It was a beautiful day in Nerima. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the sky
was a bright blue, and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. Which was definitely a plus for a certain
wandering martial artist, who actually knew where he was, for once.
“*sniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiff*, Aaaaah!” Ryoga took a good whiff of the morning air. “Not even
Ranma could spoil this lovely morning!” he said, walking right past the Tendo Dojo. He walked
a bit further till he realized he wasn’t sure exactly where he was.
“Hmm . . .” he pondered. “Excuse me, sir. Could you tell me how far I am from the
Tendo Dojo?” he inquired of an elderly man in front of him.
“It’s . . . right behind you.” the man said with a bewildered look on his face. “Do you
want me to walk you there? So you don’t miss it again?” he offered, wondering how the young
man had missed it in the first place. Ryoga looked behind him to see a sign proclaiming ‘Tendo
Dojo’ not ten feet behind him.
“Ah . . . No, thanks. Now that I see it, I’m sure I won’t miss it this time! Thanks anyway!”
he cheerfully replied. He turned and walked right into the middle of the road. If not for a car
almost running him over, he would have been half way to China before realizing he made a
wrong turn. As it is, leapt out of the car’s way and right into the Tendo’s back yard. Don’t ask me
how, it just happened. He landed right beside the koi pond. This must be my lucky day! He
thought as stood up, shifted the pack on his back, and walked towards the back door to the dojo.
Being the polite boy that he is, he knocked.
“Ranma, are you alright?” Kasumi asked, rather worried. “You haven’t touched your
food. Is there something else you’d rather eat? I could fix anything you want.”
“Huh? Oh, no. I’m just not hungry.” Ranma said distractedly. His mind was still on his
dream. Is it just a meaningless nightmare? Or is it some kind of premonition? Does Ryoga really
want to kill me? Why do I keep having the same dream over and over again? If he really tried to
kill me, wouldn’t I fight back? Why didn’t I fight? Why did I just give up like that? Is there
something wrong with me? Did I say that or just think it? Does it matter? Is that how I really
feel about him? His thoughts were interrupted by a knocking on the back door.
“I’ll get it.” Ranma got up and walked to the door before anyone could say ‘boo’ about it.
Don’t ask me where I got that from, I don’t remember. -_-;; He opened the door to find the object
of his dreams for the past month standing before him in all his splendor. Ranma stood there a
minute and blinked, continuously.
“Uh, Ranma? You okay?” Ryoga asked, finding himself concerned for the pig-tailed
martial artist. Ranma slowly shut the door in Ryoga’s face. If Ranma hadn’t been acting so
strange, Ryoga would be furious right now. But all he could do was blink a few times.
“Ranma, who was it?” Akane asked. Ranma sat back down at the table.
“It’s for you.” he directed at Akane. He then started playing with his food again, in a
shock like state. Akane got up and went to the door to see who it was, as the others stared openly
at Ranma. He didn’t notice.
Akane opened the back door to find a very bewildered Ryoga standing in front of her. He
hadn’t quite noticed her yet, as he was still puzzling over Ranma’s strange behavior.
“Ryoga! What a pleasant surprise!” Even he noticed Ranma’s acting strange. “Come on
in!” Akane invited the still stunned boy in cheerfully.
“Huh? Oh, thanks.” Ryoga walked inside. “What’s up with Ranma? He just stared at me
as if I were a ghost and then shut the door. Is there something wrong with him?”
“We don’t know. He’s been acting strange all month, but today is the worst. Ryoga, he’s
hardly touched his food! Frankly, I’m worried, and so is everyone else.” Akane looked at him
with concern in her eyes. Ryoga’s eyes reflected her concern, but he was uncertain as to whether
it was because she was concerned or because of the cause of her concern. It seems his feelings
have wandered into new territory and he was as lost as ever.
“We’re still having breakfast, care to join us? And maybe you could take to Ranma and
find out what’s wrong, if you don’t mind, that is.” Akane asked hopefully. Normally, when
Akane showed such feelings toward Ranma, it would tear at Ryoga’s heart and shatter his hopes
and dreams. But his concern over Ranma out weighted his feelings for Akane. He had yet to
notice this, however.
“Sure. I would like to now what’s going on with him as well.”
Don’tlethimindon’tlethimindon’tlethimin . . . Ranma’s mind repeated over and over again
in a vain attempt to keep Akane from inviting Ryoga inside. Ranma sat at the table hugging his
knees and ever so slightly rocking back and forth. This caused great distress amongst the others.
For if something could cause such a reaction to the young martial artist, then they should all be
“Do you think he’s sick?” queried Kasumi.
“Yeah, in the head.” Nabiki offered.
“Ranma, snap out of it!” Genma growled at his son, receiving no response.
“Maybe he needs to see a doctor.” Soun conjectured. They continued on like this till
Akane returned with Ryoga in tow.
“Oh! Ryoga, how nice to see you again! Please sit down and join us!” Kasumi generously
offered. Ranma froze.
“Thank you, Kasumi-san.” Ryoga bowed and took a seat beside Ranma. As the others
greeted Ryoga, Ranma stood up, and calmly walked out of the room.
“Now where’s he going?” Nabiki wondered aloud, bringing the others attention to
Ranma’s sudden absence.
“I don’t know.” Akane leaned in toward Ryoga. “Maybe you could talk to him now?” she
whispered. He nodded and excused himself from the table and headed in the direction Ranma
had left in.
After leaving the room, Ranma made his way upstairs and to his room. Once there, he sat in a
corner, squeezed in between the wall and the dresser. He sat with his knees drawn up to his
chest, his arms crossed on top of his knees, and his face buried in his arms. Why? Why me? Why
now? Why *him*? What does this all mean? Why is he here? Why didn’t he challenge me?
Why did he look . . . concerned . . . about me? Does he share my feelings? Wait a minute, what
feelings? I’m so confused! What is it that I feel toward him? Do I really want to know? What if
it’s . . .
“Ranma? Are you in here?” Ryoga’s voice interrupted his thoughts.