Part 3

Warning: More shounen ai, but that changes, and sap, lots of sap. ^^;;


“I wonder who that could be?” Kasumi wondered aloud.

“I’ll get it.” Akane offered. It hadn’t been two minutes since Ryoga left in search of Ranma. And now, someone else was at the door. ‘Whoever it is, I hope they won’t cause more trouble than we have already.’ Akane was just sick and tired of trouble, who could lame her? She opened the door to find . . .

“Mrs. Saotome! What a pleasant surprise! Come on in!” Akane greet pleasantly and loudly. ‘So much for no more trouble.’ she mentally sighed. A faint splash was heard in the distance.

“Why, hello Akane! You’re looking as lovely as ever! I was hoping to catch my husband and son, are they here?” she asked hopefully, stepping inside.

“Mr. Saotome is on training trip, I’m afraid. Ranma’s suppose to join him today. I’ll check if he’s left yet. Why don’t you help yourself to some breakfast? The others will be happy to see you!” Akane guided Mrs. Saotome in the direction of the dining room. Once she was out of sight, Akane picked up a vase, removed the flowers, and carried it upstairs to find Ranma.

Thunder crashed, lightening flashed, and a torrent of rain fell outside, a sure indication of a severe storm raging. (Evidently! ^_~) A particularly loud thunder clap made both boys jump, right into each other’s arms. They stared out the window at the storm that was raging outside before realizing where they had landed. Blushing, they slowly turned to look at each other.

“Um, it . . . startled me.”

“Yeah . . . me too.” They slowly, and somewhat reluctantly, let go of each other.

“When had the storm rolled in? Last I looked, it was a bright and beautiful day.” Ryoga asked, changing the subject.

“Don’t know. That’s Nerima weather for ya. But I think it’s still a beautiful day.” Ranma replied.

“How’s that?”

“Well, with it pouring like that, there’s no way you can leave. And any day with you around is beautiful to me.” Ranma said, smiling sweetly at Ryoga and blushing, but no where near as much as Ryoga was blushing right at that moment!

“Why, R-Ranma! I-I don’t kn-know what to-to say!” Ryoga flustered, blushing a deep red all the way to his roots.

“Anyone ever tell ya you’re cute when you blush?” Ranma took hold of Ryoga’s hand.

“Eh?” Ryoga was now speechless. Ranma had found a whole new way of tormenting Ryoga that he won’t kill him for doing, and he’s loving it!

“Ranma! Are you up there? There’s someone here to see you!” Akane called from the top of the stairs.

“Oh, no! Nice timing, Akane!” surprisingly, it was Ryoga who muttered those words. Ranma chuckled.

“And here I thought you where head over heels in love with her!” Ranma half joked.

“I did, too. Turns out, it was just misplaced affection.” Ryoga stated.

“Eh? Where did you get that?”

“From this talk show in America. Weird place, I don’t recommend going there.”

“Ah. Come on, let’s get down stairs before Akane has an aneurism!” Ranma pulled Ryoga by the hand out the door and down the hall. When he saw the vase in Akane’s hands, however, he shoved Ryoga quickly inside the room they were just passing, which happened to be Akane’s, just seconds before the water hit.

“It’s your mother.” Akane said quietly.

“So I gathered.” Ranko picked leaves out of her hair.

“Where’s Ryoga? I thought I saw him with you.” Akane asked. Ranko’s eye’s widened, and she dashed into Akane’s room. Akane followed, wondering why Ryoga would be in her room, or what he would do there.

“Ryoga! Are you alright?” Ranko rushed to his side.

“Uuuuuuuuuuhhhh!!” he moaned, blinking several times. He looked up to see Ranko looking down at him concerned.

“Ryoga!” Akane rushed to his other side. “What did you do to him, you jerk?” she accused Ranko.

“Hmph!” Ranko returned her attention to Ryoga.

“What happened to your bandana, Ryoga?” Akane asked while checking his head for injuries.

“Huh? Oh, it’s right here.” he held up his hand, which still held, not only his bandana, but the pendant as well.

“Oh, what a pretty pendant! Where did you get it?” Akane inquired.

“A little shop in China.” Ryoga blushed. He completely forgot about it. ‘She probably thinks it’s for her. Dangit! Now what am I going to do?’

“Looks very expensive! Whoever you’re going to give it to must be very special and close to your heart, and very lucky to have you!” Akane said, smiling at him like a knowing older sister.

“Yes, very special.” Ryoga agreed, sneaking a glance at Ranko. She smiled back at him and winked.

“So how did you end up here in my room on the floor?”Akane asked, still pretty sure Ranko was responsible.

“I kinda tripped and slipped at the same time.” he blushed. “It’s kind of embarrassing!” he said, rubbing the back of his head.

“Oh, well! As long as you’re all right!” Akane shot darts at Ranko. Ranko stuck her tongue out at Akane. Ryoga sat up, and stood.

“I’m fine, Akane! No need to worry about me!” he smiled at her sweetly. ‘I get this strange feeling that he’s protecting Ranko for some reason.’ Akane thought uneasily.

“All right, I’ll see you two downstairs.” With that, she left the room and headed towards the dining room. Thunder rolled in her wake.

“Do you think she knows something?”

“Who, Akane? The same girl who couldn’t figure out that you and P-chan are one and the same?”

“You got a point there.”

“Listen, I’m sorry about shoving you like that . . .” Ranko started.

“Hey, it’s okay! I was going to thank you. I’d still rather not let Akane know about that. At least, not like that. Uhm, here.” Ryoga held the pendant out to Ranko. She had forgotten all about the gift he had gotten for her. She lifted it up by the chain and lifted the pendant up to her face to get a better look at the carving.

“Oh, Ryoga, it’s beautiful!” Tears welled up in her eyes from the touching gift. “But I couldn’t! It’s too expensive! And Akane . . .”

“You don’t have to wear it, and if you do, you could hide it under your clothing. Besides, money means nothing to me, your happiness means the world to me!” Ryoga looked away, somewhat embarrassed at his own confession.

“Oh, Ryoga!” Ranko threw her arms around the lost boy’s neck, hugging him profusely, her tears finally let free. Ryoga returned the hug by wrapping his arms around her waist, squeezing gently.

“You’re welcome.” A single tear ran down his cheek, a tear of joy and love.