Disclaimer :All rights reserved to Rumiko Takahashi-sama and all associated in Ranma ½’s publications.

Chapter 3-It’s the Gift that Counts

Ranma turned his head towards the door.And there I was, with a shocked expression on my face.

He looked at me and then he looked at the wall and then back to me.I gave an understanding smile and walked over to him.“It’s okay.”

I took both of his hands in my own and peered at them.One was bleeding lightly; the other, just as bruised as the previous one.I sighed.“Ranma-kun?What’s wrong?”

He took his hands away quickly and just averted his eyes from me.“Nothin’.”

I took his hand lightly and made him sit in the den.“Now, you stay there.”

From the look in my eye, he knew I was serious and just sat down.I came back in with the first aid kit.

“Ranma-kun, please tell me.” I softly beckoned as I bandaged his hands.“It’s not like we don’t talk about problems to each other, ne?You know you can trust me.”

“Eh tou, Kasumi-chan…”He tried to smile, but then he frowned again.And he sighed because he always got upset at not being able to say what he wanted.

“Akane-chan again, ne?”I giggled a bit.

He looked up at the ceiling with his lip out.Ranma-kun could be such a child sometimes.“You two have a fight again?”

“No…It’s just that the way she looked at me…when we were on the roof…”

“What was that look?” I blinked my eyes and sat back to hear what he had to say next.

“She looked so disappointed in me…Not that I really care…but that face is nagging me now.”

I got up and stood by the door while staring at the koi pond.I sighed.“You really do hate to upset her, don’t you?”

I crossed my arms.

“N-No,” he protested.

“Well, no matter what you say now, it won’t ever change.You hate seeing Akane sad in any way.”

“…”

I then went over and knelt before him.“You do make her happy, Ranma.You just don’t know it.”

Then, I kissed his forehead and hugged him.“Ganbatte,” I whispered in his ear.

He hugged me back.“You always know what’s on my mind.”

I poked his forehead.“No, you’re just too predictable.”

“Kasumi-chan!”

I laughed and got something out of my pocket.With my hands out to him, I said, “This is for you.Mother gave each of us something for our future husbands, but Akane doesn’t know that.”

He shook his head.And yet I insisted and put the necklace on him.It was tucked under his shirt.“Please,” I whispered quietly and smiled.

Then, I went into the kitchen to start breakfast.I slid the short curtain to the side and saw that there was no sun yet.It would be sunrise soon and then, all the commotion of this house would begin.

I held the window for a moment to look into my reflection.This is me.I am Tendou Kasumi, the oldest Tendou and the one who must understand everything.

A little frown emerged and so I smiled to myself.Practice makes perfect…

Yes, I nodded and got into doing the morning preparations.People were so easy to read.To me, nothing was barred.The hearts of the people I loved were transparent to me.But none of them could return the favor.Ara…And that was just fine with me.I was okay with it now.

And there, I hear the alarm clocks go off.Ranma begins again to spar with his father.Akane is going to the shower.Nabiki is lying on her bed while listening to some music on her walkman before going down to the bath.And father is-1…2…3-

“Ohaiyo Kasumi-chan.”My dad peeped his head through the kitchen door as he passed by.

“Ohaiyo gozaimasu.”I turned my head to him with a smile and went back to doing breakfast.

As I served breakfast, I ate and looked at each of them with a smile.This was all right.Smiling had its benefits.At least, around me, no one couldn’t do anything, but smile.I laughed to myself at the thought.

“Kasumi-chan?”

I turned my head towards the voice that called my name.

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Author’s note:* sigh *I guess you’ll have to wait for the next chapter.I’ve been having writer’s block for a whole 2 weeks because of this character.So, I’ve been doing ‘research’ = watching anime and reading manga again.Heh.

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