Ranko , Part 18:
"He Shampoo's husband"


Nobody moves in the living room of the Tendou home. Shampoo is holding Ranma in an embrace and is kissing him with abandon. Nabiki and Akane look on, their fingers spread in the shock gesture - as are Ranma's. Finally Akane lunges forward and pushes the two apart.

Akane: Stop that!!

Ranma: [beet red] Sh..Shampoo! Y..you can't...

Shampoo: Why violent girl do that?

Akane: You can't kiss him! Don't you know that Ranma is really MMFBLTM...

Ranma: [hand clapped over Akane's mouth, whispering] Shhhh! Don't tell her!

Shampoo: Shampoo can kiss Ranma any time! He Shampoo's husband.

Akane: Husband?!

Nabiki: [calmly] Say, Shampoo, could you lend me that book you're carrying there.

She points at a book that protrudes from a flap in Shampoo's clothing. Shampoo lets her have it. Nabiki holds the book up and begins to read aloud.

Nabiki: "The Laws of the Amazons. In the event that an Amazon is defeated by an outsider, if said outsider is a woman, she must give her the kiss of death and kill her - if the outsider is a man, she must make him her husband for the better of the tribe."

Akane: You mean she wants to marry him? [thinks] And if she knew that Ranko is female...

Shampoo: [nodnodnods] Ranma Shampoo's husband. [tries to kiss Ranma again]

Akane: That's ludicrous. Since when do you read Chinese, Nabiki?

Nabiki: [grins] I don't. I'm psychic. I can understand the meaning of the writing through my mental powers.

Kasumi comes into the room.

Kasumi: Nabiki, when you're done with the book about Amazon customs that you borrowed from me, would you put it back on the shelf?

Nabiki grins and hands Shampoo's Chinese book back.

Nabiki: I already put it back, oneechan. I found what I was looking for.

Kasumi: Oh, we have a guest? [bows to Shampoo] Can I offer you something?

Akane: I don't think she will be staying.

Shampoo: [bows to Kasumi] Shampoo thank friendly girl. She go now. Shampoo visit husband when violent girl Akane not there.

She turns around on her heel and walks out, creating another hole.

~*~

On the following day in school, Ranma and Akane are jumpy and nervous. Everywhere they believe to recognize Shampoo, but it always turns out to be a mistake, sometimes quite embarrassingly.

When they are finally home, they relax.

Ranma: I'll go take a bath. See ya.

Akane: OK, Ranma. We'll do the homework after that.

She walks out into the garden to relax in the shade of the tree. She sighs as she sits down and leans back against the rough bark. Her gaze wanders up to the green roof above her - it takes her a minute to realize that the roof gazes back.

<WHOOMPH!>

Akane barely manages to jump away, as Shampoo drops out of the tree, her bonbori smashing into the ground where Akane just sat.

Akane: Shampoo!

Shampoo does not answer, but goes into attack position. Akane does the same. Without prelude, the fight begins.

Akane jumps over a jab at her legs and tries a head-kick, but she is forced to break it off, because shampoo brings up the other bonbori in defense. This scene repeats several times. The two fighters eye each other thoughtfully.

Akane: [thinks] This isn't going anywhere. The bonbori are slow, so I can evade them, but they are too heavy for me to risk trying to break through her defense.

Shampoo: [thinks (in Chinese, BTW)] This isn't going anywhere. She is fast enough to avoid the bonbori, but not strong enough to block them for an attack.

For a few seconds, neither of them moves. Suddenly Shampoo acts. She drops the bonbori and hurls herself at Akane with lightning speed. Akane is caught by surprise, and Shampoo rips through her defense like an acetylene torch through butter. A few well-placed punches knock the wind out of Akane and send her sprawling on the ground. Immediately Shampoo recovers one of her bonbori and brings it down on Akane with both hands.

<THAP!>

Mere centimeters before the crushing metal sphere impacts on Akane's chest, a hand reaches out and stops it dead. It is Ranko.

Shampoo: [sweats] You interrupt Shampoo. Die!

She kicks at Ranko, but Ranko ducks through under it and sweeps out her other leg. With the weight of the bonbori in her outstretched hand, Shampoo is unable to regain her balance and lands heavily on her back. Ranko helps up Akane, who is just recovering, and props her up against the tree again.

Ranko: Are you all right, Akane?

Akane: [breathing heavily] I'll be.

Shampoo is getting up again and Ranko turns to face her. But instead of attacking, Shampoo leans forward and places a kiss on Ranko's cheek. Ranko looks confused and so does Akane. Shampoo smiles.

Akane: [thinks] Does she know... that Ranma is really Ranko?

Kasumi: Oh, so this is how you do the Kiss of Death?

Kasumi is standing in the door of the house, apparently attracted by the noise of the fight.

Akane: The Kiss of Death?!

Shampoo's smile gets broader, as she picks up her bonbori. Ranko looks at her, sweating. Then she turns and runs with Shampoo hot on her trail. Akane looks after them while the two screaming figures disappear over the roofs in the distance.

Akane: So now Ranko has Shampoo after both of her forms.

Kasumi: Oh my, I hope she'll be back in time for dinner.

-- End of Part 18.


Part 19: "My name's Ranma"


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