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Memories in a Bubble

A Kasumi ½ side story
by Adrian D. Moten

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.

Introduction: This takes place takes place at the Nekohanten while Ranma and Kasumi are trying to deal with her pregnancy. This is all spoken in Mandarin.


It's been a long day.

Mousse babbled on about loving me and wanting to marry me again. Only thing is, he'd mistaken great-grandmother for me. She bopped him over the head with her staff, and, after realizing his mistake, he put his glasses back on.

Stupid Mousse. Never could take a hint I'm not interested. Not then, not now, not ever. If we were ever the last two people alive, I'd kill myself and let him die alone. It's not that I hate him, really it isn't. In fact, we might have been best friends… lovers… or even (shudder) husband and wife, if only he was different. Long ago, he guaranteed that his little dream will never happen after showing just how much an idiot he really is. I wish he could just accept that, and find someone that did love him, that would make him number one in her life. Spatula Girl looks pretty likely; she'd take real good care of him… Lost Boy would do the same for Violent Girl…

… And I can have Airen all to myself! Aiyah!

… Sigh… But I haven't seen him all day… that's why it's been a long day…

How can a man like him make me feel so… so… whole? I'm not complaining; in fact, it's a very nice feeling, so warm and fuzzy, and it runs all over me. Save for great-grandmother when I got sick years ago, I never felt anything like that before till he came into my life.

I think that's why I didn't kill him when I had the chance. That and the scared look in his eyes. That one look tore into my heart, my soul… it was like he ran me through with my own sword, instead. My rage that he was the girl I was suppose to have killed for dishonoring me at Joketsuzoku, for being lied to, for being betrayed… it shriveled up and died. For the first time in my life, I ran away from a fight.

I didn't know what I was going to do. Going back to the Amazons without killing my target, or returning without Airen, it would have resulted in death. But, I couldn't have gone back to Japan and to Ranma. I scared him, and I thought he hated me. Maybe Cousin Orange, Peach, and the other girls in the village were right after all, that I was just a monster, that I had no heart. I certainly felt like one…

I went back to China, looking to die, to erase myself from Ranma's life for good. However, instead of a cold bed, great-grandmother took me back in, even though she was angry with me for failing to bring back either girl-type Ranma's head or boy-type Ranma home. Then she took me to Jusenkyo, saying that she was going to train me to be better prepared for Airen. I couldn't believe it; I was going to get another chance at Ranma! But I still thought he hated me. Great-grandmother told me not to worry about that, as she was sure the training we were going to undertake would help solve that problem.

After my fall into Maoniichuan, Spring of Drowned Cat, however, I thought everything was over, but great-grandmother had another plan: mail me back to the Tendo house in my cursed form. I was going to see Ranma again! Aiyah! I don't think I've ever felt so happy since… since… ever!

I learned the true meaning of living with a Jusenkyo curse. It doesn't just change your body; it changes your life, your luck, everything. The first time Ranma saw my cat form, he freaked out. Later on, I listened to Stupid Panda Man tell Kasumi all about him training Ranma in Cat Fu, and the resulting fear of cats.

If I could have killed anyone, it would be him. How he could even be Airen's father, I'll never know.

But I did find out that Ranma didn't hate me. In fact, he even liked me! I was overjoyed, but then I remembered the curse, and my hopes fell. I pushed on though, determined to see if turning into a cat with cold water did make a difference. Looking back, I don't think jumping into the bathtub with him was the way to find out… Well, he can live with it in any case, so long as I don't turn into a cat in front of him. After moving to Japan for now, I keep a kettle of water with my bonbori and sword (Mousse isn't the only one who knows how to hide weapons on himself, but were do those hammer come from?), just in case I do get splashed with cold water. It doesn't work all the time, though… sigh… you'd think some goddess was purposely throwing cold water on me and everyone else with a Jusenkyo curse at every chance she got.

I really do love Ranma. I came to that answer after spending a few days in Tou Ouizuma, the place where Ranma lived in Nerima. To have anyone else to be my Airen, I would gladly die than accept. There is no one else in the world like Ranma. Strong, powerful, very handsome and sexy, those anyone can see about him. Some think that's all I want, though. If that was true, I think I would have ended up with Mousse. No, Ranma isn't just eye pleasing; he is kind and gentle, confident and strong-willed. He's earned great-grandmother's respect with his fighting skills and his determination, and he doesn't need to prove anything to anybody.

Now, if he would just stop denying how he felt about me…

I know he does love me. He almost married me, is that not proof enough? Even if his ego got him going, do you really think he would propose to me on ego alone? And he overcame his cat fear for me, someone who you would think he'd have good reason to leave behind, to be stuck as a cat. No, that's real love, because… because I know I'm not exactly easy get along with; in fact, I think I'm rather… demanding at times. Even now, but I'm trying still… to not be so demanding… and it's working, you know… ever since Kasumi talked to me about Japanese men and bathtubs. I admit, this dating thing is a little awkward, but she thought it would be the best way since Violent Girl already said she doesn't want him. And I kinda like it, too.

I'd like it even more when Ranma finally says yes…

Sigh…

It'll be closing time soon. I guess I won't see Airen walking through the door tonight. Well, there's always bedtime, though. I talked Mercenary Girl into selling me two pictures of Airen for 800 yen. One of him standing there, arms crossed and smiling, so strong and proud, like the brave warrior he is; the other, a picture of me hugging him tightly a month after great-grandmother and me moved to Nerima. They're both in little frames, so they don't get wrinkled. Every night, I kiss the first picture and put it on my dresser; the second one, I'd stare at it for a long time, then I softly whisper, "Wo ai ni" before I slip it under my pillow.

Knowing that part of him is near me, only then can I have sweet dreams of my only true love…

Ranma…

 


Author's notes: This one took a lot longer than I thought it would. Partly because I still have so much due… well, at least it'll be over next week, till the next semester, that is…

This story is made possible due to the long thread of "Why Do People Hate Shampoo?" on RAAF Taking some of the best materials I found there and fortified my earlier thoughts about her, I came up with this. A Shampoo who does have some nice qualities about her, I think, plus her actual admittance of knowing she isn't the best of people there is. This is how I think she would have been portrayed, if only Ranma ½ wasn't closely focused on getting Ranma and Akane together. If it gave equal time/depth on the other fiancées, maybe this is how they would have turn out…

Again, I thank everyone who voted Kasumi ½ for third place for the Annual and Monthly Best of Ranma Fanfic of the October period. It was quite an honor and a surprise that it happened. Like I said in Nareau Tofu Ono, I hope I can only maintain that level of quality for you, the readers.

Till later. Happy reading!

 
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