Not Again


"RANMA SAOTOME, PREPARE TO DIE!"

Ryoga swung his umbrella at Ranma's head. Ranma dodged the attack, causing Ryoga's umbrella to hit the ground with enough force to break it.

"Hey, P-Chan! Long time, no see! How ya been?" Ranma asked while avoiding Ryoga's flying fists. Ryoga was not happy. His anger rose with every failed attack and every blow dodged. Ranma had never seen the lost boy so angry.

'Oh man, he's really pissed!' Ranma thought, as he barely avoided being hit. But as he dodged the last attack, he tripped over a rock, losing his balance. Ryoga lunged at Ranma, knocking them both to the ground. He then latched onto Ranma's throat, planning on squeezing the very life out of a certain pig-tailed martial artist. Ranma, try as he might, could not pry Ryoga's hand away from his neck.

"Ry-ryoga . . .I . . . can't . . . breathe!"

"DIE, RANMA!" Ryoga vehemently shouted into his face. Hatred practically radiated from the lost boy's body. If Ranma wasn't already suffocating, he would be drowning in menevolence. The hatred in Ryoga's eyes and the venom practically dripping with his every word, chilled Ranma to his very marrow.

"You . . . you hate me . . . that much, . . . Ryoga?" Ranma could not believe this was happening. 'What could have caused him to lose it like this?' flitted through his semi-conscious mind.

"I had no idea . . . your hatred . . . for me ran . . . that deep. Kill me . . . if you must . . . I . . . will no longer . . . fight, nor hurt, you . . . anymore, Ryoga." Ranma let go of him.

"You mean . . . too much . . . to me . . . to fight you . . . seriously." Ranma closed his eyes and waited for the end to come. 'Because I love you.' he thought, but could not say.

"RANMA!"

"ACK!" Ranma leapt into the air and landed face down on his bed. "Geez, Akane. Did ya have to yell?" he complained as he sat up, though he was glad she woke him from his nightmare.

"I've been trying to wake you for ten minutes! Breakfast is ready, baka!" Akane stormed out of the room, leaving a some what perturbed Ranma alone. Ranma sighed, then quickly dressed, trying to keep the disturbing images of his dream at bay. No dice. No matter what he did to distract his mind, the images haunted him, as did his own words. Ranma made his way downstairs and to breakfast, though he wasn't really hungry. The stoic expression on his face spoke volumes to those around him, making them all feel uneasy.

'Why did he want to kill me? Does he *really* want me dead? Why wouldn't I fight back? Does he *really* mean that much to me? Why did I say I loved him? Why do I keep having the same dream every night? *Do* I love him? . . .' These thoughts and more circled around in Ranma's head as he barely touched his food.

TBC