The Locket

By:  James Thomas


Disclaimer:  Home Computer:  $500.  DVD Player:  $50.  Using somebody else’s characters in a work of fanfiction:  Priceless.


            Ranma was digging through his travel pack in the spare bedroom of the Tendo home.  He was muttering under his breath in an angry tone.  Occasionally, he would pull something out of his bag and slam it on the ground. Akane was standing outside the doorway with a severe look on her face.  They’d just had another fight.  Ranma had said something and Akane had overreacted.  There was nothing special about this fight, but it was pulling them apart anyway.


            Akane shook her head and thought back on the past month.  They’d barely survived the encounter with Saffron, and their first wedding attempt.  Akane was having serious doubt whether or not she really wanted to be with Ranma.  She keeps thinking about dumping him for all the trouble he caused, but she couldn’t let go of all the sacrifices he had made for her.


            Ranma was still digging in his bag.  He hadn’t really taken the time to unpack everything, now was as good a time as any.  He needed to make sure that there wasn’t anything spoiling in it, plus he needed something to take his mind off of Akane.  Did he love her?  Did he just say those things before just because he thought she was dead?  Was she really worth all the effort he’d gone through for her?  Did he really want to spend the rest of his life with her?


            They both thought at once, Only if there was some sort of sign…


            Ranma tilted the bag up and something fell out and chinked on the floor.  “What’s this?”  He picked up the object.  It was a gold necklace with a heart shaped locket in the middle.


            Curious, Akane walked in when she heard Ranma’s frantic digging and throwing stop.  “What’s what?”


            Ranma put the necklace away.  “Nothin’.  It was nothin’.”


            Akane put her hands on her hips.  “Tell me Ranma!”  Ranma debated whether or not he should show her when Akane spotted a bit of god in his hands.  The tone of her voice turned neutral.  “What is it, Ranma?”


            The pigtailed martial artist rolled his eyes.  He knew it was pointless to keep this up.  She’d just bug him until he showed her anyways.  He held up the necklace.


            Akane saw it and her eyes went wide.  She took the locket in her hands.  After giving it a once over, she turned an angry look to Ranma.  “Where did you get this?”


            Ranma glared at her.  “None of your business!”


            Akane’s face started to turn red.  “Did you steal this?!”


            Ranma yanked the locket out of her hands.  “No!  Someone gave it to me!”


            “Who gave it to you?!”


            “None of your business!”


            Akane crossed her arms again and glared at him.  “Another fiancé?!”


            Memories flooded Ranma’s brain of a cute girl he knew a long time ago, a little girl with sparkling eyes and beautiful dark hair, so young and vulnerable.  He remembered saving her from some bullies.  How she fawned over him to check on the split lip he had gotten helping her.  He was only five, not really at the top of his form.  She was so thankful that she gave him her necklace.   He was trying to refuse, but she was starting to cry.  He had taken the necklace to look at it, when his father had come charging after him.  Genma was after him because he had run off with their food.  He didn’t really think before taking the necklace and jumping to where he had stashed the parcel of food.  He was going to get something to eat tonight, damn it!  He ran along, looking back once to see a cute girl smiling and waving goodbye.


            Akane made another grab for the necklace.  “This is my family’s locket!”


            Ranma shook himself clear.  “Why do you say that?”


            Akane opened the locket and there was a picture of a young Soun Tendo and Akane’s dead mother.  Behind that picture was another picture of her grandparents on her mother’s side in their teens.  There was three more going back even further.  “This has been in my family for ages!”  She remembered her mother giving her the necklace. She had told Akane that this was a special necklace.  Eventually she would give it to someone special, and if it came back, they were destined for each other.  Akane had asked if it had ever not been returned.  Her mother had laughed lightly and told her that it always had a way of coming back.  So far it had always come back and that’s where her family had come from.


            Akane had remembered the day she gave the locket away.  Two older boys were picking on her, when a brave and handsome young boy had jumped from the side and pushed one of them over.  The older boy got back up and took a swing.  The little boy kicked the older one in the shin.  The boys head came down and hit the extended fist of the younger.  The first one was out.  The second boy charged and punched the kid in the mouth.  The boy wiped some blood of his mouth and charged back in with a vengeance.  After a few punches it was all over and both the older boys ran away.


            Chibi Akane walked up to the boy and dabbed the boy’s lip with her handkerchief.   She thanked him profusely.  He said it was his duty as a martial artist to protect the weak.  She told him that she wanted to be one too.  He just shrugged and started to walk away.  Akane was overcome with young infatuation, gave the locket to the boy who didn’t want it.  She was hurt that he didn’t want her love.  Just when she thought he wouldn’t take it, he took it and ran for his life from an old man.  She could do nothing but smile at him.


            Akane blinked her eyes as she realized a detail that only surfaced recently from those memories.  The little boy had a black ponytail!  Akane’s eyes went wide.  “It was you!”


            Ranma was startled.  “What?”


            “You were the one that saved me from those bullies when I was little!”


            “You were that cute girl?”  Ranma slapped his hands over his mouth.


            “You were the reason I became a martial artist!”  Ranma mumbled something.  “What?”


            “You were the reason I kept wanting to come back here.  I kept hoping to meet that girl again.”


            That sat there staring at each other mulling over the implications.


            A month later, another photo was added to the locket.  A picture of a pigtailed martial artist and his tomboy bride.