I do not own Ranma 1/2. I merely write fanfic for it, and this is my first attempt at a recently liked pairing of mine, RanSham.
This takes place right after the first Mao Mo Lin arc. I don't intend to bash or villainize any characters, but that's not to say bad things will never be said or done. There are only two saints in Ranma 1/2 after all in my opinion, Kasumi and Akari.
"Is something wrong Shampoo?" Cologne asked, seeing her great-granddaughter sitting in her room looking out the window listlessly.
"No Great-grandmother." Shampoo replied, clearly a lie.
"Now dear, what have I told you about lying to me?" The elder Amazon asked.
Shampoo sighed, seeing no way out of this now. "I worry about last thing done. Shampoo bring giant cat to Airen without realize it. He must hate me now."
"I don't think he hates you, but I do suppose he's a bit cross. Have you explained that you didn't know those bells came with a giant ghost cat?"
Shampoo nodded. "I did, but no think he accept so well."
"Well, Son-in-law is a man of actions and not words, so maybe you should show him your apologies instead of tell him."
The purple-haired teenager perked up. "That great idea. But how?"
"Why not ask him how?"
"Afraid he ask me leave him for good."
Cologne thought about that. "Yes there is that risk. But she who doesn't risk won't gain. Go try something, because sitting here moping is not your style."
Shampoo nodded and got on her feet. "Right Great-grandmother."
Elsewhere in Nerima, Ranma was out on his own trying to clear his head, sitting on a bench in a park.
'I sure could use these quiet times. After dealing with that old pervert's moxibustion crap and then that c-c-cat last night, I really need a break. Maybe I should go on a camping trip somewhere private just to unwind a bit. If only I could actually get away from anyone.'
As if to prove to him he indeed couldn't get away from anyone for long, Fate made someone come to him.
"Nihao Airen." Shampoo said as she walked up to him.
Ranma was immediately on guard. "Whatcha want Shampoo?" He did notice she wasn't on her bike and her greeting sounded more melancholy than joyful, but he was still on guard for anything she might do.
"Shampoo want make amends after ghost cat thing. Not know bell came with spirit. Shampoo very very sorry." She spoke standing in front of him, hands clasped in front of herself never making an effort to restrain him or sit beside him.
"That's okay Shampoo. I know you wouldn't do something like that on purpose. If you wanted to scare me you'd just get yourself wet after all."
At his words the Chinese girl looked a bit more sad. "Airen, do you hate Shampoo?"
"What?" Ranma asked, not expecting that question. "Why would you ask that?"
"Because Shampoo make mistakes. Because Shampoo become thing Airen most hate. Because Shampoo try kill Airen not too too long ago. And because Airen barely look at Shampoo without my displays." Now she was crying a bit.
Ranma slowly stood up, hoping to get her to stop degrading herself. "I'm not like that."
"Name one time you be with Shampoo not to get something?" She countered, a hint of anger now in her voice.
Ranma opened his mouth to give her an answer, but his memory failed to provide him one. Even their sort-of-date came with an ulterior motive, to get the instant Nannichuan powder.
Taking his silence as an answer, Shampoo looked away. "See? Airen no want Shampoo around unless he use her."
"Well if that's how you see me then why are you still trying to get me to be with you?"
"Why you let Violent Girl keep hit you? Why no tell her stop?" She countered.
"I have but she doesn't listen."
"Then make listen."
Ranma shook his head. "Wait, we're not talking about Akane. We're talking about you."
Shampoo shook her head too. "No, we talk about you and Shampoo, not just Shampoo. Airen, why you no give Shampoo chance if no hate her?"
"I barely know you." He answered.
"Then why not learn? Why not try? Why only Violent Girl get chance? Why only her?" Even though Shampoo was afraid of his answer, she asked before she could stop herself.
The thing is Ranma didn't really have an answer. Not off the top of his head anyway. "I guess it's because I live with her. I'm kind of obligated to at least get along with her when we live together."
"So you no like her if you no live with her?" Shampoo asked.
"Hey, I like you and Ucchan in my own ways and I don't live with you two." He defended.
"Own ways?" Shampoo repeated, confused on his meaning.
"Look Shampoo, I'm not ready to get married or anything. So I don't think of any of you girls that way. Not even Akane."
"Then prove it." Shampoo said. "Live away from her."
"What?" He asked.
"If Violent Girl really no favorite to you, then live away. You say she get special treatment because you live there, so if you no live there you treat her like normal then. Right?"
The logic of her claim was quite solid, but there was one argument Ranma could bring up. "I can't just leave. Pops would never allow it. And even if he did, where would I go?"
"You can live in Nekohanten if ask." Shampoo offered.
Ranma shook his head. "So you want me to leave them and come to you? Sounds like you're trying to trap me into marriage again."
Shampoo sighed. "All Shampoo want is make Airen happy. Came here to apologize, not argue. If Airen want something from Shampoo just ask. Shampoo owe you after cat bell. And Shampoo keep promise. Airen ask Shampoo for something, and Shampoo give it."
"Umm... thanks, I'll keep that in mind." He said.
Shampoo then started to walk away, but a few steps away she turned to face him again. "Airen, at least try to learn about Shampoo before you say no to chance with me." She then walked off, him not responding.
The rest of the day Ranma couldn't get Shampoo's words off his mind, even when he lay on the roof that night.
'She said she owes me a favor, and she didn't seem to put any stipulations on what I can ask. I could probably get her to drop the whole Kiss of Marriage thing.' He scoffed at the idea. 'No, she'd never agree to that. Besides, that feels like a coward's way of getting out of a mess.'
His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden attack from Genma. Ranma wasn't able to block or avoid the kick and thus got sent into the koi pond. He of course emerged as a she. "Whatcha do that for?"
"You've gotten soft. That cat got you cowardly and frail boy. You need to get back in shape." Genma said when he came down.
Ranma jumped out of the water but Genma was prepared for this and blocked. "My form's just fine when there's no cat in my face."
"And that's your problem." Genma said before giving a punch that Ranma blocked. "As long as you're afraid of cats, you'll be weak."
"And whose fault is it I'm afraid in the first place?" Ranma shouted, landing a kick on her father, though the man landed on the other side of the Koi pond rather than in it.
"That's not my problem. It's yours for not doing anything about it." He said.
Ranma rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I'm just supposed to do something about my-" She cut off when an idea came to her.
Seeing an opportunity here, Genma tried to finish his son-turned-daughter off, but the aquatransexual jumped away and outside the Tendo estate, heading somewhere specific.
"Damn onions." Shampoo said to herself as she wiped her red eyes. She was doing some late minute food prep for the next day and as usual the onions didn't agree with her.
She then heard a knock at the door. "Customer now?" She looked at the clock and saw it was past closing time. Wiping her hands she went to the door ready to tell the visitor they were closed for the night.
She was quite surprised to see it was girl-type Ranma standing there. "Airen? You come?"
Ranma immediately saw signs of crying. "Shampoo, are you still crying about what I said earlier?"
'He think Shampoo sad, not chop onions.' Shampoo thought, seeing an angle to work here. "A little. Hard not to when Airen say he no care."
"I didn't say that. I do like you Shampoo, just not that way."
"Yeah, not enough to do anything with Shampoo." She said with a sniffle.
Ranma mentally groaned. "Look, I came here because I wanted to ask the Old Ghoul a question."
Shampoo pointed accusingly at Ranma. "You prove me right. You no want anything do with us unless use us. Why we help then?"
"Didn't you say you owe me a favor?" She asked.
Up until now, she had just been acting, but now Shampoo was a bit upset for real. "Airen, you even know why Shampoo promise favor?"
"Because you felt guilty about making me face that big cat." She answered.
"Yes, but Shampoo no have to promise favor. Why I want do that?" She added.
"I don't know. I can't read minds."
"Shampoo do it because want Airen like her, not fear or hate her."
"I don't hate you. I do fear you when you change, and that's kind of why I'm here." The redhead said.
Shampoo tilted her head lightly in confusion. "What Airen mean?"
"I'm a strong person, but it's too easy to exploit my fear and I can't help how I react. Any one of my enemies could bring a cat to a fight and I couldn't do anything about it. And the Neko-ken is really dangerous and I hate becoming a cat more than I hate this curse." Ranma made a 'look at me' motion with her hands. "My favor request is for you and your grandmother to help me get over my fear of cats."
Shampoo perked up a bit at hearing. "Shampoo like idea, but why come to us?"
"If my old man knew how to do it he would have by now. Or at least I hope so. The Tendo's didn't even know about the Neko-ken until we told them about it so they wouldn't be much help. And the old freak admits he never learned how to help anyone in his life. You two are pretty much the best options I have."
"You make a good case Son-in-law." Cologne said, surprising the two by appearing out of nowhere. Both jumped back with wide eyes.
"How long have you been listening?" Ranma asked.
"The whole time. I heard you knock too, but Shampoo beat me to the door. You both were so wrapped up in each other you didn't notice me. I like to see that kind of interest between you two." She said with a teasing smile.
"It's not like that old Ghoul." Ranma stated, earning her a whack on the head from the old woman.
"Don't insult me if you want me to help you boy." She reprimanded her, but she said nothing. "Now, I do believe we can assist you in your request. I do have an idea how, but it will require something from you to do so." She raised her hand to silence the boy-turned-girl before she could object. "No I'm not saying marry Shampoo first. I'm saying to learn this; we may have to leave Nerima for a bit."
"Leave Nerima?" Ranma asked.
Cologne nodded. "There's a good chance you might relapse in the effort, so to minimize damage it would be best if you're out of the city. And we won't be able to do it for a day or two, to ensure the restaurant will be managed well in our absence."
Ranma nodded in understanding. "Sounds fair. Should I bring Akane too in case I go cat?"
Cologne shook her head. "No, that is a terrible idea."
"No buts, Son-in-law." Cologne forcefully said. "Let me put it this way, Akane and Shampoo will be at each other's throats within a single day and that's counterproductive. Not only that, she loses all reason at even a hint of you being nice to Shampoo which will distract you from the training in order to correct her reoccurring anger. Besides, where is it written that she's the only person who can calm your wild side down?"
"But she's the only one here who has." Ranma pointed out.
"And how many girls have been given the chance to do the same?" Cologne asked.
Ranma thought it over. In all her time in Nerima she had only gone neko three times. The first time she got out of it with the gender change, though Akane did help. The second and third times were all Akane making her feel relaxed enough to sleep. All times Akane was the only girl available Ranma would have felt a kinship for, but if what Cologne said was true, then maybe the cat in him wasn't too picky who petted it.
"You really want to risk that?" She asked.
Cologne nodded. "It's not like we wouldn't have water to use the other way. And besides, there may come times when you become a cat and she can't get to you. Wouldn't you like to know there are options besides just her in returning to normal?"
Ranma thought it over and nodded. "You have a good point. So... you want the three of us to go on a training trip?" Cologne nodded. "How do I tell the others?"
"Just tell them you're going for a training trip to overcome your fear of cats and you need to go without them. I can't imagine your father being of help. And if they refuse, remind them you're not asking for their permission."
Ranma rolled her eyes. "Yeah, that's going to be taken well."
"That's their problem, not yours."
"Well thanks guys. Just let me know when you're ready on your end." Ranma said, trying to wrap this up.
"I should warn you Son-in-law, that affecting the fear will affect the technique. You could possibly lose your Neko-ken entirely, or change it into something unpredictable. Are you willing to experience that?" Cologne told her.
"As long as I don't have to run away from a cat anymore, I'll be happy." The redhead told the elder Amazon.
"So be it. Now go get ready on your end. For all you know we'll come get you tomorrow."
Ranma nodded. "Alright, and thanks again you guys." She then walked off with a wave.
Shampoo waved back. "Great-grandmother, you think we can help Airen?"
"We'll certainly try dear. And while we're at it, we'll show him what he's been missing out on."