Lost Library Email Form Lost Library Mailing List
Lost Library Home Page
 

Shampoo

A Ranma ½ story
by Dragon Claw

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


Kick, lunge, punch.

Martial Arts, a dance of the mind, body and soul.

Kick, jump, punch, slice.

A dance that I am very good at.

Punch, dodge, kick, jump, kick.

I am the best in my generation of the tribe.

Punch, kick, kick, kick, punch, jump.

I am Amazon.

Sweep, punch, block, block, jump, tackle, roll.

To us the fight is our life. To us the fight is everything.

Jump, kick, kick, punch, punch, palm thrust, slice, block.

The warrior's blood should be strong yet flexible. Ready to fight for five minutes or three days. With weapons, or without. The fight is all, the fight is truth. The fight is pure.

Punch, punch, punch, punch, kick, sweep, slice, uppercut, jump.

After my day, I need that purity. Yet it is hiding. Why?

Breathe.

I am the pride of my generation, a true warrior. I have fought since I was two years old.

And have been alone since I was four years old.

Breathe.

I started my training with the other children. Playing games that increased my strength, hand-eye coordination, endurance.

Punch.

I played with the other little girls and boys of the tribe. We were a band of fun seekers. Skipping work when we could. Picking flowers. What little kids do.

Punch, kick.

Then, Great Grandmother, matriarch of our clan, took me under her wing. And started my training.

Kick, jump, punch.

She showed me how to stand. How to Punch, Kick, Block, Tackle, and Jump.

Punch, kick, block, tackle.

I learned fast. I learned well. My fellow children were also learning how to fight from their families. They got good. I was better.

Jump, punch, punch, kick, palm strike.

My friend Mousse was nearly blind, though, so he learned an obscure form of Martial Arts from his uncle, The Hidden Weapon Technique.

Throat strike, kick, elbow jab, roll, kick, punch.

Then, it changed.

Kick, jump, punch, punch, kick, kick, punch.

It started with Mousse. He had always been kind. Then he said he loved me and tried to hug me.

Punch, punch, kick, kick, kick, block, sweep, kick.

I got angry and attacked like a good Amazon girl. I kicked him.

Breathe. Stop.

I had kicked him. I had fought a friend without a second thought. I faced an unequal opponent and had utterly defeated him.

Start.

It felt good.

Punch.

Soon, my old "friends" began to challenge me. I beat them all.

Punch, kick.

It felt good.

Punch, kick, jump.

I soon entered the competitions held every year. And every year I won.

Punch, sweep, slice, block.

It felt good.

Kick, jump, punch, kick, KICK.

Great Grandmother continued as my teacher. I became stronger, faster, better every day. And every day I was alone.

PUNCH, punch, kick, sweep, slice, block.

Mousse would always follow me, trying to ask for my hand in marriage. But he wasn't a friend. He was an obstacle. I would always fight girls now. I had rivals, not friends.

PUNCH, PUNCH, KICK, KICK, KICK, SWEEP, KICK!

I didn't need friends. I had my Honor. Then SHE came.

Breathe. Breathe.

The pig-tailed girl.

I had just become the winner of the official fighting tournament when I noticed that my prize, a feast meant to be shared with my family at the bonfire that night, being eaten by a panda and a girl. I responded to the slight with an attack, and was challenged for the right to own the food. And I was beaten. Easily.

So I gave the outsider the kiss of death, like a true Amazon. And I hunted her like a good Amazon. And I found her in Japan. And attacked her like a good Amazon. And I was beaten by a strong man, like a good Amazon should.

One problem.

Man and girl were the same. Man was cursed by magic spring. Man had to die or marry Shampoo. It's the law of the Amazons.

I returned in failure.

I had failed. I expected death, but Great Grandmother saved me. She made the Amazon Council give the right of punishment to her. So I was cursed. The Idea was to give me something in common with Ranma, my Airen. My Husband.

It turned into my greatest obstacle. He feared me. I caused animal terror.

PUNCH

All because his father…

KICK

…taught him the Cat-Fist.

JUMP

I asked Great Grandmother about it once. Her description caused me to take my sword and sharpen it for that fat idiot's guts. I was persuaded to back off, however.

SLICE

Killing your in-laws is bad manners.

PUNCH

Having him killed, on the other hand…

KICK

I returned, and fought for his hand, trying to kill the competition like any normal Amazon.

PUNCH

One problem.

KICK

I found friends.

Breathe. Breathe.

Ranma, Ryoga, Akane, Ukyo.

Breathe.

Martial Artists. Warriors that were within my skill range.

Kick.

Equals. We fought each other on equal footing. We each grew stronger. I learned. They learned.

Punch…

It was great fun. I was known as the 'bimbo'. I had no right to Ranma as far as the others were concerned. It was just the law of some silly village in China. But…

Stop

I grew to like them. And they liked me. I gained the slight friendship of Ryoga. Akane would show me compassion every now and then, a sign of her hidden gentleness. Ukyo even had her moments. I believed they actually grew to like me. I was part of something. I had friends again. It felt good.

We fought, but we had a bond. It was something I had lost. I liked its return.

Then the wedding.

PUNCH

Ranma had chosen a bride— or had a bride chosen for him. It wasn't me. It hurt me badly.

KICK

So I stopped the wedding. Like any good Amazon would have.

Punch. Stop.

It felt bad.

Breathe.

I needed the mindless joy of the fight. I needed the ease of that dance. Yet it wouldn't come. Why?

I had done everything I should have! I have done nothing wrong!

Have I?

Breathe.

Maybe… being a good Amazon has its limits.

Breathe.

Maybe… being a good friend is, at times, more important.

"Shampoo."

The name, MY name, is spoken. It is a soft voice, with a core of iron and steel. A voice I know. A voice I have hated. A voice I now wonder if I like.

"Stup… Akane."

I must remain focused. The battle spirit will not fill me. I have attempted three forms since I returned home. They have all failed. I turn to look at my greatest rival. And sometimes friend. I wonder if the word friend can be used with her anymore. I suddenly hope so. "So we fight?"

It's her standard way of dealing with a problem. Ranma, myself, Mousse, and that pervert "Happi". We had all flown great distances with her help. I think that Ranma even made friends with some of the local birds.

"No, we are going to talk."

Gulp. Akane's tone is NOT a nice one. She also has the advantage with the language. I hate losing a battle before it has even begun.

"You acted without honor and were underhanded. You violated what trust you have been given by me and my clan. And Ranma. You betrayed your honor, and our friendship."

I want to deny. I want to blame Great Grandmother. I want to say it's an Amazon thing. That she wouldn't understand. Yet I cannot. Is it the truth? If it is, then what can I say but…

"I sorry."

I apologized. I have never, in my memory, apologized. Yet it feels good.

Why?

It is not honorable to apologize to a rival. Real Amazons never need to apologize. I am supposed to be the best. I am supposed to be in the right. Yet, it not only felt good. It felt right. Then why was I crying?

Arms. Holding me. In a sisterly hug.

"You know what? I think that I believe you."

I look up. I see pity. I hate pity. I see compassion. It seems like the right thing to see.

I also see Great-Grandmother sneaking up behind her, ready with a pressure point needle and a wicked gleam in her eye. Metal was only used in my village with fatality pressure points. She was going to kill Akane.

She lunged. I yelled, "You no kill."

She missed.

Akane and I had jumped with all our might, yet had just barely avoided the strike. A strike aimed at my friend's neck. My friend, not my rival. Another battle lost, yet a battle won as well.

"What do you think you are doing, Granddaughter?" Uh oh, Great-Grandmother only spoke like that when REALLY pissed off. Gulp again.

Instead of answering, I took a knife from a scabbard in my back. She smiled, probably thinking that I was going to finish off Akane myself. Another disappointment to give you, Great-Grandmother.

I cut my palm and chant in my best possible Japanese.

"My blood, my life, is Amazon.
My blood is my bond and seal.
By my blood, I swear this deed:
Another shall share my creed.
By right of family and debt to be paid,
Akane Tendo is now my sister, and an Amazon made."

Both were staring at me in shock, although Great-Grandmother's gaze was also tempered with a growing rage.

I only had one chance to finish this. My actions would prevent me from truly marrying Ranma. As a single tear fell from my face. I saw the realization in Great-Grandmothers eyes. She now knew my plan. I had one shot at this. Good-bye, my Ranma.

A new oath, much more risky than the sisterhood pact.

"Sisters-in-arms shall protect those who need it.
The family, the innocent, the friend.
To prevent a division of hatred,
that contains the root of a man,
so, as a sister, I tell you:
My marriage claim shall hold untrue.
My man is now yours; shared, as sisters should do,
thus, sister is saved and pain is lost.
By my blood I swear!"

I had done it. I could have friends again. As soon as they joined me in the next life, of course. Because the aura around Great Grandmother indicated a quick, painful, and immediate death.

"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!!!!"

 


Author's notes: Okay, I feel that this is a little weaker than my first part, but I do sense something about Shampoo that indicates great yearning for friendship. After all, if you are the best in a society of warriors, then you're more likely to have "allies" than "friends", ne?

Comments are always welcome, at Candelman4@aol.com

I have only just begun to figh… er… write!

 
Layout, design, & site revisions 2005

Webmaster: Larry F
Last revision: May 21, 2007

Old Gray Wolf