The young, bandanna-wearing boy took a look outside the window. A long string of bright lights floated over the dark ocean. Below him, a bustling city unfolded. The bright lights fluttered across the ground like holy candles beckoning the lonely boy home. So this is what heaven was like, Ryoga Hibiki thought to himself.

He just needed to get away from it all. He needed to get far away from Tokyo. From the Tendo dojo.

From the cruel Ranma Saotome.

He was in love with Ranma. He knew he was always attracted to guys but Ranma especially. However, he never knew how he could tell Ranma how he really felt or how Ranma actually felt about him. As a martial artist, he only knew how to fight. He believed that if he could defeat Ranma, the handsome pigtailed boy would have to go out with him. He chased Ranma all the way to China, which led him to falling into the Spring of Drowned Pig. When he finally caught Ranma…that was a whole different story.

Of course, life with Ranma Saotome was a fun and dramatic rollercoaster ride in itself. Ryoga’s dream man had got himself deeper and deeper into a literal tar pit of male and female fiancées pursuing his lover. Ranma’s father, who had his own faults, engaged his son to the daughter of a friend. And both had suitors in both directions. Not to mention that Ranma also was an aquatranssexual and his female side was much popular for her flooziness.

And still Ryoga stayed with him. He still loved Ranma on the inside. He wanted to kill Ranma at first for putting him through miserable chapter upon chapter. But as he got to know Ranma more, he realized that Ranma wasn’t the enemy. Ranma had been a false pawn in his parents’ Russian Roulette, manipulated and mistreated by fiance after fiance. He saw Ranma’s angst.

But Ranma was a man’s man. He stubbornly shrugged off his pain, both literally and emotionally, letting it all run to the wind. Ryoga would look at Ranma at night and wish that he could help him out of his predicament. Ryoga had to deny those thoughts. Ryoga had to deny it. If Ranma ever knew how I really felt and didn’t love me in return, my heart will be broken into a million pieces.

However, Ranma had done just that.

It was a bright summer afternoon. The last of the cherry blossoms had just floated away in Nerima, Tokyo. Genma Saotome and Soun Tendo, the two parents who could be blamed for all the trouble, tried to ignore their children’s fates as they played as peaceful game of Go. However, they couldn’t ignore the crumbling foundation beneath them. Months of constant fighting had done its damage to the Tendo dojo. The living room foundation collapsed causing the ceiling to crash above the two elderly men. Saotome and Tendo died instantly and peacefully after the catastrophe. The quiet death of Tendo and Saotome paved open an exit to the chaos.

However, Ranma refused to walk into that exit. Pre-ordered partnership or not, Ranma was in love with the bitch. Or so he said.

That “bitch” was Akane Tendo, a young Japanese woman who scorned Ranma and repeatedly showing little affection to anyone. Ranma always admired Akane. She completely detested him. Ryoga knew that. Being Akane’s pet pig, P-Chan, Ryoga was able to spy on his enemy and see how she really felt about Ranma. He also knew some of Akane’s secrets. He knew that Akane never loved Ranma. Their relationship was simply platonic. Following Soun and Genma’s death, he finally confronted Ranma about the Akane issue. Ranma, being the dumb bishounen he was, assumed that Ryoga wanted Akane. Ryoga never wanted Akane. He was only good at acting heterosexual.

He told Ranma, “Now’s your chance to get away from it all…why don’t you go out with your friend Ukyou?”

Ranma replied innocently, “I can’t leave the dojo. I can’t leave Akane at this point.” Soun’s death may have liberated him from his proposed marriage but chained him emotionally to Akane and the Tendo family.

Ranma wanted to stay with Akane.

Ryoga’s heart shattered into pieces. He ran away from Nerima, from the only home he knew, for three months. When he returned, Ranma had just married Akane. He wanted to commit suicide. He planned to drown in Jusenkyo where his curse first began. Fortunately, Ryoga’s horrible sense of direction led him to Narita International Airport in Tokyo. Soon, he was sitting on first class in United Airlines flight 5077 to San Francisco, CA.

He was leaving Tokyo for good.

Ryoga looked out the window once again. The plane was landing. He could hear the plane smoothly dive deeper back toward Earth. Blankets of pure white clouds covered the ground. With a soft bump, the plane touched the ground. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have now arrived in San Francisco,” the flight attendant announced. “The time now is 6:50 a.m. and the temperature outside is 45 degrees Celsius with a slight chance of showers. We hope that you enjoyed flying United Airlines and come fly the friendly skies once again.”

Just as the Japanese translator started to speak, Ryoga took one last look out the window. He was back on Earth. Another plane was leaving for Tokyo. Ryoga looked up at the sky and saw the very same stars that shone down on Nerima, Tokyo. He turned around and walked toward the exit. There was no turning back now.

Goodbye Ranma.

Customs was such a bitch to go through. By the time Ryoga was done explaining repeatedly to incompetent translators that he was here to stay, the gloomy clouds only got gloomier over the city of San Francisco

Ryoga felt so unprepared. What stupid documents did I have to bring? Then he remembered the forms that he left on the plane. After hours of interrogation, he emerged into the Arrival Gate 46 for United Airlines.

Then it suddenly hit him. He was in a new environment. Whenever he got lost, he ended up back at Tendo dojo. Back in the arms of that guy he used to like. He would be safe for a little while, despite the noise of cackling fiancées and the sound of random inanimate objects being shattered into bits (normally on Ranma’s head.) However, he wasn’t in Tokyo and the Tendo dojo was an ocean away now.

A family of five united as the businessman father grabbed his two little sons. An Asian man greeted his waiting Caucasian boyfriend with roses. He had nobody.

Ryoga was completely lost.

And it was starting to rain.

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