Ranma: Just Plain Hard

Ranma looked over at her gear on the floor, then over at the uniform hanging on the breech of the room she was in. It had been two hours since she arrived, and Cologne refused to bother with the subject that she used to lure Ranma with her, simply telling the redheaded gangsta that she was going to be starting work tomorrow.

It wasn't like she had anything better to do at the moment, so Ranma decided to that chill'n and earn'n some legit ducets would be... what that word... 'therapeutic'. It didn't have anything to do with getting Nabiki to acknowledge the first stick she got to sit on, ain't nothing like that... no way that noise be sound'n... nada...

"Sheet, fuck that frigid biatch," Ranma mumbled to herself.


"He just left?" Akane asked, incredulously.

Kasumi nodded sadly, "I'm afraid so, he did seem rather upset." Mousse rolled his eyes to the sky, shaking his head, as Akane threw her hands up in frustration.

"Oh Ranma, why did you have to go and punk out like that?" Akane sighed, resignedly, "Did he at least say where he was going?"

"No, but he didn't sound like he was coming back."

"So he's just going to leave Nabiki with the mess, I can't believe him!"

I hear ya, 'Kane'," Mousse agreed, "Kid gone and shown them true colors, all yella."

Akane scowled, "Fine, let the punk little bitch run, all he did was bring nothing but trouble!"

"Akane, language please," Kasumi chided, "regardless of how validated it is."

"So, how's Nabiki taking this?" Mousse enquired

"It's not bothering her," Akane said, feeling even more resigned.

"Yes, Nabiki had been behaving rather strange with Ranma, she kept asking who he was," Kasumi clarified, musing herself as to what it meant. She knew that Nabiki could be petty at times... well, 'petty' is such a small word in comparison to what Nabiki was capable of... but Kasumi didn't think Nabiki would be so childish as to pretend she didn't know the pigtailed boy, er, girl.

Mousse blinked, and sat up from the wall he was leaning against, "Ho, slow up, slow up, what you mean she kept asking who he was?"

"Well," Kasumi began to explain, "every time Ranma went to talk to her, Nabiki would ask who he was. She seemed remarkably honest about her ignorance, too."

"She didn't..." Mousse quipped, as his own expression formed into a scowl.

"Yes, Nabiki did," Kasumi assured.

"No, I mean Shampoo... she didn't... awwww sheeeet!"

"What's wrong?" Akane enquired, noting how angry Mousse became.

"We need to go find the kid... Ranma. I gotta clue what's up, and this part in'nt his fault."

"What?"

"Where Shampoo at right now?" Mousse suddenly demanded urgently.

"Why, she's upstairs with Nabiki in her- oh, hello Shampoo." Kasumi's sudden greeting drew Akane and Mousse's attention to the lavender haired Amazon, who suddenly bolted from where she was hiding around the doorway, and out the back yard. Mousse immediately rushed after her, leaving Akane flat-footed.

Shampoo didn't even look back, as she quickly leapt to the roof of the dojo, and off onto the wall surrounding the compound. It wasn't that she had any idea where to run to, nor did she really figure out why she ran; damn mood swings were making it hard to stay rational.

If she had looked back, she would have noticed Mousse pulling out a bolo from the sleeves of his coat. With a deft twirl of his fingers, the weighted cord propelled towards the escaping Amazon's legs, before successfully ensnaring them.

Mousse was already moving to intercept the tumbling lavender haired girl, and effortlessly caught the screaming Shampoo before she hit the ground. "Those are the Amazon skillz!"

"Set me down now, Mu Tsu," Shampoo demanded in Mandarin, after forcing her slight panic from the abrupt fall from herself; relinquishing the tight hug she had on the male Amazon's neck.

"Fine, fine, just look'n out for you," Mousse placated, gently setting the pregnant girl on her feet. When she was settled, Shampoo again attempted to bolt, before Mousse's hand snared her wrist tightly, "Raw deal, kid, we're talking first."

"We have nothing to talk about!" Shampoo retorted, "Just stay out of the way."

"Not when it's my child you're carry-"

"THIS IS NOT YOUR BABY!"

Mousse snorted, "Why you gotta be so hateful to your baby daddy?"

"This is not your baby, Mu Tsu," Shampoo growled, invading the taller Amazon's personal space, "If that were so, I would not hesitate to gouge out my own belly to rid myself of your infection. As it was, bedding with you in a moment of weak will and desperation was the greatest mistake of my life!"

Mousse stood silent for several moments, before shrugging, and putting his hands into his coat pockets, "You've told me worse before, but I can take it since I know you only hollar'n in duress."

"Damn it! It's because your presence is far too infuriating!

"No, it's because you're always front'n," Mousse put up a hand before she could retort, "If you didn't care about me, you would not have ever let me break you off in the first place."

Shampoo turned away, "Ranma convinced me to, don't think your charms, or lack thereof, had anything to do with it."

Mousse frowned, knowing he couldn't dispute her comment about Ranma's intervention. To hide his irritation, he turned away. "Shampoo, the antidote shampoo, where is it."

"I don't have it."

Mousse sighed, "Look, if you really want to get this whole mess sorted out, quit being difficult about shit."

"I am serious, I don't have it. Elder Cologne has it along with my other supplies."

Mousse almost growled, "You know full well you are required to keep the cure on you by Amazon Law."

"But am I an Amazon now, Mu Tsu? Elder Cologne had cast me from the family," Shampoo responded, bitterly, "If that bastard puddle of worthless piss you call a friend is willing to cause my pain, I will return it with what little pride I have left."

"And all you accomplish is leaving everyone hurt."

The lavender haired girl paused, "If that is what must be done, then so be it."

"Even if it means leaving Nabiki to suffer?"

"NO! I... yes, she attempted to take Ranma from me. Besides which, she had asked me."

"How did she know about the shampoo, anyhow?"

Shampoo kept her eyes downward, "I go back now, no point in continuing conver... conver... talk."

"Damn it, Shampoo! We can't be having this shit!"

The Amazon continued to walk back to the Tendou Home without turning back.


"She erased Nabiki's memory?" Akane parroted, beginning to fume within.

"Well, it's kinda like that, but you can't really erase memory," Mousse explained. "But the fact is she ain't getting it back until we get that shampoo."

"That means we'll have to find Cologne, and convince her to give it to us," Akane considered, as if it were the easiest thing in the world.

"Yeah, like the voodoo biddy is gonna be the humanitarian," Mousse responded, "Especially when it comes to the punk who caused this whole damn mess."

"But isn't Shampoo supposedly carrying your child, Mousse?" Kasumi enquired, as she brought in some snacks.

"Well yeah, but she ain't being exactly forthcoming with that, is she?"

"Hey, maybe Dr. Tofu might know something about this shampoo!" Akane perked up, "He knows a lot about that stuff."

"Oh my, Dr. Tofu could prove rather helpful, couldn't he?"

"I'll go talk with him, while Mousse, you hunt down Ranma or Cologne. If Dr. Tofu doesn't have anything, we should at least try with the old woman."

"But Akane, wouldn't it be better if both of you were out searching for Ranma and Cologne? I mean two of you for the both of them. I could go speak with Dr. Tofu, and-"

"NO!" Akane quickly shouted, causing both Mousse and her sister to blink. The youngest Tendou sister chuckled nervously, "I mean, it's cool, Kasumi. You should wait here, in case Ranma shows up back here. That way someone's around to explain the situation if he attempts to confront Nabiki again."

"Oh my, I guess you're right," Kasumi replied, seeing the logic. Akane sighed in relief, causing Mousse to raise an eyebrow.

"Yo, Akane, what's up with-"

"No time to talk, let's get going," Akane quickly interjected, practically dragging Mousse from his seat, causing him to drop the cookie he was about to bite down on."

"Hold, lemme get a nibble, first!"

Kasumi continued to smile, until they were out of sight. Her expression turned to one of disapproval, as she looked up to Nabiki's room with both her sister and Shampoo residing in it at that moment, and gave a concerned one to the retreating backs of Akane and Mousse, "Good luck, you two."