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"Two-part Secret Heart"

A Ranma ½ fan fiction
by Pia Ulloa

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.

Ranma-chan was walking on top of the fence with his hands in his pockets, the gloomy drizzle of rain matching his mood perfectly. That he had changed into his cursed girl form because of the rain only added to his foul mood. He was confused and depressed, and his soul twisted with the intensity of his feelings. He was trying to figure out what was going on in his heart… not that he didn't already know deep down inside. His red pigtail was lying flat behind his head, another sign that he was gripped by melancholy.

What was it that had happened this time? Oh, yeah. Shampoo hugged me in front of Akane again.

Why can’t Akane ever understand that it's not my fault? I don’t go around trying to make her jealous! If she would only listen to what I have to say maybe she’d understand better, but she has to jump into conclusions all the time!

Still, this time there is absolutely no doubt that I blew it, too. Oh, man! Why do I always have to run off at the mouth without thinking first?

Ranma-chan had been wondering around Tokyo for hours now. As was usual after a tiff with Akane, his only real injuries were to his spirit. He’d spent hours on a mental merry-go-round, and finally he reached the conclusion that:

A: Akane was really mad at him this time, and

B: today, it really was partly his fault, for once. That would only make Akane angrier than ever.

While it was true that Akane was quite strong, he was much stronger than she was. There was no way she could seriously harm him, physically.

So why was he feeling so beat up this time?

He felt as he had been punched in the chest with his own Amaguriken technique. His chest hurt so much that he couldn't take a deep breath when he needed one.

Maybe he was just tired of everything, tired of all the misunderstanding.

Yep. No doubt about it, Akane was really mad this time… but she was also sad and disappointed. He had been so close to telling her this time, but of course something purple-haired and insistent had to happen and ruin it for them.

They were walking home together after school. It had been a nice day, and they hadn't once been tempted to bicker. The two of them were both feeling extremely relieved about it. Akane had suddenly suggested that they go to the park instead of straight home. Ranma hadn’t fallen into any of Nabiki's traps for a while, so he had some money to spend and he offered to buy her some ice cream. They then continued on their way to the park, and sat under a big cherry tree.

It was unusually clear for the time of year, and there were no clouds in the sky. They silently finished their ice cream, then talked about simple things like how nice the day had been.

Ranma thought to himself, Why do I like being alone with Akane so much?

He pressed his hand to his chest, feeling the pounding of his heart. Yeah… that's why…

He felt very, very nervous whenever he and Akane were this close to each other.

On her part, Akane had been slowly relaxing, her mind working better now that she didn't feel she had to find an excuse to launch Ranma into orbit. She was feeling really good. They were sitting so close to each other that they were constantly brushing against one another, and she was enjoying the contact. It was getting a little bit cold, but all she felt the need for right then was to be with him.

Ranma eventually noticed Akane shivering a little. It wasn't that cold yet to him, but it was enough to make him start thinking that maybe they should head for home, or some other place that was warm.

"Are you cold, Akane? 'Cause if you're cold we can start walking home…"

She smiled that cute smile that made Ranma's heart ache. "Really, Ranma, I'm okay…"

Ranma couldn't think of anything else to say. He was very aware of how close they were.

Akane looked at him, her smile lighting her eyes. "It's nice out here. Besides, I like talking to you like this"

Ranma felt trapped by her big hazel eyes. "What do you mean 'like this'?"

Akane looked at the ground, the smile fading from her lips. "Nobody pushing us to do anything, nobody standing over us, trying to decide how we should live our lives. I'm sick and tired of all that."

Ranma let a sigh out. He understood what she was saying all too well. "Yeah, I have been thinking about that for a long time now. I think that's one reason why we don't get along so well sometimes…"

Akane finished for him, "Because everybody wants us to do something we don't…"

Ranma and Akane let a sigh out at the same time.

Both of them smiled slightly at what had just happened and gazed into each other's eyes, before turning away again. Ranma broke the silence.

"Pop, your dad, everybody… I mean, I don't mind being engaged, as long as I don't have to get married this young. Sometimes, when we’re getting along…"

Akane felt her heart go racing again. Ranma felt her tense up all of a sudden.

"… Uh… What is it, Akane?"

She looked up at him, almost begging for that one statement to be true, not just something she’d thought she heard, or that Ranma's non-brain-connected mouth had just babbled. "…You really don't mind being engaged to me?"

Ranma froze for a moment. C'mon, don't chicken out now, he thought. "Well… I guess it's okay… but I wouldn't like to get married while I’m still a teenager, you know…?"

Akane smiled. "I think the same goes for me…" She looked at the ground again. "I always thought that I’d marry somebody I chose for myself, but it's okay that we're engaged. As long as we get the chance to know each other… I guess it would work out eventually."

The question had been wandering around their minds for quite some time now… Did they really want to get married? They had never talked about it openly. Neither of them knew anything about being married, and some stupid arrangement their parents had decided on wasn’t how either of them had anticipated learning.

Were they going along with the deal because they had to, or because of love? They had never used the "L" word for it, but both of them knew that there was an attraction between them that was more serious than just liking each other. If that wasn't true, why risk their lives for each other when danger threatened, as they had so many times now?

When he was fighting Saffron and Ranma thought Akane had died, and that he’d lost her forever, he had almost gone crazy just at the thought of never seeing her face again. He was almost begging in that moment for her mallet to hit his head.

At Prince Toma's island Togenkyo, Akane had been ready to become a man forever just for the sake of Ranma's cure… and he had blown it up for her sake.

The wind started to pick up, and Akane shivered harder.

Ranma asked his question again. "Are you cold?" He smiled the shyly at Akane, that smile with only one corner of his mouth that drove Akane crazy.

"A little bit…" she answered, blushing. She was hoping for Ranma to do what he did next. He put his arm around her, resting his hand on her hip. Akane leaned slowly against his shoulder, with her hand on his chest. Ranma could feel Akane's heart beating, and wondered if she could hear his. Somehow, he thought so.

They sat in their embrace for some minutes, before Akane spoke again. "Do you really think I'm uncute? You know, and all those names you call me all the time…"

Ranma stared straight ahead for a moment. "…No." He turned his head to look at her. "I don't really think you're a kawaiikune tomboy or anything like that… It's just that… that's the only way I can fight back against it all… You know, our parents and all that…"

Akane lowered her head so that Ranma wouldn't see the silly grin on her face. "I'm glad to hear that."

He thought about it for a moment. "Akane, I really don’t mean to make you mad at me all the time. It just kinda happens. I promise, I’ll try and think about what I’m saying first from here on out, okay?"

Ranma could sense Akane's grin. The image of her beautiful smiling face was enough to make his face burn. Ranma felt Akane slowly cross her legs over his. Her arms went around his neck. He wasn't expecting this sudden intimacy, and his mind started to race. Do I hug her back? ‘Cause if I don't she’ll get mad at me and say I don't like her and if I do she might punt me clear across town and say that I'm a pervert… But she hugged me first…

Ranma slowly slid his arms around Akane's waist. He was half-expecting to be slapped, but nothing happened.

He relaxed against the tree, and asked, "Do you really think I'm a pervert?"

Akane hugged him a little bit tighter. "No, I don't" she answered without hesitating.

"Even with my curse and all?"

Ranma’s curse was a definite impediment to their relationship. He just couldn’t bring himself to think that Akane could really love him because he wasn’t a ‘whole man’. After all, hadn’t she been saying that ever since he first met her and she learned the truth about him?

Akane sensed the hidden anguish behind his question, and chose the words of her answer carefully. "It's always you, Ranma. Cursed or not, you are still the same person. In the end, it's always you inside, so it doesn't make a difference to me anymore. Your soul never changes. You are still the Ranma that I know when you are a boy or a girl, the same Ranma that I like…" Not that I don't think your real body is absolutely gorgeous, but the soul IS the most important part… Akane smiled inwardly.

As his answer, Ranma tightened his hug a little more. Ranma could feel her warm breath on his neck. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Akane…

They pulled away a little, just enough to see their reflections in each other's eyes. Akane was lost in their embrace. She felt so secure in his strong arms. It made her wish to be like that forever. She tugged gently on his pigtail with one of her hands, then started combing the back of his head with her fingers. She touched Ranma's cheek with her other hand. His scent was making her feel dizzy. She sighed a little as Ranma tightened his embrace again, thinking that he just might…

Ranma was totally lost in Akane's beautiful eyes. He noticed for the first time the perfume she was wearing… Why hadn’t he ever noticed it before? It was such a feminine thing to do… He began breathing harder, and his entire world narrowed into the beautiful girl in his arms. This beautiful girl that drove him crazy, that he would rather die than live without, that meant everything to him. She had the power to make him feel vulnerable and indestructible at the same time. She made him feel that maybe his life was worth something, this beautiful girl that was his fiancée, that he was in love with… He had admitted it to himself. He was in love with her. Ranma loved Akane and he knew he shouldn’t wait another second to tell her. This was the perfect moment. After all, didn't she just say she likes me…?

Their mouths were so close that they were almost touching already. Akane had closed her eyes. He leaned forward a little bit, and started to whisper something in her ear. "… Akane… I have something to tell you…" It seemed incredible how much air it took him just to pronounce those words.

Akane was also having a hard time breathing. "What is it, Ranma…?"

Seconds seemed like an eternity to both of them ticked by. They pulled away again just a little bit, enough to see each other’s face again.

"…Akane…. I… I just…."

Their lips were so close… Ranma just couldn't force the words to come out. He could clearly feel them inside his heart and mind, but his mouth felt paralyzed.

Akane was feeling completely breathless. Ohmygodhe’sgoingtotellme… Akane could hardly bear to wait any longer for him to say it. Just a few moments more before he says it…

It was just too much… They were so close. He tried once more. "…. Akane… I… I…." He leaned forward, closing the less than half an inch distance between them.

Akane closed her half-opened eyes. Ranma closed his. They were just millimeters apart. Just a little bit more… Their hearts were pounding furiously inside their chests, their cheeks flushed. Their lips brushed the tiniest bit…


To be continued.

Author’s Notes:

  • This is my second fanfic attempt. I think it's a lot better that the one I wrote before. Still, I'd like comments, even to say, "What a bunch of crap that was" or anything like that. I like it okay, and since it was written for my personal enjoyment, it's no big deal if it's not a brilliant fanfic. I know I should have made that final scene a lot shorter but I just couldn't help it. It's just that I love Ranma and Akane being together.

  • The title is taken from a song in the first volume of the Original TV Soundtrack, also edited by Viz. Can anybody tell me where the heck they got that song from?

  • Empanada is a Chilean food (which is where I’m from), and is also popular in Colombia.

  • People told that joke about Chile/Chilly to me lots of times while I was an exchange student in Alaska, so I got more than my fill of it. And by the way, Chile is not a cold place. You’d think people in Alaska would have more sense…

  • I don't know a darn thing about Japanese weather, or how it behaves, but it's okay. My descriptions served my purpose.

  • There's so much stuff out there that I just can't come up with any new ideas. If you think there are any parts that are very similar to other fanfics… they probably were influenced. Bits and pieces of other fan stories keep wandering around my mind, so that I keep thinking of them when I’m trying to write. I can't seem to come out with any original stuff; I just keep typing the trite old formulas unconsciously. It’s a vicious circle, but that’s life, I guess. If anybody thinks this is too much like other stories, that’s too bad, 'cause it's the most original thing I've come out with so far.

— Until we meet again! Please, e-mail me! pia.shadowfalls@unforgettable.com

Editor’s Notes: Hi, LarryF here. Once again, I did a little co-writing on this story to pad it out a little, smooth the rough edges, and make the grammar and spelling recognizably English. Pia is a native Spanish speaker. While her English is very good, some of the things she wrote were direct mental translations and either didn’t make sense in English, or sounded stilted. However, even in the original version (before I started adding my two cents worth), her stories deserved to be read. That’s why I’m glad she’s letting me edit them and post them on my site.

This is the second edition of this story. It's going through a rewrite brought on by Pia's increased understanding of the characters.

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