The Vampire Kasumi
A Ranma 1/2 sketch
By Andrew Carey
*****
All characters and situations of Ranma 1/2 belong to their creator and publishers. They are merely borrowed for this work of non- profit fanfiction.
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Ranma whistled as he walked. Today had been normal. Well, not really, but something like how he imagined a day for a normal person might be. No fiancees fighting over him. No duelling challenges. He'd only been splashed twice.

Akane had gone off shopping with her friends. Ucchan and Shampoo were at work. And he, he was going to cap off his normal day by walking home and doing absolutely nothing.

The hairs on the back of his neck prickled. Damnation. There goes the afternoon. But no attack came. He picked up his pace.

Everything was fine at the Tendou house. No walls knocked down or burnt, no roof leaning crazily askew. Except:

"Kasumi!" She lay crumpled on the floor of the entrance hall.

"Ranma-kun?" He knelt, reached out and took her hand.

"What happened? An accident?" Surely not a fight. Kasumi could walk blindfolded through a battlefield without so much as a stubbed toe.

"I had a disagreement with an old... acquaintance. No one you'd know."

He couldn't see any obvious wounds. A nasty thought occurred to him. "Did he... hurt you?" Maybe he should find some water. Women didn't like to have men around when things like that had happened.

She laughed, a dry, un-Kasumi-like chuckle. "She, actually. And nothing like what you're thinking." She struggled to sit upright.

"No, stay there. I'll go for Toufuu-sensei."

"He won't be able to help me." She levered herself erect. A frighteningly large bloodstain spread across her blouse.

"But... you're hurt." It sounded stupid even as he said it. "You've, uh, lost blood. A lot of it."

"There are limits to even the good doctor's skills."

"The hospital? You might need a what-do-they-call-it. A trans-something."

"That really won't help. And they would ask too many questions, besides."

"Then what can I do? You ain't-- I mean, you're not well." Kasumi hurt? Kasumi dying? His mind shied from the concept like a horse from a snake.

"Help me up." Her eyes locked with his, and he moved to obey her before he could stop himself. She couldn't stay on her feet, and he caught her in his arms. Their faces were uncomfortably close together. She's pretty. Really beautiful. Stop thinking about that, pervert!

"Please. You've got to let me do somethin'!" He settled them both back to the floor.

"You don't want to do what I need," she said quietly.

"I'll do anything."

"Anything, Ranma-kun?"

"Anything."

"I need... blood."

"A transfusion." He was proud to finally remember the word.

"No. Fresh blood. Right now."

"What?"

"Ranma-kun. I... I am a vampire."

"That can't be." Vampires were in movies and manga and things. Not real life. Vampires were creepy elegant people, not sweet clueless Kasumi. Vampires slept in coffins all day and went out at night to suck beautiful girls' blood. They didn't make tea and cook dinner and think people in fights were playing games. And besides, they burned up when they went out in the sun.

"Do manga and movies always get martial arts right?"

"Not really. There's things I can do that they don't put in 'cause people wouldn't believe them, and there's things they do that nobody with a brain in their head would ever try, and-- how'd you know what I was thinkin'?"

"Because I'm a vampire. I know, you probably don't want to do anything now..."

"Well, you can't read my mind too well, can you? 'Cause there's nothin' I want more."

"What?"

"You're... you're Kasumi. You're nice, you're kind, you... I care about ya. If you're a vampire, then vampires must be all right."

"You can't want to..."

"I can. And I do." He unbuttoned his collar. "Just... don't take too much. Unless ya really need it, that is."

"Oh, Ranma," she sighed. "I promise I won't." She opened her mouth. Her canines were a centimeter longer than they had been. The effect should have been frightening. But... she's so pretty. And even with her teeth... she still looks sweet.

He had to help her lift her head onto his shoulder. Her lips brushed his throat, and he braced for the pain of her bite.

But there wasn't any. Nothing more than a slight prick and a gentle sucking feeling. It was nice, really. Maybe a bit more than nice, by the way certain parts of his body were reacting. He willed the swelling down.

"Thank you, Ranma-chan," she whispered gently.

"Did ya get enough?"

"Yes. With a little sleep, I'll be fine."

"So... I guess I'm a vampire too, now."

She giggled. It was more startling than the bitter chuckle. "It doesn't quite work that way. You'd have to drink my blood as well."

"That's a relie-- oh, shit, I mean, uh, I'm sorry, I... uh, no offense, ya know?"

"Yes, Ranma-chan." He should have been embarrassed by the affectionate honorific, but somehow it was all right. Her body felt warmer already, and he didn't want to let her go. She nuzzled his neck for a moment, then kissed him on the lips. As if controlled by some outside force, his hands slipped up her back to twine in her hair, mirroring hers where they gripped his braid. Their tongues met, twisting together. He felt her fangs shrinking back into place among her other teeth. They broke off, looking into each others' eyes from a distance of ten centimeters.

"I'm sorry." Dear gods and buddhas, she was his fiancee's sister.

"Don't be. I started it."

"Um, I guess oyaji and your father will be back soon."

"Probably. And Nabiki." She sighed, looking down at herself. "I'd better take a bath and change."

"Do you want help?" he said. "Oh sh-- nevermind. I'm sorry. I don't know what got inta me."

"It's all right. I wish... well, it doesn't matter." Her eyes trapped him again, drew him in. "Ranma, it would be best if you don't remember this."

"But I want to."

"I wish you could." In all the universe, only her two eyes existed. "Forget, Ranma. Forget."

*****
A week later:
"Kasumi? I remember."
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