Lucky - a Ranma 1/2 fanfic
by Sean Gaffney
Ranma 1/2 characters copyright Rumiko Takahashi, song lyrics copyright Radiohead
Ed. note: You may notice that this fanfic does not follow right after the manga ending of Ranma 1/2. As far as what's gone before, the author writes: "[the characters] were all uncursed in an 'offstage' fanfic. I did this to avoid a heavy prelude. I wanted to start with Ranma and Akane's marriage, but thought Ranma would want a cure first." So there you have it... now on to the story.
"I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll...this time I feel my luck could change. Kill me straight out, kill me again...with love It's gonna be a glorious day. Pull me out of the air crash, Pull me out of the wreck, 'Cause I'm your superhero, Leave you standing on the edge... Another state has called for me by name But I don't have time for them. It's gonna be a glorious day, I feel my luck could change. Pull me out of the air crash, Pull me out of the wreck, 'Cause I'm your superhero, Leave you standing on the edge... Radiohead, "Lucky" As the wedding guests began to depart, Ranma and Akane felt almost relieved. They had managed to get through the entire wedding with almost no difficulties. Kodachi had been arrested (with a little help from Nabiki) shortly before the ceremony, and Ranma had finally convinced Shampoo and Ukyou that Akane was the one for him, and that there was no possible chance of anything between them. Shampoo had bawled through the entire wedding, and seemed to spend most of the reception pounding Mousse (who was saying something about fate and never letting her go). Ukyou had congratulated the couple and wished them happiness, but there was a sadness in her eyes as she said this. She had gone back to Ucchan's with Konatsu, who was understandably _very_ happy. As the last few guests left, Ranma and Akane turned around at a footfall behind them. Ryouga was standing there, dressed rather uncomfortably in a nice suit. "I...I just wanted to wish you both the best of luck. I hope you'll be very happy...especially you, Akane." He frowned momentarily. "You'd better do your best to make her happy, Ranma, or..." "You have nothing to worry about, Ryouga," said Ranma, taking Akane's hand. "I promise to make Akane smile for the rest of her life." Akane blushed at the reminder of their first warm moment together. Ryouga smiled. If it was a little thin, no one mentioned it. "Well, anyway, I won't be seeing you for a while. I'm going to be going on a journey..." Ranma bristled at these words, remembering what they usually meant, until he remembered that Ryouga was free of P-chan now, that the curses no longer worried them. "Where are you going?" For once, Ryouga looked amused. "You're asking me?" Ranma laughed. "Good point." Akane smiled. "Be careful, Ryouga. I worry about you, always wandering around, alone." Then suddenly someone else appeared beside them. "Don't worry, Akane. He won't be alone on this journey. I'll be right there with him." Akari was standing there, looking cute as ever in a nice blue dress with a subtle pig motif. Ryouga blushed. "Oh, good. I'm glad that Ryouga has someone to be with him now. He's always seemed so lonely before." Ryouga stood there, agonized. He hadn't thought that her words could still affect him that much, but they did. It felt like Akane had driven a white-hot poker into his heart. "Anyway...good luck." He turned quickly and ran out of the dojo. "What's the matter with him?" Akane asked. "Oh, he's been like this through the whole ceremony. I think weddings are very emotional for Ryouga-sama. He looks so sweet when he's like this, don't you think?" Ranma snorted. "Akari, I think you'd better find Ryouga, before he disappears." Akari perked up. "Oh, you're right! Congratulations to the both of you. Ryouga-sama, wait up!" Akane and Ranma giggled as she practically bounced out of the room. "Well, at least _someone's_ happy, " Akane said. *** Ryouga stood a few feet from the dojo, tears streaming down his face. He couldn't take the chance of leaving, as he knew he would just get lost. So he stood out there, looking up at the sky, tears streaming down his cheeks. *I thought I was over you, Akane. But the hurt is still there. You're right. I am lonely. Seeing you with Ranma, and the way you two --* Ryouga began to crumble to the ground. "Oh, there you are! Are you all right?" Ryouga attempted to pull himself together as Akari came towards him. It didn't work. "Oh, Ryouga-sama! Are you still thinking about the wedding? They really get to you, don't they?" Akari was looking at him with completely innocent eyes. *She reminds me of Kasumi at times*, thought Ryouga. "I -- I'll be all right. Are you ready to go?" "Of course, Ryouga-sama. Grandfather is watching over the pigs, so I'm free to go where ever you want. Where are we going?" Ryouga blushed. "I'm not sure. I never really think about a destination when I do this." He sighed and began to head away from the center of town. "Be sure and follow me closely. I don't want to get -- want _you_ to get lost." Akari looked at him lovingly. "Of course, Ryouga-sama. I will follow you wherever you want to go." Ryouga began to get nervous again. "Akari -- I wanted to have a long talk with you. That's why I asked you along. But I need to think some things through first. Do you mind? I'll try not to be too much of a burden --" "Oh, you'll never be a burden to me, Ryouga-sama! Take as long as you like!" Inside, Akari was brimming over with excitement. *What does he want to talk to me about? We've been dating -- is he ready to go further?* Ryouga walked on, not looking where he was going. *I thought I had this all worked out. How can I still be this indecisive? Dammit, Akane, I think I still love you.* *** The fire was beginning to get low. Ryouga and Akari had come to the middle of a dark wood, and decided to set up camp for the night. Throughout the evening, Ryouga had been almost silent, only speaking when asked a direct question. *I wonder what he's thinking,* thought Akari. *I bet it's something romantic. Ryouga-sama is so sweet*. Akari thought back to their first meeting. At first, she had been wary of him, because he seemed to hate pigs. This almost broke her heart, and she was ready to leave. But then a realization hit her. She was amazed to find that she would rather have Ryouga over anything else -- even her pigs! She went back to him, resolved that she would hate pigs, if only so that he would like her. Then came the moment of her dreams. Ranma had apparently gotten tired of the misunderstandings that were happening between the two of them, and threw P-chan in a tub of hot water. Akari could not believe her eyes! Here was the man she loved, that she would give up everything for, and he was half-pig! She danced for joy, and was sure that nothing could stand in their way. She'd given Ryouga time, of course. He was so shy, even shyer than she was, and she knew that he had to take the first step, because he'd run from any overtures on her part. And now he wanted to have a talk with her -- maybe he was finally ready to commit to her. He'd been to Jusenkyo, of course, with the rest of them, but she still loved him, even though he would never be a pig again. She loved him for the qualities she saw in him. She no longer thought of him in terms of a pig, but as Ryouga, her one true love. Akari snuggled down against her blankets, wondering what the new day would bring. *** Ryouga tossed and turned, deep in the throes of his depression. *If I can't even manage to let Akane go, how can I possibly give Akari the future she deserves? Do I really have that much trouble with women?* Ryouga knew the answer to that one. Time and time again, he'd been fooled by Ranma, and each time he had gone along with it -- without a thought for Akane. *I'm no better than Kuno*, he thought. *If I can't trust myself, then I have no right to ask Akari to -- ask her to --* He couldn't even get the words out. With a small cry, Ryouga turned over one last time, letting sleep wash over his misery. But this time, sleep seemed quicker in coming. He knew right away that he had fallen asleep, and yet he was walking down the streets of Nerima. *This must be a dream*, thought Ryouga, as he headed towards the Tendo Dojo. *I could never find my way if I were awake*. Ryouga came up to the front door, and prepared to knock. *Maybe...I'm getting the chance to do it right. If I tell Akane how I feel...maybe I can...* Ryouga burst into the dojo, ready to pour out his heart once again. *** He stopped as he got to the stairs, wondering why the dojo was deserted. Kasumi didn't seem to be in the kitchen, and no one was watching TV. *Maybe they all went out. I hope Akane is here.* Ryouga quickly climbed the steps and headed for Akane's room. Halfway there, he heard a scream coming from the room. "Akane!", he shouted, and began to run. He ran even faster when he heard Ranma's scream as well. *Saotome, you are abusing your wife already! I should never have let you marry her!* Ryouga burst into the door, shouting Akane's name breathlessly. He came to an immediate halt when he noticed the sight before him. Ranma and Akane were...in bed...together...and...Ryouga nearly passed out when he saw what they had been doing. His nose began to bleed in shame. Surprisingly, neither Ranma nor Akane seemed to notice him. He went to stand in front of them, but they paid him no attention. *Am I really here...or is this still the dream?* Ryouga stopped suddenly, as Akane and Ranma began to speak. "So, Ranma...still think I'm not cute?" "Oh, extremely," grinned Ranma. "In fact, you are so uncute that I can barely keep my hands off of you." Akane smiled, and squeezed him tight. "I can't believe that we finally got married. I don't really know what to do next. The past three years of my life have been avoiding this, after all." "I know. Me too. But now we have a whole new life to plan... for just the two of us." "Or maybe more." "Slow down there, Akane!" Akane giggled. "Don't worry, Ranma. I won't pressure you." She sighed, still lost in the new feelings overwhelming her. "The wedding was so lovely. Everyone seemed so happy...except Ryouga. Why do you think he was so sad?" At the mention of his name, Ryouga began to listen again. He had been spiraling down again, as was his wont, into a pit of black emotions. "Well, Ryouga always seems to be sad, so that's probably normal." Ranma said. "But he's always been so nice to me...I can't understand why he seemed so depressed..." Ranma sighed, and seemed to be trying to convince himself to say something. "Well, Akane...you see..." "NO!" Ryouga shouted. "Don't!" His words echoed across the room, but no one seemed to hear them. "Ryouga was...in love with you." Ryouga slammed his fist against the wall. Strangely, it didn't seem to do any damage. "Why? Why couldn't he...why couldn't *I* tell her?" Akane lay back on the bed, amazed. "Ryouga...in love with me?! You're kidding!" Ranma sighed. "Nope. I think...I think he wanted to tell you, but he was always too shy. Plus, I kept getting in his way." "Well, at least now I can see why you two were always fighting." Akane said wryly. "Hey, can you blame us, considering who we were fighting for?" Akane laughed. "I hope he'll be all right. He's a good friend, after all." Ranma looked thoughtful. "I think he'll be fine. Maybe this wedding will give him the chance to relax, not be so emotional all the time. Like us..." Akane giggled again, and started to kiss Ranma. They began to... At this point Ryouga came out of his reverie and ran out the door. Through his mind were all the recriminations he had ever faced. *Too late. It's too late now. She doesn't love me.* He ran out the door of the dojo, into what had become a thunderstorm, rain pouring down. *** *How can I live with myself now? I...I don't know what my feelings are anymore! Do I still love Akane, or...* At this point Ryouga felt a great weight lifted off his shoulders. No, he didn't love Akane anymore. Not with the great, driving passion that drove him for so long. He could let Ranma have her, knowing that she would be happy, and in good hands. *But...where does that leave me now*, Ryouga thought. He had run until he came to a local park, and paused for a moment to get his bearings. The sun had come out, illuminating the area in a pale glow. Off in the distance, there was a lone figure feeding the birds on a bench. He looked the picture of misery, with his trenchcoat and... And bandanna? With shock, Ryouga realized he was looking at himself. But this was a much older Ryouga, with lines worn throughout his face, and with a heavy air about him. Occasionally, sparks would fly from his body, as if the sheer pain of his life was coming out as ki involuntarily. Ryouga continued to stare. *Is this...what I have to look forward to? I can't believe that's me.* But that wasn't true. This was a future that Ryouga could all too easily imagine, had in fact been seeing it in his mind's eye for years, fueling the depression that made his shishihoukodan. This was what always stayed with him; Ryouga, years from now, alone, with nobody caring about him. In his ear, he could hear a small voice, whether his conscience or something else he had no idea. "Does this kind of life look interesting to you? Day after day, sitting in a park, thinking only of the life that you could have had? Camping out in the park at nights, because you're too miserable and too proud to ask for help? Watching yourself sink lower and lower, until eventually your depression becomes so great that you decide to end it all? Make a decision, Ryouga! You've been depressed for so long, it would be easy to go down this path! It's where you're headed, pal! DOES THIS KIND OF LIFE LOOK INTERESTING TO YOU?!" Ryouga sank to his knees in agony, staring at his older self, wondering what he could possibly do to change this. *** Akari was dreaming an odd dream, in that it didn't feature pigs. She seemed to be walking down the streets of Nerima, yet she never arrived anywhere, it was just aimless wandering. *I wonder if this is how Ryouga-sama feels?*, she thought. She was startled to hear a voice behind her. "I think that his misdirection stems from something more, Akari-san." Akari gasped. There appeared to be a small man floating several feet above the ground. He had a peaceful look on his face. "Who...who are you?" The man smiled. "Never mind about that. There are more important things to worry about. Tell me, Akari-san, how do you feel about Ryouga Hibiki?" Immediately, her face brightened. "I love him! He's such a sweet, caring guy. I think he loves me, too, but he's shy." She looked down. "I can understand that." The man looked stern. "Are you sure that you want Ryouga? He is a man who solves his problems through violence. He fuels his martial arts skills through destructive emotions that tear at his inner soul. He is indecisive, and turns his head when other women come along. Can you love Ryouga even with these qualities?" Akari didn't even have to pause. "Of course. I would wait my whole life for Ryouga if I had to. I can't imagine anyone else for me." The man smiled down at her. "It is rare to find such people nowadays. I congratulate you on your faith in your man. Now," and here his face became more serious, "you must go to him. For you, the decision was easy, but Ryouga is having a much more difficult time. If you do not go to him now, he may never be able to let go." Akari was startled. "Let go of what?" "Of his past. That is what keeps him in such a depressed state. He blames his life on his past, and that means that his present will turn against him as well. Moreover, he is feeling that there is no one in his life right now. Go to him, and remind him of what he has." "Oh! Where is he? I have to see him?" The man smiled again, and pointed to a point some 15 meters away. There, on his knees, was Ryouga. He looked as if he was utterly alone. Akari ran towards him, for some reason feeling a desperation that had never come over her before. "RYOUGA!" *** Ryouga felt the pain wash over him. Akane was with Ranma, he accepted that now. But that meant that all his life, everything that he had worked for, was gone. He would never have Akane, and now that she was married to Ranma, he couldn't even take revenge on him. Everything that had given him strength was taken away from him. For a moment, he thought of going back to Jusenkyo, and cursing himself again. Some of his happiest times were as a pig, he could admit that now. But no, that was just another way of running away. Ryouga had never been one for denying his feelings, and he wasn't going to do that now. But what was left? He looked up, and saw that the old man was getting up, moving slowly, as if the weight of the world was too much for him to bear. *That's my future...* thought Ryouga despairingly. "RYOUGA!" shouted a voice behind him. He turned, surprised. Akari was running towards him, shouting his name desperately. *Akari! How...how could I have forgotten about her?* For a moment, shame wallowed up inside him, as he realized that he had run back to Akane without thinking. But then he let it go. For the first time, he was able to do that, let go of the hurtful emotions that fueled him. All that mattered was that Akari was here now. Akari ran towards Ryouga, seeing him look up at her, despair still etched on his face. But that vanished, to be replaced by an expression Akari had longed to see since the day she met him. Joy. They embraced each other, and the world faded around them. *** Ryouga snapped awake, looking around him as the dream faded. *Akari?* he thought, then relaxed as he saw her next to him, also wide awake. "Ryouga? Did you --" "I think so. Akari...thank you." She smiled. "You're welcome, Ryouga-sama." Ryouga paused, wondering how to go on. "Akari, since you're awake...I think I'm ready to talk now." Akari felt her heart jump. Was this what she had been waiting for for so long? "Akari...I was hurt when Akane and Ranma got married. You see...I was in love with Akane." Akari thought she would shatter. In love with Akane? "Does...does that mean --" "Wait, Akari. I said that I _did_ love Akane. I think that that dream...helped me to finally let her go. She and Ranma are in love, and for once I don't want to get in their way." Akari still listened, wide-eyed. "I need to start over. I want to begin to live my life without the anger and the depression." He smiled a little. "It would mean losing a technique...but I think I can live with that. What my life really needs now is some happiness." He looked deep into her eyes, and felt a shiver. This was it, his decision not to be the man he saw in the park. "Akari, I can't think of anyone else I'd rather share my life with than you. I won't make the same mistakes I did before. I...Akari-chan, I love you. I want to be with you for the rest of my life. Do you think you...I mean..." Ryouga felt his resolve shatter. He looked down, unable to say more. Akari felt the last of her uncertainty vanish in a cloud, to be replaced with the most joyous emotion she had ever felt. "Oh, Ryouga, thank you! I love you, too, you know that! I always have! And I'll always be there for you!" Ryouga looked up, unbelieving. "You mean that?" Akari smiled. "Ryouga-sama...Ryouga-_chan_, I've been in love with you from day I met you. You're strong, you're sweet, you're sensitive --" "Like a pig," Ryouga grinned. "No, Ryouga. Like yourself. I fell in love with you, not with any pig. I told you I'd wait forever for you if necessary. That's still true." Ryouga looked deep into her eyes, seeing the love that overflowed. He smiled, genuinely, in happiness. It was perhaps his first real smile. He felt a force that he had never noticed before rise and dissipate from him, to be replaced by...something better. "No more waiting, Akari-chan." He took her into his arms, and they kissed. A kiss filled with hope, joy, and promises. A new life, with different expectations. One where Ryouga could find out, maybe, who he _really_ was. As they kissed, they were both rather surprised to hear a voice, still whispering in Ryouga's ear. It said, "Does this kind of life look interesting to you?" Ryouga smiled again, and looked down at the girl he loved. "Definitely," he said, drawing her in for another kiss. Author's notes: Ah, me. This was a fanfic that went through a lot of different idea factories. The idea began on reading a line from the fanfic "Itsu mo, Ucchan". But then, when Lesson in Love 9 came out, I had to rethink the way I wanted to tell the story. I came up with dreams, always good in the clutch. This was a bit of purging that I think Ryouga needed, and I think that now he can get on with his life. Can you imagine Ryouga still as depressed as he is, at 40? God, I hope not. Akari is rapidly moving up with Ukyou as my favorite character. Sweet, perky, loving...and damn difficult to write. I hope I did her justice, despite the fact that this was Ryouga's fic. I threw in a few chans and samas, because they sounded right. I didn't out them throughout. Let me know if they sound awkward. No, the rest of the Ranma/Akane wedding night is not available on request. Talk to Kun-chan. I hope that my music refs are getting more subtle. This is my third fanfic with a song as the title, and I decided to throw the lyrics in the front as well. Ryouga does suffer from some bad luck, so it's nice to see it go the other way. Anyone who gets the Zappa ref in the fanfic gets 10 netdollars. --Sean Gaffney --"You git! I thought you were dead! Git git git!" - Benny, No Future
Back to the Akari home page
Last Modified 6/29/96 by Ben Elgin