Ranma 1/2: Ranma/Akane - #5. "Ano sa"
Pairing: Saotome Ranma and Tendou Akane
Fandom: Ranma 1/2
Theme: #5 "Ano sa" ("Hey, you know...")
Disclaimer: This fic takes place several months after the end of the manga and does spoil events in the later part of the series. "Ranma 1/2" isn't mine, but belongs to Takahashi Rumiko and the various companies that represent her.
Akane bent over her textbook, a hastily-scrawled list beside her with everything that she needed to get accomplished in that day's worth of studying. It was just the start of her senior year, but she had to be as serious as she had been during her third year of middle school if she was going to get into any sort of decent university.
She was so absorbed in algebraic equations that she almost didn't notice the tea set before her and the plate of snacks beside it.
She glanced up, gave a quick smile. "Thank you, Kasumi-oneechan."
Kasumi folded her legs beneath her as she sank down across Akane. "You know...it's been a year since Ranma-kun and Saotome-ojisan came to us."
Akane startled, then glanced at the calendar hanging from the wall. Slowly, she laid her pencil beside her notebook. "I can't believe time's gone by so quickly. It feels more like eight years have passed instead of one."
"Well, quite a lot has happened over the past year," Kasumi acknowledged as she sipped at her own cup of tea.
Akane eyed her warily. "Otou-san didn't ask you to talk to me about marrying Ranma, did he?"
"No, of course not."
"Nodoka-obasan has been out all day."
Kasumi finished her tea and rose. "I figured I'd give you something to think about, Akane-chan. I'll let you finish your homework."
Akane sighed as her sister walked out of the room and leaned back. So much for homework, she thought somewhat bitterly. Her concentration was shattered thanks to the "oh-so-helpful" reminder that she had been engaged for a year.
And it had truly been a year that seemed more like a lifetime. But ever since the aborted wedding about two months earlier, things had calmed down a lot. Well - as calm as things would ever get when said fiance was being chased by Shampoo. Ukyou and Kodachi. Though the last... Akane shuddered. The thought of that woman kissing Ranma was enough to make her want to skip dinner. She was positive he felt the same way.
She rose, pushed the shoji open and looked out into the garden to watch the sun set. Akane thought that at the end of her high school years, she would be heading off to college like most normal women. Instead, she was engaged to be married. Her hands curled into fists. Not by choice, even though she had feelings for Ranma. They cared about each other and knew they would eventually marry each other.
But the actual reality of a wedding never quite pierced through her mind, even though she had stood in a white wedding dress and attempted to take her vows.
Now she was just an ordinary schoolgirl again. Something like "wife" seemed foreign and old. That term belonged to someone like Kasumi, who could cook, clean and act motherly toward all of them. For Akane, the best she could offer was tenacity, loyalty and the ability to smash through concrete blocks with a single hand.
Once she married, what would she do with her life?
She tried to think of any woman that was successfully both a wife and a career-woman and really couldn't. Not that Akane felt that she was cut out for most careers - she just assumed she would run the dojo. But that would be Ranma's responsibility. Akane snorted. Not that she'd seen him take an interest in anything other than martial arts.
A blur caught her attention and she watched as Genma, in panda form, lumbered across the lawn. Her heart froze as he slumped to the ground and fell asleep.
Would Ranma want to take away their children for training too? No, he wouldn't, she reminded herself. Not after what he went through. He wouldn't subject a child, especially one of theirs, to that.
What about his father? Or worse, the lech Happosai?
She gripped the side of the shoji tightly. She'd been opposed to marrying Ranma on principle at first, but had grown to care for and accept the wedding.
But until now, she hadn't realized that it would change everything.
"What's the long face for?"
She cast a sidelong glance at the object of her current thoughts, now standing next to her watching Genma-panda in the garden. His hands were clasped behind his head, his mouth stuffed with one of the snacks that Akane had abandoned on the table.
"Hmph. You wouldn't get it," she informed Ranma, then stalked back inside to finish her homework.
He stared after her, shrugged, then made his way to the dojo to practice.