Disclaimer: This is not a professionally written story, as I am only a hobbyist writer. I'm not an English whiz, and most of the time those that I have pre-reading for me cannot catch every mistake I make. Oh yeah I do not own Ranma ½ nor any of the characters. If I did, things would be a lot different. But alas, all I can do is dream and think 'what if …'
And speaking of 'What if', after reading "Evil Kasumi II" by Targhan on The Church of Ranma and Kasumi (AKA: CoRK) I got this idea and just had to see how it could possibly play out.
This I believe is a record for me. But I received so many messages about the previous chapter, I decided to work on this one. So, um... sorry to everyone that was waiting for more on Ranma and the Outers, or Primal Ranma. But never-fear! Underd… um... never mind.
And now, "Misty Eyes and Wild Hearts."
Ever since finding out that his fierce tigress had become married and had moved away, Tatewaki Kuno had spent every moment since searching for her; or rather every moment after coming out of his catatonic state.
"Master Kuno, perhaps we should stop and…"
"Nay Sasuke! We shall endeavor to find the beauteous Akane Tendo without ceasing! Verily even if it takes till the end of time or to the far reaches of the world, I Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan shall find my Fierce Tigress!"
Sasuke sighed, and trudged along behind his master. He didn't understand why they didn't ask anyone where the Hibiki home was; and he had no clue as to what they were going to do once they got there. But then again he'd never known his master to think things through completely.
Coming to a hill overlooking a small town, Kuno declared pompously, "Verily I shall find Akane Tendo and return her to my side! This ruffian that thinks he can claim this tigress will be brought low!"
Thunder rolled in the distance and an ominous bolt of lightning struck, but the delusional kendoist ignored it and continued on his way.
"Why me?" Sasuke asked and followed behind his master.
"Wow Ryoga, that's the fifth time this morning, are you sure you're not sick?" Akane asked as she walked beside her husband with his leash still clutched tightly in her hands.
"Ah yeah, I'm fine… I… well…" Ryoga gulped nervously. Today was going to be his first day back in school for a long time, and for his triumphant return, Akane was leading him to the school with the leash held firmly in her hand. Yet even though the way the other students were looking at them made him feel uncomfortable. That wasn't the worst part. 'My pots… my supplies…' the boy lamented mentally. 'They're gone… melted into nothingness…' he wanted to cry at the injustice, but couldn't, as it was his wife, his precious Akane who had tried to cook breakfast for him. Unfortunately, the cookware didn't hold up to the extreme heat she tried to cook at and both the cookware and the food were a lost cause.
Sadly, Ryoga's day had not fared much better the further along it went. In front of the whole class, Akane had introduced the both of them… still holding his leash. This little thing caused many of the boys, and several of the girls to start whispering and suddenly by lunchtime there were theories flying wildly about the Hibiki's private lives. However, every time Ryoga had tried to do something to stop it, Akane would jerk on the leash and not only stop him from doing anything, but that in itself caused the rumors to fly even faster.
Hanging his head he tried not to cry as the girl he loved vowed to make up for this mornings breakfast fiasco and make him a proper dinner. 'There is no justice in this world…' he thought sadly.
"Oh…. My head…" groaned a girl as she woke up slowly and tried to stop the hammers in her head from exploding out of her head. "What happened…" she groaned and tried to sit up, though the arm draped across her prevented her movement. "Damn it… move…" she grumbled and went to move the arm, then froze. "What the hell…" she thought, and followed the arm to look at the body beside her.
"Mmfph… five mmoree mminuth…" came from under the mane of long dark hair attached to the body.
"Kami what happened…" she asked as terror began to mount in her. Glancing around the room she saw her spatulas, clothes, his clothes her chest binding… all lying in haphazard piles. "Please… kami no…" she mumbled. But the more she looked around the worse she felt. It felt unreal, almost as if she was watching this from outside her own body. Beside her nude form, was the nude body of Mousse. 'How? Why?' she asked and as she started to lose control of herself. When she noticed the sake bottles littering the floor, she felt a wave of nausea pass over her. 'Oh… But…' frantically she tried to piece together what happened, even though it was causing pain to lace through her brain.
It seems all too easy for Ukyo to remember what had happened to rip her heart in two.
"Tendo old friend, let's drink a toast!" an overweight and bald martial artist who's had too much to drink had said.
"Quite right Saotome my friend!" Was seconded by his falling-down-drunk friend.
"Ah, this is the life; our children have run off together!"
"And they are sure to be working on joining our families!"
Clutching her ears, Ukyo had wanted to scream then, and now. Instead of screaming as she wanted to last night, she had run away with a broken heart. 'And then I ran into… him…' she mumbled darkly as she looked at the nude Mousse who was still lying face down beside her.
"Out of my way!" She screamed though the tears as she ran headlong into Mousse as she had ran blindly away from the Tendo home.
'Kuso… what happened after that?' she muttered and tried to piece things together. 'Ok… I know I was cr-crying… and he came in with me. And… and then I started drinking…' Sighing, Ukyo leaned over and sniffed him before pulling back in distaste. "Sake… of all the stupid… we were drunk..."
Finally understanding how she and Mousse had become drunk and apparently had spent the night together, it was enough to send her into another crying fit. 'There is no justice!' she thought bitterly.
Tears began making their way down Shampoo's cheeks. 'There's no way… there's no way she's this weak…' she thought then launched herself forwards, she was not even looking at where she was hitting… yet her feet and hands told her that she was making solid impacts each time. More tears began falling as she realized, there was no resistance, no defense, as Kasumi knew nothing about fighting. Sweeping the girl off her feet, Shampoo hoped that this time Kasumi would stay down. Yet when a battered, bruised and bloodied Kasumi tried to stand, Shampoo tackled her to the ground.
"NO! Stay down! No get up!" Pinning Kasumi to the ground, she could feel the broken bones of the girl's arm pressing into her leg, which only made it that much clearer to her. This outsider was not going to give up… 'I'm going to have to… to have to…' as she thought this her hand gripped Kasumi's neck.
"Squeeze harder…" Kasumi's soft voice said.
"What?" Shampoo asked in a small voice.
"I cannot live without him… I cannot fight you… end it now and take him with you." Kasumi said softly so that only Shampoo's ears could hear it.
Trembling, the Amazon lifted her other hand to land the finishing blow.
Cologne watched in amazement. Not over the fact, that the fight was good. In fact to her eyes, this was a waste and there was no honor in it, yet the Tendo girl showed an amazing ability to take the beating from Shampoo and still keep going. However, from beside her she could hear Ranma's whimpers of torment and she held no illusions that Ranma didn't care for the girl. In fact, she could tell that Ranma himself was in pain over watching her get abused this way. 'This isn't good… If Shampoo wins then she still loses his heart. He will never hold her with any love after watching this.'
With a long sigh she lifted her head and was about to stop her granddaughter, when Shampoo's hand suddenly shot down towards Kasumi. 'By the ancestors no!'
Tears were pouring down Ranma's eyes as he watched, and when he saw the final strike about to land, he tried to cry out and stop this, just as he had been trying since the first strike. Yet he still stood frozen in place.
With a sickening crunch, Shampoo's fist made a solid impact. And then things were absolutely still for a moment before the Amazon's shoulders began to shake and the girl began crying as her heart had been ripped in half. As her crying worsened, she released the girl beneath her. Shampoo's fist still did not move from its location in the splintered wood beside Kasumi's head.
While some would have expected the released girl that had been beaten and bruised to run away, Kasumi did the very opposite. Lifting up her good arm, she pulled Shampoo down to her, allowing the Amazon to cry on her shoulder. "It's alright Shampoo."
Weakly, and through her tears she tried to ask how or why, but speech was impossible with how much her heart ached.
Cologne sighed as she watched her great-granddaughter being comforted by the very one she had just almost tried to kill. Looking up at Ranma's face, she was surprised to see he was still standing there, and even more surprising was seeing the tears in his eyes. This whole business did not set well with her and she knew all of their time to get Ranma into the tribe had now been wasted. "We'll don't just stand there, the fight is over. Shampoo lost." However, Ranma failed to move. "Move you stupid male!" Cologne barked as she tried to get him to do something. Yet, when he still did not move, Cologne hit him over the head with her cane, which caused him to fall over face first as though he were a statue. "What's this?"
"Oh my…" Kasumi said from where she was still holding Shampoo. "I'm sorry elder, but he cannot move yet."
Ducking her head was not easy, as she held a still crying and trembling Amazon warrior, but Kasumi was able to do it as she meekly told Cologne, "I… I used a series of pressure points that locked his arms and legs in place."
"You what!" Cologne asked in astonishment and then chuckled as she realized that Ranma would have stopped the fight at the beginning if he thought Kasumi would get hurt.
"I… I wanted to make sure he didn't interfere… I'm sorry for the deception."
Shampoo sat up and could not help but chuckle through her tears at this, but she still could not form words.
"But that doesn't explain…" Cologne started to say then recalled how the Tendo girl had caressed Ranma's face just before the match. "You locked his jaw in place too."
"Yes elder," Kasumi said meekly and with Shampoo moving off her, she was able to move into a sitting position as well. "Shampoo, will you let me show you a pressure point?" When the girl nodded her head, Kasumi touched the girl on the base of her neck close to her spine. "This point shuts off the pain receptors in your body… but it does not last all that long."
Colognes eyes widened in surprise. "You… you stopped yourself from feeling pain!" Guiltily, Kasumi nodded her head. "I see, it makes sense now…" Cologne said and began cackling madly.
"W-wh-what?" Shampoo finally managed to get out as she somewhat regained control over her crying fit.
"Y-you!" Cologne cackled even harder, "You got Shampoo not to use pressure points on you… but you said noting… nothing about using them on yourself!"
Shampoo blink-blinked and looked at the Tendo girl, who blushed. "It's true?"
"I'm sorry Shampoo. This was the only way I thought I could get you to understand. But could you please… please use that point on me. It should be wearing off soon, and I'd like to get this set…" She said as she pointed to her broken arm, "Before the pain starts."
"Ok…" Shampoo said and touched the same spot that Kasumi had touched on her. To her amazement, Kasumi's face relaxed as though a pain that she had been hiding had been removed.
"We'll don't just sit there… set her broken arm, this match is at an end," Cologne told her great-granddaughter and began cackling even more. It just seemed unbelievable to the aged matriarch that someone had duped not only Shampoo, but her as well. 'This one is more cunning that I thought, this made things a lot more interesting!'
Once Kasumi's arm was set, and splinted, the elder Tendo daughter moved over to Ranma and rolled him onto his back. His scowl made her recoil slightly. "I'm sorry… I knew I couldn't get you to wait outside and I knew you would interfere…" She spoke softly as she searched his hard eyes for some sort of understanding from him. "Please don't hate me…" she said softly and caressed his face. "I just couldn't stand loosing you," she told him and then kissed him while unlocking his jaw.
To her amazement, Ranma returned the kiss wholeheartedly. Upon pulling away from his lips, she was glad to see that the hard edge to his eyes was gone. "I'll never hate you…" he told her sincerely. "Kami you've got to believe me…" he told her with tears in his eyes. "I just never wanted ta see ya get hurt… an… an this… I…"
Kasumi stopped him by placing her finger on his lips. "I know, but it had to be done. I promise not to do anything like this in the future without talking to you first… if you'll still have me."
"Are you crazy?" He shouted. "There is no way this is happening again, an I'll be damned if I'm gonna allow you to get hurt! You can't believe how much it hurt… just to stand there… and… and watch…" Tears came to his eyes and he longed to touch her, caressed her face or hold her in his arms, but his arms and legs were still frozen in place.
"I'm sorry…" she told him and gingerly she hit the spots on him that returned his full movement. However, not a second had passed from when the last point was released and she found herself swept up into his arms and held protectively against him. Those same strong arms that held her so closely at night, still held her the same and with the same warmth. Feeling this, tears began to fall from her eyes as the two passionately kissed for several long minutes, seemingly unaware of the two Amazons in the room with them.
Even though her heart was still hurting, it found a way to hurt even more as she watched the way Ranma kissed Kasumi. She understood now what the girl had been saying. It all made sense now, and she wished that it was her that was being held in his arms. 'Why not me? Why can't he love me that much?' she asked herself tearfully. 'This is what she meant… to have him hold her… because he wants to… not because he has to… Airen… I… I wanted you to hold me like that…'
Seeing Ranma and Kasumi together, while touching, sadly reminded her of something she had not wanted to think about for a long time. "Shampoo…" Cologne said tiredly as she watched Ranma and Kasumi kiss, seemingly oblivious to the fact they were still in the room.
"Yes great-grandmother?" Shampoo asked just as tiredly. Her body ached, but not from being in a fight. Yet more than her body, her heart and mind hurt.
For a moment, the aged woman remained motionless, then letting out a sigh she told her great-granddaughter, "Xian Pu of the Joketsuzoku, stand and hear my words as Matriarch." Standing up quickly then bowing before her great-grandmother, Shampoo tried not to let her fears rage out of control, though she could not stop her shoulders from shaking. "It pains me to say this, but being one of the Council of Elders forces my hand."
"W-what…" Shampoo stuttered out, and then calmed herself. "What is your word elder?"
The sudden seriousness of the two alerted Ranma and Kasumi that something was up, and it wasn't very good.
"Xian Pu, champion of the Joketsuzoku, when you were disgraced in front of our people by this male cursed to be a female; you gave him the Kiss of Death. Later you gave his male side the Kiss of Marriage before returning home a failure once. I was forced by the Counsel to take you to Jusenkyo and give you a curse for failure to understand the way the curses work."
"Wait a second…" Ranma interrupted but was quickly silenced by a withering glare from Cologne.
"Remain silent, this is Amazon business," she scolded then returned her attention to Shampoo once more. "When you were ordered to leave the village a second time, you were given the order to return victorious or to not return at all, or have you forgotten."
The girl in question paled, and meekly replied, "No elder… Shampoo no forget…"
"And yet you have failed, and failed to a non-combatant, one who is protected by our laws as being a non-warrior and a healer."
"But… But great-grandmother…"
"There are no excuses," the aged woman told her. "And so as my last act as your Matriarch and Joketsuzoku Elder; you are hereby stripped of your station and status as Champion."
"What…" Shampoo asked in a voice so small that the others barely heard it.
"HAY WAIT A MINUTE!" Ranma shouted and stood up with Kasumi beside him. "Just because I didn't marry her is no reason to do this!"
Cologne hated to do this to her own family, and with him saying that, it just grated on her nerves. "Boy, you will not lecture me on Amazon laws and you will remain silent. You are free to live your life as you please. As Amazons there are laws and rules that we MUST follow."
"But..." Ranma tried to say more, though unfortunately he was not sure what to say. He knew that if he wanted to stay with Kasumi and be happy with her, then he had to refuse Shampoo, but by doing that, she was going to be kicked out of her tribe. Yet if he chose Shampoo, then he would be casting Kasumi away after it had taken so much for him to propose to her, but that was minor compared to what Kasumi had gone through for him.
However, Shampoo was not hearing any of this argument; instead, she had gone from bowing, to kneeling on the floor, her whole body felt numb and cold. Her mind was waging a war against her feelings. If she killed Kasumi, and took Ranma back, then she would remain the Champion of the Amazons, but she knew Ranma would hate her. Even if she drugged him, used a technique on him to make him forget Kasumi, or what ever, she knew his heart was not hers.
"Excuse me… elder…" Kasumi asked with a bowed head. She hadn't expected this.
"What child?" Cologne asked with only a slight irritation despite how much this was getting to her.
"What will happen to Shampoo now?"
"She is an outcast, and can never return to the Ancestral home…" even as she said it, everyone, including Ranma could hear in her voice that she hated to say it. "…This… This is to be my final act on the Counsel of Elders."
Ranma blinked at that, as he'd never known the old woman to ever stutter, pause or repeat herself like that.
"What do you mean 'final act'?" Kasumi asked pensively.
"In a situation like this, the counsel could ask for her life, or for her to be locked in her cursed form." As she said this, she saw the horrified look come to Ranma and Kasumi's faces, though Shampoo remained motionless. "However, I am going to send the counsel a letter, informing them of what is happening and asking that they spare my great-granddaughters life and accept my resignation."
"Oh my…" Kasumi said in shock.
Sighing, the aged woman told her, "Shampoo lost Ranma, and she lost to a non-combatant. There was no honor in this fight, and instead of removing the obstacle, she admitted defeat."
Ranma tried to think of something to say to help, "But… but…"
"Save it, we shall some time to come up with a good explanation. Come Shampoo, we have no more business here."
"No stop!" Kasumi suddenly cried out.
"What Miss Tendo, you have won, this is now an Amazon affair, and it must be dealt with. Had I known you were not a fighter I would not have allowed this to continue." Left unsaid was how she had taken it for granted that the girl's family owned a dojo, yet she never practiced.
Kasumi looked at the two of them for a moment before she 'knew' what she had to do. Striding over to Shampoo as confidently as possible when one is bruised, she told the still stunned girl, placeing her left hand on Shampoo's shoulder getting her attention Kasumi told her, "I won't allow this. Shampoo there is another option, there has to be."
Ranma blinked at this. "Wha?"
Shampoo seemed confused too. "What option?"
"If… if your old family won't accept you, then stay here with us, let us become your new family."
"What?" Ranma asked with wide eyes.
"You… you want me… to be you family?" Shampoo asked in amazement, especially considering the so-called fight just a few minutes ago.
"Yes, I would be honored to call you my sister." She told the now ex-Amazon with a smile.
For her part, Shampoo just stood there staring at the girl, but before she could respond Cologne broke in, "I think that would be an excellent idea." None of those in attendance was privy to the aged woman's thoughts as she mentally screamed, 'YES!'
Ranma's gaze snapped over to Cologne. "You do?"
A smile came to her face as she thought about it, 'As I thought, they would not let harm come to my great-granddaughter. I'm glad I did this here.' Though to the others, she said, "Yes… yes I think this will work out fine. You know Ranma, I have done everything I could to get you into our tribe, and now it seems we are joining yours instead!"
"Oh? Is this possible then?" Kasumi asked hopefully while Ranma just sputtered incoherently.
Cologne nodded. "Yes, and while it will take a little getting used to, I would be honored to have this chance. But are you sure this is what you want?"
"Yes, it is what I want. If this will help Shampoo, then I will do it."
"But… but… why?" Asked the girl in question. Her life was spinning out of her control, as just this morning she had thought she'd finally have Ranma as her Airen, only to lose him in the worst fight of her life. Then she had to watch as Ranma and Kasumi kissed… and now… now she was being kicked out of the tribe… and the very one that took her Airen from her, was offering to be her sister!
Hearing Shampoo's accusing tone, Kasumi bowed her head. "I don't expect you to understand, but I cannot stand to think that just for me to be happy, you have to lose everything you are. Please, at least allow me to do this."
It took several long moments, but finally Shampoo smiled. "Shampoo want call you sister…" She placed her hand over her heart and sighed deeply. "Still hurts, but… but now see… Shampoo no love Air… Ranma like Kasumi do."
Placing her arm comfortingly around her new sister's shoulders, she told the girl, "I'm sorry I caused you so much trouble, but I could not let Ranma go."
"Shampoo know… Shampoo no want lose Ranma too."
Cologne looked at her great-granddaughter and Kasumi with pride in her eyes. "Miss Tendo, you surprise me. I never expected this from you, nor did I expect you to ask to take us into your home. However, I am grateful for your kind and compassionate heart."
"Thank you elder." She said bowing as gracefully as she could considering her physical state.
"I am curious though," Cologne said with a glint to her eye and a sneaky smile forming on her lips. "How is it that your father has not come in yet to stop this fight, or one of your sisters?"
Kasumi blushed and bowed her head. "You see, last night I cooked a special meal for both our fathers, and it included an ingredient that should keep them asleep for a while longer."
Cologne was really beginning to like the way Kasumi handled things. "Interesting… and your sisters?"
"Akane has been staying at her new home with Ryoga, and Nabiki does not know about this."
"I see, so they will be quite surprised to see you in this condition." As Cologne said that, Shampoo ducked her head in embarrassment.
"Sadly yes," Kasumi told them. "While I do have some incense and know of some techniques that can accelerate my healing, I will not be able to hide this from them," she said and motioned to her broken arm.
"I see…" Cologne said as she nodded then smiled. "Ranma, take your woman to her room and help her recover. Shampoo, come with me, we have lunch to fix for our new family!"
"Oh… but…" Kasumi tried to say, but Cologne had already left the dojo with Shampoo in tow.
"Come on Kasumi…" Ranma told her softly. "I know some other things that can help heal that faster."
"Ok," she replied with a blush on her face.
To be continued…
I am glad so many had liked the fight; I wanted to do something I had never seen before. I hope that I met your expectations and kept you entertained. As for those that believe Ryoga and Akane do not deserve happiness, well… while I feel that way many times, in this story they may find it, though it won't be easy.