Three Days:

Day Three

By: Crystal_V_Princess

Disclaimer: I do not claim Ranma ½. That's that! It all belongs to Rumiko Takahashi (God bless her genius!).

Dedications: For my love, the capsicum. *wink* To Trinity, whom I love because she grins even when I'm just being absolutely crazy! You're a great friend! And ~*! Fireblaze ~*!, thank you! To Lana Panther, Juniper Winner, Lian Leviathan, Caramia Shallear Cessiyyess, Sara and Akane. Also, to all the people who have kept e-mailing me and yelling at me to get going on this one! I love you guys! Hope I haven't forgotten anyone! If I have, sorry, I'm a bit muddled right now, but you know I appreciate all your support! Thanks a mill!

Note: Caution: This is my KISSING chapter! Also, the poem below is the translated version of the few small verses of French poetry from "A Moment in Time". Francois Villon was a genius! This actually would have been up a week or so ago, but my Internet connection was down so I had to wait. Sorry! Hope you enjoy!

Princess, I offer you this eulogy,

Without you I would be nothing,

To you and everyone I say again,

Of the good the good should be spoken.

-Francois Villon , The Poems of Francois Villon, Miscellaneous Poems

Ranma Saotome ran a long-fingered hand through his unruly bangs for what seemed like the hundredth time that morning. This was the last day he'd be spending alone with Akane, the last day they could act freely with each other without being worried that some maniac was filming them over their shoulders. The last day they could be in love.

The pigtailed boy sat dejectedly on the damp wooden steps of the front porch, remembering the months that he'd shared with his fiancée before they'd come to the summerhouse. They were interesting to say the least, but not interesting enough to want to revert back to. It was amazing what three days alone, three incredible days, could do to a relationship, they had invariably blossomed into something he had rarely dared to dream about before.

He closed round azure eyes dreamily, re-living the kisses from the night before. Never in his life had he imagined that who he'd been calling an un-cute tomboy could be so soft, and smell so good. A blush spread over his cheeks like fire and he shook himself quickly. It would all be over soon. No more close contact with Akane. His shoulders slumped miserably.

As if on cue, the shorthaired girl came skipping out of the house calling his name. "Ranma!" He jumped at the sound of her voice, a guilty look spreading across the troubled features at the tunnel of his thoughts. "Ranma?" She was beside him, leaning quite close. Maybe a bit TOO close considering the circumstances. "Ranma, are you okay?" Or maybe, she was leaning just close enough.

In one quick movement she was sprawled over his knees, her small body held tightly in strong arms. Their mouths knew each other, knew how to react. It was a long kiss, long and deep, months of frustration and anger pouring out into it. Now all that frustration and anger would be coming back. Haunting their every movement, laughing cruelly to their faces.

He held her snugly against him, his fingers clenching hard on her shoulders, hard enough to cause her to yelp softly. "Ranma!" He broke from his thoughts quickly as he felt her pull away just enough to look him in the face. "Something IS wrong. I can tell, you know." She was worried, it was obvious, the way her young forehead crinkled when she looked at him.

Ranma ran a thumb over her brow, trying to smooth out the wrinkles. "It's not much, Akane. Okay?" He said, his voice soft and low in her ear. He didn't want to look at her. To see her so happy, then to watch what they'd discovered about themselves and each other be crushed in one fell swoop of their families in the oncoming hours. He pressed his cheek against hers, eyelids shutting firmly. "Don't worry. I don't want you to."

The girl squirmed uncomfortably in his lap, doubtful of the unconvincing words. "But, Ranma-" He silenced her quickly with another kiss. She felt a salty bead drip onto her face, sliding down the soft skin there. "Please tell me." She pleaded, moving back to brush the tears away from his eyes with her fingertips. It had been a while since she'd seen him cry, really cry. Had she ever seen him truly cry?

He shrugged smoothly, slipping into his cocky façade instinctively. "Not a thing." The sides of her mouth turned down slowly as he leaned back on his elbows suddenly, and she slid off of his lap in slight annoyance.

"You still can't talk to me." Akane stated, leaning forward as she grasped her elbows, her body scrunched tightly. "After all this. I don't understand you, Ranma." She shook her head, not sure of what to say next.

"There's nothing to say. I'm just thinking." His fiancée looked at him incredulously, pursing her lips for a moment and then scooting a little closer.

"That would be a first, huh? On both counts." His eyes flicked to her irritated demeanor swiftly at the sharp tone of her words. This wasn't good. Were they already spinning back into the places they'd kept before? Angry? Reluctantly engaged? At each others throats?

Ranma took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "C'mon, Akane." He whispered, his lids closing against her probing eyes. They were so dark sometimes, almost black, and then others they held so much light.

It seemed that the Fates were clearly extremely biased against them both. Why did things have to be like this? Life wasn't fair, that was one truth he'd learned at an early age, but never before had he truly grasped it so completely. This was like having a taste of ambrosia and then being flung back to drink the bland liquids of earth.

"You keep sighing." Akane's sweet voice shattered the confusing questions screaming through his head. She was leaning over him and he hadn't even noticed somehow. A sad, angelic smile hovered on her coral lips. "Ranma, please. I love you. I want to help. What's wrong?" She asked him softly, all tenderness and sincerity, dipping her head to kiss his neck in a quick gentle movement.

Ranma breathed shakily as the softness of her mouth contacted with his throat. She laid her chin on the spot beneath his collarbone, waiting, staring up at him expectantly. He lifted his hand to her hair lightly. "I don't want it to end." He murmured, barely audible.

"It won't." She assured quietly, moving into a sitting position, her fingers holding his where they were. "I promise it won't. How could it? I won't stop loving you, Ranma. I could never stop loving you." He stared at her for a minute, considering, some unknown emotion breezing across his features and then disappearing into the striking azure of his eyes.

"That's not what I mean." Akane looked confused and he shook his head for lack of anything better to do. "This." The pigtailed boy gestured at their surroundings.

She smiled as he laid his hand delicately on hers. "This." Ranma closed his eyes again wearily and sighed for what must have been the twelve-thousandth time that morning. "We won't be able to be like this when we're home." Akane sighed suddenly too.

"Why not?" The words were so soft and terrified his eyes jolted open in shock. She was staring off into forest, watching the sun rise like fire from behind the trees. Sunrises in the country were usually cool pinks and soft greys, very rarely oranges and reds, and then extremely timid hues. It was as if this morning was purposefully different from the rest, a foretelling of their defeat at the hands of common reality. As if the whole of the world around them was completely aware that the dream-like state of being they'd been living in for the past days was soon to be devastated.

He reached up abruptly, his back rising off the boards of the porch, and placed a hand on either side of her face, turning it towards him, pulling her down to where he was reclining. When they kissed it was like he was reaching inside her, trying to take a little part of her to keep when they parted. She felt as if her heart would stop.

"Ranma?" Akane's voice was a question as he smoothed his fingers over the back of her neck, catching the stray hairs that had fought their way from the tight little ponytail she'd gathered her dark, short tresses into. Ranma gazed up at her, a small smile tugging at the corners of his mouth at the thought of how she'd struggled that morning to catch all of it in that tiny tail which looked more like a decorative tuft on some bizarre hat. How could he let her frown when he lived for her smile?

"I couldn't stop loving you either." She squinted at him for a spilt- second and then grinned again. Ahh, that was the Akane he knew and loved.

"No more worries then?" He rose up on his elbows once more, stroking her cheek with a tenderness he rarely allowed himself.

"None." A thoughtful look bathed his face with mischief and the young martial artist regarded his pretty fiancée through half-lidded eyes. "Do you know how many times we've kissed in the past few days?" Lord knows what evil demon possessed him to say such a thing, because clearly if he had been in his right mind he would have choked just at the thought.

Apparently Akane had the same opinion because she blushed a brilliant red and coughed so loudly and for such a long time Ranma was afraid one of her lungs might come up soon. "Um, no." She replied softly when she'd finally managed to gain control of herself.

"Five." He stated matter-a-factly, scratching his shoulder. "Well on the mouth anyway." A new eruption of hacking and strangled bursts of coughing met this trivia.

Ranma feinted concern, patting her on the back tenderly. "Something in your throat, Akane?" He asked, when the wheezing and choking noises had come to an end.

"Oo, you're terrible." The shorthaired girl scowled at him from beneath dark lashes. "Too, too terrible." He smiled impishly, regarding her with interest.

"Care to make it six?" Akane hesitated a moment, then stood suddenly, smoothing the lacy hem of her skirt with disdain. She stared down the graceful line of her nose at him, the same half-closed eyes he'd observed her with only moments ago.

"Not without a fight." She breathed, crossing her arms slowly and looking down at him sitting in confusion on the porch steps. Ranma furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head in astonishment.

"I don't fight girls." He stated simply, resting his forearm on the knee he'd drawn up to his chest. "You know that." She raised her eyebrows, unconcerned.

"Then I don't care to make it six." She turned apathetically, the rise of her shoulders rigid in defiance and irrevocability. Her walk was something Ranma had never seen before, all determination and insouciance. It was the walk of someone who wasn't about to give in, no matter the stakes. He could probably have roasted P-Chan on a spit over a blazing fire and she'd just stand there, arms crossed, glaring at him over the flames with narrowed brown eyes.

Okay, maybe that was a bit much- "Akane!" A voice called out, strangely resembling his own. Wait! It WAS his voice! "Fine!" He struggled to clamp a hand over his mouth, but the words were out somehow before he'd even thought them. It was bizarre how something like a mere kiss could make you do the oddest things.

Akane didn't bother to turn around, simply stood there, waiting. He could almost taste her anticipation as she breathed, loud to his ears but no others.

It was over quick. A swift sweep of his leg at her ankles and she was down, the weight of her body resting calmly on his leg and the arm which had reached out and caught her as she fell. He knew she wouldn't fight, and yet, it was perplexing all the same.

"You win." She grinned, her mouth twitching slightly as she suppressed a laugh. The pigtailed boy let out the breath that had strained so hard against his ribs at his words that it had hurt.

"You said a fight-" He stuttered, confused and pleased at the same time. "A fight-that wasn't-I mean-" She grabbed hold of the hand he was waving in the air to illustrate his lack of a point and pulled herself forward onto her knees.

"A tease for a tease." She giggled, her hands snaking their way across his sides slowly. "You tease." She was an inch away from him and he was beginning to find breathing to be somewhat of an intricate practice.

"Um, tease. Yes. You. I. Uh-huh." Did HE just say that? Man, he could not think under pressure like this. Akane's fingers were knotted together at his lower back, forcing him closer.

"Make it six." She murmured, her eyes already beginning to close. That was all the thrust he needed. Six was such a lovely number. He'd never realised just how lovely-

The day seemed to pass all too quickly, every moment together seemed to be fast-forwarded and Ranma felt as if she were slipping from his fingers just like the daylight as it melted into the swiftly darkening sky. They were packing for most of the day, shaking out the futon and rolling it back up, cleaning all the dishes. It was almost like they were leaving home. A home they alone had shared together.

"I'm going to miss it." He said quietly as Akane swept up the grass and dust from their days of mad scampering in and out of the house at all hours. Ranma smiled at the thoughts softly, it was funny how only moments ago were considered the past, and those three days would be branded in his mind as bittersweet and wonderful parts of that past.

"I am too." She replied, her voice sounding far away as if the wind had somehow swept the words from her throat before she'd uttered them. The broom moved faster suddenly and she brushed the dirt out onto the porch and beneath the railing into the grass. "Maybe we'll come back." She called to him, from out on the porch, gazing off into the purple-tinged sky, her velvety brown eyes moist with un-shed tears.

"You okay?" He asked, gazing at her as she stood, framed by the diminishing, pale lights of day. Her nodding head was almost imperceptible.

"I'm just going to miss being here with you." The girl slipped in through the opened door and paused momentarily, her temple leaning on the rounded edge of the handle. "But I'm not sad." She stated, her voice a smile of its own. "I'm glad we're going home."

Ranma stared at her in shock, his back straightening even in the Indian-style sitting position. "It's time, after all." Akane sighed contentedly, placing the broom back in the cleaning cupboard. "We found what we were sent here to. And," She continued with a small smile, "I was beginning to miss all the chaos of Nerima." He didn't hold back his own grin at the thought of their welcoming party.

"I know what you mean." He closed his eyes slowly, rubbing the back of his neck with nonchalance. "'Specially Shampoo." One dark blue eyes opened, flicking to his fiancée to judge her reaction.

"You're kidding." She croaked, her skin bristling for a second then passing into assurance, along with the red-glinting glimmer in her eye. "You are so kidding." A wide smirk parted his mouth, going nearly from ear to ear.

"Yeah." He wasn't sure but he thought he saw her sigh in relief. "What should we tell them happened here? You know they're going to ask." Akane sat down beside him, leaning her shoulder against his bicep.

"I know." She agreed. "The truth?" Both of them went pale at that. "Scrap that idea." She said hurriedly, sitting up straight and knitting her fingers together.

Ranma gazed at the bunched digits and held his breath. "You locked yourself in your room the entire time we were here?" He proposed after a while, his voice shrugging as much as his shoulders.

Akane's eyes were dark, brown velvet pools, a ripple of thought, it seemed, flickered over them like a breeze and then she tilted her head, birdlike. "Maybe." She didn't sound as certain as he would have hoped. "Not bad." She said a second later, a soft, encouraging smile on her lips.

"'Kay." The pigtailed boy said with a speedy nod. "Then that's that." He felt her fingers soft on his arm and his head turned without volition.

"You think they'll believe it?" She questioned, her small hand moving to his bangs and smoothing down the wild hair gently. He wanted to close his eyes and let himself drown in her, carry her off into the forest and hide as their fathers searched for them, anything but go home. Anything but abandon her touch.

But he knew they couldn't. That was the only problem. "Sure. As long as we make a pretty good show of our vehement disgust at being left alone together." Akane grinned and rubbed her face into his shoulder to stifle the giggles that threatened to bubble forth.

"Right. I can do that." He beamed back, cast in the spell again. And then the alarm on the traveling clock she set beside their bedding went off, screeching loudly, jolting them back into the world around them.

"It's time." She whispered, her voice choked. Akane cleared her throat and stood, her body tense, and seized the bundle of used clothes which were wrapped in a sheet and tied at the top. Her footsteps almost sounded faint, light, ghostlike, if Ranma closed his eyes.

When he opened them again she was out on the porch, waiting for him to join her. He leapt to his feet and brushed the nonexistent dust from his pants with shaking hands. "I'm ready." He declared, a weak smirk on his face. For some reason, his trademark cockiness didn't make him feel any better.

The heir to the Anything-Goes School of martial arts pulled the key out of his pocket and locked the door, letting the screen door slam behind him in one last declaration of his annoyance and uncertainty. Then he followed his fiancée to where she was rinsing her hands beneath the cool water from the pump.

He looked around them one last time, the smoky- coloured sky, the clouds like un-dyed cotton candy, the cool grass moist looking and crisp and the smell of the trees and night-air all around them. She stood there, staring at him, waiting, knowing what he was going to do before he did it.

His muted laughter murmured through tight lips. "They'll be here soon." He began to move smoothly toward her, each move with such fluidity and grace they seemed almost feline. Predatory. A smile toyed at the corners of his mouth. "You ready?"

Ranma seized her in a grip like iron, crushing her between himself and the damp wooden boards of the house. His fingers clamped in her hair, not painfully, but not gently. Her skull impacted with the wall and she jumped more from shock than anything else. Wind rasped in her chest; his face was suddenly close to her skin. "One for the road?" He mumbled hoarsely. There was no question.

Her eyelids suddenly drifted down as if she were sleepy, her tongue flicking out to moisten dry lips and her firm, bare arms went about his neck and passionately kissed his eager mouth.

They stood there embracing in the shadows of the house for a long time, making this final kiss before they had to go last. Wishing it to be longer.

Pulling away slowly, reluctantly, Ranma slipped back into his characteristic, somewhat foolhardy optimism. "I love you." She reached up and brushed away a tear from his cheek. How it got there he'd never know.

"I love you too." Their hands reached out and he gave her a shaky grin, clinging hard to her fingers as they waited.

It didn't take long for their fathers to arrive; loudly arguing which road they should have taken in the first place and whose fault it was that that road wasn't taken right off the bat. "I told you it was to the right, Tendo!" Genma hollered, or well, WOULD have hollered if he had not been currently in the form of a panda. As this was the case, he was popping out signs with derogatory remarks and exclamations of objection like needles on a porcupine.

"Hello, Uncle Saotome." Akane called, releasing Ranma's hand gently and taking a step forward to wave at the two new arrivals. "How was the trip?"

Unfortunately, the pair were so busy bopping each other on the head with anything they could get their hands (or paws) onto and making loud noises, mostly grunts, that her greeting wasn't even heard. The shorthaired girl smiled over her shoulder at Ranma and did something he'd never seen her do before, at least not at him. She winked.

He stretched his arms behind his head, grinning back and hurried over to where she was walking off toward the battling duo.

They were going home.

Author's Note:

This was my kissing chapter. So there was a LOT of kissing in it. I wanted their last day at the summer house to be un-barred and confident because for most of the time they were there it was more a discovery, an adventure into love, which is the greatest adventure of all, and they were pretty unsure of themselves and each other for the majority of the time. I kinda felt bad for putting them through so much raw emotion, which was horrible of me, they'll probably be traumatised for life (or until I write my next light-hearted, happy-go-lucky fic), and I decided to let them just enjoy being in love for a while. Well, for the most part of the chapter, I know, I know, the beginning was sort of angsty because of poor, broody Ranma and his poor, broody thoughts. But I truly feel all of those thoughts were necessary to illustrate exactly what he was feeling before Akane's purely innocent logic brought him back to reality as it is. Oh well, I guess I am just too dramatic at times. I wanted this whole story to be rather thought- provoking and meaningful. Hope I succeeded!

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoyed this chappie, and I'm so sorry it took so long! I will be making an Epilogue after this chapter, but I doubt it'll be as long since it's more like the pictures that flash between the ending credits of a movie. You know? I'm so glad you read this! If you would like to read any more of my fics (no, not all of them are this dramatic and serious) just click on my name and it'll give you a listing, then click on the title of the fic(s) you would like ot read. Thanks! God bless!

Love,

Your Lady,

Crystal_V_Princess ;P