From A Different Viewpoint Chapter 23

All Ranma characters are property of Rumiko Takahashi, first published by Shogakugan in Japan and brought over to North America by Viz Communications. Sailor Moon was created by Naoko Taeuchi.

                           A Different Viewpoint Pt 23

    Johnathon blinked in surprise.  "Artemis?"

    The white moon cat shrugged.  "The cat's out of the bag, so to speak, Johnathon."

    The half-cat teacher nodded.  "I see."  Kasumi looked up and meowed at him.  Johnathon looked back down at her.  "Yes, I knew, Kasumi.  I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier.

    Artemis broke in.  "Please don't be mad, Kasumi.  He couldn't tell you without breaking his word."  Kasumi shook her head and meowed a soft negative.

    Johnathon smiled.  "That's my Kasumi-chan."

    Artemis looked at Johnathon.  "Go ahead and tell her, Johnathon, it'll come better from you."

    Johnathon Dwire nodded, and sat down in front of his small, feline, wife.  "Both Artemis and Luna are Moon cats.  They are also the Sailor Senshi's mentors.  I met the Senshi months ago.  They had been fighting a demon.  I tried to help, and got knocked through a stream of water from a fire hydrant."  He shrugged.  "They discovered my secret, and I discovered theirs.  In the process I met Artemis and Luna.  After we all returned from China, and you were cursed, I came up with an idea.  I determined again to try to cure Ranma's cat-phobia.  I contacted the Senshi, and asked Artemis and Luna for their help.  They agreed to help, and the rest you know."

    Kasumi looked at Artemis and meowed questioningly.  Artemis blinked.  "You want to know why we agreed to help?"  Artemis coughed softly.  "Well, I could just say It was the right thing to do, but... Actually I kinda wanted to spend some time with Luna..."  He looked embarrassed.  "Not that I've managed to get anywhere."

    Johnathon chuckled at that.  "Actually the reason I asked them was the same reason I tried it myself months ago.  They are intelligent and could avoid setting Ranma's cat-phobia off, while still letting Ranma get acclimatized.  Since he thinks they are normal cats his subconscious can't create a loophole.  He has to face his fear head on.  In fact, that's very important.  If Ranma finds out that Artemis and Luna are not normal cats, it could undermine his training.  Therefore we have to keep this secret."  Kasumi nodded in understanding.

    Johnathon stood in a smooth motion.  "We'll talk more later.  For now, we have to deal with Happosai."  They went out then to rejoin Ranma, Akane, and the Senshi.  Everyone was sitting in a loose circle around Happosai, looking stumped.

    Johnathon looked curious.  "Any ideas?"  There was a general shaking of heads at that.

    Mercury shrugged.  "We could send him to the south pole, but he would get back eventually."

    Johnathon looked at her questioningly.  "You could?"

    Mercury nodded.  "We could teleport him there, but..."

    Johnathon stopped her.  "You can teleport?"

    Mercury nodded again.  "It's difficult, but we can do it."

    Johnathon blinked.  "Then how about sending him to a deserted island somewhere?"

    Mercury shook her head.  "We've never been to a deserted island before.  We wouldn't know where to go."

    Johnathon sighed.  "That's no good.  We can't just let him go, but we can't hold him here forever."

    "Indeed, you can not."  An old but familiar voice said with authority.  Everyone turned to see Cologne standing in the doors to the back yard, holding her staff.  Shampoo stood behind her.  Ranma, Johnathon and Akane began to get into defensive stances.  Cologne shook her head.  "There is no need for that, children.  I am not here to fight."  They relaxed a little.  Cologne looked down at the bound and unconscious Happosai.  "Shampoo has informed me of what, Happosai has done.  My own memories from the Cat Cafe confirm it.  He must be punished for this."  She looked around at the group.  "For this purpose only I propose a truce."

    The Senshi glanced around, looking uncertain.  Ranma, Akane and Johnathon all looked at Kasumi.  Kasumi looked around at them, and nodded.

    Johnathon spoke for them.  "Very well Cologne.  What do you have in mind?"

    Cologne brought out her pipe and began to smoke it.  The embers in the base glowing redly as she drew oxygen over them with a long pull.  She hopped over to Happosai and tapped the glowing ember against his back.  "That moxibotion point will make him as weak as a baby."  Cologne looked around at the group again for a response.

    Ranma nodded.  "It's fitting, losing his strength takes away his threat and punishes him at the same time."

    Cologne nodded.  "I know the cure, but he'll never get it away from me.  I highly doubt he'll find any other cure."

    Johnathon looked down at the Amazon matriarch.  "I agree, the punishment is fitting."  His eyes narrowed.  "Cologne, Kasumi is now a cat, and she will remain one until she gets the Phoenix pill.  Can you not relent?"

    Cologne turned away.  "I'm sorry, but I will not."  She shook her head.  "This is Shampoo's life I am trying to save.  I have no choice."

    Johnathon's lip curled back in a snarl, but before he could say a word he felt a tug on his pant leg.  He looked down.  Kasumi was looking up at him.  His wife, now stuck as a cat, shook her head and meowed quietly.

    Johnathon sighed and looked up at Cologne.  "Go ahead and go, Cologne.  We won't attack you, but you are not welcome."  He looked at Shampoo.  "You are welcome, Shampoo.  Stay if you wish."

    Cologne looked at her heir and nodded curtly.  "I will await you at home, girl."  She pogoed off and they all watched her go.

    Johnathon looked at Venus.  "You can let him go now.  He's no longer a threat."

    Venus blew out a relived breath and the energy chain vanished.  "That was starting to get tiring."

    Sailor Moon stood.  "Well, it looks like our work here is done!"  The other Senshi took their cue and stood as well.

    Akane smiled at them.  "Thank you so much for your help!"

    Mercury smiled back.  "Not at all.  We were glad to help."

    Jupiter laughed.  "It was quite a fight!  But I wouldn't have missed it!"

    Mars glowered.  "I could have missed it."  She shrugged and grinned at Akane, Ranma and Johnathon.  "Seriously, if you need our help again, we'll come."

    Ranma stepped forward.  "Well, the same goes for me.  If you need help, I'll come running."

    Akane nodded.  "We owe you a lot.  I want to pay some of it back."

    Johnathon bowed to the Senshi.  "You know you can always call upon me."

    The Sailor Senshi looked at each other and nodded.  Sailor Moon spoke for them.  "We'll take you up on that.  Until that time, farewell."  She paused and looked at Kasumi.  "If I ever find a way to cure you, I will be back.  I promise."  Kasumi nodded.  The other Senshi nodded as well.

    "We will return."  Venus promised, and they all turned to go.  With a bound the five Senshi leaped over the outer wall.

    "Diana" stood.  "I'll be going as well."  She looked at Artemis.  "I'll bring Luna back tonight if you wish?"

    Ranma looked at her.  "She's your cat right?"  "Diana" nodded.  Ranma smiled.  "I would appreciate that.  I'm almost over the cat fear.  A few more days should do it."

    "Diana" nodded again.  "Very well, if you think so.  I'll go get her."  She looked at Johnathon.  "Johnathon-san, could you walk me to the train?"

    The half-cat nodded.  "Just let me get some hot water first.  I don't want to walk around town like this."  Johnathon quickly went into the bath and dunked his head in the furo.  He felt the change and stood, then grabbed a towel as he went back out.  Toweling his head he went over to "Diana".  "I'm ready."

    She nodded.  "OK, let's go."  The two of them walked toward the train station together.

    Johnathon looked over at Luna.  "You've almost completely gotten acting human down.  Still, we'll have to be careful not to let Ranma find out who you are, Luna."

    She nodded somberly.  "Well, as long as he doesn't get a good look at my face if I get changed, I don't think he'll notice."

    Johnathon nodded agreeably.  'That should do.  If you aren't wearing the pony tail and keep him from seeing your face, he won't figure it out."  Johnathon chuckled.  "Besides, if you get accidentally changed as a cat, you'll be naked.  Ranma will be too busy trying not to get hit by Akane to get a good look."  As they passed a deserted lot on the way to the train station they spotted the now normal looking girls that were the Sailor Senshi.

    Minako waved them over.  "Luna!  How is Artemis doing?"  She asked quickly.

    Luna cleared her throat.  "Well, besides turning into a girl, I'd say he's fine.  I'm going to go back with Johnathon and stay awhile.  That way Ranma can finish getting rid of his cat-phobia."

    Usagi moaned.  "Oh Luna, how much longer?  I miss you!"

    Luna smiled at her charge, shaking her head.  "Oh you meatball head, It'll only be for a couple more days."  Luna started fumbling with her clothing.  "There's no one around.  Ami, Rei, could you summon up some hot water so I can change back?"  Luna was getting tangled up in her tee shirt.  "Um, Usagi, give me a hand with this?  I still haven't quite gotten the knack."

    Makoto chuckled.  "I'll help you Luna."  Johnathon coughed and turned his back, while Usagi and Makoto quickly stripped Luna.

    Luna shivered, crossing her arms over her chest.  "It's getting chilly.  Change me back."

    Rei and Ami transformed, and were pleased to discover their costumes were intact.  They carefully combined their powers for a geyser of hot water and soaked Luna.  The moon cat shrunk instantly and they shut it off.

    Luna shook out her fur and stretched.  "Oh, it is good to be me again.  Being human is awkward at times."

    Johnathon turned to look at her.  "Well, I have to admit, cats are more graceful."

    Makoto walked up to Johnathon and handed him a pile of tee-shirts.  "Here, thank Akane for us OK?"

    Johnathon nodded.  "I will.  You girls had better get going.  It's getting dark."  He looked down at Luna again.  "Want a ride?"

    Luna shook her head.  "I think I'll walk.  I was human for a long time."

    Johnathon nodded.  "I understand."

    Ami and Rei changed back to normal and the girls headed off for the train station.  Johnathon and Luna watched them go, then headed back for the Tendo Dojo.

    Johnathon looked down at Luna, remembering an important detail.  "I think I should warn you.  Kasumi apparently caught Artemis talking.  So she now knows about you two."

    Luna groaned.  "That imbecile.  I've got to keep my eye on him."  She shrugged.  "I'll talk with her when we get back.  Perhaps I can help her become adjusted to being a cat."

    Johnathon smiled sadly.  "Thanks, I'm sure she'll appreciate it."

    Luna looked hesitantly up at him.  "Johnathon, what about you?  You just got married.  Are you going to be alright?"

    Johnathon nodded, his eyes sad but fierce.  "I knew what I was doing when I married Kasumi.  That's one thing at least, that I don't regret."

    Luna gave him an understanding look.  They both were silent the rest of the way back to the Dojo.  Johnathon let them in and they headed to the living room.

    While Johnathon had been gone, Ranma, Akane and Shampoo had been quietly talking about the past year.  They were subdued and shied away from bringing up anything related to their current problems.  When Johnathon returned they all looked over at him, relived for any distraction.

    Shampoo spoke.  "Johnathon ask, Shampoo to bring book of Amazon law, right?"

    Johnathon blinked.  < Oh yeah.  Better be careful.>  "Oh, yes, Shampoo.  I did want you to bring it.  I thought you could let Ranma take another look at it, just so he understands the law fully."

    Ranma shrugged.  "I've seen it.  There's not much there, in the Japanese translation.  Just, kill the girls, marry the boys."

    Johnathon sighed.  "Ah, oh well, I quess I asked you for nothing, Shampoo."  < Or so I want you to think.>  He shrugged.  "I quess I didn't really understand."  The three teenagers looked at him strangely.  Johnathon coughed.  < I hope this works.>  "Um, Shampoo, I was wondering if you could help Kasumi adjust to being a cat.  Show her the ropes, you know?"

    Shampoo smiled.  "Shampoo happy to help!"

    Johnathon grinned.  < OK, now for the plan.>  "I was hoping you would say that.  I'll be right back."  Johnathon went out to the pond and grabbed a bucket.

    Shampoo's eyes went wide.  "What Johnathon doing?"

    Johnathon filled the bucket and tossed the contents at her.  "No time like the present!"  Shampoo crawled out of her clothing and meowed angrily at him.  Johnathon shrugged.  "Sorry Shampoo.  Why don't you take Kasumi, Artemis and Luna out to the Dojo.  Ranma, you should go too.  Get used to being around a lot of cats.  I'll fix dinner for everyone.  That way we can eat when you've finished practicing."  He looked seriously at Shampoo.  "Please Shampoo, take care of Kasumi.  I want her to be able to take care of herself as a cat.  I need your help."  Shampoo turned her head to the side, looking at him intently.  Then she nodded solemnly.

    Ranma collected Luna and Artemis.  "Sure, four cats at once will increase my tolerance.  Let's go."

    Akane started to follow, and Johnathon put his hand on her shoulder.  "Akane, could you help me get ready for dinner?"

    Akane turned back towards him with a grin.  "Sure Johnathon!"

    He smiled.  "OK, great.  Why don't we start by..."  He paused to listen.  Ranma and the four cats had gotten out of earshot.  Johnathon whispered to Akane.  "Watch the Dojo and tell me if they start coming out."

    Akane looked puzzled.  "John-san, what are you going to do?"

    He shook his head.  "Don't ask, it's best if you don't know."  Akane started to protest, but Johnathon interrupted her.  "Trust me please, for Kasumi's sake?"  Akane hesitated, then after several seconds, nodded.  Johnathon pointed.  "Now please, watch the Dojo."  Akane nodded again, and went to do so.  Johnathon ran up to Kasumi's room, now his and Kasumi's room, and went into his pack.  He rifled through it quickly and brought out a small camera.

    Johnathon hurried downstairs, and put his camera on the table.  Then he began carefully searching Shampoo's clothing.  In an inside pocket he found the Amazon law book.  He opened it to the first page and picked up his camera.  Checking the light, he nodded to himself, satisfied.  Johnathon snapped a picture of the first two pages then turned the page.  Twenty two pages and photos later he finished.  Carefully, Johnathon placed Shampoo's book back where he found it and put her clothing back the way it had been laying.  He ran upstairs, hid the camera, ran downstairs and went to Akane.

    Johnathon lightly tapped Akane on the shoulder.  "Never mind, Akane, come help me in the kitchen please."

    Akane looked at him questioningly.  "Did you...?"

    Johnathon ignored the question.  "Why don't you show me around the kitchen, and we'll decide what to make."

    In the Dojo, Shampoo had taken charge.  She had gotten Kasumi's attention and pointed at herself.  Then Shampoo promptly pounced on Artemis.  Artemis was surprised to be bowled over.  Shampoo let him up and and pounced at Luna, who dodged.  Shampoo chased Luna around until she caught her in the corner and pounced on her.  Shampoo let Luna up and Luna pounced back.  Shampoo ran away from Luna and right over to Kasumi.  Kasumi's eyes went wide as Shampoo pounced on her, followed by Luna, who bowled both of them over.  Kasumi squirmed out from under the other two cats and Shampoo tossed Luna off a second later.  Shampoo started stalking Luna, purring playfully.  Luna's eyes widened, and she ran, Shampoo hot on her heels once more.

    Kasumi and Artemis watched Shampoo chase Luna all around the Dojo with interest.

    Ranma watched all four cats looking puzzled.  "Hey, Shampoo, what are you doing?"  Kasumi meowed at Ranma suddenly, and nodded.  "Kasumi?"  Ranma blinked.  "Do you know what Shampoo's up too?"

    Kasumi nodded again, then turned toward Artemis.  Kasumi purred playfully in imitation of Shampoo and promptly pounced on the white cat.  Artemis was surprised to be again knocked over.  This time he reacted better, rolling out from under Kasumi and pouncing her back.  Kasumi fled and the chase was on.  Soon all four cats were racing around playing a complicated game of tag.  Ranma watched in amusement until they started using him for a hiding spot, tree, and springboard.  Ranma grimaced but controlled his reactions.  The game went on, over, and around him for the next ten minutes.  Kasumi finally collapsed at his feet, meowing piteously at him in between gasping breaths.

    Ranma picked her up gently.  "All tired out, huh?"

    Kasumi nodded, shuddering gently in his arms, then sighed.  < It's been a long time since I did anything so... active.  I haven't been able to just, play, since mother died.  It was... fun!>  Kasumi smiled to herself.  < I'm glad Shampoo came here tonight and showed me about being a cat.  It's quite tiring though.>  Kasumi sighed again.  < Johnathon wants me to learn to take care of myself as a cat.  I must do as he asks.  I don't want Johnathon to be worried about me all the time.>  She shrugged.  < Still, it is nice to not have to be a responsible adult for awhile.>

    Shampoo, Artemis and Luna played tag for a few more minutes than stopped.  Shampoo looked up at Kasumi and meowed.  Kasumi nodded and jumped down out of Ranma's arms.  Shampoo walked up to Kasumi and nodded back, then looked up at Ranma.

    Ranma smiled at Shampoo.  "That looked like fun, Shampoo, but I think Kasumi's a bit tired."

    Kasumi shook her head in a negative.  Shampoo looked like she was thinking.  Then she motioned with her head for Kasumi to follow her.  Shampoo led Ranma and the three other cats out of the Dojo.  Artemis and Luna exchanged puzzled glances, wondering what the Chinese Amazon, turned cat was up to now.  Shampoo lead Kasumi into the back yard and began demonstrating how to climb trees.  After around twenty minutes of that, Johnathon opened the rear shogi doors.

    "Dinners ready!"  Johnathon grinned at his wife, who was sitting fifteen feet up a tree.  Ranma jumped up and helped Kasumi down, and he and all four cats came inside.  Shampoo went over to her clothing and looked at Johnathon.  He nodded and picked up Shampoo's clothing.  "I made sure the furo was warm, Shampoo, follow me."  Johnathon took Shampoo to the bath and laid her clothing down inside the inner door.  Shampoo went into the bathroom and Johnathon closed the door behind her.  "I'll save you a plate, Shampoo!"  He called, then went back to the kitchen.

    Johnathon collected the dinner he had prepared and shook his head.  < I'm going to have to teach Akane something about cooking.  I can't believe she kept giving me the wrong ingredients.  It's lucky I kept checking them.>  He brought the food out to the living room.  Four plates for him, Ranma, Akane and Shampoo.  Then he brought out three bowls for Luna, Artemis and Kasumi.  Laying the bowls down he looked uncomfortably at the woman he had married.  Kasumi caught his look and shook her head softly.  She looked at the bowls on the floor and nodded.  Kasumi went over to Johnathon and put her paw on his leg and meowed softly in a reassuring tone, then nodded again.

    Johnathon knelt and softly stoked her head.  "I made you chicken Kasumi.  I always liked it when I was a cat."  Kasumi nodded and purred, rubbing her head against his hand.  Johnathon suddenly had to fight the urge to cry.  "I'll get the drinks, Kasumi.  Would you like some milk?"  Kasumi nodded and Johnathon turned away, hiding his tears.  Quickly he went back into the kitchen and got three bowls of milk.  Johnathon composed himself and went out once more.  Laying the bowls down he sat at the table.  "It's pretty simple tonight, but I hope you like it."  Shampoo came in and sat down.  Her hair was damp, but otherwise she looked just as she had half an hour ago.

    Ranma looked over the food.  < Akane helped with this?  Looks alright.>  He steeled himself and announced.  "Let's eat!"  He tried a bite.  "Not bad!"  Ranma rapidly began demolishing his food.

    As they ate Akane noticed first.  "Happosai!  He's gone!"  Everyone turned to look.  Indeed the diminutive master had vanished in the middle of the noise and commotion of dinner.

    Ranma frowned.  "Well, at least he's not much of a threat now."

    Akane sighed.  "I hope this is the end of it.  Somehow I wouldn't bet on it though."

    Dinner finished up with a somber mood.  Shampoo rose.  "Shampoo must go home.  Great grandmother wait up for her."

    Johnathon smiled at her gratefully.  "Thanks for helping, Kasumi, Shampoo.  I really appreciate it."

    Shampoo shook her head.  "Is nothing, Shampoo glad to help, Kasumi is good person."  She nodded to Kasumi, then bounded off quickly.  Kasumi watched her go with fondness.  Akane looked after Shampoo with regret and confusion.  Johnathon looked at his wife and sighed very quietly.  Ranma tried not to get hit by Akane, and didn't look at anyone for a few moments.

    Everyone started cleaning up.  There was a lot of yawning and stretching going on as everyone realized how tired they all were.  It was only a few minutes before everyone decided it was time for bed.  It had been a long tiring day.  Ranma took Luna and Artemis to his room, and Akane went alone to her own.

    Finally Johnathon looked at Kasumi.  "Shall we go to bed?"  Kasumi just looked quizzically at him. Johnathon smiled softly at her.  "Come, my wife, will you join me?"  Kasumi nodded, and they headed up the stairs to her room.  Johnathon opened the door for her and closed it behind them.  They both went to the bed and sat down.  Johnathon looked at his wife of one day.  < A cat, perhaps forever, does it matter?>  "No."  He said out loud."  Kasumi looked up at him, startled.  "No, it doesn't matter."  He repeated softly, looking at her with genuine fondness.  "Kasumi, your form does not matter to me.  You are my wife, and I love you, no matter what."  Kasumi moved to her husband's side and rubbed her head against him.

    "I'm glad you feel the same way."  Johnathon said lightly.  He shrugged.  "I am tired, so I'm going to go to sleep.  Why don't you find where you'll be most comfortable."  Johnathon quickly undressed to his boxers and slipped under the covers.  Kasumi watched him shyly and moved up to the head of the bed.  She curled up on the pillow, facing her love.  Johnathon turned on his side so he was looking back at her.  They shared a look of longing, both remembering the night before.  Johnathon reached out to stroke her head and shoulders.  "I'll never forget, Kasumi, that night."  She sighed into his hand but looked troubled.  "This is not forever, Kasumi."  He continued.  "We will be together again, as we were last night, someday.  Until then, just your presence is enough."

    Johnathon started to close his eyes.  Kasumi purred and closed her eyes as well.  "Goodnight, my love."  He whispered.  Kasumi fell asleep gradually, comforted by the presence of his hand against her.  Johnathon stayed awake.  < I just wish we could have had more time.>  He felt a wave of sadness washing over him.  < Am I so petty?  Are my feelings for her so superficial that I need her to be human?>  Johnathon couldn't sleep with the question.  He gazed at his wife, now a small black cat, sleeping peacefully on his pillow.  < Our pillow.  I do love her, as she is.  Kasumi shines through, no matter her form.  I love her spirit, her very nature is something I love about her very much.>

    Johnathon sighed.  < I love her beautiful body as well.  I can be at least that honest with myself.  Last night was the most wonderful experience of my life.  I can't lie to myself, I want Kasumi to be human.  My whole being yearns for her.>  Johnathon slowly smiled.  < OK, fine, I admit it.  I love that gorgeous body of hers, I'll miss it but...>  He smiled wider.  < But it was not why I married her.  It's true, I have always loved Kasumi for more then just her beauty.  That hasn't changed, and it never will.>  Johnathon yawned.  < You really are a fool.>  Part of him said, from deep inside.  < Yup.>  He replied to that part of himself.  < I am a fool.  A fool, head over heels in love.>  A minute later Johnathon Dwire was asleep, his inner doubts resolved, at least for awhile.

                        End pt 23

 

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