By: James Thomas
Synopsis: Akane comes home to find a tragic note from Ranma. She runs all over Nerima trying to find her fiancée.
Disclaimer: Yo Rumiko! Taking the kids for a test drive. Have them washed, waxed, and gassed before I bring ‘em back. J
Be back when I feel like it
Akane stared at the note that she had found on her door when she had come home. She couldn’t believe it: Ranma had left because of their fight! They had had another fight at lunch. She couldn’t even remember what she had said to him, but he had left and not returned to school. Now she finds this note and no Ranma. She dashed down the stairs to the living area and found her older sister Nabiki watching television. “Have you seen Ranma?”
Nabiki looked up with her usual lack of emotion. “No. Why?”
Akane held up the note. “He left this note, and I don’t think he’s going to come back!”
Nabiki stood up and took the note and read over it. “You’re right. I guess he was a little bit more upset at lunch than we thought.”
Akane had a worried look on her face. “It was nothing we don’t usually fight about. Why would it upset him so much this time?”
Nabiki shook her head. “I don’t know. Maybe it was the hair that broke the camel’s back. You know, the last straw.”
Akane cupped her hands over her mouth. “Oh no! What have I done?”
Nabiki waved her hand through the air. “It’s your own fault, you know.”
Akane started. “What?”
“If you had told him how you really feel about him, or at least apologized, he wouldn’t have left. You have no one to blame but yourself.” Nabiki sat back down on the couch.
Kasumi walked through carrying some laundry. Akane showed her the note. “…and I don’t think he’s coming back.”
Kasumi gave her little sister her usual sweet smile. “Don’t worry. He’ll be back before dinner.” She left to finish the laundry, while Akane just stood there in shock.
Akane picked her jaw up off the floor. “I can’t believe she can be so calm about this!”
Nabiki shook her head and turned off the TV. “All right! I’ll help you look for him! Just let me get something.”
“What are you getting?”
“My ledger. You never know when a profitable opportunity may come along.”
Nabiki and Akane set out in search of Ranma. Akane turned to Nabiki, “So where should we start? There has to be hundreds of places in Tokyo where he could have gone fishing.”
Nabiki just shook her head at her sister. “Do you really believe he went fishing?”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s obviously just using that as a metaphor. He’s gone out for other fish in the sea. In other words: He’s going for another fiancée.”
The color drained from Akane’s face. “Oh no! We’ll go check Ukyou’s first!” She took off in a dead sprint toward Ukyou’s restaurant. Nabiki just stepped up her pace a little bit. Timing is everything.
Akane burst into Ukyou’s place and looked around. She checked through the seating area and the restroom. She finally came up to the bar. “Ukyou! Have you seen Ranma?”
Ukyou looked surprised. “No. I haven’t seen Ranchan since school. Why?”
“Oh nothing. I’ll see you later.” With that, Akane tore out of the door. She knew that the next likely place would be the Nekohotan.
After Akane left, Nabiki stepped through the door. “Hey, Ukyou. What’s up?”
“Nothing much. What was Akane so upset about? Why is she looking for Ranma-Honey?”
Nabiki narrowed her eyes. “It’ll be five thousand yen.”
At the Nekohotan, Akane came in the door and cased the joint like she did at Ukyou’s. Shampoo noticed her looking around. “What violent girl want?”
“Have you seen Ranma?” Akane was starting to look like a person on the verge of hysteria.
Shampoo thought for a second. “Not all day. Why ask?”
“Nothing. I need to go!” Akane left quickly. She couldn’t let the other girls know that she had lost Ranma. They’d be all over town looking for him, and more than likely would find him first.
Shampoo just stood there and blinked. “That not usual for violent girl.”
Nabiki casually strolled into the restaurant. “You want to know what that was all about?”
Shampoo nodded her head.
“Five thousand yen.”
Later that night Akane came walking into the house. She was looking pretty ragged. Her hair was in disarray from running all over town, and her eyes were bloodshot from holding back her tears. She had a few tears in her clothes from visiting the Kuno estate. She should have known better than to think that Ranma would go to Kodachi! She came in and Nabiki was once again watching the television, fresh as a daisy. “Nabiki, has Ranma come back?”
Nabiki just started flipping through the channels. “Nope. Haven’t seen him. If you really wanted my help, you shouldn’t have run off like that.”
Akane looked down at her feet. “I’m sorry, but I was so worried about Ranma.”
Kasumi came in the front door. She had a couple of grocery bags in her hands. “Oh my! Are you still looking for Ranma?” Akane nodded her head. “I told you he would be back before dinner.”
“But it’s almost dinner time!”
Kasumi just patted her on the head and went toward the kitchen.
Akane was pulling her hair. “How CAN she be so CALM about this!”
Nabiki continued to casually flip through the channels. “You know, if you’d just told him how you feel, this would never have happened.”
Akane’s shoulders slumped. “You’re right. I would tell him right now, if he’d just come home.” There was knock on the door. Akane rushed to the door. “Ranma!” She opened it up, and there stood Shampoo, Ukyou, and Kodachi.
“What you say to Airen?” Shampoo demanded as she hefted her bonbari.
“Yeah, what did you do, Akane?” Ukyou had her battle spatula at the ready.
“Where is Ranma-Sama?” Kodachi was stretching out a twirling ribbon.
“I don’t know! He just left, and all he left was this note.” The girls came in and read over the note.
“Maybe Airen look for Shampoo. He tired of violent tomboy girl.”
“Maybe he wanted a decent cook.” Ukyou twirled her spatula around.
“Maybe Ranma-Sama was looking for a girl with some class. Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho (SMASH!)” Ukyou and Shampoo decided that Kodachi’s laugh would sound a lot better in low earth orbit.
“One more to go!” Shampoo eyed Akane.
Ukyou brought her spatula back to bear. “You got that right, sugar.”
The two girls started to step towards Akane menacingly. Akane started to walk backwards.
Everyone turned to see Ranma standing in the doorway with a large stringer full of fish. He looked around the room and saw the girls. “Yo Ukyou, Shampoo. If I’d known you were coming over, I would have caught more.”
The girls just stood there staring at him. “What?”
Kasumi walked in the room. “Oh Ranma! You got the fish! Now we have something for dinner.” She walked over and took the stringer from Ranma.
Akane shook herself back into reality. “What is this all about, Kasumi?”
“I told Ranma that we were running low on money. He offered to go catch some fish to save some money. He was so sweet.”
Everyone turned to Ranma. “What?”
“Why didn’t you come back to school, Ranchan?” Ukyou asked.
“Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh! (CRASH!)” Ranma picked himself up off the ground. Akane had just sent him on another flight via Air Mallet-Sama. He looked around and saw he was back at the dojo.
Kasumi came out to see what the commotion was. “Ranma, are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” He spit out some bits of grass. “What’s for dinner tonight?”
“We’re running low on money, so we’ll just be having rice and curry.”
“How about I go catch some fish for dinner?”
“That’s so sweet. You’d do that for us?”
“Yeah! It beats the heck out of going back to school.” He ran inside the house to grab a pole. He stopped in front of Akane’s door. “I’d better leave a note so she doesn’t get madder at me.” He scribbled something down and tacked it to her door.
“So I went fishing so we could have some meat tonight.”
Akane held up the note in front of his face. “Why did you write that you’d be back when you felt like it?”
“I wrote, ‘Be back when I feel like it is enough for everybody.’ Can’t you see this note has been torn in half?” He showed her the torn and frayed end of the note.
Akane’s eyes widened. “But who would…NABIKI!!!”
Nabiki smiled from the couch in a rare display of emotion. “Now we have cash for the rest of the week. Besides, wasn’t there something you were going to say to Ranma if he came home?”
Akane found something interesting to stare at on the floor.
Ranma walked up to her. “What did you want to say Akane?”
“Nothing! Absolutely nothing!”
“Did you want to come along next time or something? I know how much of a tomboy you are.”
“RANMA NO BAKA!!! (WHAM!)”
The only thought that went through Ranma’s head as he rode on his second flight of the day was: “Geez. Try to be considerate for once…”