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.
Introduction: Hello, everybody! This is the first fanfic I ever wrote, and I wrote it mostly for myself. This means this fanfic is extremely cheesy and melodramatic, just the way I like them. But as someone in the FFML said some time ago: is it parody, or just bad writing? I don't know, so judge it for yourself. Just don't say I didn't warn you. I really like romantic fics… Oh well…
Thanks to my friends Viviana Fendez for pre-reading for me and Larry F for editing and grammar corrections…
Now for the story…
It had been quite some time since Akane started wandering aimlessly around the small seaside resort. She’d been crying; her face was red, her eyes were puffy, and her cheeks were stained with the tracks of her tears. It was near sunset now, and the soft spring breeze was playing with her hair and ruffling her dress around her knees. Her hands were clutched against her chest, and she looked lost and fragile.
She was standing at the top of a small hill, with a nice view of the town at her left and the endless billowing ocean in front of her. The setting sun cast long, dark shadows and streaked the sky with beautiful orange ribbons of light. Nature was outdoing herself in a gorgeous display of color, but Akane felt utterly depressed by the beauty around her. She was wishing that he was there sharing it with her.
She was tired of crying, tired of running away, and tired of everything. She was especially tired of him. Yet despite the fact that he was the cause of her suffering, she wished he were there. All the other people who'd been on the beach that day had gone in for dinner. The only sounds she heard were the sounds of the wind in her ears, and the waves crashing on the rocks below her.
She brought her right hand to her ear to place a strand of her black-blue hair behind it in one long moment when the wind died down and the sound of the ocean faded away. Her face mirrored her anguish as her eyes fixed on the horizon.
As another tear slipped down her cheek, the silence was broken by another wave hitting the rocks below her. With an angry gesture she wiped off the lone tear. She wanted to be able to be mad at Ranma, but all she could summon was sadness. Once again, she wished he were there to share the moment, just to enjoy it, just to be with her. She wished he wanted to be with her.
Ranma and Akane had been a married couple for a week now. Their parents had decided they should have two weeks alone as a honeymoon, and Nabiki had arranged their stay in a small cabin in this town. Nabiki was keeping the location secret from everyone, for the obvious reasons, for the couple's sake… and for a hefty sum of money extorted from their doting parents.
The wedding had been more or less forced on them the same way the first (disastrous) one had, but deep inside she'd known she really wanted to go through with it. She loved Ranma too much to drag their engagement out much longer than it had already gone. When they had first met, she’d been furious that her father had prearranged her life without her knowledge, but slowly she had grown to care about Ranma. She had eventually realized that while he often acted like an insensitive jerk, he was really a romantic at heart. The problems came when she tried to get along with him, and it just didn't seem to work.
Still, there were all those times when he had fought like crazy for her sake and the times he had seemed so worried when she wasn’t well. There had even been times when they had been alone, and he had been tender and sweet to her. She’d thought at those times that he might love her. But then he would insult her and ruin the mood.
When her father had told her about the new wedding arrangements and that Ranma had agreed to them, she’d grumbled a little as a matter of form. Secretly, she’d been happy to know that she was the one who would become Ranma's bride, finally defeating all of the other girls who wanted to marry him. However, when she had talked to Ranma the day before the wedding, Ranma had only seemed like he was going along with whatever she said. It almost seemed to her that he really wasn't interested in what was happening to them. She couldn't quite figure out if he wanted to marry her, or if he was just doing it to uphold his family's honor. Ranma had never before let anyone tell him what to do without arguing about it. The only "valid" reason Ranma had given her was:
"Hey, maybe it'll finally get our folks off our backs."
They had both been going to college for a year and a half by the time of the wedding, and were on spring break when they were married. Thanks to Kasumi, no one interrupted the ceremony this time. Kasumi had thoughtfully invited the entire neighborhood Martial Arts crowd over for dinner the night before the wedding, and fed them a dinner that had been spiced with ground-up sleeping pills. Doctor Tofu had given Akane instructions for the proper dosages for each person as a wedding gift, and Kasumi had used the information to good effect. None of the normally suspicious Martial Artists had thought that Kasumi would ever pull a trick like that, and so they were all fast asleep the next day. Akane and Ranma had slipped away from Nerima right after the ceremony. No one but Nabiki knew where they were going, not even their parents.
That night, when they were getting ready to go to bed, Ranma had wordlessly grabbed a pillow and lay down on the couch. The next day, their relationship seemed to slide back into the old patterns. Ranma slipped into his usual "jerk" mode, this time saying he couldn't believe he'd actually gotten married to a tomboy. He seemed to be bored or depressed. Akane couldn't tell which one. The conclusion she arrived at was that Ranma must be unhappy even though she was trying her best to please him. She hadn't once attempted to cook, and she had worn clothing she thought Ranma would think were feminine. She even decided to stop training while they were on the honeymoon, in case he thought it was too macho. She also tried to smile more often; after all, Ranma had once said she looked cute when she smiled.
The following day, Ranma didn't insult her, and asked her why she didn't want to cook anymore. He even asked her if she wanted to walk by the beach, in one of those rare moments when he was tried to get along with her. Seeing Ranma trying so hard only hurt her more. It was plain to her that he was forcing himself to be nice to her for the sake of the marriage. She had thought that after all those years together, he would eventually fall in love with her, just the way she had fallen for him. But it seemed that hadn't happened.
Ranma was trying TOO hard; it was completely out of character for him to be so considerate of her. Behind the act, it looked to her like he was miserable. She could only think that it was because he didn't really love her, and that he must have married her because he thought that he had to. She knew that Ranma would be too honorable to cheat on her, so that meant that since he was stuck with her, Ranma would never find the love he deserved. Being the cause of his misery was something she didn't want, but she was at a loss about what she should do.
Akane had thought it might turn out that way, but she’d been sure that she could handle it, and that it wouldn't be so hard to bear. While eating lunch, Ranma kept to himself, so Akane tried to start a conversation. She put on her best smile.
"Would you like to go for a swim after lunch?" she asked.
"I don't really feel like it" he said, and kept eating.
"Maybe we should go home," she said, the smile fading. Ranma's response had been so cold!
"Whatever you want" Ranma replied flatly, and kept eating.
"I'm asking you. You don't seem to be enjoying this."
"Am I supposed to enjoy a honeymoon with you?"
Akane's heart broke. She tried to hide it, but her eyes filled with tears.
"I'm sorry, Akane! I didn't mean to say that… er… I mean…"
"It's okay Ranma… I understand", she said staring at her plate. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly as Ranma started to eat again.
"So, would you like to do anything at all after lunch?"
Akane tried to force a weak smile, but she just couldn't. Ranma seemed to think about it for a little while, and then looked straight into Akane's eyes.
"I just want to be alone… I have to figure things out. I thought it would be easier after we got married, but it looks like it's not."
"I see," Akane said softly.
They finished their meal in silence. Akane started to pick up the dishes, as Ranma just sat there. She couldn't stand the silence, and before she knew it she was running down the street, crying. She didn't want it to be like this! They were both so miserable. If they were ever to have a chance together, they had to work it out, to sit down and talk about it. But first she needed to cry and let it all out. Walking and running around this nice little town would do her good. She just couldn't stop thinking of their last conversation, and how mean Ranma had been.
She stopped her wandering late that evening when she noticed the sunset. Its beauty drew her, even though her mind was filled with confusing thoughts. She relaxed a little as the sight soothed her. Yes, they needed to talk; she was sure they could work it out. They were adults after all, weren't they? But still…
Ranma had been searching all over town for Akane. She had been gone since lunch, and he was too worried to sit and wait for her.
"Damn! I really put my foot in my mouth THIS time!"
The worse thing was that he knew it was his fault to begin with. He'd been messing up her life ever since he and his father first set foot in the Tendo home. She had been so high spirited when he first met her, and he'd been insulting her and lying to her ever since. After the wedding, something had happened to her: she wasn't training and she didn't try to cook. She didn't even hit him anymore, for crying out loud! He knew that she was trying to act more feminine, but that wasn't the Akane he had fallen in love with.
'Still' Ranma thought 'she's more beautiful than ever.'
A smile flitted across his face, but vanished in a moment. So many changes in such a short time couldn't be good. Something had to be very wrong with her. He was sure he was the cause of it all, because Akane didn't love him the way he loved her. It was easy to admit it now. He had fallen in love with Akane almost at first sight, although he hadn't realized it at first. He had hoped she could come to love him too, but he was convinced now that it just hadn't happened. Instead, her spirit had been broken. He kept looking, twisting the ring on his left hand with his thumb.
He had finally decided to give in to his father's plans for him to marry her, because she was the only girl he really wanted to share the rest of his life. He had thought that Akane had agreed for the same reason.
'I guess I was wrong about that. My stupid ego must have kicked in again, and I just assumed that she wanted to marry me too. Ha. I must have been thinking something like "how could she not fall for the great Ranma Saotome like every other girl does?" I really am a conceited baka, aren't I?'
He had hoped they would work it out after the wedding. They would be able to spend some time by themselves on the honeymoon and to talk about how they felt about each other… if they had the guts, that was. Things didn't seem to go that way, however. She had seemed so depressed after the wedding that he had decided to leave her alone that night, and not insist she sleep with him. Surely Akane wouldn't want a freak like him touching her; wasn't her life ruined enough as it was?
Now, he was considering having the marriage annulled, in the hope that she would then be able to find some normal guy, instead of a weirdo like him. After all, what kind of man was he, spending half of his time as a girl? He unconsciously turned his hand into a hard fist.
Right now, Akane was stuck with a half-boy/half-girl jerk, and he had deliberately been a jerk to her at lunch, just to see if she would react like she used to at home before they had married. Instead, his mouth had gotten away from him again, and he’d just hurt her even more. The violent, strong-willed girl he loved so much was gone, and it was his fault. Maybe she would leave him now, and look for another guy. God knew it wouldn't be hard for her to find one. She was so damn beautiful…
But now that they were married, would she leave him? She would have to agree for an annulment, and the Tendo family honor might prevent that. She wouldn’t just find a lover; there was no way she would cheat on him. He knew her better than that.
'And even if she did find another guy,' Ranma thought 'I'll probably get jealous and screw that up for her too.'
He had always been jealous when other guys got close to Akane. It was a reaction he had the very devil of a time controlling. Because of it, Akane might never find the love she deserved, and that he wanted so much to give her. He hated himself for that.
What if he just came out and told her how he felt? No way that would work. She'd probably just feel even more trapped. Maybe with time she might grow to care about him, but how long would that take? They would both be unhappy in the meantime.
Ranma stopped as a soft breeze stroked him. He looked up at the orange-streaked sky. He’d wandered out of town while he was lost in his thoughts, and now he was in the small beachside hills a short distance outside it, not far from their cabin. He had looked all over town without finding any trace of Akane.His gaze turned towards the setting sun. The soft breeze felt cool on his skin. He closed his eyes, and pictured Akane in his mind. He had always thought of her as a beautiful girl, but he suddenly realized that she was really a young woman now, and at the stage of her life when a woman thought of settling down and starting a family of her own. He thought of her crying as she ran from him, and it broke his heart to think of how he made her suffer.
"Oh, Akane…" he whispered softly
Ranma took a deep breath and opened his eyes. It was then that he saw her. She was standing about thirty yards away from him, looking at the sunset with her back to him. She was so beautiful that his heart started to beat faster. He had found her at last.
Now what? He felt an urgent need to go to her and hold her, but he didn't want to spoil the vision he was seeing. He clenched his fist at his indecision. She was right. He was just plain stupid.
She looked so peaceful; he didn't want to ruin that for her, but before he knew it he'd started walking towards her. He stopped a few feet behind her. What should he do? He had to tell her how he felt, it was as simple as that. Apologize first, then tell her how he felt and go from there… For a moment he was tempted to just leave as quietly as he had arrived, but the worst thing he could do was to chicken out now.
'Pandas run away' he thought 'not men.'
It was then that he heard her sigh.
His heart caught in his throat. He drew a deep breath, and finally said:
"I'm here, Akane…"
Somehow, she wasn't surprised. Her heart pounded faster in her chest at the sound of his voice. She turned around slowly to see Ranma giving her a weak smile. The sun and her face were reflected on his beautiful gray-blue eyes.
"Ranma!" She looked away, and then shyly looked back at him again. "How long have you been there?"
"Not long." He looked at the ground. So did Akane.
In the background, the sound of the waves kept crashing over and over, as the silence between them lengthened. Ranma lifted his head to look at Akane, at the same moment she did. He took a deep breath.
"Akane, I…" "Ranma, I…" Both of them smiled at the coincidence.
"You found me," she said.
"I had to" Ranma said. He paused for a moment in surprise at how easily the words had come. He then took a couple of steps closer to Akane. She started, but Ranma didn't notice.
His arms were against his sides, his hands clenched into fists. He could feel his heart pounding. Her eyes were so beautiful and clear that he could see his reflection… She was smiling; that was everything to him. Ranma forced his hands to relax, and tried to compose himself for what he had to say.
She held her breath as she waited for his next words, hoping against all hope that they would be…
" I… I'm sorry, Akane."
Akane was puzzled. What was he sorry for? That his life had been messed up? That he was stuck with such a sorry excuse for a wife that she couldn't cook without ruining perfectly good food?
"I'm sorry I've been such a jerk to you all this time. I'm sorry you were forced to marry me. It's my fault you're so unhappy, and I wish there was some way I could make it up to you." He gazed at his feet again.
Akane was shaking. She stood with one hand to her mouth. What was he was trying to say? She didn't know what to think anymore.
Ranma struggled to find the right words so she wouldn't misunderstand him.
"I know it's hard being married and all, and that it's even harder to be married to a sex-changing freak."
He looked away for a second, his pain easy to see on his face. Akane shook her head to deny any such thing, but he didn’t notice. He closed his eyes for a second. When he opened them again, Akane could see a quiet determination in his eyes that filled her with wonder. Her eyes filled with tears again, afraid of his next words.
'Come on, baka, say it,' he was thinking. 'Enough preamble already…'
He looked at her, and saw that she was starting to cry again.
"Akane, please…" he said, almost whispering. "Don't cry… It hurts to see you cry."
Akane caught her breath at this and looked away. The tears started to slide down her cheeks again, as they had done almost the entire day…
Seeing her like this was too much for Ranma. He couldn't let Akane suffer like this. He took another step towards her. Akane didn't notice. The tears wouldn't let her.
"I’ll let you go if you want to leave me, or if you want to stay I'll do my best to be a good husband to you. We're going to work this out, Akane… because I want us both to be happy…"
Suddenly, she felt Ranma's strong hand softly tilting her head to face him. He was smiling at her, a decisive look on his handsome face.
"…I want _you_ to be happy…"
Akane held her breath and stared. Ranma leaned in a little.
"… Because I love you, Akane."
For Akane, time and sound stopped abruptly. She kept repeating his words in her mind. He had said it. He loved her. A thousand million thoughts invaded her already confused mind in a matter of a second. She could only stare at him.
"Ranma… I…" she whispered, and burst out crying again against his chest. He hugged and rocked her tenderly as she cried. He let out a breath of relief he didn't realize he was holding and closed his eyes. It felt so good and so right to hold her like that.
Akane cried softly for a couple of minutes. They held each other as the sun began to slide down over the horizon. Akane was finally happy, and sure of where future would lead. She lost herself in his embrace. There seemed to be a spot just made for her head, right there between Ranma's chin and shoulder. After a couple of minutes, Akane pulled back to look up at him.
'She looks so beautiful' Ranma thought, and didn't have time for anything else. Akane grinned, and suddenly kissed him, her eyes closed. Ranma's eyes widened in surprise, and then he slowly started to relax again. He closed his eyes as he returned her kiss tenderly. After quite some time, they broke off their kiss. Akane looked at him.
"I love you, too, Ranma… I've always loved you, so don't you ever talk about leaving me again or I'll get REALLY, REALLY MAD at you…"
She smiled at him and tapped on his back with the handle of the mallet she was suddenly holding. It vanished again a moment later as Ranma returned her smile and kissed her softly on her forehead, drawing her back into his arms. THAT was the Akane he knew and loved! Holding hands, and leaning on each other, they slowly walked back towards the town, as the last of the sun disappeared behind the deep blue ocean.
****************************** EL FIN ********************************
Author's Notes: If you've read this far… CONGRATULATIONS! You're probably able to read any of my fanfics (Not that I've written that much…).
I told you it was cheesy, so don't say I didn't warn you first…-I'd like constructive comments about this. I'm only starting and it's hard doing it on your own. I need your help to improve, so PLEASE! E-mail me with your comments. English is not my native language, so it's only to be expected that I can use help in expressing myself.
Finally, thanks for reading…
Pia Ulloa: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's Notes: I helped Pia with a little bit of rewriting to make it sound better in English, but the basic ideas are as she originally wrote them. Her English is passable, but since she is a native Spanish speaker, the phrasing was… different much of the time. She has other stories in the works, but since she is going to an architectural college she doesn't have much time to write. If you like her work, let her know and maybe she'll get around to writing some more!
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