Ranma 1/2 is owned by Rumiko Takahashi. All rights reserved.
The Flowering Haze
Kasumi yawned upon waking. The sun hadn't yet lifted from its place beneath the horizon, but it was a normal sight. She was accustomed to rising before everyone.
What she wasn't accustomed to was the sleeping martial artist in bed with her.
She almost yelped before memories came to her, about how and why he was here. Wistful smile, she eased herself from under his arm and leg, making certain to not wake him.
After all, Ranma might accidentally throw her out the window like he did his father. Considering they were at least twelve flights up, that would not be a good thing.
Mariko wanted her to watch her place, and her father insisted Ranma go with her as a guard dog of sorts. Bet neither of them saw this coming.
Kasumi frowned, thinking about her father. While he was likely to be overjoyed that the Tendo-Saotome Union was certain, the same couldn't be said for her little sister, whose fiancé she had just…
The woman's face burned just thinking about the things they did last night. She was most certain the sheets needed a proper soaking and cleaning before the day was over. As well as the mattress, but as bulky and cumbersome it was, there was little doubt she couldn't do that one on her own.
She heaved a sigh, thinking back to what brought out the sexual beasts from behind their hesitant, shy parts of their minds.
All in all, it had to be the water. Something most definitely was in the water, as they definitely had no designs on each other before now. In fact, she wasn't even attracted to him in that manner. And she was most certain Ranma had no desire for her.
Something was in the water, it had to be.
Ranma was at the breakfast table, more somber and quiet than usual. Kasumi had often debated whether or not she should even bring up last night, seeing how he was startled to find himself naked and in Mariko's room, where normally he slept in the small living room.
She watched him nibble on a slice of the egg omelet and seemingly focus only on that. Clearly, he was distracted, but if he wasn't going to broach the subject, neither was she.
"Got some water?" he asked, not looking at her.
"…faucet's broken." Which was partly true; mostly because she had turned off the line under the sink. Why tempt fate again?
He didn't say anything more, just silently chewed on his egg, nipped at his toast, and pulled off a piece of broiled fish with his chopsticks.
This went on for several more minutes.
He never looked in her direction, and just barely mumbled his thanks as he pushed himself away from the table and went outside. He would stay out until it was late, and then return for bed. Kasumi made certain to not be in the living room during those times.
Clearly, he didn't want to bring it up. And she didn't want to think about how it bothered her to pretend it never happened.
But she did, and she pretended along with him.
It was several weeks before they could return to some semblance of normalcy. He was just speaking to her normally instead of shrinking away from her. Even if it was only in the presence of others, it made things a lot less awkward.
For starters, she didn't have to pretend that Ranma was acting funny around her because "he lost a bet." A flimsy excusem one that anyone with half a mind would have saw through, or at least questioned. She really wanted someone to question it, to force the issue.
Unfortunately, it was accepted at face value by everyone.
Expressly disappointing. She really wanted someone to make her bring it to the fore.
Dr. Tofu regarded her with a wan smile. "Well, the good news is, you don't have the flu."
His jaw ticced for a second. "The… other good news is… you're pregnant."
"So, ya wanna see me?" Ranma asked. He wasn't completely looking at her, which was a lot better than pretending she wasn't there.
Her pretending skills wouldn't hold up to this.
"I…" she began. Then stopped. Opening her mouth, she couldn't breathe. The words stuck in her throat, made themselves a home there.
Ranma sighed. "Look, it's all my fault, okay?"
Kasumi looked at him, mind uncomprehending.
He finally looked at her straight. "I don't know how the hell it happened, but something got into the teapot earlier that day."
"You did what?"
He shrugged, his head down. "Look, it was something I found in my sack after we got here. I thought I poured it down in the drain, but, well, some of it must've gotten into the teapot. And, er… that happened." He scratched the back of his head, shame reading on his face. He did his best to not look at her.
"I'm going to give birth to your child."
He couldn't stop staring at her for a long, long time. Turned out, he had fainted, his body catatonic.
"Okay, so now what?" he sighed. They were both sitting on the roof of the house. The moon was high in the sky, everything a velvety black with silver droppings.
"I could tell them it was with a friend who's gone away…"
He shook his head. "We'll be caught. Dunno how, but we'll be caught."
He silenced her. With his fingers to her lips.
She didn't want the issue pressed if he wasn't going to follow through.
He laid back on the roof staring at the darkness overhead. She joined him tentatively. He looked at her in profile. She regarded him.
He stroked her cheek with the back of his hand. She touched his wrist. He pulled himself over her, finding her lips. She held him, tasting his desire.
He lifted from her lightly, his eyes set.
"We're gonna have to tell 'em."
It was a disaster.
Akane lost it, raged and cried at the same time. Ryoga found out. Found out more than what Ranma had done.
Soun, initially pleased, found his parental switch turned out a little too late for his youngest. Fought against Ranma, who was trying his damnedest to not hurt him. Or be hurt.
Then Ryoga came in on the scene, rage and depression weighing down the entire area. The resulting fight was one to be remembered, leveling many of the houses in the neighborhood, several falling victim to one of the many Ultimate Shishi Hokodan attacks unleashed that night. How Ranma defeated him, even he wasn't sure. It was all a blur to him, barely hanging of to his life in the face of a most certain death.
In the end, Shampoo and the others discovered the secret. Their reactions… not pretty. Mostly surprising.
Shampoo fell to her knees, crying about things being her mistake. Cologne shook her head in disgust, or was it relief? Ukyo stalked off, without another word. No "Ranchan" no looks. She just up and left. Mousse didn't look sorry about splashing Ryoga in front of everyone, and bundling him up. After all, there was no more reason to kill Ranma.
"Well," Nabiki summed up, a camcorder in hand. "That could have gone better, Kasumi."
She didn't respond. She was too busy bleeding down her legs.
She stared at the blank white ceiling tile. The sterility of the room made her feel even more unbearable.
The budding life would never bloom into a someone.
Ranma at the door. She didn't want to, but she looked towards him.
He was still in the same clothes he fought in, torn and dirty.
"So… how are you feelin'?"
He scratched his head again, glancing anywhere but towards her. "Sorry 'bout this."
"It's not your fault, Ranma. It…"
He came into the room, standing beside her.
"Kasumi. I'll make it better."
She half-chuckled though she didn't feel humor inside herself. "It's fine, Ranma. Really."
"Do you wanna get married?"
Her breath hitched for a moment. Her eyes on him as if he'll sudden laugh, say it was a joke. He was completely focused on her, blue eyes intensely awaiting an answer.
It was a long time before she said yes.
"I can't believe you're going through with this, sis," Nabiki said, shaking her head in disbelief. "I mean, sure, he knocked you up, but, getting married after…"
Nabiki never would finish that line. It was a sore enough issue as it was. Strangely, though, it didn't bother Kasumi nearly as much as she thought.
"I like that you're concerned for me, but it's something that I want to do."
"Getting married? In this day and time? Especially to someone whose greatest attribute is to cause trouble and get into fights?"
"We'll be fine, Nabiki. No matter where we go, we'll be fine."
Nabiki nodded at that, and they went about heir own businesses. Moments later, Nabiki's head swiveled back towards Kasumi's direction so quickly, it nearly came off.
"Whoa, wait a minute! What do you mean 'wherever you two go'?"
"So, it's the last time here?"
Kasumi nodded. "I don't know if it's the right thing to do, but I can't just wait for something to move me, us, into acting. We've waited long enough."
Ranma looked at her in profile, standing beside him. He touched her cheek with the back of her hand, and she held his hand still for a second.
"It's all right, Ranma. You don't have to—"
He gave a look, and her head shifted in his direction in wonderment. Wordlessly, he placed two fingers against her shoulders. A thin memory tickled her mind a second before she suddenly found herself tossed off her feet. Kasumi gasped at the sudden movement, blinking in surprise at her new perch in his lap upon a one-legged squatting form.
He shrugged. "I didn't said it was, y'know, the smart thing to do. But whatever, I said I was goin' to make it all better. Maybe it'll just make things worse, but I'll do everythin' to make it better for you."
Kasumi stared at him a little longer before she found words that previously weren't there. "I love you, Ranma."
It was his turn to stare at her for a long moment. The words seemed to filter in, and instead of opening his mouth, he just nodded, slipped his arms under her legs and back, then rose up.
"I don't know if it'll be the same thing, cause…" He trailed off, looking at the Tendo home for what amounted to be the last time they'll lay eyes on it. "Well, it's hard for me to tell…"
She nodded, her arms pulling around his neck, to better assure herself she wouldn't fall. "I—"
"No, you don't."
A question forming was silenced with the slight pressure on her lips.
"I just don't know if it's all the same thing, or if there's just more stuff to it than…" He shrugged with his shoulders weakly. "…this, y'know."
Kasumi could only laugh at that. "Neither do I, Ranma. Neither do I."
If this story seems familiar to some readers, it's because I took my first fanfic, naively titled Kasumi 1/2, which featured no Kasumi-in-Ranma's-place and was instead about a pregnancy, and condensed the story down to this core essential. Upon reading my older works, I realized that it's hard to think yourself good in any case when the next guy is so much better in your own opinion. Whether it sells or not is totally up to the people, so to speak. However, as a writer, it's difficult for me to just write something and not feel like it could be better. And after having lots of ideas, and only a few of them bearing some kind of fruit, and even then, letting those stores shrivel up and die, I just decided to purposely write a failure of a story.
This came out of it.
So, whatever happens, I guess it'll just happen, be it good or bad. At least it's different. Comment away.