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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 28
Johnathon arrived home at the Tendo Dojo quite late. When he entered the house he found Ranma and Akane watching the late news.
Akane called to him. "Johnathon come quick! It's about you!"
The announcer was talking about that night's monster attack. ".... the appearance of a cat like creature the Sailor Senshi were seen with..." Johnathon came over to see the TV. The image went from the newsroom to the sight of his battle with the Youma. A little old lady was being interviewed. "It was a cat-demon I tell you! Vicious looking! All black, with horrible claws dripping blood!"
The reporter asked. "And the Senshi didn't destroy it?"
The old woman shook her head. "No indeed! They let it get away! Who knows what that creature will do on the streets?"
The image shifted and turned to a man in his twenties. The reported asked. "Did the creature attack anyone?"
The man nodded. "You bet! You should have seen the blood on its claws! The look in its eyes was horrible! If we hadn't driven it off, it would have killed us too you can be sure!"
"And the Sailor Senshi? What did they do?" Asked the reporter.
The man shouted angrily at the camera. "They were helping it! I think it's mind control or something! You should have seen the evil glow in its eyes!"
The reporter turned to the camera. "There you have it, from the scene. What is this new monster? Does it have some sort of sinister control over the Sailor Senshi? We'll be looking for the answers. Remember, you saw it here first!"
The news went to other topics and Ranma turned off
the TV. "Man, what a load of bull!" The
pigtailed martial artist shook his head in exasperation.
Akane turned to Johnathon. "Don't worry Johnathon.
I'm sure they were just crackpots..." She
stared at his hands, her eyes going a bit wide.
Ranma frowned at her strange behavior. "Akane, what is...?" He was looking at Johnathon's hands as well. Johnathon looked down at his hands and swore mentally. Ranma coughed. "Um, Johnathon, your nails are black."
Akane gulped. "John-san, what happened tonight?" Johnathon kept staring at his hands.
Kasumi had been next to Akane, she walked over to Johnathon and looked up at him. < I know you're troubled, Johnathon.> She put her paw on his leg. < You have to know that I believe in you! Johnathon, believe in yourself!> Johnathon looked down at his beloved's tiny face. In her eyes were love and trust. She couldn't speak, but somehow the message got through.
Johnathon smiled. "Thanks, Kasumi-chan." He whispered. Johnathon looked up at Ranma and Akane. They were looking back at him gently. Not with distaste or doubt, but with patience and trust.
Akane looked into his eyes. "Can you talk about it?"
Johnathon nodded. "Yeah, that's fine, I think I'll wash my hands first." He headed for the kitchen. Ranma, Akane and Kasumi followed.
Johnathon started running some water. "As I told Akane, I was with Sailor Mercury. After I dropped off the cats I went looking for the Senshi. Obviously I found them. We patrolled the streets for awhile in pairs. Then we heard that Mars and Jupiter had found a Youma at that mall. We transformed, Mercury hit me with some cold water you see. Then we headed for the mall. When we arrived I saw it. Big dinosaur like creature, fast too. Kinda like the velociraptors out of Jurassic park but bigger. The thing dodged the Senshi's attacks, and went for Jupiter. I ran up behind it and jumped on its back. I grabbed it by the neck and knocked it over. As I leapt away..."
Johnathon paused a bit, scrubbing at his finger nails under the hot water. "As I got clear I... ripped out its throat. It got to its feet anyway, but it was wounded and too slow. The Senshi blasted it and it disintegrated. They always seem to end up disintegrating." He scrubbed harder at his nails. "They don't usually bleed though." Johnathon paused, examining his nails closely. "Damn it. The blood got under my nails somehow. Must have been when I was transformed." He turned the faucet over to cold and splashed his face. He transformed, then looked at the two teens and his wife. "There were a bunch of people nearby. They came over and spotted me. The Senshi tried to tell them I was friendly, but the crowd didn't buy it... Especially after seeing the blood on my claws."
Johnathon held up his hands and popped his claws. "As I thought." The back of each claw was relatively clean. The front of each claw was still covered with dried blood. He sighed, Ranma and Akane looked at his claws with a mix of fascination and horror.
Akane stepped up to Johnathon. "Let me see." She held out her hand expectantly. Johnathon blinked then slowly let her take his hand in hers. Akane took his hand and turned it over, looking carefully at the claws. "Hand me a damp cloth." Akane ordered calmly. Johnathon reached back to the sink and did so. Akane took it and started carefully cleaning the claws on his right hand.
Ranma looked at Akane, opened his mouth to say something
then paused. He closed his mouth
and looked down at Kasumi. She noticed and looked back. Kasumi nodded at him solemnly and
pointedly looked at Johnathon.
Ranma's gaze traveled to the tall half-cat's face.
< He's scared? But why?> Ranma watched Akane work carefully
on each claw. She finished with his right hand and wordlessly reached
Johnathon's left hand. Ranma suddenly realized what Akane was doing. < Akane's letting Johnathon know she's not scared of his claws.> Ranma looked back at Johnathon's face. He looked calm now. < Johnathon was scared of what we'd think, and Akane let him know she trusts him.>
Akane carefully cleaned the claws on Johnathon's left hand. < They're pretty sharp.> She thought to herself. < When I first saw his claws... What they could do... They did scare me, but not Kasumi.> Akane smiled. < Kasumi knew then what I know now. Johnathon would never hurt me, or her, or anyone. Not without the gravest of reasons. I know that now, and his claws... aren't frightening anymore.> Akane finished the last claw. "There, done." She smiled. Johnathon smiled back and went to the sink, running the water till it got hot enough to change.
Ranma shook his head incredulously. < Everyone's turning into Kasumi!> He looked down at the small black cat. She looked at her family cheerfully and winked at Ranma. He smiled and winked back. < That's not such a bad thing, is it.>
Johnathon splashed his face with hot water and turned to Ranma and Akane. "The crowd started picking up bricks, so I left. The Senshi tried to protect me, then they followed me. When we got out of sight they summoned up some hot water and changed me back. We talked a bit. Sailor Mars thinks the crowd's fear was enhanced by the Youma. I hope she's right. She probably is actually, they've been doing this for some time."
Ranma cleared his throat. "So what can you tell us about all this? The Senshi, Youma attacking... You said you might bring me the next time. Were you just joking or were you serious?"
Johnathon paused in thought, looking at Ranma. "The Senshi haven't told me everything about themselves either. I do admit I know quite a bit though. I swore not to reveal what I knew about them, eight months ago."
Ranma nodded. "I can understand that. I won't ask you to break your word of honor." Akane and Kasumi nodded to that in agreement.
Johnathon smiled. "Thank you, all of you. I can't say for sure, but I think the Sailor Senshi may want to talk with you soon, Ranma."
Ranma's eyes went wide. "Really? Cool! Fighting monsters, saving people. Man! Now that is a job for me!"
Akane smiled, shaking her head in mock dismay. < He'll never change... and I don't want him to. Except maybe him learning to be a little more polite.>
Johnathon smiled too. "Whoa there, Wild Horse" Johnathon said, using the English translation for Ranma's name. "One thing at a time. They'll let me know what they decide, when they decide anything, OK?"
Ranma nodded. "Sure, no problem."
Johnathon snorted. "Of course not, I can practically hear you chomping on the bit." Akane chortled at that while Ranma just looked puzzled. Johnathon went over and picked up Kasumi. She purred into his chest as he held her. "It's late. We all have school tomorrow, so I'm going to bed." Johnathon carried Kasumi into their room He put her down and started undressing. Kasumi watched unabashedly.
Johnathon chuckled. "Like what you see?" Kasumi nodded. If a cat could giggle she would have been. He sat down on the bed, then slipped under the covers. "Kasumi, want to talk?" Kasumi turned her head sideways a bit, not fully understanding. Johnathon reached over and stroked her head. "You've been a cat for a few days now. You haven't been able to talk that whole time. I wanted to know if there's anything you want to tell me, or have me tell the others." Kasumi meowed and looked confused. "Yes I know you can't talk, but you can answer yes or no questions right? So we can play twenty questions until you've told me what's on your mind." Kasumi looked thoughtful, than nodded happily.
Johnathon smiled at her. "You want to do that, huh?" Kasumi nodded again. Johnathon looked thoughtful. "OK, we'll break this up a bit. First think of what you wish to say, then of who you want to say it to, got it?" Nod. "OK, who do you want to say something too?" Kasumi pointed. "Me? OK, what do you want to talk about, is it..." Kasumi patted her chest with her paw. "About you?" Nod. "About being stuck as a cat?" Kasumi hesitated a moment, then nodded again. "OK, what about being stuck as a cat? Is it something you want?" Kasumi hesitated again, then shook her head. "Do you want me to know how you feel?" Kasumi nodded patiently.
Johnathon scratched his chin. "Hmm, you hate it?" Kasumi shook her head. He blinked. "You love it?" Kasumi looked at him sideways, then shook her head. "I didn't think so. You dislike it?" He offered. Kasumi paused. Then she nodded once, and shook her head once. "Hmm? You do or you don't?" Kasumi nodded then shook her head again. "Sometimes it's OK, but the rest of the time you dislike it?" Kasumi shook her head. "No? You like it sometimes?" Nod. "When do you like it?" Kasumi looked thoughtful. She rolled over unto her back and kicked her feet, meowing playfully. Johnathon watched, fascinated. Kasumi rolled to her feet and faced him. She crouched in a pouncing position, and whipped her tail back and forth making mock growling sounds.
Johnathon grinned at his wife. "You like playing?" Kasumi nodded, then curled up into a ball and pretended to sleep. "And sleeping?" Kasumi nodded, then got up and walked over to his hand and nudged it. He petted her with a smile. "And getting petted." Vigorous nodding. Johnathon kept petting Kasumi lightly. "So... What do you dislike about it?" His voice was soft and hesitant. Kasumi walked up to his face and put a paw against his cheek. "You dislike being a cat... when it makes me sad." Kasumi nodded and pointed to the hallway. "And when it makes the others sad." She nodded again.
Johnathon sighed, then pressed on. "Are there other things about being a cat you don't like?" Kasumi slowly nodded, then tried to think of a way to explain. Johnathon tried guessing. "You don't like the food?"
Kasumi shook her head absently. < No, that's not it. How do I tell him... ah!> Kasumi shook her head several more times, then nodded.
Johnathon nodded in response. "Ah, I see. You like some and don't like some." Kasumi shook her head. "That's not it?" Kasumi nodded, then turned over on her back again. She patted her stomach with her right foreleg, making a sound suspiciously like Mr. Saotome after a big meal. "You do like the food I serve you?" Nod. "But you don't like...?" Kasumi got back to her feet and made a circular motion with her paw. "Stirring? Cooking? You don't like me cooking?" She shook her head and tapped her chest again. "You don't like your cooking? Oh, I get it! You don't like not being able to cook!" Kasumi nodded sadly.
Johnathon sighed. "Oh, Kasumi-chan. You miss taking care of your family, don't you." She nodded, then put her paw to hr nose. "On the nose huh?" He looked thoughtful. "Kasumi, you do help take care of your family. You've helped me a lot in the last couple of days." Kasumi shook her head. "Yes really!" Johnathon looked sad. < Kasumi's feeling useless. What can I do to help her?>
He smiled suddenly as an idea came to him. "Kasumi-chan, Ranma said that he might want to get a kitten. It would help finish his Cat-phobia for good. I bet you could really help a lot taking care of a kitten." Kasumi looked pleased and nodded. She purred and walked up to his face and nuzzled his cheek. "Ok then, we'll start looking for a kitten right away!" Johnathon paused. "Is there anything else you dislike about being a cat?"
Kasumi paused. < What do I tell him? What can I tell him?>
Johnathon sighed. "There is something else, isn't there?" Kasumi slowly nodded. "Tell me please." Slowly Kasumi moved her head closer to his face. She stepped in very slowly and placed her face against his. Johnathon stayed still as he felt her put her lips on his. Her whiskers tickled his nose. Kasumi backed away looking very sad. Johnathon felt like crying. "Yeah... yeah, I miss that too." He reached out and put one finger under her chin, lifting it. He moved his head forward and softly kissed her forehead. Kasumi's eyes were peaceful when he looked at them again. She meowed and held up her paw, then popped out one claw carefully and held it up.
"One more thing?" Johnathon asked, nodding. "OK, what?" Kasumi seemed to draw into herself then she stared into his eyes firmly. She pointed at him. "Me?" Kasumi nodded and pointed to the hall. "The others. You want to tell us all something?" Kasumi nodded again. She sat back on her haunches and put her right paw over her heart. She looked at him fiercely. Johnathon slowly nodded in understanding. "Be strong. You want us to be strong." Kasumi nodded, a serious look in her eye. Johnathon slowly nodded again. "I'll try Kasumi-chan. I'll tell everyone what you want. We'll all be strong together, OK?" Kasumi nodded. She walked forward and nuzzled his cheek again. "I love you too, Kasumi. Goodnight."
Kasumi went to her spot on the pillow and curled up facing Johnathon. They watched each other quietly fall asleep. Neither could have said after who fell asleep first, just that they were together.
At the Saotome house, Nabiki prepared for bed after a long day. She had to talk to each of Ryoga's tutors as they arrived, to make sure they stuck to tutoring, for the present anyway. The rest of the time she had studied for her own up coming finals. As Nabiki got undressed she remembered the night before. Finding her underwear missing hadn't been fun.
Nabiki frowned in thought. < It must have been Happosai, but without any sign? No gloating or women's gym teams running after him?> Nabiki shook her head. < That's not the Happosai I know. So what did happen?> Nabiki poured over the previous day in her mind. < What else happened that day? What was different?> She paused. < Hiroshi, and that tape, that was pretty strange.> Nabiki suddenly remembered something she had dismissed earlier. < The tape, it took too long to rewind... I saw the same segment twice... but not twice in a row.> Nabiki shook her head. < Why did Hiroshi show me that tape? I was on it, and Hiroshi, and then...> Nabiki blinked. < There was nothing, right?>
Nabiki went to her pack and got out the tape. < I'll check it once more.> She looked at the time. < Tomorrow. I'll use the equipment in my room before school. It's strange, I wonder if the VCR at the school wasn't working properly?> Nabiki got to sleep, setting her alarm clock to wake her half an hour earlier that usual.
The next morning, Johnathon woke up and noticed a cat, that happened to also be his wife, curled up against his side. He was careful not to disturb her as he rose to prepare breakfast. Kasumi woke anyway and followed him around as he prepared the house for a monday morning. Ranma and Akane were up just after the married couple. They sparred in the backyard while Johnathon prepared breakfast. Ranma was holding back of course, but he was actually striking at Akane, pushing her defenses a bit. Akane was thrilled, but Ranma was sweating bullets.
< I can stop my attacks before I hit Akane.> Ranma told himself. < So I'm not really hitting her, right?> It sounded good, but it was still hard as heck to do. By the time Johnathon called them in to eat Ranma was a nervous wreck, and very glad to stop. < I've got to get used to this.> They came in to eat and as Johnathon brought the food in, Nabiki entered.
"Hello everyone." Nabiki announced. "How is the honeymoon going, Johnathon?" Nabiki looked around. "Where's Kasumi?" Kasumi walked up to her sisters feet and meowed. Nabiki looked down. "K-kasumi? Oh damn. When did this happen!?!"
Johnathon sighed. "Three days ago, Nabiki. Kasumi didn't want to worry her father."
Nabiki sat down in front of her older sister. "How?"
Johnathon looked grim. "Happosai again. He's been... dealt with."
Nabiki looked angry. "Oh? How?"
Akane broke in. "His strength. That moxiboition point he used on Ranma, was used on him."
Nabiki's anger didn't die. "That's not enough! I'm fed up! Him, and that ghoul, Cologne. They think they can get away with doing anything they want! I'm not going to let them...!" She stopped, Kasumi was shaking her head from side to side and meowing a negative.
Johnathon spoke up. "Nabiki, please, Kasumi's right, don't start any revenge. It won't help. If you want to help, I have some ideas to get Shampoo off the hook with Ranma."
Nabiki looked interested. "Oh? Alright, we'll talk about it after school." She paused. "I won't do anything to, Cologne... yet."
Johnathon ignored that and gestured to the table. "Would you like some breakfast? I can make some more."
Nabiki shook her head. "That's OK, I ate at Auntie Nodoka's house. I have things to do today." Nabiki headed up to her room. A minute later she came running back down. "What happened? My safe is open!"
Johnathon blinked. "That's tight! I almost forgot! It was Happosai again. He stole the spring water from Jusenkyo. Was there anything else missing?"
Nabiki shook her head. "No, I checked. He took the drowned boy and girl waters? That's terrible! Who knows what he could do with it?"
Ranma muttered. "We do. He's already used it all up."
Nabiki looked shocked. "No! What did he do with it?"
Johnathon looked at her. "Apparently you took off the labels."
Nabiki nodded. "Yes, I scratched some markings into the bottoms."
Johnathon nodded back. "Well, Happosai apparently wanted to use the water from the spring of drowned girl on Ranma, but he didn't know which was which. So he ended up testing it on Artemis. There was a scuffle, and the rest got dumped on Luna. Both cats now turn into girls with cold water, but the drowned girl water was used up."
Nabiki looked incredulous. "No!"
Akane sighed. "Yes! Later, Happosai must have used the drowned man water on himself, because he showed up young, and attacked. We beat him and hot water changed him back. So all the water has been used up."
Nabiki shook her head in amazement. "I'm gone a few days and look what happens. So where are the cats?"
Johnathon coughed. "I took them home yesterday. Dr. Mizumi knows about the curses of course. She'll take good care of them."
Nabiki looked curious. "So, what did they look like?"
Akane pointed at Ranma. "A lot like Ranma's cursed form. Their bodies at least. Their faces were a bit different. Luna had black hair, and Artemis had white hair."
Nabiki looked thoughtful, then shrugged. "Nah, wouldn't work." She looked down at Kasumi. "So sis, what are you going to do?" Kasumi meowed and pointedly looked at Johnathon.
Kasumi's husband blinked. "Oh yes, Kasumi wanted me to tell everyone something. Kasumi is willing to stay a cat for awhile. She wants to give us a chance to save Shampoo. Mostly she doesn't want us to be sad. Kasumi misses taking care of her family, but otherwise being a cat isn't so bad. Oh, Ranma, were you serious about that kitten?"
Ranma nodded. "Yeah, I should finish up my cat phobia training."
Johnathon smiled. "Good, then keep an eye out for a kitten. Kasumi would like to help take care of a kitten. Let's get one right away."
All three teenagers nodded. "Sure."
Nabiki started back toward her room. "I'll see you all at school."
Johnathon finished eating and started making lunch for Ranma and Akane. Upstairs in her room, Nabiki popped the tape Hiroshi had given her into the VCR.
Nabiki checked the clock. "OK, I have twenty minutes before I have to leave for school. Plenty of time." She hit the rewind and waited for it to rewind all the way. When it stopped, she pressed play. It began as Nabiki remembered, herself and Hiroshi behind the school building. Nabiki blinked. < Static? I watched this Saturday. Why did I expect something different?> Nabiki stopped the tape and glanced at the clock. < Fourteen minutes till I have to leave for school. OK, I'll go talk to Johnathon about...>
Nabiki paused. < Fourteen? Six minutes haven't passed yet. What's going on?> She looked at the VCR. Slowly Nabiki hit the rewind button. The tape began to rewind after a short pause. Nabiki listened to the tape going backwards, counting the seconds. When it stopped she frowned. < That took too long.> She checked the clock. < Thirteen minutes... now.> Nabiki pressed the play button again. After watching the same sequence again, Nabiki blinked and pushed stop. < OK, that was about twenty seconds or so...> Nabiki glanced at the clock. < Eight minutes, nearly seven minutes till I have to leave? What the hell?>
Nabiki shook her head in denial. < The clock's broken, right?> She walked out of her room and called downstairs. "Hey Johnathon, what time is it?" Silence answered her. "Akane? Ranma?" Nothing. < I didn't hear them leaving.> Nabiki went downstairs and checked the kitchen clock. < Six minutes till I should go to school. So my bedroom clock is correct.> Nabiki ran upstairs. She popped the tape out of the VCR and looked at it. There was a perceptible thickening of tape on the right spool. < It's this tape. When I watch it, I... I blackout?>
Nabiki started to shiver involuntarily. < This is not good.> She put the tape back into the VCR. "One more time." She said determinedly. Nabiki rewound the tape and pressed play. She looked at the clock and stared at the time. Nabiki blinked. The position of the hands had changed, instantly. It was just after the time to get going to school. < I wasn't even looking at the screen!> Nabiki angrily hit the rewind button, not bothering to hit stop first. < This is ridiculous. A stupid tape can't make me blackout!> Nabiki looked at the TV, suddenly the picture had returned. Her and Hiroshi were behind the school.
Nabiki watched herself start to bend over, remove her shoe and hand it to Hiroshi. < What the hell?> Nabiki continued to watch. < This is rewinding, so it's reversed, that means...> "Oh my god!" Nabiki's mind raced as the tape rewinded, clearly showing her stripping and handing her clothing to Hiroshi. < It's reversed, I was taking my clothing back from him...> The tape continued backwards and Nabiki watched in fascinated horror as she stripped to her panties, then got dressed again. < I stripped for Hiroshi? I STRIPPED for HIROSHI?!? No way!> The tape stopped and popped out. < I can't remember it! I black out every time I watch it on the tape. Why?> It was past time to go, but now school didn't seem to matter.
Nabiki grimaced. < I've got to get to the bottom of this.> Nabiki popped the tape out. < Hiroshi must know the truth... but he could make me do it again.> Nabiki shuddered. < Oh god no. Am I going insane?> She opened her door, Kasumi was sitting there. < My big sister, the black cat...> Kasumi meowed at her questioningly. Nabiki hesitated. < No. I... I can't tell her...> "School? Right, I'm, I'm on my way. I'll see you later, Kasumi." Nabiki grabbed her bag and stuffed the tape into it. < What can I do? I... I need help.> She headed for the front door. < I... I can't handle this by myself... I can't even watch that stupid tape... I need help. But who?>
End pt 28
I hope you liked it. C&C is always appreciated!