Ranko's heartache, Ranma's hate
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 is a trademark of Rumiko Takahashi and VIZ Communications, and its characters have been borrowed without permission. This story was written for non-commercial purposes only.
Chapter 3: Alone
Akane looked around her bedroom trying to think of something anything that would take her mind off Ranma. However much she tried to occupy her mind with other thing, the thought of Ranma always quickly overtook any other thought. More specifically, she thought of what had happened in the dojo barely more than a day before.
She had felt the tears coming, threatening to take over her body in violent sobs, but then one hand, found one of her own, the fingers lacing gently with her own. His other hand had trailed down her cheek softly then had gently lifted her chin so that she looked her fiancée in the eyes. Again, he repeated the phrase that caused her so much pain, so much confusion, and then his lips were on hers and her world seemed to end as her thoughts scattered and she melted into his every touch.
It was only afterwards, when Akane could think coherently, that she thought of how Ranma had said that he would let his actions do the talking for him. She smiled at the memory, and at how he had made true on his promise.
Ranko looked around as the evening gave way to night. In a habit to show just how much alike she and her brother were, Ranko settled on the roof of the Tendo household with barely a thought. Presently her mind had begun to wander and had eventually settled on how lucky she thought her twin was.
In her mind, she knew she should feel happy for her brother but could not escape from her own feelings of loneliness. It ate at her, tore at her like a pack of famished wolves do after finally finding some meat. Eventually she began to feel guilty that she could not feel happy for her brother that her heart cared only for its self. Many a night came where she would walk the rooftops streets and even the back alleys of Nerima, but nothing seemed to bring her any relief.
Well just about nothing.
Nearly a week after she had almost walked in on Akane and her twin, Ranko found herself, walking home from school alone. Not even Kuno came after her proclaiming his love for his "pig-tailed goddess" though to be honest it came as a welcome relief to Ranko as he had already come after her three times that week and it was only Tuesday.
She wandered the streets of Nerima in an almost Ryoga type manner. She meandered from one shop to another, not really looking for anything and yet she felt that she had to find something. It wasn't until she found herself at her mothers doorstep did she realize what it was that was bothering her so much. Still she daren't voice the thought to anyone she could not trust with her life.
With an ironic looking smile on her face at the thought of whom she trusted most, she settled for the person she trusted almost as much as her brother.
Nodoka looked Ranko over the very second her daughter stepped over the threshold. Immediately she saw the stress and jealously that tinged her aura, the way it exuded itself ever so slightly that one actually had to focus on it to sense it. Nodoka, with a mother's eye also saw the loneliness that everyone else had failed to notice within Ranko's eyes.
Without a word, Nodoka ushered her daughter into the sitting room and quickly brought her daughter a cup of warm tea, then sat in the chair across from her daughter. She watched her daughter sip the tea slowly, thinking how to best begin and how to best to begin. It hadn't taken her much thought to figure out that Ranko was upset and jealous of her brother, it was just how to approach the subject that kept Nodoka from speaking.
Ranko for her part was every bit as sharp as her mother, "I take it that you already know why I'm here mother?" she asked, setting her cup of tea on the table between them. "So I'll just cut to the chase, what should I do?"
Nodoka hid her surprise well. I've trained her quite well. Nodoka thought with an inner smile that could not be missed if it was shown. She took a breath then began.
Ranma's thoughts never so much as faltered from Akane, and for good reason. Ever since she had met him, at his request, in the dojo he had thought of noting besides what had transpired there.
His original intention in having her meet him so early in the morning was to avoid being eavesdropped on. Had the understood Ranma's intentions through his words it would have meant putting up with their fathers' insistent notions of planning a wedding. His secondary notion was simply to talk to Akane. That intention however, went flying out other window the second that he saw her.
He had just finished a kata when she waked in, instantly he was captivated by her. Drawn in by the young woman- no my fiancé, Ranma chanced the thought immediately. He thought of al the names he had called her, all the insults he had thrown her way and he flinched at everyone. He knew that they had hurt her but he was to busy trying to protect himself, to protect his pride, that he insulted her the way that he did.
He thought of all the ways he could tell her how he truly felt about her, that every insult he had shouted was false, that every denial he had uttered was the completely opposite of how and what he truly felt. Those few minutes he spent contemplating felt like an eternity, but in the end he found the perfect way to express himself to Akane, and he wouldn't have to say a word. It was bold, but then Ranma thought, what am I if not bold; at the same time he kissed her. Kissed her long, slow, and deep, the kind of kiss one gives their lover. The kind a kiss only one in love could give.
And he enjoyed every solitary second of that kiss.
Ranko went through the motions of her kata with her thoughts heavy with the advice her mother had given her, the nodachi in her hands ringing with the slightest motion of the air. Don't allow it to get to you; Ranko replayed her mother's voice in her head. Remember how I trained you to withstand pain, to withstand the pain of physical wounds, and to ignore the pain of emotional wounds.
Ranko had remembered, and practiced it with every move she made. Her movements became a blur of the red, and black of her Chinese shirt and pants and the silver streak that was her blade. After what felt like an eternity to her body, Ranko sheathed her sword and settled down on the floor to relax.
Certainly, there was nothing keeping her from moving on with her life. No, there was nothing or no one, to be more specific to what she wanted, in her life. Though she felt happy for her brother she was also jealous of him. He wasn't alone, he had Akane, and who did she have? Just some wannabe Shakespearian jerk chasing after her because he has nothing better to do in life.
Ranko wiped the sweat from her brow and stood leaving the dojo with every intention of soaking in the furo as soon as humanly possible.
She decided to spend a few minutes on the roof of the dojo and as she alighted the roof with the silence and skill that only a top martial artist could accomplish she found that she was far from alone.
Immediately she settled into a defensive stance her eyes closed and her ears listening for the slightest hint of an adversary. "Whose there?" the question split the silence of the night air, Ranko turned as the sound of light footsteps reached her ears. She opened her eyes, and froze at the sight of him.
He looked every bit the same as he had all those years ago, just older. His aura as always shifted with the slightest notion, the slightest thought. She felt it dancing around her as he stepped well within the boundaries of her personal space. His dark hair complimented his eyes, which seemed to draw all in all light. His body seemed to be riddled with power, power that seemed to make itself more prominently noticed by the second, power that was expressed in every move he made.
His clothes were the same as her and her brothers, the same silk Chinese shirt, the exception being that his were jet black, save for the emblem she knew was imprinted on the back.
"Its good to see you again, Ranko," his voice was rich and flowed with pure elegance. Ranko almost fainted from the mere pleaser that course down her spine at the way he said her name.
Now if only she could remember his.
Ranma was on his way home from Ukyo's restaurant when he felt the familiar shifting aura. Inwardly he cursed thinking of the last time he had come across this aura and instantly began running towards the Tendo residence.
Ranko managed to find her voice, "Who are you," she asked still straining herself to find a name for this familiar stranger.
The smile on his lips faded quickly, and with a movement that didn't even seem possible he sidestepped, dodging an attack from Ranma that should had left the latter unconscious for the next few hours.
Ranma landed lightly from his attack and turned to stand slightly in front of his twin, pushing her back a few feet with a gentle yet undeniable touch. Almost immediately two battle auras flared into existence, one around the unnamed figure before the twins the other around Ranma.
"Ranma," the stranger said a malicious smile playing about his lips.
"Hyoushou," Ranma replied, scowling deeply
Ranko's eyes went wide, "Hyoushou?" Memories she suppressed long ago rushed to the surface of her mind, unlike her brother, feelings of tenderness and love, rather than hatred and contempt.
Author Notes: I know this chapter was a little heavy on Ranko but I figured that since I have made her as her own character that she deserves a chapter to herself. Besides, I have a lot in store so I think this will help set the groundwork for that. Anyway, the same as always, you've read, so please review I'd love to know what you think.