[FFML] [R1/2][Shortfic] Into the Mountain

Elin B elbju at yahoo.se
Sat Dec 27 06:28:32 PST 2008

AUTHOR’S FOREWORD: This is pretty short – just 324 words – but I decided to post it anyway and would be happy to receive constructive criticism, should anyone feel like offering it. Just speculation from a small moment in canon from the Musk Dynasty Saga. 

DISCLAIMER: The characters and situations of Ranma ½ were created and are owned by Rumiko Takahashi. A few of them are used here without permission. This fanfic is not intended for profit in any way.

Into the Mountain
A Ranma ½ shortfic by Elin B

Down a large new crack in the mountain it had fallen, the magic kettle that was Ranma's only chance to ever become male again. All his fighting, all his struggling suddenly useless – when Ryoga, human again, had suddenly leapt past him and into the crack. He'd grabbed Lime with 
him, forcing the monstrously strong boy to hold the crack open to save himself from being crushed. Then he’d kept going down into the dark, creaking earth alone. When Ranma had leaned down to ask him why – partly in worry for him, but partly also because he hadn't completely forgotten being double-crossed by him and Mousse hours earlier, although it did 
seem a long time ago now – Ryoga had looked back up and told him to take care of Herb. 

Then he'd smiled and said, "Now we’re _even_".

That had made sense. Ryoga was just trying to pay back his debt. Ranma had felt he could accept that, turning back to focus fully on finishing his fight with Herb, his most dangerous opponent yet. And his trust had paid off, Ryoga emerging from the ground later with the treasure, complete with geyser-hot magical water. 

But still... There had been something in Ryoga’s eyes right then that Ranma found hard to read as anything but a challenge. A certain stubborn glint that had made him pause, then and there on the mountain, wondering.

'...Ryoga... did you just invite me to a *kindness* competition?'

But that was probably wrong. After all, there had been nothing afterwards to indicate that Ryoga had meant anything but what he'd said. He'd acted just like usual, evidently feeling that their score was pretty much evened out and now they were back on the usual grumbling half-friendly half-kinda hostile terms, nothing else. That also seemed easiest to go along with, 
so that was what Ranma had done. He'd probably just imagined the challenge.

Anyway, there was no way he would have lost! 

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