A Day and Night in Tokyo, Japan Edit
Hey, its me, Ranma. You may be wondering where I am right now, but just don't worry. I'm safe, and there ain't nothing gonna happen to me. The point is, I left. Nothing can be done about that now. Pop, stay put. When I don't wanna be found, I won't be found.
I know you guys are wondering why I left. The only answer I can give is cuz I wanted to. I've had enough over the past year there. Too many things have happened, and I just miss life on the road. I probably won't be coming back, so there's no point in looking for me.
Mr. Tendo and Pop: I'm sorry the agreement between the two schools couldn't be filled, there's nothing that can be done about that. It's over, deal with it.
Kasumi: Thank you so much for the hospitality you've shown me. I'll always remember it, and cherish it until the day I die.
Nabiki: The money I owe you, you can find under the thirteenth floorboard in the Dojo. The one with the black scuff-mark on it.
Akane: I'm sorry we couldn't work it out. I wish you the best of luck in the future years.
Powerless. Insecure. Ill. Those were just a handful of feelings Akane had felt since the day Ranma left. She knew exactly why she felt that way, but refused to do anything about it.
Love. It took her so long to admit to herself that she felt that way about Ranma, but at last she did. It felt good for a moment, then she realized it was too late. He had left.
Since he left, Ukyou had been coming over daily, trying to comfort Akane. At least, that's what the pretense was. She was really scouting for information on Ranma's whereabouts, which she didn't know. Neither did Akane for that matter.
Shampoo and Cologne had returned from China the day earlier, stating that Ranma had not gone to Jusenkyo, like so many had thought. Ryouga hadn't been around seen since a few days before Ranma left.
After the first day, Akane felt sure Ranma would come back, and she even felt a little heartsick mere moments after he left. Now, after three weeks time, she was a total wreck. Akane hadn't been to school in nearly four days, and spent most of her time in her room, either thinking of the events of the past year, sometimes laughing at the funnier events of the past, and crying at some of the serious ones.
But she was still unsure at what she should do. Many told her to move on, especially Kuno, who seemed to be coming over daily to 'cheer her up' with his 'honorable presence'. It had quite the opposite effect, as either Akane or Soun would kick him off the property.
But things were looking worse. Genma had set off two weeks earlier, searching for his son, and promising to call. No such luck. He hadn't called.
Akane lay down in her bed and stared at the ceiling. She couldn't go on like this. She just couldn't sit and wait any longer. She sat up and decided it was time to make a decision.
A moment later, she nodded to herself, and walked down the stairs.
Since Ranma had left, Akane had only left her room for three things. School, which she hadn't done in four days. Food, when she was feeling well enough to eat. And bathroom breaks, which weren't very often. Even breaking bricks had become a thing of the past for her.
She sat down at the table and looked at her sister, who had a confused expression on her face.
"Akane? Are you alright?" Kasumi asked, genuinely worried.
Akane tried her best to keep her feelings in check. Several times in the past week, Akane had broken down in front of Kasumi, exclaiming how much she loved Ranma, and that she would never get him angry again if only he would come back. As it was, he never did.
"I've made a decision, Kasumi."
Kasumi blinked. "Should I get father and Nabiki?"
A few minutes later, Nabiki walked down the stairs with a calculator in hand, and her father followed.
"What is it, Akane, dear?" Soun asked.
"I've made a decision. I'm going to look for him."
Nabiki smirked. She had been expecting this for some time. Soun also allowed a smile to seep out of his mouth, as the tears slowly drained from his eyes.
"Here." Nabiki pulled an envelope from out of her pouch and passed it to Akane.
"Enough Yen to get you to China and back."
Akane smiled. "Thank you."
"Akane, dear." Soun asked. "Will you be alright?"
Akane nodded. She was proud of her father for being so strong under such a circumstance.
"Ukyou should be here in a few minutes, Akane." Kasumi mentioned. "Why don't you ask her to accompany you? She'd help you."
Akane nodded. "I'll ask her." The truth was, even though the rivalry between her and Ukyou was now on a more solid foundation, she was being such a good friend over the past few weeks.
"Do you have an idea of where you'll go?"
She shook her head. "Shampoo says he wasn't at Jusenkyo, and the Guide said he hadn't been there. That's the only place I can think of. I'm going to ask around a bit, maybe Hiroshi and Daisuke know something they're not sharing. If, by then I haven't got any leads, I'll head to Jusenkyo."
"Perhaps, but you should prepare yourself well."
She nodded. "I plan on it."
At that moment, there was a knock at the door, and Ukyou let herself in. Already on her way up the stairs, Akane called from the tea room.
"Ukyou, I'm in here!"
Ukyou blinked and turned towards the tea room.
"Akane?" She asked at the doorway, she was shocked to see such a lighthearted face on her. "What's going on?"
"Ukyou, I'm going to find him." She said.
Ukyou smiled. "It's about damn time, girl." She put her hands to her hips and laughed. "What's the plan?"
Akane shrugged. "Not much of one right now. We're going to do some asking around, maybe we'll luck out and someone will have seen him."
Ukyou smiled. "Now we're talking." She looked at her patiently for a moment. "You gonna get ready, or what?"
Akane smiled, for the first time in weeks, and got herself ready.
"What's first?" Ukyou asked.
"Yuka and Sayuri are waiting for us at your restaurant. I hope you don't mind, but I decided to use it as our 'base of operations'.
Ukyou smirked and shook her head. "If you hadn't suggested it, I would have."
"Good. They've brought Hiroshi and Daisuke with them on the pretense of a date."
"What makes you think they'll know anything about it?"
"Nothing, I've just gotta check."
"How do you... Well... Why do you suppose he.. Uh... Left?"
Akane looked down at the ground for a moment. "If I knew that, Ukyou, I wouldn't have to search for him.
Ukyou nodded and walked onward in silence for a few moments before noticing what was before her. "They're here already."
Akane looked up and nodded. Yuka and Sayuri stood in front of Ucchans, talking to a couple of very confused looking teenage boys. Upon seeing Ukyou and Akane approach, they looked even more confused.
"Alright, boys. What do you know?" Ukyou asked menacingly.
"Know about what?" Daisuke asked, sitting in the chair inside of the restaurant.
"Don't play dumb. You know what we're talking about."
Hiroshi leaned over towards Daisuke. "Do you suppose they mean Ranma?"
Daisuke merely shrugged.
Daisuke opened his mouth to speak. "If you mean Ranma, we don't know anything."
"Yeah, you'll never beat it out of us!"
Akane and Ukyou quickly brought their attention to Hiroshi's comment. "So you do know!"
Hiroshi blinked for a moment, then cursed himself inwardly.
"What did you say that for?" Daisuke asked.
"I don't know, it just seemed like the thing to say."
"The wrong thing to say!"
"Look, I'm sorry alright!"
"Sorry? We promised him we wouldn't say--"
"Ixnay! Ixnay on the Anmaray!"
Daisuke clammed up. He looked at Ukyou, who was now holing her battle spatula tightly, with a menacing look on her face.
"What was that?" She asked.
Daisuke shook his head. "Nothing. Nothing at all."
Ukyou brought her spatula up, readying it for a swiping motion. Daisuke closed his eyes.
"Wait." Yuka grabbed the shaft of the spatula.
Sayuri stepped in front of Ukyou. "I think we can handle this."
Ukyou blinked for a moment. "And if it doesn't work?"
Yuka winked. "Then you can smack them up all you want."
Akane looked at her two friends, then nodded.
"Privacy, please?" Sayuri suggested.
Ukyou blinked and then nodded. She looked towards Akane and then gestured her to the stairs near the back of the restaurant. The two of them walked up the stairs, leaving Yuki and Sayuri with Hiroshi and Daisuke.
"What do you suppose they're doing?" Ukyou asked.
Akane shrugged. She actually had a fairly good idea, but basically left that train of thought alone. She was too focused on Ranma.
Ukyou looked towards Akane. "Yes?"
"What..." She began. "What will we do once... If we find him?"
Ukyou scoffed. "If? Honey, you listen to me. We will find him."
Akane smiled. She liked Ukyou's attitude on the situation. It gave her more hope. "That's not exactly what I mean, Ukyou. I... I mean, what will we do when he's back?"
Ukyou blinked in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"I mean you and me. Shampoo. Kodachi. Everyone. I think that's why he left. He didn't like everyone claiming him as his own."
"Well, Akane. Don't get me wrong here, but you weren't doing much claiming when he was around."
"But what about now? I know how I feel about him now. Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
Ukyou sighed. "I guess you're right. Something will have to be done. I guess..." She paused, thinking. "Look, Akane. Let's just not worry about that right now. If we dwell too much on the subject, we'll lose sight of what we've got to do."
Akane nodded. A moment later, they were interrupted by a knock on the door.
"We saw him. He made us swear that we wouldn't tell anyone." Hiroshi said.
"What? Where was he? Why doesn't he want you telling anyone?" Akane asked.
"Downtown Tokyo General. We saw him leaving the lobby, and he just said he didn't want us telling anyone."
"Did he say anything about where he was going, or what he was doing there?"
Hiroshi shook his head. "He told us nothing, just that he didn't want us to tell anyone where he was."
Ukyou smiled and looked towards Akane. "Well, it's a start. At least we know he's still around."
Akane nodded. "How long ago was this?"
Hiroshi shrugged. "About four days. We were there because Hiroshi's aunt was being released, and she wanted our help in getting her out of the hospital.
Akane managed to let a small smile grow. She looked towards Ukyou. "Let's go."
Ukyou nodded and joined her, as Ukyou gathered everyone out of the restaurant and locked the front door, she looked towards Yuka.
"How did you get it out of them, anyway?"
Yuka smiled. "Do you really want to know?"
Ukyou thought about it for a second. "Nothing nasty, right?"
Yuka shook her head. "Nothing TOO nasty."
Ukyou smiled and walked off towards Akane, who was looking at the sky by a fence.
"He's out there, Ukyou. He's there. Somewhere."
Ukyou nodded. "At least now we have someplace to start."
"Should we go now?"
"What are we going to do there?"
Akane looked at her. "There was any number of things Ranma could have been doing there. Maybe he was injured, and they had to treat him, in which case, Nabiki would be able to help us by getting the records. He could have even been visiting someone."
Akane shrugged. "There is so much neither of us know about Ranma. Ten years have gone by for him, that neither of us knew what he was doing. He could have friends that neither of us have even heard of."
Ukyou thought about it for a moment.
"The truth is, Ukyou, we may have only scratched the surface of him. There could be an entirely different person underneath what you and I both know as Ranma."
"But he's still Ranma. He's still the person I... We... uhh... Have feelings for."
Akane nodded. "That's right. And I'm not going to let it rest until I've found out why he left."
Ukyou smiled. "We're together on this, girlfriend."
"I'm sorry miss, that information is confidential."
Akane frowned. "I just need to know if he's been here."
The nurse continued to shake her head. "It's against Hospital Policy. I cannot divulge the information of any patients without a court or police order."
Ukyou grabbed Akane's shoulder. "What if he wasn't a patient?"
"What do you mean?"
"Who do we know, that's missing, that may very well be in this hospital, other than Ranma?"
It began to dawn on Akane. She quickly turned to the nurse. "Can you tell me if someone is in the hospital right now?"
"It depends on your relation." The nurse stared at her, unamused.
"Father-in-law." They both stated. After a confused look from the Nurse, she nodded.
The nurse tapped through the computer, after a beep, she replied. "Nobody by that name has ever been to this hospital."
Akane let her heart drop. She quietly thanked the nurse and turned towards Ukyou, walking away.
"Damn it!" Ukyou swore. "What else can we do?"
"I'll call Nabiki. If Ranma was here as a patient, she'll get it out of her."
"And if that doesn't work?"
"Don't even say that, Ukyou. We'd have to stay here around the clock in hopes that he would come back."
Ukyou nodded. She would be willing to do that, if the problem arose. "What if he was here as a patient, but used a different name?"
Akane shook her head. "No. They double-check your identity before they admit you. If not, then they classify you as--" She stopped, mid-sentence.
"As what?" Ukyou asked.
Akane put her finger up and ran to the nurse. She asked her something, and after a quick nod of approval from the nurse, she smiled and ran back to Ukyou.
"What's going on?"
"There are three Unidentified men in the building. One is in a coma, the other two are conscious, but unable to respond. One of them was admitted four days ago."
"Are you serious? You think he could be...?"
Akane shrugged. "She gave me his room number. We have to check it out."
"Well, what are we waiting for, girl? Let's go?"
"415? Are you sure that's the room she gave you?"
Akane nodded. "Look, right here. It even says 'unidentified male'." She said as she pointed at the patients chart.
Ukyou looked onward in disappointment. She and Akane had been treated to feelings of achievement until they had seen the face of the person they had so desperately hoped to be Ranma's father. They were, quite obviously, wrong.
"So what do we do now?"
Akane shook her head, stifling back tears. "This is only a minor setback. Looks like we're going to have to bring Nabiki in on this."
"You wait here. I'll go give her a call." Ukyou offered.
Akane shook her head. "No, she's my sister. I'll take care of it." She sighed.
As Akane walked down the hall towards the public use telephone, Ukyou sighed and leaned against the wall outside of the room they had hoped Genma would be in.
"So, what's going on with number two?" Ukyou overheard.
"It's quite tragic. The guy who brought him in said he didn't know him, but he's been in here every day since. At least some people still have compassion."
"Which is more than you can say for the people who did that to him."
Ukyou let the conversation flow through her ears.
"Has he shown any signs of movement?"
"Not yet. It's to be expected. With those kinds of injuries." The nurse sighed. "Who knows. He may not ever wake up again."
"But then, would he want to? He may never walk."
"Who's that guy who keeps coming in every day, anyway?"
Ukyou noticed Akane gesturing to her frantically from the phone, and got up to meet her. As she walked out of listening range, the other nurse answered a question.
"He said his name was Ranma. Ranma Saotome."
"What's going on?" Ukyou asked.
"Nabiki is on her way. It'll still be a while, maybe close to an hour. Do you want to grab a bite to eat?"
Ukyou looked at the clock on the wall. "Yeah, it is getting late. We should eat."
"Where do you want to eat?"
"No." Ukyou said. "I'll go and get us something, and bring it back here. You should wait here, just in case."
Ukyou put her finger up. "No buts, Akane. It's my treat!"
Akane started to argue again, but according to the gaze she was receiving from Ukyou, the conversation was over.
"Alright." She said.
Ukyou smiled. "I'll pick something up. Don't worry. Feel like western food?"
Akane shrugged. "I suppose whatever you get will be fine."
"Alright then. I'll be back in ten minutes." And then she was off.
Nabiki took the train ticket from the automated machine at the corner of the station. It was now getting late, a time when she did not want to be outside, especially alone. The sun was just going down over the horizon, and the sky had already grown a dark tint of purple.
As she walked into the train and took a seat, she sighed. The train offered some protection, she knew the exact schedules of the guards. She chose her particular car because it was the car which was most often checked.
She looked at her watch. The first guard should be coming through in less than thirty seconds.
Nabiki looked around at her. The car was mainly empty, so she eased up on her paranoia. Paranoia had been a big part of Nabiki's life for as long as she could remember. It was the best way to keep money, and even to make money. She had to keep tabs on everyone.
The passengers of the car seemed like a rag-tag group. A businessman leaning against the window on the opposite side, seemingly dozing off. An old woman, who somehow managed to knit a scarf, regardless of the vibration the train was making. A young man in a business suit, sitting three seats behind her. He seemed to have his eyes focused on a spot on the window.
Thirty seconds were up. She looked to the front of the car. It opened on schedule, and the guard came through and checked each persons ticket. After that was done with, he went into the next car. It would be five more minutes until the next patrol came through.
Watching the scenery go by, she noticed the next stop was coming rather quickly. As the train slowed to a stop, she noticed the businessman and the old woman get up and leave.
The doors closed.
Nabiki was nervous. She always was when she was alone in a train car with someone else. It made her even more nervous when she realized the guard would not be coming through for another four minutes.
Nabiki tried to refrain from looking behind her for as long as possible, but it was though he could feel the eyes of the young man burning holes into the back of her head.
She turned and looked.
The car was empty.
Nabiki sighed in relief. He must have gotten off without her noticing it, although she was sure she would have noticed. She just shook her head and paid no further attention to the matter. Two stops later, she got off.
Akane sat in wait in the hallway, thinking. She knew there had to be some reason that Ranma would be coming to the hospital, but she couldn't think of why.
The only thing she could think of was an injury. He probably wouldn't have gone to Doctor Tofu, for fear of him telling. It had to be the only reason.
And then she heard it. A scream, a dreadful scream coming from a room two doors away from her. Instinct took over, and she came running, briefly noticing the patient chart with the telltale 'Unidentified Male' stamped out the outside of it. It wasn't the same one from earlier, but she continued in.
Normally, anyone would have screamed at the sight. Akane, however smiled in delight.
"Mr. Saotome!" She yelled. The panda didn't reply.
A dazed nurse standing over an overturned pan of water blinked at her. "Uhh, Miss." She began, her voice obviously quivering. "I'm afraid you can't be in here."
Akane shook her head. "I know him, it's alright."
The nurse, still quivering, looked at her confusedly.
Akane smiled even wider after seeing the telltale strokes of Ranma's handwriting with a sign clearly stating 'No Cold Water'.
Akane acted fast and ran over to the sink in the corner of the room. She picked up a small cup that had been placed there, and filled it with hot water, she then splashed it at Genma.
The nurse looked even more dazed, and so did Akane after noticing he wasn't waking up.
"What... What's wrong with him?" She asked.
The nurse tried her best to maintain her sanity, and thus, succeeded, for the moment. "He... He was beat pretty badly."
"We don't know. The man who brought him in wasn't sure either, he says he found him in an alleyway, shot and beat--"
"SHOT?!" Akane screamed.
"Yes, twice. One in each kneecap."
"Oh My God." She muttered.
"He... He's human, isn't he?"
Akane blinked for a moment. She nodded. "Yes, it's just a curse."
Hearing the word 'curse' as though it were alien, the nurse blinked.
"Could you keep the curse secret? I'm not sure it would be wise to have it too widely known."
The nurse nodded. "I'm not sure anyone would believe me, anyway." She looked towards Akane. "You can identify him?"
The nurse bent over to pick up all she had dropped. "We'll need some information from you."
A few minutes later, Akane had finished giving all the information she knew on Genma Saotome, and all changes had been made, including changing the name on the patient chart. The bill was going to the Tendo's.
"What about the boy who's been visiting him?"
"Ranma? Oh sure, he shows up every day." The nurse replied.
"Hasn't he said anything about him to you?"
The nurse shook her head. "That's the disturbing part. His own father, and he wouldn't even tell us. It's even more confusing that he visits every day."
"I'm not sure either."
"Do you mind if I ask how you know him?"
"He's... Well, he's my fiance."
The nurse blinked.
"Has he been in today, yet?"
The nurse shook her head. "No. He usually doesn't keep the normal visiting hours, but we allow it, since he makes no noise and causes no trouble. He just goes in there and stares at him."
"I can't believe he wouldn't tell you who--" Akane was suddenly distracted.
A man wearing a hooded cloak walked past her, she wasn't sure if he noticed her or not, but something was definitely familiar about him. He walked onward down the hall, and paused in front of a room. He then turned and walked away, with a hurried motion.
Why Akane hadn't noticed flat out what was happening, she didn't know. Maybe she was too distressed, maybe it just didn't make sense, but as the figure left the hall and entered an elevator, she noticed he stopped in front of Genma's room, must have seen his name on the patient chart, and left.
Akane set off for the stairs, as fast as she could.
Ukyou muttered to herself. "I wish these bags came with handles."
She walked up the side of the semi-busy Tokyo street carrying two papers bags filled with Fast food take-out. She was finding it difficult to maintain a good grip on the bags, and the idea of holding the heat in her arms didn't seem to attractive. She continued her walk.
She had taken a tad longer than she thought she would. The sun was now completely over the horizon, and the darkness spread itself over the sky. Not that she couldn't see, however. The lights of the city illuminated her way easily.
She found her mind drifting to Ranma. She couldn't imagine, no matter how hard she tried, what he could be doing, so all she did was wonder.
Wonder if things may have turned out different ten years earlier. If only his father hadn't run out. If only he had said 'Ukyou' when his father asked him such an important question.
She found now she couldn't blame Ranma for what happened. She still relished the fact she could lay some blame on Genma, but even that was diminishing. Things could have been so much different.
She sighed as she stepped to the front entrance of the hospital, ready to open the door and enter. To her surprise, someone else had not only opened the door for her, but knocked her over. All she heard was a muffled 'sorry' as the figure ran off.
"Hey, you jerk!" She yelled. She got up and brushed herself off, and then frowned at the oozing paper bag that had been crushed in the commotion. Looking at the other bag, which seemed unscathed, she shrugged.
"At least the fries survived." She bent over to pick them up, but was interrupted by the running form of Akane, running out of the hospital lobby, and chase after the figure that just passed her. Ukyou did manage to avoid getting hit again, but did not manage to save the fries in time.
"Damn it." She muttered, and then gave chase after Akane.
The chase lasted a good five minutes. Going up and down city streets, running across busy streets and jumping over cars, narrowly avoiding getting hit by a bus, Ukyou followed Akane, who in turn seemed to be chasing the man in the cloak. Suspicions began to grow in Ukyou's heart.
Finally, it ended. Ukyou had lost them for a moment, but then a clump of cloth on the ground outside of an alley gave away the location. She realized what the clump was. It was the cloak the figure had been wearing earlier.
Being as quiet as she could, Ukyou slipped into the darkness of the alleyway.
The figure in front of her froze and slowly turned around. "Akane?" He yelled.
She walked towards him. "Ranma, it is you!"
He jumped away from her.
"What are you doing here, Akane?"
Akane blinked. She had been afraid of this. "Ranma, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for everything. It took me so long to realize this Ranma.... I love you."
He flinched. "...What?"
"Ranma, I'm so sorry, just come home with me. We can--"
"...What? Why? Ranma, I--"
"I can't Akane..." he said slowly. "I... I just can't."
"Akane, go home. Forget you saw me, just forget you ever knew me."
"Don't you get it, you stupid Tomboy?! I don't love you back, I never loved you! And... And I've got someone else now!"
Akane could feel the tears begin to well up in her eyes. "R..." She turned around and ran throughout the alley, not stopping until she reached the street, where she huddled herself against a building in the corner and cried.
A moment later, Ranma showed his face to the light, and two thin streams fell from his eyes. He looked at his hand, which had been clenched into a tight fist, and noticed the blood. "Damn it." He managed to choke as he bounded away into the night.
Ukyou showed herself from the blackness of the alley as he bounded away. The tears evident on her face. She slowly began to approach the entrance to the alleyway, to find Akane.
"Damn." Ranma muttered. "Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN!"
He should have been paying closer attention. He should have realized the fact that if someone had found his father, they would find him.
He thought over of the events of the past few weeks. He didn't want to do what he had just done, in fact, he hated himself for it. But it had to be done. They demanded it of him, and there was nothing more he could do.
Ranma decided it would be easier if he didn't visit his father anymore. As he let the tears flow from his eyes, he stopped on top of a building long enough to tend to his bleeding hand.
Nabiki shook her head at the two bags of fast food which had been apparently hammered into the ground. "What a waste."
Nabiki stepped forward and opened the door to the lobby of the hospital, and looked around for her sister. There was no sign of her. She shook her head and walked up to the nurse.
"Can I help you, Miss?" The triage nurse asked. She was a young woman. This would be easier than Nabiki had thought.
Akane leaned herself against the side of the building. The tears were flowing freely, but she was a bit more coherent than she was moments earlier. She leaned her eyes towards the bright lights all around her as she started to rise. The world was much more darker than she had realized, and only the past few minutes had revealed that to her. The moon was barely visible beyond the clouds.
She began to walk. Where, she didn't care anymore. Home. The hospital. To find Ukyou. Heck, she didn't care if she were to go back to Jusenkyo, at least then she could have a curse to take her mind off of Ranma.
But as it was, that was impossible.
She was beginning to go back to her old train of thought. From before she met Ranma. But that would never happen, she had too many good times surfacing in her memories to say 'I hate boys!'
She looked down towards her feet. She smiled as she remembered his first day. Walking in on him in the bath, calling him a pervert, even when Nabiki--
Akane looked up for a moment, memories forgotten. "Nabiki!" She shouted, and then ran off to the hospital.
"This is all the information you've got?" She asked the triage.
The nurse sheepishly nodded. "That's it."
Nabiki looked through the papers in her hands. Three papers with Ranma's name on them. Two holding the address of the Tendo's. The third was much more recent.
Nabiki smiled and turned around. Seeing Akane come through the door in a frantic hurry, she jumped.
"And just where were you, little sister?" She asked with an amused smile on her face.
Akane shook her head. "I... I just stepped out for some fresh air."
Seeing the look on her sisters face, Nabiki knew she was down. She decided to cheer her up. "I think I've found where Ranma's staying." She said. "It's not too far from here, either."
Akane looked at her sister. She could feel the tears starting to stream out again. She shook her head. No. That wasn't going to happen. "I don't care anymore, Nabiki. I could care less what that... Pervert is doing."
Nabiki blinked. "What? But this morning, you were so--"
"That was this morning. I don't care anymore."
"What happened? Did you find him or something?"
"It doesn't matter Nabiki. Let's just go home."
"What about Ukyou?"
Akane paused. She had nearly completely forgotten about her. "You mean, she isn't here?"
"No. I figured both of you would be together."
"She left for some food awhile ago. And then I..." She looked down.
Nabiki put her hand on her sister's shoulder. "Let's find her."
"Where would she have gone?"
"She said she would get some western food. Probably a fast food restaurant, she said she'd only be a few minutes."
Nabiki blinked. "Fast food?"
As the two of them stepped outside, Nabiki pointed to the ground. Two crushed paper bags full of fast food were becoming more and more a part of the sidewalk. One footprint seemed to match the bottom of Akane's shoe.
"Oh no." Akane muttered. "She must have followed me."
"Followed you where?"
Akane shook her head. "But I never saw her. Maybe... Maybe I lost her?"
It was clear to Nabiki it would take some more poking and prodding to get the information out of Akane, but now was not the time. "We should head in the direction you went in, then."
Akane nodded. "Let's check the direct path, we can split up, we might find--"
"No. It's too dark. Let's stick together."
Akane blinked at her sister. "Don't worry, sis. I'll be fine." She said.
Nabiki nervously thought about it. They were fairly busy streets. What was the worst that could happen?
Nabiki nodded, and then unconsciously stuck the papers into her pocket.
"Damn it." Ukyou muttered to herself. She had set out to follow Ranma, to talk to him. She had to do something, anything but sit there in the alley, crying. But he had lost her faster than one would have believed. So she set in the direction she thought he would be most likely to go.
And now he was nowhere in sight. Ukyou paused for a moment, and then gave up. She jumped off of the rooftop and climbed down the fire escape. She checked her position before deciding which way it was to get back to the hospital. The place she most figured Akane would be.
She stepped out into the street. She recognized the place. She wasn't far from the hospital, only six blocks. She could get there in no time flat.
As she walked along the side of the street, she failed to notice the young man in a business suit emerge from the alleyway, completely out of breath.
"What's the plan?" The first one asked.
"Mazuhara wants us to test her," the second one said.
"Test her? You mean...?"
The second one nodded.
"Three on one doesn't sound too fair, does it?" The third one asked.
The second one shook his head. "Hardly seems fair, but that's our business."
"How are we supposed to make it look?"
The second one thought for a moment. "Make it look like a rape."
The third one smiled. "My favorite."