.

Ranma and Akane walked into the house, discarding their shoes in the front hall, closing the door behind them and moved into the eating room. Like the living room it was simple and pretty, a small stove and oven was on the side parallel with the doorway. A low table squatted in the middle of the room, a thick layer of dust coating the top. Cupboards lined the walls, as Soun Tendo had told them they would, and were stuffed with canned foods that even Akane couldn't ruin. He'd gotten smacked for that comment.

"There had better be more than one bedroom." Akane squeaked, eyeing her surroundings carefully opening the paper door and stepping into the next room, which appeared to be a master bedroom. The pigtailed boy shadowed her, searching helplessly for another room.

"Aha!" He shouted triumphantly, pointing toward another door, "Over there!" They marched over to the entry and slid it open, ignoring the loud slam it made on impact with the bearings.

Ranma felt his throat go as dry as sawdust and his eyes bulge out. It was the bathroom, not another bedroom. That meant that he and Akane would have to share the master room. Possibilities swam through his clouded brain, blurring his vision. "Damn", He murmured aloud, avoiding his fiancée's eyes.

Akane stood stiffly, barely breathing, her face a mask of shock and outrage. Her pink lips parted slightly, no sound emerging from them.

The boy took a deep breath, biting his lip and poking the floor with his bare toe. He staggered over beside her, not sure what to do, he reached out a hand and touched her shoulder gently.

As his hand made contact with her, he felt the girl shuddering weakly beneath his fingers. A swell of heat rushed through his body and Ranma pulled his hand back quickly as if scalded. "Um, I'll sleep in the bathroom if you want-" He murmured, trailing off into uncomfortable silence.

She turned to him and he looked at her, really looked at her for the first time that day. The eyes, round and shining beneath soft, feminine brows, the slender, finely shaped nose, and the full lips that suggested both sensuousness and refinement. Her slender neck and shapely shoulders outlined by the thin blouse; the young martial arts master quickly found himself wondering what fabric it was, silk or cotton, what could cling and move like that so innocently? Her slim arms held in front of her, the small hands clasped together, the tips of her fingers clustering delicately like the new buds of a moonflower. Her skirt, short and full and pale blue with large pink tulips printed on it, was almost bold against the lotus white of her thighs and calves. Her feet were bare: pure, soft angel feet. "It's okay," She sighed wearily, "I trust you."

The words shook Ranma, his entire body quivering as she moved into the bedroom and began searching through the cupboards and drawers for blankets. She trusted him. Somehow, this was more than enough.

As night fell, Akane warmed the canned goods in the iron kettle over the irori fireplace and sat with her fiancé eating silently. He wasn't sure if she was simply tired or uncomfortable and this was awkward for him. Even after they'd both finished their meals they sat quietly in the choking hush of the living room.

Ranma cleared his throat loudly, "Ahem," he said, holding a fist up to his mouth, "I suppose I'll turn in now." He stood quickly and hurried into the bathroom, readying himself for bed.

In the midst of a coiling cloud of steam he sat cross-legged on the floor, washing his braided hair, mulling over the situation. His warmed body felt miraculously healed at last of the tiredness of the day's past moments of indecision and discomfiture. Stepping from the clouded vicinity of the bathing area dressed in blue pajamas, Ranma moved toward the bedroom and hesitated at the open doorway.

Akane was kneeling on the floor arranging the bedding on the futon, her slender fingers careful and strangely graceful in their workings. The quilt and pillows laid out, she stood smoothly and walked past the pigtailed boy and into the still-warm bathroom.

He could hear her washing in the next room, as he lay there in the darkness of the bedroom, buried beneath the patchwork blanket. Ranma closed his eyes, begging the gods for sleep, but obviously they were not smiling upon his that night.

The girl wandered into the shadowy room, her form small and silent as she padded with soft, clean feet across the cold wooden floorboards toward where he feigned slumber. She knelt slowly, flattening the crinkled fabric of her white nightdress, and slid beneath the quilt, the few three feet away from him.

Ranma gulped, not bothering to pretend he was sleeping any longer, and gripped the comforter. She wasn't lying that close to him but it felt as if she were. He was aware of the dampness of her silky black hair against the pillow, as if the moisture floated in the air to him, blanketing his face.

The atmosphere was warm and slightly wet from the added humidity of their bodies and hair from the baths. He rolled onto his back and folded his hands behind his head and gazed at the dark boards of the ceiling in the dim light offered by the moon through the large square window. There was the sound of crickets and night animals moving about outside and he shut his eyes again, trying hard to ignore the girl only so many inches away from him. She lay still with her eyes closed, long, dark lashes wing-like against her pale skin. His eyelids fluttered open and he turned onto his side again to gaze at her overtly.

The moonlight delicately revealed the majestic sweep of her body bundled under the coverlet, her dramatic curves uncontested by the blanket's bulky mass. Ranma reached out a shaking hand to touch her hair and found she had fallen into the balanced breathing of slumber. He allowed the unforgettable spectacle to engrave itself upon his mind and realized he had edged a bit closer to her. The feelings that surged through his heart as he stared at the sleeping figure were alarming, and it was no such transitory terror as a dream leaves behind, though it felt as if he might be in one, it was a substantial fright, thick and tangible. "Akane," He whispered hoarsely in the silence and warmth of the quilt, "Akane-" And that was all he needed.

Author's Note: I intend on writing more chappies on this of course, hope you like this idea, tell me if you do please!!!!! I thank Tim for encouraging me on this story, though I already mentioned you in the beginning I feel that you were truly an inspiration to do well on this after your enthusiasm in my idea!!! Thank you soooooooooo much!!!! Um, also, I was listening to more mushy, romantic music when I was listening to this so blame it on that if it was too WAFFy!!! I was partaking of "Take My Breath Away", "Dreaming", "Invisible Man", "Heaven's Missing An Angel", "Was It Something I Didn't Say", "Hand In Hand", "I Wasn't Over You", "Completely", "Don't Stop The Love", and "I Wanna Love You" by 98 Degrees (sorry if you don't like them but hey, to each his/her own!), also, "Misty's Song" from the Pokemon "I Wanna B A Master!" soundtrack (which is ULTRA cute!!!), and "November Rain" from the Ranma ½ soundtrack (the instrumental Muzak version) to write this. Sorry it took so long for me to write another fic but I wanted this to be really powerful!!!!! I liked it, hope you do to! Love ya's guys! Mwah!!!

Lovies, Crystal_V_Princess ;P