Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ Forever Bound ❯ Flashes of Pain and Sorrow ( Chapter 4 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Forever Bound
Chapter 4, Flashes of Pain and Sorrow

Author's Notes: Okay, all my wonderful readers out there, here is the next chapter. Don't worry I'll finish this...sometime. I really like how my story is going along weaving it's plot so I don't want to just abruptly end it...otherwise it wouldn't be as good and I wouldn't feel satisfied with it. Stay in your seat though, because I know what I want to do with my story (but knowing me I just might decide to make a plot turn straight in the middle of the story, hehe). Oh and if your wondering (which your probably not), I am not a very good action writer so I don't think there is going to be much fighting in this story...except...*Don't give it away* Okay sheesh...I won't give it away, you'll just have to keep reading to find out.

Disclaimers: I don not own Ranma 1/2, Rumiko Takahashi does.
Akane stared uneasily around the auditorium as she practiced her lines. Somebody was watching her, she could tell, but not seeing the person made her all the more nervous.

"Stop! Akane, pay attention! Opening night is two days from now! We can't afford our leading lady to go off into la-la land!" the young director yelled. Akane was too preoccupied on a place at the corner of the auditorium to notice anything he said. Shinji threw his hand in the air and gave a loud sigh signaling the end of rehearsal. Everyone sighed in relief, internally thanking Akane for the break they didn't have in days.

Akane finally noticed the cast and crew start to leave the auditorium so she ran towards the spot she was looking at earlier. As she reached the dark corner she noticed somebody hiding in the shadows...she knew that this was the person that had been watching her.

"Who are y-?" she started to ask before she saw a large wrapped bundle on the woman's back, which by her guess held a katana. Akane only knew one person who carried a wrapped family katana around. "Auntie Nodoka?"

Nodoka stepped from behind the shadows and smiled. Akane had to admit to herself that the woman aged gracefully for the only signs of old age was a few gray hairs and some lines on her face. Nodoka was wearing a kimono, not that Akane expected differently, and smiled widely at Akane.

"Akane, dear, when did you come back. Didn't you bother to tell your Auntie that you were back? I'm surprised to have to hear it from Soun!" Nodoka said still smiling. Nodoka looked Akane over and mentally sighed heavily. This beautiful girl here could have been her daughter and Belldandy would have been her granddaughter. She gave one more look at Akane's hesitent face and sighed again. *Akane isn't my daughter-in-law though, and Belldandy isn't my granddaughter. My son had given up a very beautiful diamond he had back here just for an exotic ruby*

"Oh Auntie, I just didn't have time, with Belldandy starting school and everything. Dealing with daddy, being home, it's just hard to adjust," Akane lied. True, she did have to adjust and deal with her father and being home, but the truth of the matter was that Akane simply didn't know how to act around Nodoka anymore. After Ranma left, Nodoka totally ignored the Tendo family and she didn't see her even until after she left.

Nodoka smiled sadly, if she couldn't have Akane as a daughter-in-law, she would have her as a niece or daughter at least, she really did like this spunky girl. Akane reminded Nadoka of her when she was young. Nodoka had already made amends with Kasumi and Nabiki, now all she needed was Akane to forgive her and she could be happy again.

"You don't have to lie to me Akane, " Akane opened her mouth as to speak, but Nodoka held up her hand, "I know what my son did was...hurtful...and I know what I did just made things worse. You have to believe me though, I would never intentionally hurt you girls...it was just that I had lost my *only* son for 10 years and when I finally met him again he had to leave. I was hurting to Akane, but by the time I had recovered and could face you girls again, you were already gone." Nodoka pleaded silently that Akane would listen to her reasoning.

Akane stared at the woman in front of her and sighed. She had forgiven the culprit of the crime, so she could just as well forgive the witness and jury. Akane looked at Nodoka again, but this time only at her eyes, *...so much like...* Akane knew that she could never refuse those eyes anything even she tried. Akane smiled and wrapped her arms around Nodoka's as she led her out of the auditorium.

"Okay, Auntie, I forgive you, but there is someone your about to meet again that I want to forgive you too."
Ukyo sat on the park bench and waited impatiently Akane to show up. *Where is that girl?* she fumed. Ukyo dropped her purse and went to pick it up, but when she looked up again she was staring at a kimono skirt. Ukyo stood up again and looked at the woman beside Akane. Ukyo needed no introduction, she knew who this woman was.

"Nodoka, what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be ignoring lowly ex-fiancees like me and Akane?" Ukyo said tightly. Nodoka visibly flinched at the words and both Akane and Ukyo noticed. Akane knew the worse thing to do to a friendly, outgoing, person like Ukyo was look down on her.

"Ucchan, give her a chance. Please, for our sake...we can't all just hate each other forever, now can we?" Akane said softly. Ukyo stared surprised at Akane and said, "But Ne-chan! She had-"

"I know Ucchan...I know what she did to us...but don't you think it hurted her to. All we had tooken from us was our fiancee, but he was her son, Ucchan, her *son* who she hasn't seen for so long. Her own flesh and blood. Don't you think you would be more withdrawn if somebody took Ryoko from you?" Akane reasoned gently.

"I am sorry Ukyo, but when...R-ranma... was tooken from me...I blamed everyone though it was not your fault. I blamed you for not being able to hold him back and make him stay, but I know now that it was his choice and you all are not at fault," Nodoka apologized and stared ashamedly at the ground. This was a rare sight indeed to see the honorable, proud, Nodoka, being ashamed about anything.

"Please Ucchan, forgive and forget. It will help heal the pain, you know," Akane soothed.
"My wounds are healed, " Ukyo said stubbornly as Akane smiled knowingly. Ukyo knew she was in love with Shiro and did no longer love Ranma that way, but it still hurt. It still hurt knowing her best friend had abandoned her. She had fallen in love with both Ranma and Shiro at sometime in her life, but it was different. Loving Ranma was like riding a roller coaster, exhilerating and full of twists and turns, while loving Shiro was like having a fire lit in her and burn whenever he was around making her feel like the most special, important person in the whole world. Ukyo knew if Ranma had stayed and not chosen Akane, she couldn't love him like that forever. Ukyo knew that sooner or later the roller coaster would have ended and there would be no love left from her to Ranma, but that of a friends. Her love as a friend between Ranma would never die however, as her love as a wife to Shiro never would. It just hurt to know the roller coaster stopped sooner then she thought and she had to lose her life-long friend to know that.

"Yes, Nodoka, I forgive you..after all there is nothing left that we can doooo!" Ukyo screamed as she fell. Akane caught her before she fell, however and looked at Ukyo's face.

"What's the matter, Ucchan?" Akane asked knowing what Ukyo was going through.
Ukyo breathed hard, "The baby...I think it's coming sooooooner then weeeeee th-th-thought!"
"Auntie, you go back to the dojo and get Shiro and everyone to meet us at the hospital." Akane commanded. Nodoka only had to hear once before hurrying off. Nodoka looked one last glance at Akane trying to wave for a car to stop *Yes...Akane would have made a very wonderful wife and mother...*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Akane finally had had enough. Can't these drivers see the pregnant woman beside her. They didn't even bother to stop. Akane ran in front of a car opened her arms knowing the car would stop. *Woah, if that car didn't stop, I'll be scrambled eggs by now...* Akane opened the back seat door of the car and let Ukyo in as she got in herself. Not bothering to look at the driver Akane said, "Chiba Memorial Hospital...amd please hurry...we have a pregnant woman on our hands."

The driver of the car just stared dumbfoundly at the car mirror not daring to hope or look back, afraid that she would see him and disappear. *She's so beautiful...* he thought. He didn't get to think more then that as Akane kicked his seat *hard* and he started to drive. Ranma stayed quiet as he drove and strared into the car mirror, not daring to hope that the girl behind him was real. Akane's hair was blowing wildly in her face and her eyebrows scrunched up in frustration. *...just like my dreams...only more...* Ranma felt his heartbeat thumping so loudly he could have sworn the two ladies in the backseat heard. Suddenly, all Ranma's other thoughts came to a halt as he one thought cut through his brain like a knife *Ucchan's PREGNANT!*
Akane never bothered to look at the driver paying all her attention to Ukyo, "Okay, Ucchan, breathe, breathe.. take your mind off the baby and some of the pain will go away..."

Ukyo just scowled at Akane and said, "How do you expect me to take my mind off of the baby when my water just broke?!"
Akane laughed thinking of an idea to get Ukyo's mind off of the baby, "Aw, come on Ucchan, what would Shiro think of his kawaii wife now, if she's so mean?" Just as Akane thought, Ukyo took the bait.

"Why do I caaaaare what heeeeee think? I mean the first time he met meeeee, h-he thoouuuught IIII was a booooooy!"
Akane had to laugh at that and said, "Yeah remember when he asked "Ukyo" if he could have a date with his sister "Ucchan". He actually thought you were twins. Ha! It sure was funny when he found out his best buddy "Ukyo", the resteraunt owner was really his kawaii girlfriend "Ucchan".

Ukyo had to laugh at that one, "Yeah, when he was about to change "Ukyo's" clothes at that inn and found out Ukyo had a few extra parts to his upper body!"
"Shiro, flew, and I mean *flew* out of that window, right into a hot spring. We had to go downstairs to get him from the water!"
Ukyo laughed softly this time, "Yeah, that was when I found out I loved him. His eyes were sparkling and his face was so flushed up. I knew I loved him then and always will."

Akane got a mischievous look in her eyes, "You sure it wasn't just the fact that he was naked and dripping water. I mean you are one lucky girl...if you didn't snag him first..."

Ukyo slapped Akane on the arm and blushed making her glow even more, "Ne-chan, y-you said you didn't look."
"Hey he wasn't your husband yet and if you could stare at him then why couldn't I take a quick peek?" This time Ukyo blushed so much she didn't even respond, but instead just shook her head in a fake stern expression(which was hard to do, considering she was giving birth the moment).
Ranma parked in front of the hospital after listening to Akane and Ukyo's conversation. *Ucchan? Ne-chan? Shiro? Husband?* Thoughts rambled on in his head as Akane got out of the car and told Ukyo to wait so she could go get Ukyo a wheelchair. With nothing to do, but wait Ukyo decided she might as well know who got pushed into giving her a ride.

"Listen, I'm sorry for Ne-chan. It's just thaaaaaaat sheeeee is...um...impulsive and let's her emotions control her brains," Ukyo said as she continued to breathe.
*Boy do I know...* Ranma thought joyfully. Sensing no reply from the driver Ukyo looked up at the car mirror and gasped. *Those eyes...I'll never forget them...he's...he's ...he's...* "Ranma?!" Ukyo asked softly...barely...not daring to hope...too many disappointing times have told her that not only one person in the world has blue-grey eyes...but those seem so real...

Before Ukyo could move up to look at the driver's face, Akane took Ukyo out of the car and into a wheelchair. Akane then proceeded to push Ukyo to the Emergency room not giving her time to look back. As Ranma stared blankly once again at the two emergency doors Akane and Ukyo disappeared through his mind pushed him with unanswered questions. As Ranma drove from the hospital he knew if he wanted answers they'll only be one person in Nerima who has them. As Ranma drove off passed the horizon Fate wept in Destiny's soothing arms *Akane Tendo...say good-bye to your normal life forever...* Fate looked up at Destiny's calm wise eyes and thought as she looked where Ranma drove off *...but it's for the best...for Akane...for Ranma...for everyone...life was never easy...*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Author's notes: Remember all comments and critisism to silverflame_maiden@hotmail.com. Okay to all of you who are wondering, since Keichii is an Amazon male shouldn't he have married Belldandy? The answer is according to Amazon law, if an *outsider* defeated an Amazon then they marry them. It doesn't work that way if the Amazon beats the outsider. Don't worry though, I'm not gonna have any family marriages in this story like sister marry brother, half-sister marry half-brother or anything like that so don't worry. I know what I'm doing(I think), Nobody is going to end up marrying anyone blood-related to them. I'm not going to give out anymore though. :)