Dr. Oni Tofu

A fanfic by frictionx42

THESE CHARACTERS ARE NOT MINE! I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR CREATION NOR AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS IN ANY WAY. (WELL, I SUPPOSE I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR THE THINGS THEY DO IN MY STORIES...) THE CHARACTERS BELONG TO RUMIKO TAKAHASHI, SHOGAKUKAN, KITTY FILMS, AND SOME OTHER PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT ME.

"Ohayo, Tofu-sensei! Ranma got wet again, can you help him out with some hot water?" Akane smiled sweetly as she bounded into the clinic, followed by a bedraggled-looking redheaded girl who was obviously displeased with her somewhat sodden state.

"Aw, don't worry about it Akane, half the school knows about my curse by this point anyhow, and you're always on my case about being late all the time, like it's my fault or something!" Ranma-Chan griped bitterly, as she usually did when her curse manifested itself by a water-based sex change.

"Which we wouldn't be if you hadn't overslept this morning because you stayed up half the night trying to pick on P-Chan!" Akane swiftly shot her a glare that would have frozen the sun. Ranma shuddered, remembering the activities of the evening before.

Ryouga had come to challenge Ranma to a duel, and as the two had begun to fight, it began raining, but Ranma and Ryouga were too far away from the dojo to get back under cover in time. Ryouga, pigheaded as he was, had decided to continue fighting, and Ranma had stayed up half the night chasing him, until Akane had come down from her room and created some peace and quiet- with her trusty Large Wooden Mallet. Ranma could still feel bumps on her head from her violent beating.

"That little porker attacked me! Jeez, Akane, why do you always take his side anyway? You are so uncute!"

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah!"

*Smack*

Ono Tofu smiled inwardly. It was always so… refreshing when those two fought around him. He could almost sate his entire day's desire for spiteful words and denied emotions by those two alone. Thanks to them, he'd been able to even think of home in the Netherhells again. His black, horned face fell from a smile to a frown as he remembered the conditions of his exile. He still couldn't go back, of course. They would never allow it. But the soul-collecting business was profitable here, and he had been able to gain a little power even up here in the Upper World. They might even allow him to return if he kept it up for another few years. Putting his façade back up, he emerged from the back room with a kettle. Time to get to work… he thought to himself as he upended the contents onto Ranma's head. Now just look me in the eyes, say 'Thank you', and I'll have siphoned off another sliver of your soul.

Ranma shook the excess water from his head. He looked up at Ono, and as they made eye contact, Ono prepared to exert his power of soul drain. He heard the door slide open, and the entire room suddenly seemed to become a stifling barrage of energies. Damn it! Why did she have to show up?

Kasumi stepped through the door of Doctor Tofu's clinic, softly gliding her way to the door to his examination room. She paused, wondering if she should knock first, but then decided to walk straight in. It felt like the right thing to do, so she did so.

"Good morning, Tofu-Sensei." Kasumi said cheerfully, hoping to brighten up things with her presence. She liked visiting Dr. Tofu. He was always so nice, and funny, and seemed to need company.

The world twisted sickly, making him feel strangely elated yet nauseous at the same time. His mind swam with distorted images, causing the world he usually knew so clearly to become a senseless maze of randomness. He heard himself speak, and was not surprised at the words.

"Why, Kasumi-san. What an amazing coincidence that we should meet here, of all places." Yeah, so amazing. Idiot, I live here! Why do I lose all control every time she comes around? AARG! Try as he might, Ono could not regain control of himself.

"Betty, be a dear and start some tea for Kasumi, will you?" Do I have to keep talking to that skeleton every time as if it will actually get up and do anything?

Ranma and Akane's argument swiftly ended as both of them began laughing politely, Akane's giggles mixing with Ranma's chuckling as they enjoyed the incessant blundering of Dr. Tofu as he attempted to obtain Kasumi some tea. The chimes of a school bell in the distance sobered them immediately, however, and both were gone in a flash, hoping not to be too late.

Ono Tofu's more rational, lucid mind ignored the rest of Kasumi's visit, not wanting to witness the way he reacted to her. It irked him that anyone, a mortal in particular, could have such a profound effect on him. In all his one hundred and thirty-eight years, he had never come across anyone that had made him act that way. His father, a respectable demon in a position of power in some lower region of the underworld, had warned him that during his travels in the upper realms, he might come across the rarest and most feared of mortals: an Innocent. Tofu's mother had been one, he had said. Tofu hadn't believed him until the first day he had laid eyes on Kasumi. Humans couldn't be innocent; it went against their very nature. Yet there she was, Kasumi Tendou, innocence beaming from her like a million-watt-bulb. The shadows of his soul were pierced with the light she brought, and it always made him nervous. He wasn't sure why he reacted like he did, but he imagined that it had something to do with his demonic nature being unable to handle her purity of thought, word, and deed. It sickened him sometimes to see her, but there was always a sort of… excitement that came with a visit from Kasumi. Now that I think about it, I do feel kind of empty every time she leaves, and fulfilled when she is here. I'll have to ask father later what that could be. His questions unanswered, he bode his time, waiting until Kasumi's visit was over so that he could get back to work.

In these times, he did what he always did: calculated the amount of soul energy he was draining from these mortals. He had amassed a rather substantial amount of power, more than could be expected of a half-breed demon/human mix. He'd gained almost enough that he may be able to go back to the underworld in another year or so, especially if that Ranma kid stayed around. Tofu was able to glean more energy from him than any mortal he had ever encountered. Tofu was going to miss him. Not as much as I'm going to miss Kasumi. Damn! Why can't I stop thinking about her? She gets in the way of all my plans! Try as he might, Dr. Tofu could not shake the feeling that things just wouldn't be as nice in the Netherhells without her. He couldn't think of a way to bring her along, however. She certainly had never done anything to earn her way there. She could come willingly, of course, but Tofu doubted Kasumi would do anything of the sort, and he cringed at the thought of forcing her to do anything against her will. He quickly peeked in on his body, and found that Kasumi was just leaving- both a welcome sight and one that filled him with sorrow.

The rest of the day drawled on as if it would never end; she would not visit again until tomorrow morning. Very late that night, Tofu was watching stars on his patio and thinking. Fine, I guess I do like her after all. Somehow, after admitting it to himself, he felt much better. He grinned as he thought about her more. Heck, I might even love her! With that thought, he burst into gales of laughter, and had to calm himself before he woke the neighbors. Suddenly, he sobered. Of course! Why didn't I think of it before? I, Ono Tofu, Love Kasumi Tendou with all my heart and…soul? He smiled again. Yes, he was half human-and he had a soul. A soul that would allow him to stay on the surface world as long as he wished, and would even allow him to feel love and joy. And now he had someone to feel it with.

Kasumi Tendou knelt by her bed, softly whispering. She had been there for quite some time, on her bedroom floor. Her eyes were mostly shut and she seemed to be fervently praying. Her room was strangely quiet, as if the very tranquility that Kasumi embodied was actively blocking the loud panda snores coming from the guest room upstairs. The room was truly a masterpiece of modern interior design. Kasumi just had a natural talent for decoration: simple, yet elegant; full of not quantity, but the quality and love that a master craftsman puts into their work. Her room had a near dreamlike quality to it, a soft illumination seeming to come from everywhere yet nowhere at once. Kasumi's eyes snapped open. The glow intensified as Kasumi's face lit up in a smile that would make the very sun itself feel that its brightness was not enough. She brushed her fingers through her hair, revealing two very small translucent wings, and straightened the halo that hovered over her head. It was time.

Author's Notes:

I make my debut offering with this. This is one of my only one-shot stories, and is from back when I started writing. I have quite a bit more, but am not certain about posting it as I know I like fanfiction to be COMPLETE before I start reading it because I hit that spot where it ends and I just want to know what happens next SO BADLY. Let me know what you think about posting stories chapter by chapter, or if I should get at least closer to finishing the 3 other major works that I have on the back burners. They have been there for about 5 years as I battled an addiction to MMOs that I believe I have now broken. I plan to get back to writing, hopefully with some feedback and encouragement from anyone willing to provide it.